In 2020, SAP TechEd generated considerable interest in the SAP community when they announced the general availability of SAP’s new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for ABAP – Steampunk. Advancements on ‘Restful ABAP Programming’ (RAP) model also got tongues wagging. However, Steampunk has been available since 2019 and already there are customers using it for creating and deploying applications.
Following are the key rationales of SAP for offering Steampunk, which sits atop Cloud Foundry:
- Customer Base - A huge customer/partner base that has numerous solutions written on ABAP
- Enterprise Readiness – To answer the power of ABAP to help write economically enterprise-ready solutions for the business
- Transition to Cloud – As many customers are adopting SAP S/4HANA Cloud with tailored extensions.
WHERE can you use Steampunk?
- It is meaningful to have a side-by-side extension on Steampunk for implementing classic (but restricted) ABAP development on top of SAP S/4 HANA cloud.
- Use Steampunk as an innovation platform by building Fiori apps using RAP and utilize other SAP cloud services like IoT, ML, Blockchain in your extensions.
- Enable access to select users only on the cloud and not the digital core. Decoupling select apps from the core also mitigates risks from changes due to business system upgrades.
WHAT can you expect from Steampunk?
More changes and steady enhancements. Some of the key changes include - Additional support for partners to develop and run applications for customers. The RAP would be more enhanced with OData V4 support and have provisions for ABAP Git to export code from Steampunk to cloud/on-premise versions.
There is also a Recipe option available, which will act as a wizard to set up productive instances – Application Runtimes, ABAP system and Destination service. It also allows you to configure the instance capacity, location of cloud instance, add developers, admins etc.
Key points for coding experts:
- Though access to native file systems and screens are blocked, you can always use whitelisted APIs and OData services
- RAP language utilizes the HANA code push-downs of backend ERP systems
- With Release 1908, SAP offers
- Fiori App to execute custom code analysis for on-premise to SAP S/4HANA conversions and cloud readiness
- Comprehensive filtering and navigation capabilities in ABAP Test Cockpit(ATC) check results
- Identifies cases which can be fixed in a semi-automated way using the Quick fixes option
So, WHEN can you start?
Wipro can guide you through your journey of putting your solutions on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) sidecar. For those who are migrating from traditional architectures, there are newer things to discover and acclimatize like eclipse, newer syntax, Fiori with RAP support etc. that we can help you with.
Those who still want to test the waters first, SAP offers a trial account that is a shared offering and time bound. Take care not to put in your precious code here! This feature is for developers to get a firsthand feel of Steampunk. You do have your familiar flight reference scenario (complete RAP code available in GitHub). Use this trial account to see nuances of this offering. Wipro can collaborate with you as you make your foray or start adding more value into SAP Cloud platform investments.
Like many other products from SAP, Steampunk has lots of potential for steady growth in terms of features and partner programs for early adopters. While Steampunk’s ABAP cannot mount a full battle with other languages like Node.js, Java, Python, etc. in terms of versatility, the offering is shaping up nicely with a robust road map in terms of support from the SAP ecosystem. We suggest SAP customers -- who have a smaller to medium footprint for Cloud usage to start with- try the ABAP PaaS – using the cloud with not much of newer technologies to contend with and getting SCP features available on need and on demand. Customers on S/4 Cloud can also definitely look at Steampunk as a good sidecar option.