Fiori vs ABAP
4 Things to Consider
When Enhancing SAP


by Jodi Abrams


It usually starts with an idea to improve a business process. Searching standard SAP, you realize there is no existing solution, so you will need to build one. From that point – do you choose to do it in traditional ABAP, or do you create a Fiori App?


Many have spent countless hours staring that the blue shades of the SAP GUI, overtime growing accustom to it, and swearing by it as SAP brought other options to life. Now though, with the Fiori UI, there is a compelling reason to switch to the UI5 based application approach. More modern look and feel, and many more options for the UX design including the use of images, graphs and analytics.

While you can code almost anything in ABAP, the end look and feel no matter how hard you try, just can’t compete with Fiori.

Winner - Fiori


Setting up the initial framework for development can be a daunting task. However, there is a plethora of information and guides to help you along the way. With some concerted effort, these hurdles can be overcome. For someone not accustom to the Fiori development process, there is then the challenge of learning the toolset and what can/can’t be done without heavy customization. Again, a learning curve, but from our experience – it’s not terribly steep.

On the flip-side, experienced ABAP developers are easy to come by with up to decades of knowledge of the language. They can get started right away with little to no ramp up time. They know what can be done, and have some tricks to work around what’ can’t.

This round leans in favour of ABAP.


With Fiori, we can build applications that can run on multiple platforms. It’s also much easier to make applications that are mobile friendly and scale with the size of the screen. Any device that can run a recent version of any of the modern browsers is capable of running Fiori applications.

Traditional ABAP – can run on SAP.

Hands down winner – Fiori.


A Fiori app will probably cost you most in the long run to develop. With the endless possibilities of functionality, the app will probably end up doing more as well. With the infrastructure, and variety of resources (perhaps a front-end and a back-end resources), it adds up to be more development time. With the newness of the technology, it is also going to be less predictable.

With ABAP, the years of experience that the developers have, and the repeatability of a lot of the functionality lend itself to a more cost-effective process. You should also be able to get an ABAP estimate within 5% of the overall cost. There is just so little that is not known in the space.

Winner – ABAP

Fiori offers opportunities to enhance the user experience, and implement features and functionality not available with traditional ABAP. ABAP and the old user interface will likely still have their place on the SAP development landscape for years to come until the workforce learns more and gets more comfortable with the Fiori technology, bringing down development cycle times.

With input from André Cloutier


About the Author: Jodi Abrams

Jodi is an expert in SAP and eCommerce integration, and is Vice President of Applications for CONTAX.