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With the release of our low-code / no-code solution, SAP Build Apps (aka SAP AppGyver), the opportunity to get our hands on this citizen developer tool and the need to be able to demo it to our customers was evident. We, a pair of Customer Success Partners in the BTP Acceleration team, decided to create our own low code application, GreenLeenk to see all that we learned about low-code/ no-code application development in practice.

In this blog series we will share our experiences gained during building the application, and hopefully we give useful tips and inspiration for other citizen developers to get started with the tool.

We combined the venture to test SAP Build Apps with another area of importance not only for SAP but for more and more of our customers: that is to showcase how sustainability can be the cornerstone of any application regardless of its size and complexity. The idea of our GreenLeenk app took form: we wanted to build a mobile application that GreenGreenLeenk gives a face to a constantly growing database and offers publicity to restaurants in a city that make a conscious effort to make their operation more sustainable, who promote re-use and strive to create an environmentally friendly catering model. With this mobile application we aimed at growing not only the number of the green initiatives but also the number of environment-conscious diners.

The good theoretical training was an essential starting point for our project. The enablement materials shared as part of the SAP Citizen Developer certification gave a good awareness of the core features the tool entails. We expected to use customizable UI components in a drag and drop manner, create our own app logic, connect our app to the backend with few clicks and practice the utilization of APIs. While getting some hands-on experience, we also intended to test if these value propositions really made application development possible for any business user.

When we started to plan the application, we brainstormed the different functions of the application and collected all the nice-to have ideas. As we progressed with building the application, we narrowed these ideas down to the basic ones that fit our low-code / no-code developer experience and kept the more complex ones apart for future advancement with the help of professional developers. We recommend keeping all ideas on the table, but starting with the simple ones if you are a citizen developer without no coding experience. With realistic plans, you will experience quick success with SAP Build Apps and won’t be discouraged by the complex layers that the app can rise to eventually.

We also determined that the following core app functionalities would be incorporated into GreenLeenk: user management (register, sign in, access app as guest user), database building (add and rate restaurants in different sustainability categories, find a restaurant, filter between the most rated restaurants) and customer incentives (collecting and using reward points).

As for the sustainability part, we defined 3 categories based on which restaurants could be measured by each diner easily, with a single visit to restaurant, without needing to investigate the behind-the-scenes areas. Cutlery was one of the key sustainability metrics because it’s a fundamental step where restaurants can make a difference in their operation. Packaging was listed as the second category on our green meter, which has a huge impact on how much waste will end up in landfills and oceans. The third category we added was the “community missions” which allow any restaurant to showcase their sustainable initiatives and earn recognition among visitors.

In the coming blogs we will explain how we developed the following functionalities in GreenLeenk:

  1. Adding and maintaining restaurant data

  2. Rating restaurants

  3. Managing user engagement

Overall, application development with SAP Build Apps was fun and interesting, with few challenges. Some of which were conveniently resolved by the continuous upgrade of the solution. To start with, you should have a good app plan, basic understanding of the tool, learn on the go and be flexible enough to move the app in completely new directions if needed.

If you haven’t started to learn about SAP Build Apps yet, we recommend that you to review SAP’s service guide, go through the AppGyver documentation, watch enablement videos and blogs, and draw inspiration by reading success stories. If you feel stuck, reach out to our SAP community to ask questions, engage with our SAP Builders group or share your own experience by commenting on this blog.

Let's continue with our story in Sustainability impact with SAP Build Apps: Interacting with Data through a User Interface
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