In this post you will learn how S/4HANA Cloud Multi-Tenant Edition can be extended, accompanied with my personal insight on how you can easily move to the cloud, with your existing knowledge, as a developer.
Life as it is… Extensibility.
No access to the SAP back end, no ABAP Workbench, not even eclipse?!? You must be mad!
It sounds like a challenge, for a long-time on-premise developer (+10 years), but a brilliant and fun challenge it is.
In no time I was up to speed, and everything felt naturally, due to the seamless integration and available documentation.
SAP delivers a plethora of tools, from In-App Extensibility to Side-By-Side Cloud development which enables us to tackle our customers’ requests.
In-App Extensibility are a set of “End User” tools that allows you to perform the following activities in an easy way and still using ABAP:
modify logic (BADI’s)
adapt existing screens
create new fields
create tables (Custom Objects)
create CDS Views
The BADI’s offer you the possibility to manipulate the newly created fields, create pricing requirements, show messages or call oData Services.
On the ABAP side, some parts are still limited, due to the limited amount of provided ABAP classes (e.g. to process response messages from external webservices), but we got the message that in the upcoming releases, this will be covered.
For the more complex developments (e.g. custom mobile warehouse management apps, upload tools, …), we use the SAP Cloud Platform, both Neo (SAP Web-IDE) as Cloud Foundry (Node.JS) environments.
For the areas that required more complex CDS Views (e.g. using the advanced HANA SQL language), we rely on the CDS replication capability to a HANA Database that is running in Cloud Foundry. Using Cloud Application Programming Model, we're able to deliver very advanced oData (v4) services.
To integrate with 3rd party environments, we use SAP Cloud Platform Integration, a great tool which allows us to interact with API’s from vendors, to automate business processes in an easy way.
What remains a challenge, is the follow-up of the roadmap. Including the change of mindset which is required for a consultant. For example, we were waiting for the 1911 release to get some new API’s in the Cloud Warehouse, so we could start creating our own scanning apps to perform warehouse tasks. But if we have a look at the roadmap, SAP will provide them only in upcoming releases.
SAP managed to provide an ERP system in the cloud, that is future proof, in many perspectives.
As SAP is continuously providing new releases, our existing developments just continue to work.
During the lifetime of our project, we have experienced this already a couple of times.
As a developer, I can only applaud this, because nothing is more of a dull job than to rewrite logic, due to breaking changes.
I can conclude that the future looks bright, as each release delivers us a lot of new goodies!
More in-depth real-world details about intelligent RPA, Conversational AI, Machine Learning, SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Concur, will follow in our upcoming posts.
This blog post is part of our blog post series ‘Life as it is… Implementing S/4 HANA CLOUD ESSENTIALS (ES)’, where you will find links to other business areas. Please follow these blog post series that will be frequently updated. We will keep sharing tangible insights about S/4HANA Cloud Essentials (ES). Especially, about the new releases.
If you have any comments, please leave it below or send me a direct message.
Steven De Baerdemaeker is an experienced SAP Expert with a 10 year plus track record in ABAP development (Netweaver Gateway, S/4HANA, SAP ECC, SAP CRM) and SAPUI5 development.
TheValueChain NV is a leading SAP Partner that enables companies to speed up and increase the business value of SAP. As a trusted advisor we inspire customers to embrace end-to-end solutions to tackle their challenges in this digital age. We aim for the total approach with smart innovation, simplification and sustainability. We go beyond simple: with functional and technical expertise and an unconditional commitment we convert your implementation into a unique differentiator.