The Best Mobile Solution for SAP EWM (Hint: It’s Not MOBGUI)

  • Inventory/Warehouse
  • SAP
learn why RFgen is the best mobile software for SAP RF Extended Warehouse Management (EWM)

SAP-run businesses face more challenges than ever. Rapidly evolving technology and socioeconomic uncertainty abroad compound with a fickle workforce. To overcome these challenges, companies are turning to technology for help.

One of these technologies has traditionally been the SAP Warehouse Management, or WM, module. However, WM support is ending in 2025 (possibly 2027 in conjunction with ECC), meaning WM users must migrate to a new solution or face security risks and loss of functionality.

While some businesses will transition to S/4HANA’s WM replacement, Stock Room Management (SRM), many will be migrating to Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) for its robust functionality.

What is SAP EWM?

SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) is an advanced warehousing module, or WMS, that provides detailed control and optimization for warehouse and distribution operations.

As part of SAP’s supply chain management solution family, it offers advanced functionality for managing warehouse activities. It also helps coordinate complex processes while providing real-time monitoring. EWM can be deployed as a standalone component.

What is the difference between WM and EWM in SAP?

SAP WM is for simpler warehouse operations than EWM. Meanwhile, SAP EWM is useful for organizations that need more than the basic capabilities available in Inventory Management (IM), Warehouse Management (WM), or Stock Room Management (SRM).

SAP WM lacks features like slotting, an RF framework, and the same level of warehouse monitoring. Additionally, SAP EWM provides more customization options.

Larger operations with more complicated warehouses will need the sophisticated capabilities of EWM to gain the most efficiency.

Mobile Solutions for SAP EWM

Most modern warehouses will want to mobilize supply chain transactions. They do this by implementing RF guns in SAP EWM with mobile software.

When it comes to extending SAP EWM to mobile devices, there are many options to choose from. By default, EWM can be mobilized with ITSmobile or Fiori.How Perpetual Inventory Systems are Transforming Business Operations.

More recently, the SAP EWM mobile service MOBGUI offers a way to quickly convert old ITSmobile screens into a newer look and feel. (However, MOBGUI is still reliant on the underlying ITSmobile and Web Dynpro architecture, which are decades old.)

These are only a few of the services or technical layers that can be integrated to mobilize EWM. Collectively, this array of solution variants is called SAP RF.

Another option is to implement a dedicated mobile platform like RFgen® for EWM that delivers a modern user experience with significantly greater flexibility and functionality.

Your Guide to RFgen for SAP EWM



While ITSmobile, Fiori, and MOBGUI are all included as part of the SAP RF framework (also called SAP EWM RF), they tend to fall short in terms of modernity, capability, and cost compared to a dedicated third-party solution like RFgen®.

The reason for this comes down to TCO, or total cost of ownership.

SAP MOBGUI may seem like a low-cost option since the solution itself is included with EWM, but actually configuring and implementing it is fraught with numerous hidden pitfalls.

And here’s why SAP RF MOBGUI costs more than RFgen®:

  • Development
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Offline Functionality
  • Future-proofing

Investing in Warehouse Innovation: ROI of Warehouse Software



Since RF and MOBGUI are native SAP mobile solutions, their primary allure is cost since they don’t require additional licensing or deployment expenses.

However, most adopters fail to realize the immense expenditures involved with development costs stemming from:

  • Configuration Requirements
  • Mobile Optimization
  • Maintenance

Even though SAP RF’s mobile transactions come standard out of the box, they must be configured. After all, no two real-world operations are the same. Often, configurations are exceedingly complex.

Therefore, each application must be configured to unique needs and tested, incurring development costs over several months. Even then, getting exactly the functionality desired is difficult and time-consuming—and often not possible at all.

Compare that to RFgen®, which enables rapid configuration of mobile apps to exact needs in less time. In the end, the total cost of development becomes significantly lower than with SAP RF or MOBGUI.

Additionally, RFgen mobile workflows can be optimized. Unlike MOBGUI, RFgen® allows for prompts to be removed, re-ordered, or condensed into a single, intuitive workflow that delivers much more productivity value.

Lastly is maintenance. 60% or more of software cost is maintenance. Fewer lines to maintain means lower maintenance costs. RFgen® requires a fraction of the code as SAP RF to complete even a simple action, like auto-populating a field with a part number.

If you’re wondering how to develop programs for SAP mobile RF in the most cost-effective way possible, the answer is RFgen®.


