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This document is a SAP developer startup to help you going into the cloud and start developing for:

  • ABAP applications (adapt ABAP code for HANA and S/4HANA);

  • HANA DB native applications (Artifacts and XS);

  • HCP extensions (Java for backend and HTML5 for Frontend);

  • Mobile applications and UX design (CSS, Fiori, HTML5, JavaScript and SAPUI5, etc.).


With exception of ABAP applications that require a traditional on-premise SAP system you can go on discovery mode and do all of these in your on-demand SAP Cloud Platform developer account without any cost but with some limitations. Later in real projects you can get a cloud developer, customer or partner account depending of the requirements and scope. If you are a SAP developer and didn’t start yet walking over the Cloud, HANA and UX or are not even thinking about take in consideration that you will need to run later to fill the gap. ABAP oriented developers continue spending time discussing if they will face a mass extinction in their side when the new concept is to simplify, extend, adapt for HANA and not to full replace and rebuild.

If HANA was a revolution and UX an expected evolution, SAP Cloud is a new geological period in SAP landscape and a true game change. You can still go for ABAP, any DB, NetWeaver or were else and anyway ABAP will stay there forever but where innovation is happening is in Cloud using languages like CSS, HTML, Java, JavaScript and all existent libraries, SQL Script, XML, etc. For Java and web developers nothing new about it but for those that never made web development or only started programing for SAP in ABAP and NetWeaver, there is a long way to go. SAP has followed its own phat through the mountains in web technologies with NetWeaver but almost all others followed by the valley adopting open source languages and technologies based on standard web protocols. Now that we are back on track let explore this new SAP vision where business processes are going people-centric, software to subset apps and extensions, interfaces to OData restfully APIs and services available as a platform, and all of this open to all SAP solutions and to the world.

If you are not yet in SAP Cloud Platform stop the retro-thinking and go for it and create your developer trial account: The central point for managing all activities in the cloud is the cockpit that is organized by navigation areas and provides several services. After creating your account, you have access to very important services and cloud tools in the corresponding navigation area with zero local installations. Is only required to go to services area and if not activate the required ones.


In terms of apps and extensions development the most relevant services to start are:

  • Connectivity service is used to expose or consume services using web or SAP RFC protocol. For on premise connectivity please install and setup SAP cloud connector and it will be available in your cloud connectivity area. Destinations are used for outbound communication from cloud applications to remote systems or services. For inbound communications to the cloud it’s required to expose services using Java applications and technologies;

  • Identity Service provides standard self-services for authentication, single sign-on and on premise integration for customers, partners and consumers. All is done and you only need to use it;

  • Persistence Service is one of the most important on SAP cloud where you can have a trial SAP HANA MDC database, including XS Administration Tool and SAP HANA Web-based Development Workbench. When developing locally the persistence service supports Java Persistence API (JPA) and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and when deploying your app to the cloud all is automatically bind to your HANA database system.

With only these three services you can handle and build incredible apps to extend your business supported by HANA analytics power, reliable and efficient user experience and open to the internet of things and people.


There are several tools for developing with identical functionalities but with different approaches. The most extensive and complete is still Eclipse with SAP Cloud Platform SDK but anyway is more a question of flavor and requirement for your app.

Existent cloud based tools for developers:

  • BUILD can be used for prototyping, apply design principles and to look and feel before starting your implementation;

  • SAP Web IDE powered by Eclipse Che is a cloud-based tool for web development that enables you to create and extend end user applications for browsers and mobile devices using script code as CSS, HTML, JavaScript with SAPUI5 controls and Fiori-like look to keep the coherency. With exception of mobility or offline apps these frontend applications don’t have persistence because they consume data from legacy systems or cloud persistence services using restful OData APIs and supported protocol.

  • SAP HANA Web-based Development Workbench is a cloud-based tool for HANA Extended Application Services (XS) artifacts development in SAP HANA DB repository. XS programing model support front-end processing at presentation browsers level and application, business logic, calculations or any data-intensive operations are implemented at DB level using SQLScript.


Standalone tools for developers (local installation required):

  • SAP HANA Studio powered by Eclipse is an integrated development environment for HANA Extended Application Services (XS) artifacts in SAP HANA DB repository. You should get it from SAP Service Market Place from SAP HANA Enterprise Edition repository. You can find several posts and blogs on web explaining how to download, install and configure.

  • Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers is still the main tools for Java developments and where the sky is the limit. Java SE Development Kit 7u80 (full supported) and SAP Cloud Platform SDK with required runtimes should be installed from SAP Cloud Platform Tools and them you can point to your SAP cloud developer account at start using it.

  • SAP Cloud Connector is an optional middleware and should be installed and configured to be possible to integrate and consume remote services from the cloud.


The best starting points for developers to all new SAP technologies are:


OpenSAP courses are excellent for the first contact and will keep you on track for deep diving. For developers I strongly recommend:


Now that you are in the cloud you can look down and start seeking for inspirations. Please check SAP online stores and reference libraries for existent products, apps and extensions:

Or you can find a lot more googling on web and existent apps stores.


Nuno Morais
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