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Comparison between: SAP FIORI Elements and Freestyle SAPUI5 Development

As part of our InnovateSAP initiative at HO2, we would like to give you a comprehensive insight into the development of SAP FIORI Elements and how it compares to SAP UI5 Freestyle development. SAP FIORI Elements provides an efficient, standardized method for creating user interfaces for SAP applications. It is based on the principles of SAPUI5 development, in which the OData services used are additionally annotated. By using SAP FIORI Elements, developers can reduce development time while ensuring a consistent user experience.

Advantages of SAP FIORI Elements

SAP FIORI Elements promotes rapid development through the use of predefined application templates (floor plans) that cover common business scenarios, such as overview pages, list reports, and object pages. These approaches reduce the amount of front-end code needed to create an SAP FIORI app while ensuring compliance with current SAP FIORI design guidelines. SAP FIORI Elements is based on SAPUI5 and uses OData services enriched with annotations to define UI logic and representation, simplifying and accelerating development.

Comparison: SAP FIORI Elements vs. SAP UI5 Freestyle

Unlike SAP FIORI Elements, where much of the UI logic is dictated by the framework and the use of annotations, SAP UI5 Freestyle Development provides greater flexibility and control over the appearance and behavior of the application. While this freedom allows for creative and individual design, it also requires more development effort and deeper knowledge of SAPUI5 to create consistent and maintainable applications.

To provide more clarity, we provide you with an overview of a common architecture of UI5 and Fiori Elements on the BTP. In both cases, CAP OData services are consumed, but the internal structure of the applications differs significantly.

UI5 vs. Fiori Elements with CDS on BTP

Limitations of SAP FIORI Elements

Despite the benefits of SAP FIORI Elements, there are limitations, especially in terms of adaptability and extensibility. The standardization and specification of UI elements and behavior is sometimes perceived as restrictive when specific requirements require deeper customization beyond the configuration options provided.


To support the development of SAP FIORI Elements applications, SAP provides a number of tools. In the SAP Business Application Studio and the Visual Studio Code, this includes the SAP FIORI tools. These offer features such as visual editors, code generation based on annotations, and preview functions to increase efficiency.

Use cases and application possibilities

SAP FIORI Elements is particularly well suited for use cases in which standard business processes are mapped. It offers a high level of user acceptance by adhering to the design guidelines. Typical use cases include reporting and analytics applications, business object management, and process control applications that can benefit from the predefined floor plans.

At HO2, we use our expertise to support you in the implementation of efficient, user-friendly SAP applications. Therefore, our InnovateSAP initiative aims to provide clarity in the area of SAP FIORI Elements development. In this way, we can support you in using the potential of this technology when it is appropriate. With our development know-how, we offer tailor-made solutions that are precisely tailored to your business needs.

We invite you to learn more about the possibilities of SAP FIORI Elements and UI5. Join us in designing the next generation of your SAP applications.