Another area of hidden costs lies in performance. RFgen®, which is architecturally streamlined with a highly efficient tech stack, guarantees packet delivery in real time using a native client. Adding scripting or design elements doesn’t hinder performance in any way.

When it comes to SAP RF, its complex architecture with multiple layers (Dynpro ABAP, ITSmobile, Personas, Fiori, Javascript, MOBGUI) creates system fragility. A small mistake in one layer can break the others.

Meanwhile, its generalized architecture is not mobile-optimized and reliant on sluggish third-party industrial browsers for its web-based applications. Customizing scripts or visuals bogs down performance.

By going with a mobile platform that exhibits superior performance, adopters can achieve greater benefits in productivity, efficiency, and speed.

In the short term, these boosts help accelerate ROI. In the long term, they drive cost savings.


Although EWM MOBGUI promises an easy path toward “modernization” of the UI, sadly the updated interface is still last gen and outdated. Being a web-based solution, screens can’t be tailored to present-day touch interactivity, even in an age where full touchscreen devices are the norm.

On the other hand, RFgen’s mobile interface offers a present-day, consumer-like user experience that aligns with the behaviors of today’s workforce. All screen elements are optimized for touch interactivity with full support for tap, swipe, scroll, and other gestures.

User experience has come to the forefront of enterprise software recently. This is because UI/UX can be a determining factor not only in productivity, but in terms of talent acquisition and retention at a time when labor shortfalls are practically endemic.

Another crucial factor that is easily overlooked is user adoption. A truly modern UI/UX helps boost user adoption, preventing solution abandonment.

Think of it this way: What good is that “low-cost” SAP RF solution if the workers don’t actually use it? Your investment is wasted.

Webinar: Modernizing SAP with Mobility


Offline Functionality

SAP promises offline capabilities as part of its solution. However, this functionality is less than stunning. Essentially, SAP’s offline functionality is limited to the web browser’s ability to store data while disconnected from the network.

Any connectivity interruptions result in a lost transaction, and thus the need for rework.

On the other hand, RFgen® provides dramatically greater value in this area with a robust array of offline solutions for a variety of disconnected scenarios:

  • Offline Data Collection enables workers to continue carrying out transactions without lost work when device connectivity is lost, weak, or unreliable.
  • Advanced Hybrid Mode allows the RFgen system to automatically switch between real-time and offline modes without requiring the user’s intervention.
  • Continuous Availability provides the ability to continue transacting at a high volume while connection to SAP is unavailable for any reason.
  • Geolocation Yard Management equips exterior operations with the ability to use GPS and a visual map for guided picking, putaway, and more.

Using one or more of these offline solutions enables SAP-run businesses to create operational continuity with a seamless user experience, free from interruptions and lost work.

What value does Continuous Availability offer? Continuous Availability solutions are invaluable for offline ERP inventory management.

When SAP is Offline: The Value of Continuous Availability



Where SAP RF mobile solutions end up costing organizations the most is in the long term. Not only that, but SAP has offered multiple mobility solutions in recent years without reliable continuity.

For instance, over the years SAP has introduced—and deprecated—SAPGUI, SAP Console, ITSmobile, and Screen Personas. MOBGUI represents the latest technology in this string of solutions.

Where this proves problematic is in the need to migrate from one solution to the next to stay up-to-date. With migration comes costs for assessment, development, implementation, and training.

Custom functionality is at risk of being lost altogether.

Instead, a truly future-proof solution like RFgen® enables organizations to save money by avoiding any such mess. New UI or capabilities can be easily implemented without disrupting operations, migrating to a new solution, or re-training the workforce.

Add to that the reliability of future existence. Although the solution has evolved over the decades, RFgen® has remained live and stable for more than 40 years—with no end in sight.

cover image of RFgen white paper: Modern Mobile UI for Barcode Applications

Get Modern Mobile UI for SAP EWM


RFgen is the Best Mobile Solution for SAP EWM

When evaluating potential mobile solutions for SAP EWM, the decision ultimately comes down to two factors: functionality and cost. In terms of functionality, RFgen® provides far greater capabilities in a way that generates higher efficiency gains and more ROI. As far as cost is concerned, being lured by SAP RF’s initial low-cost attraction is a surefire way to fall into the trap of high, long-term development costs with less usability and capability than RFgen®. Taking these into account, the answer is clear: RFgen® is the best mobile solution for SAP EWM, providing a lower total cost of ownership compared to SAP RF and MOBGUI.

RFgen for SAP Success Stories