If you read this post about the architecture for the installation of SAP, you will already know that you need an SAP client software to be able to log in to SAP, unless you decide to connect via web.
In addition to the two options mentioned above, you have also the option to access SAP via portal. This is a single point of access to SAP information coming from different applications. The portal can be developed to extended functionality. For example retrieving information from other databases and applications (SAP or non-SAP). You can find more information about the portal in this SAP document.
Image: SAP Cloud Platform Portal connectivity options. Source: SAP
Before going to the details of each of the software available to log in to SAP, it is important to remember:
- SAP GUI is the name SAP gave to their first Graphical User Interface (GUI). This interface has been used in all the ERP versions of SAP since SAP R/3. SAP GUI is still necessary in SAP S/4HANA for some back end functionality such as customizing for the on-premise versions.
- Fiori UX is a relatively new User eXperience created by SAP. Fiori is a set of tools and guidelines to build apps with the new SAP appearance. SAP S/4HANA is designed to use both and the user can decide which environment to log in: Fiori apps or SAP GUI.
In this post, we are going to see three different ways to log in to the same SAP system via SAP client software.
SAP Fiori Client
SAP Logon (previously the logo was )
SAP Business Client
SAP Fiori Client
This Client software gives you access directly to the Fiori Launchpad. SAP Fiori launchpad is a shell that hosts the SAP Fiori apps assigned to the role of the user. It can be accessed from mobile and desktop devices. You may be wondering… is it possible to run the classic SAP GUI transactions from the Fiori launchpad? The answer is yes, you can do it using an embedded SAP GUI for windows but it needs to be configured by system or admin users. I leave a link to a document here with all the information about how to do it.
Image: Sample of Fiori launchpad in several devices
The application SAP Fiori Client can be found in the corresponding marketplace for the operating system of your device. You should be able to find it by just typing Fiori. I personally installed it on my mobile from Google Play and on my computer from Microsoft Store. It is free but you need a system to connect, otherwise it would be useless.
Image: SAP Fiori Client Program
SAP Logon is another client software. It is the oldest one, the one that everybody who has worked with SAP knows. SAP Logon is locally installed in each computer (client) that needs access to an SAP system. There is no version for mobile devices. SAP Logon works with the following versions of the Core ERP: SAP R/3, SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA.
There are two versions of this program:
- SAP GUI for Windows. This is the most popular version of the program. It can only run in the OS Windows.
- SAP GUI for Java. This program that can be run in several Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS and Windows.
When you run SAP Logon, it initially displays a list of configured SAP accesses for that computer. You can add and remove entries to the list by indicating the right connection data. The information about the connection data needs to be provided by the system administrator.
With this software, you can only log in to SAP using the interface SAP GUI. You can not run Fiori apps. But don’t panic, SAP left the door open, you can call the SAP Fiori Launchpad using transaction /n/UI2/FLP. That will automatically open a window in your web browser displaying the Fiori launchpad to the user.
Image: SAP Logon program
If you are wondering how to get this software, I have bad news. Unlike SAP Fiori Client, SAP Logon is not available to everybody. Only the system admin of customers with an active SAP license can download it. But, as I mentioned before, it is useless having the software if you don’t have a system to connect to.
If you want to know more about SAP digital S-Users, what they are, who can have one and the different types that exist, don’t hesitate to have a look to this other post.
SAP Business Client
This program presents a single entry point for the two environments: Fiori and SAP GUI. SAP Business Client (SAP BC) is installed in Windows on top of SAP GUI so you need both programs installed to be able to run SAP BC. For users of other operating systems like Mac OS or Linux, only the HTML version is available, no installation is possible.
Image: SAP Business Client Program
One interesting point about SAP BC is that when you log in to a SAP GUI entry, the appearance is Web. Instead of using different windows for each transaction, different tabs inside the same window are used (unless you move a tab out of the window). This appearance have some benefits such as moving tabs, pinning them to be reopened at each new login, accessing the favorites menu without going to the initial screen and more. The browser used is Chromium, an open-source browser developed by Google. Incidentally, popular browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Opera are also built using chromium. If you click on the links, you will find the information.
Image: SAP GUI screens from a SAP BC connection
SAP BC has the same availability as SAP Logon, only customers with an active SAP license may have access to download it. You can find more information about this product in this SAP document.