Beyond Traditional Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) Business Landscape
Recent years have seen enormous changes in the SAP world that are way beyond our traditional programming methods. Especially with S4 coming in, it has almost become difficult to keep up with new innovations. In this blog, I will talk at a high level about 3 paradigms that will influence the way we have been developing and designing SAP applications -
Now a reasonably well known concept, we see growing number of customers deploying standard Fiori applications. While most of them did it to join the Mobility bandwagon, I think it will hold them in good stead when they upgrade later to the newer SAP version especially from Change Management perspective.
Fiori 2.0 is the new kid on the block. It has some exciting features like voice assisted transactions via Co-Pilot or a new notification area available on the Launchpad itself. Whilst there are host of good features but because there are also some newer elements for e.g. a completely different UI layer or access via mobile, which can throw architectural and security challenges, it is vital for us to keep up with this new framework.
HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)
HCP is a powerful platform which provides you opportunities to simplify your development or add innovative applications. In times to come this may become the Only way to build, extend and run SAP applications hence it is vital that all of us get a working knowledge off the same.
Following are some of its key areas -
- Web IDE - development tool to build Fiori / UI5 apps with ready templates
- BUILD - prototyping and user feedback
- Mobile Service - quickly create and operate mobile apps
- App & Device Management - secure your applications and devices
- Internet of Things Services - build model and store IoT data
- HANA Cloud Integration - facilitates integration of cloud to cloud or on-premise to cloud
- HANA Cloud Connector - an integration agent that allows you to connect your on-premise system to cloud
- Document Center - content repository in cloud
- JAM - social collaboration platform for enterprises
- Predictive Services - services to deliver predictive analytical insights
Core Data Services (CDS)
Coming from an ABAP background, this is something that I am excited about. Just when things looked like moving away from ABAP, comes in CDS with newer capabilities. In fact, it has been massively used in S4HANA thus, forms the backbone for the future. In case you are not aware of CDS, it can be used to define and consume data models in HANA. In fact, with new and improved Fiori templates made available in WebIDE, it is now possible to build simple end-to-end applications mainly using Annotations in CDS.
What's in it for customers?
Below are some advantages that customers will derive by adopting the above trends -
As mentioned, the three trends will be the foundation for the SAP road ahead hence any investments done in the area, will be a step in the right direction. Adoption need not necessarily mean deployment but could well be up-skilling of resources or POCs using trial versions.
Platform like HCP, will compel organizations to think on newer business models and bring higher operational efficiencies. For e.g. using IoT to monitor real time device health and building predictive services to prolong machine life.
Fiori being the primary access interface warrant users a great Omni-channel User Experience, an important factor in today's world.
Newer version of ABAP (7.4 and above) is much more powerful and simplified, allowing customers to keep their investments in ABAP intact.
While the fact remains that SAP customers will eventually move to HANA, however one of the biggest advantage that ABAP 7.4 (and above) provide is that CDS feature can be used with any database. Therefore, customers can derive performance benefits even with their non-HANA database. With so many innovations in the SAP world, these sure are interesting times.