After the announcement that Fiori is now included with the SAP Software at Sapphire 2014 in Orlando, we have had several questions
about why customers should invest in the Neptune Application Designer.
First of all, it is very important to understand that Fiori is a set of applications built on top of the SAPUI5 framework and that the
Neptune Application Designer is a development tool for ABAP’ers wishing to utilize their existing skills creating HTML5 applications
and mobile Hybrid apps with native features.
So this is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.
Anyhow, if we look at the architecture behind the Fiori applications we can compare the two solutions.
Note that you can run Fiori and Neptune applications side by side with the exact same user experience,
so the two solutions are not mutually exclusive.
Competence: The major difference is the way you develop or enhance the applications. Neptune is specifically targeting the
ABAP developers whereas Fiori/Eclipse based UI5 applications require both Web Developers and ABAP developers. Our implementation
partners report a huge reduction in development/enhancement effort using Neptune. Some as high as a 70% reduction in development time.
Architecture: Fiori requires Gateway and the oData protocol which, from our experience (Especially when the services are built from the old
Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) solutions), is low performant and make the applications sluggish. Neptune on the other hand is using native json
and a direct data selection from the ABAP attributes, giving you the most performant SAP web solution on the market. Also networking optimization is
part of the Neptune solution where all communication is compressed. Fiori requires the latest Enhancement packages and in 70% of the
applications HANA is also a requirement (See this blog by John Moy). Neptune has been installed on systems down to 4.7 (Although our SAINT
installation package requires NW 7.X). You can of course also utilize HANA using Neptune if you wish.
Offline: Neptune applications has great offline capabilities which you will not find in any existing Fiori application.
Mobile Apps: Firori is designed as web applications and require a browser (Yes you do have a Fiori app, but that is more or less a browser with caching capabilities).
Neptune has a tight integration with Adobe Phonegap which enables you to build your own Hybrid Apps for different devices and use native capabilities and plugins
such as camera, bar-code scanners, geolocation, Push Notifications etc.).
Lifecycle Management: The introduction of Neptune AppCache also greatly reduces the cost of app life-cycle management with automatic updates of the apps
from the ABAP back-end.
TCO: Breaking it down to a TCO chart it will look like this: