In this blog, I want to share my exciting first live experience at TechEd Las Vegas 2022. The blog will be structured with my personal feelings and experiences about this journey (you can skip my opinions written in italics) and the SAP technical information I bring home. Just to provide context, I am a FIORI/BTP developer consultant enthusiastic about new technologies.
The chapters are structured in chronological order of my experience on November 15th and 16th.
Entrance and Keynote
Attending the Keynote
After walking for 5 minutes down the long corridors of the hotel to get to the event reception, I quickly received my badge. A long corridor with breakfast offers everything. The quality was ok with a lot of choices for an event like that. I tried to talk with some attendees, but the moment of the keynote was near and I wanted to find the best place to sit. No problem for next time. In the front, you can usually find a good spot.
The main SAP news is definitely SAP Build, which has the purpose of allowing users to build apps, automate processes, and create unified experiences with drag-and-drop simplicity.
The framework combine three new masterpieces and renaiming from SAP box.
SAP AppGyver => SAP Build Apps
SAP Launchpad => SAP Build Workzone Standard Edition
SAP Workzone => SAP Build Workzone Advance Edtiion
SAP Process Automation => SAP Build Process Automation
I will explain more about SAP Build later, but what I appreciate about this new offering from SAP is the easy integration between the tools, which is particularly evident in SAP Build Apps.
Another important news is the partnership with Coursera. Technology is constantly evolving, and customers demand valid knowledge of the SAP world from us. This new partnership helps outsiders to get deep into the process and Coursera is a trusted program. From my perspective, the new SAP Learning still has my attention. I was a fan of Open SAP and the developer site. I hope SAP Learning grows and becomes an access point for our technical developers and that the SAP Certification becomes a validation for our customers. Coursera offers something in the middle, more about processes and management. The question is, how will customers consider a Coursera Certification compared to an SAP Certification?
Another topic that deserves attention is SAP's Cloud Application Programming (CAP) and multitenant applications. I am aware that CAP (like SAP's original Application Programming Model, or RAP) is the framework of the future for SAP. I can see the potential and the possibility to combine multiple resources is definitely a new fundamental feature of this framework. Unfortunately, I have not yet applied this technology in my projects, but I will keep an eye on it. For more information I invite you to follow the blog series of martinf and alperdedeoglu. https://blogs.sap.com/2022/10/19/multitenant-saas-applications-on-sap-btp-using-cap-tried-and-true/
Hands-On (1) - Build and Extend Apps with the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model (RAP)
I was lucky that a colleague explained to me that I could attend more than two hands-on sessions (the maximum number). If you stay in the queue outside the workshop at TechEd, you can participate in any presentation you want if there is enough space. It was not clear to me, as a new participant at TechEd. Also, the big screen near the hall with all the activities was not very useful: the titles were cut off and I couldn't easily find the rooms. Additionally, the assistance team was not informed about where the hands-on sessions were or the location of the rooms.
Probably the best hands-on session. We went directly to a development exercise and the RAP in 2022 is the gateway to oData v4.
The possibility of creating the entire RAP model directly from a single table helped our developer a lot. It is possible with S4HANA 2022, but we have a few tricks for the old system:
Create all the RAP models in the new system and after transport in the older one (this necessity a review of the annotation)
Use the Rap Generator by andre.fischer (also the host of the hands-on)
Also, the new RAP (and oData v4) impress me with the possibility of uploading a file from our FIORI Application generated simply with an annotation of the field.
And also the new "annotation" is localized, to expose a text field with the proper language without creating an association like before.
The possibility of meeting my old friends from Europe is the magic of SAP TechEd. Joining the SAP community from all around the world makes this place so special. I met mynyna.chau a long time ago at an SAP Inside Track in Oslo and I sincerely recommend this kind of event to everyone.
We completed some community missions and I had the opportunity to meet some SAP Champions. It was a good moment to network. Also, it's possible to get a new profile picture for your social media with a professional photographer (look at mine now, it's nice, right 🙂 ?).
Hands-On (2) - Extend and Improve Standard Application Processes Easily
Subsequently, I always got my hands on a new tool from the Build group: Build process automation.
I come from a Workflow NEO and CF world and I was curious to find out the differences between the new tools.
The access point has changed and has been integrated with the Build part.
The workflow seems to me much simpler and more intuitive in its creation. I'm curious to take full advantage of its automated processes. There is more talk of hyper-automation and more than 100 ready-to-use templated scenarios.
One of my questions was certainly interesting here.
Our company offers a complex invoice approval product and one of our customers is currently switching from a BTP Neo system to a BTP CF system: is it worth transforming the solution and recreating it with the new build process automation? The answer from the hosts is no: it is better to still keep the old workflow as a tool, but all new implementations or use cases should be done with the new tool because it is perfectly integrable. And this is good news.
Also, I was surprised by using standard OpenAPI instead of super-used oData. But here ajmaradiaga came to my aid and shared his interesting blog which also refers to the well-done official documentation.
You have to put your hands more to understand the potential of the new tool but in any case, if you already use the old Workflow the learning curve is much shorter.
Bonus Technology: Test Recording with UI5 Test Recorder
A technology that has perhaps gone quietly and is present in the SAP Developer Keynote for a SAPUi5 developer is the new Ui5 Test-Recorder. A few weeks before TechEd, I was in despair that every little change in a complex front-end project was going to take hours and hours of testing. Conditional editability and visibility of changes depend on a flood of user iterations. This tool seems to solve all of our problems as FrontEnd developers who are lazy to create OPA and UIVeri5 tests.
Now, I have to admit that it doesn't work for FIORI applications deployed on BTP portals. But it's a great start.
So kudos to michellemoudy and nicolai.geburek and all the team that worked on it.
I hope it has the success it deserves.
In the application keynote, SAP highlighted several new and upcoming features and products that aim to improve the user experience and streamline workflows for SAP customers.
One key feature discussed in the keynote was the Global User Identifier, a unique identifier used across all SAP products to facilitate single sign-on (SSO).
SAP also emphasized the use of a single domain model for all products (!!!), which means that all SAP products use the same data model, making it easier to integrate different products and share data between them.
The SAP Task Center was introduced as a platform that allows users to manage and track their workflow tasks across different SAP products. With over 90 workflow options available, and here is the integration with the Apple Watch and other Apple devices, this new partnership is one new strength of SAP.
SAP Start is a new solution that provides out-of-the-box functionality for businesses. The product is currently in beta testing, but it is expected to be widely available in the near future. SAP also shows the potential of SAP Start Mobile and SAP Launchpad Workzone and confirms the Workzone license will be free for existing SAP customers.
SAP also shows the new integrations with Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace, including the ability to share Google Sheets and connect to Google Drive.
Hands-On (3) - Learn How to Set Up and Configure SAP Mobile Start with SAP S/4HANA
New day with the SAP Mobile Start workshop opening.
The product is already available and really easy to install and activate.
SAP Mobile Start was created to fully exploit the native potential of our smartphones and certainly fully fill the gap that even the launchpad (or future Workzone) encounters.
In fact, how many times have you been stuck searching for a PO or a simple application with the classic flower search? It has never seemed so powerful to me.
With SAP Start Mobile, it is also possible to use the native features of the iPhone, for example, and use the generic app search to find the single launchpad app.
Already usable but still not very customizable, the possibility of customizing SAP Start Mobile was promised by the end of 2023, with a rebranding of the app as well as simply changing the icon, etc.
The hands-on session went well because of its ease. We already want to offer this solution to our customers as a plug-and-play solution.
Here I asked a specific question, not really related to the hands-on session but still related to mobile, and I asked:
How is it possible to publish one of our apps created with SAP Build Apps (old AppGyver) on the app store? Thank thomas.bruckner for the presentation and helping me and for sharing the following blog:
Hands-On (4) - Build Your Own Digital Experience with SAP Build Work Zone
I was lucky to participate in two or more out of three workshops dedicated to the new SAP Build. It is the latter that I will share about SAP Workzone. We have been using this product for a while now at my company. Unfortunately, the access barrier to configuring the tool within our system prevented me from fully testing it. I am really happy to have participated in this workshop.
The second, but most interesting thing, is the evolution of SAP's access point. We started with a classic simple Launchpad, with KPI additions (dynamic tiles), and have now progressed to having a complete product with tools and applications directly from an access point. Fingers crossed for performance, but if I remember correctly, it's all based on oData v4 technology and is now available in the cloud. I also like the idea that the upgrade is free, and therefore the classic Launchpad will automatically become the Workzone standard edition and the current Workzone will become Workzone Advance.
In my opinion, the difficulty here will be the iteration and the security/authorization among the multitude of users. Why did we create the common forum, news, and data cards and how far can the new Workzone be pushed?
For sure, the unification of the SAP Launchpad service, SAP Workzone, and SAP Start under the SAP Build Workzone umbrella provides customers and partners with a comprehensive solution for central access to SAP systems. This was a requirement requested by many customers in the past, and the integration of these solutions represents an important milestone. SAP Start complements the modular offering for SAP's central entry point solutions.
For me, as a huge fan of SAP products and an enthusiastic developer, SAP TechEd has been an incredible experience. Here's what I bring home:
Hands-On on all the latest SAP Technology with the support of the maximum experts. Any question you can think of as a best practice or maybe a correction to a project you've done 2 years earlier in vegas you might find the key to fixing it
Email and LinkedIn profiles were shared, and long-lost buddies from Europe found one another again. Network and connect with tech savvies
For last but not least, the show itself, the possibility to listen to Juergen Mueller, the VIPs developer's advocates, and the All Stars of SAP live, as an SAP addict, brought me new energy and new incentives.....and free food and drinks of course!
I can't wait to participate again and learn something more. If you are a developer or are curious about the technological innovations of SAP, you should have an experience at TechEd at least once in your life.
PS: if you come next year, rent a car and drive two hours to the east and you can see one of the most wonderful shows of nature.
The Grand Canyon
I hope this blog can be helpful to someone else. Don't hesitate to write me and contact me if you want to know more or just if you want to meet a new buddy at the next TechEd.