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Customers are upgrading to HANA in large numbers. Instead of going to S/4 HANA and BW/4 HANA, lot of customers are going to Suite on HANA and BW on HANA. For customer shops new to HANA, it is time to set the development strategy for custom ABAP development. This blog provides clear guidance on what should be your strategy and why? It is specifically written for customers who are on SAP Netweaver 7.5 and current support package stack running suite on HANA, ECC EHP 8. Do the following to get best value for your money:

  1. Set up the ABAP team with Eclipse and ABAP Development Tools add-on. Insist they use it for all their work. You will have to adjust the developer roles to include authorizations for ADT

  2. Start using ABAP CDS for all data manipulation tasks, be it for a report, interface or new transaction

  3. New user interface transactions should be built as Fiori apps. Use ABAP CDS and Fiori Elements. For transactional apps use BOPF framework generated from ABAP CDS annotations. You cannot use the latest recommendation of ABAP RESTFUL programming yet. You will need to wait till you have Netweaver 7.52

  4. Get the WEBIDE on SAP cloud platform licensed and setup. Make sure cloud connector is installed and configured so that you can create your Fiori applications using oData services generated from ABAP CDS. The process to publish developed Fiori apps to on premise Gateway ABAP repository seamless.

  5. Should you be using native HANA modeling to create calculation views for reporting. For reporting on ECC data, use ABAP CDS and analytics annotations. Don’t take on the extra work of creating and maintaining HANA database users and security for the entire end user community. You will need to add HANA transports to your ALM setup. Why do all this if you can achieve the same results with ABAP CDS. SAP is doing the same with S/4 HANA.

Upgrade to HANA brings a lot of new technology and tools to build very powerful applications. Don’t use a tool just because it is available. Choose wisely. For custom work to build new ECC reports, interface and transactions stay with ABAP and Netweaver framework. HANA native development technologies should only be used if ABAP CDS can’t do the job. Follow SAP’s lead by understanding the S/4 HANA architecture. SAP is putting it’s resources in optimizing ABAP platform to take full advantage of HANA. For core ERP work this is cheaper to build and maintain.

There is no shortage of blogs, tutorials and how to guides for using all the new technologies and tools. This makes it hard for Customers new to HANA on custom development strategy. I wish SAP would communicate this strategy for Suite on HANA customers more clearly. There is no confusion on what is the right path, just finding an official guidance document for customers who are not on S/4 HANA yet.
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