Benifits of SAP’s UI Strategy – Thoughts after UI5con 2016 Frankfurt
Last Friday I had the privilege to attend the Open UI5con in Frankfurt. UI5 is an open source HTML5 framework developed by SAP (and the open source community), and has from its conception in 2009 evolved to play a huge part in SAP’s UI strategy. It is the bricks used in Fiori applications, and every other SAP app is converging towards the UI5 paradigm – Responsive, modern and accessible from any device with a browser.
UI5 has a lot of attention in the SAP world and it is the obvious choice for developing new SAP frontends. Attending the conference, I however also saw how UI5 is growing beyond SAP and is used in everything from Phillips Hue configuration to football analytics applications. The interest for the UI5con was huge and all the seats where gone in under an hour. Development communities are one of the prime factors in developer productivity – It is the place you are inspired, it is the place people share great solutions, and it is place you get help when you are stuck. In short “Open Source” means that the community around UI5 is getting bigger, which benefits everyone.
The conference was very inspiring and I saw how people had cleverly integrated UI5 with other HTML libraries to create innovations. A guy had created a real time 3D representation of a container port. Using internet of things he was able to notify the port authority “real time” if a container was breached. He was also able to pinpoint which container was breached on the UI5 map representation.
This really shows how UI5 is not limited to Master Detail applications, but with the power of the web community can be enhanced to do so much more.
In recent years I have experienced an ever changing mobile strategy from SAP: Netweaver Mobile -> Sybase Unwired Platform -> Syclo Agentry -> SAP Mobile Platform -> Hana Cloud Platform mobile services. This has caused hesitation in the market and has for SAP companies delayed the revolution of the mobile worker as companies where not willing to invest in uncertain technology. UI5 has however set a clear path for the future SAP frontend and the UI5con showed me that a growing community is emerging. I am excited to see how UI5 will be used and integrated with other web libraries to truly create new solutions.