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What is possible by today with the latest no-code technology? Can your business process experts create applications for your ERP system without a single line of program code? Let’s find out!

Executive Summary

This blog covers the use case of mobile storage bin-based inventory counting in the warehouse with SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA 2021. We leverage SAP AppGyver as a platform for this mobile application – without a single line of code: Not in the frontend, not in the backend. It is relevant for you if you run business processes on-premise or cloud systems and intended to spark new ideas.

Low-code/No-code on the rise 

Application development is evolving, low-code/no-code as a key enabler of accelerated Development!

The market is becoming more volatile and resources are scarce, as per the Gartner report 2020 and 2021 – “By 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted an LCAP as one of their strategic application platforms.” & “By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity”.

SAP’s vision is to provide fully integrated Low-code/No-code Offering which in turn gives a unified experience across the developer continuum and end-users.

Please refer to the Blog post from juergen.mueller and SAP news from Michael Weingartner for more information in this area! Here is the image attached from the news article which depicts the SAP Low-code and No-code strategy!


SAP Low-code/No-code Strategy

Introduction and Business Process

No-Code application development is the answer to the increased demand of providing mobile applications at a consumer-grade level in business processes. We have picked the inventory counting process in SAP EWM for this prototype to show you “No-Code”-integration. The insights from this blog will be of relevance if you have On-Premise ECC or S/4HANA systems running for which you would like to increase the value, performance, or reach of your specific business process.

SAP EWM provides mobile access to its application for years through the RF framework. There are scenarios, however when you want to use a regular phone or tablet to perform certain operations. In some countries for example annual inventory counting is required by law and permanent or cycle counting methods are not an option. In such cases, you would close the warehouse and often work with a temporary staff that can’t be equipped with rugged RF hardware. So, it could be done by using their smartphones!

Process Outline and application flow

The process starts with the documents being generated in SAP EWM. A user then logs in on the AppGyver application running on Android or iOS hardware or simply into a browser. The counting is done by guiding the user to the next bin, scanning the storage bin barcode to verify the location (Code-93), and scanning the code of the product (GTIN-13). AppGyver is able to process all common typologies including Data Matrix, QR-Code, and other 2D types. That way we can also control which barcode we want to scan and which to ignore (think of e.g. GS1-128 shipping labels with 3 or more typologies). In the end, the counted quantity is keyed in and submitted as a result of the physical inventory document.

As this is a prototype we have only set it up for material-based scanning, HU-related activities could be added.

POC Demo Video 

POC Demo Video - Integrating SAP S/4 HANA EWM to SAP AppGyver 

Application architecture

Application architecture

My learnings and tips 

While developing this use case, I traversed through many unknown paths! And I would like to share this with all of you which will help in accelerating the development time.

  • For this scenario, you need to be clear on how the business process runs in standard EWM (user knowledge). Also, you need to understand what OData services are and where they are documented. A developer might be handy for this part.

  • If not set up yet, your IT administrators need to host and install the SAP Cloud Connector for you.

  • SAP API Portal must be in place and your IT administrators can help you to set it up. This is needed for exposing on-prem services to the cloud. Here, make sure to add CORS policy as well while deploying the URL since AppGyver throws CORS errors in such scenarios. If you’ve done it once, you know it for next time.

  • In SAP AppGyver, while connecting to the data resource - use REST API integration instead of OData integration. I found the OData integration feature (still) a bit unstable as the same API worked every time with REST integration.

Way Forward

This use case shows the power of no-code integration with SAP backend systems and this idea is just a start!

This POC opens doors to many more business scenarios which can get simplified via user-friendly mobile applications: All that with zero lines of code!. SAP AppGyver brings your business users and developers together to join forces.

Thanks to gunteralbrecht for working with me on this POC and for also supporting this blog post!