Shape memory alloy (SMA) films enable the development of novel mechanically active microsystems as they provide large force and stroke in restricted space. The performance of SMA film actuators and sensors does not only depend on SMA material properties, but also requires a mechanically and thermally optimized design as well as a suitable fabrication technology being compatible to existing microsystems technologies. The paper gives an overview on the engineering aspects of SMA film actuators and sensors. These aspects are illustrated by selected examples such as bridge microactuators, microvalves and microscanners. The examples demonstrate the ongoing progress in the field, current limitations as well as existing opportunities for emerging new applications.