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SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs: A look into the rear mirror and a glimpse into 2013


By the end of the year, the SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs ‘plane’ will be three months old, a good time to look into the ‘rear mirror’ and also to catch a glimpse of its future flight schedule. So let’s see what happened in 2012 and what exciting ‘stops’ are planned for 2013. 😉

With the announcement of SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs at TechEd Las Vegas 2012 (I wrote about it in my blog post The story of SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs), we ‘unloaded’ the first piece of luggage, the SAP NetWeaver Cloud Add-On for Spring Roo, to the public. Next, at TechEd Madrid 2012, we made the second piece available: the SAP Gateway Add-On for Spring Roo. For those of you who haven’t used it yet, this add-on simplifies the consumption of SAP NetWeaver Gateway entities with Spring Roo. The best way to experience both add-ons in action and see their full potential is by working through our end-to-end tutorial.

Since becoming publicly available, the add-ons have gained quite a bit of momentum and have received lots of exciting community feedback:


Several SAP community members started playing with the add-ons almost immediately and deployed their first spring-roo-powered application within minutes. For instance, it took Richard Hirsch less then a day after the release to build his first application and to deploy it. That’s impressive. It looks like that the two add-ons have the potential to become a ‘community-driven component’ for SAP NetWeaver Cloud. Since they’re licensed under Apache 2.0, everybody can openly participate; so, when will you join?

After looking into the ‘rear mirror’, let’s also catch a glimpse of the future flight schedule. For 2013, two cool ‘stops’ are already scheduled: (1) Rapid Application Development (RAD) for SAP NetWeaver Cloud, and (2) the Operations Cockpit (OpsCockpit).

Inspired by Matthias Steiner‘s great blog post “The Way of the Developer” and the excitement around RAD, this is definitely an area to continue working on in 2013: RAD for SAP NetWeaver Cloud. You, the SAP community, have impressively shown the power of SAP NetWeaver Cloud and how easy it is to leverage existing JVM languages and/or RAD development frameworks/tools on top of it. For 2013, we want to continue along this path. Together with you, we want to enable more SAP NetWeaver Cloud services in the different RAD stacks and more frameworks/tools.

Another piece of luggage that will be unloaded according to the flight schedule in 2013 is the OpsCockpit. Recently, I talked to the guys behind the OpsCockpit about their plans for 2013. They expect to unload their piece of luggage in Q1/2013. For those of you who haven’t heard of the OpsCockpit, Ralph Benzinger summarizes its goal as follows:

“The goal of the OpsCockpit project is to provide out-of-the-box runtime intelligence for applications deployed to the SAP NetWeaver Cloud. This runtime information includes data about application performance, resource consumption and cost, and application usage. By deploying the OpsCockpit feature bundles, any SAP NetWeaver Cloud application will provide aggregated runtime information to the central OpsCockpit server, where it can be analyzed by the application owner. This instrumentation requires neither modification nor recompilation of the application and causes only minimal overhead. Runtime information collection can be stopped and restarted anytime without affecting the main application.”

If you want to learn more in the meantime, watch Wolfgang Karl Rainer Schwach‘s presentation at the SAP Inside Track Netherlands 2012, and/or drop the guys a message.

It was a very exciting year for SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs, with many more great things to come in 2013. Now, it’s your turn. Tell us what you expect from SAP NetWeaver Cloud Labs in 2013. What do you like and what should be changed? What pieces of luggage (not only related to RAD) do you want to see? How can we make your ‘onboarding’ easier and help you bring your luggage on board? Just post a comment, and Matthias Steiner and/or I will help you to get it of the ground…

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  • Hi Lars, thanks for the quick heads up on what’s coming with NWCloud. As a long term ABAP developer who’s really keen on learning all I can on NWCloud and has been busy building all the available tutorials I’d love to see the following:

    – it would be great to hide all the xml configuration files that are required with Java EE development and maven builds. I find the maven pom files a real pain. I don’t really understand why the long term java developers put up with this nonsense to be honest. The tools should be able to auto build these based on the code and hide the XML in my opinion. Any RAD tools that you’re thinking of would be awesome if they could do this.

    – Spring Roo… Would be great to see this enhanced with more add-ons or additional features to the current two. It’s a great way to snap together the base of a project. Since playing around with it, it’s got me thinking why we don’t have an “ABAPRoo”…

    Regards… Jason.

    • Hi Jason, thanks a lot for your great suggestions. We’ll have them in mind for 2013.

      – Indeed, pom files can be challenging. For my builds, I switched to Gradle. It makes things much more fun and less XMLish.

      – Regarding Roo, I’m very interested in your use cases. You mentioned that some additional add-ons / enhancements might be helpful. What do you have in mind?


      • Hi Lars,

        I will check out Gradle, though it does seem that SAP are settling for Maven as the goto build/packaging tool. A NWCloud eclipse perspective would be cool. The perspective could have a better way to manage things instead of manually editing and working out a pom file for maven (not just pom files by the way – I mean all of the annoying xml config files like web.xml, persistence, etc).

        As for what add-ons to build for Roo… Being able to work with the other NWCloud services would be cool (document service, authentication, connectivity service, etc) and a big one would be sapui5 just as Roo can generate a JSPX based mvc app (thats a big one I know). I think there’s still a bit if missing functionality in the gateway add-on as well such as updates.

        Roo doesn’t seem to “completely” fit in with eclipse either as I always get errors when I import a Roo generated maven project into eclipse. The app works perfectly, but I just don’t like seeing the little red crosses with cryptic errors.   😉


      • Regarding Roo again… and its capability to generate rest services… I’ve read in other comments that its a bit flaky and only to be used for prototyping and that Apache CXF or Jersey, etc should be used for real REST developments.. Just wondering on your thoughts on that subject.

        I believe the REST services generated by Roo use the Spring framework implementation which is not a JAX-RS implementation (unless its recently changed) like Jersey or Apache CXF – so maybe its more of a standards issue…

        — Jason.

  • I have been trying to play around with the Netweaver cloud in the past 2 weeks and as a long term ABAP developer  this platform is difficult to understand..Looks like SAP netweaver cloud is  focused on Java developers and not someone from an SAP technical background. how can a SAP developer transition to a NW cloud developer?

    • Hi Yogesh.

      To answer your question… There is no easy way. You simply need to spend the time doing the tutorials and learning “the way” it works. Try the spring roo stuff as that can give you a bit of a jump start.

      For me, the hard part is coming up with the business case to use it at a client and not in learning the environment.  😉

      • Hi Jason,  Thanks for your comments. I understand there is no easy way other than learning it from scratch.I have a business case which can be developed into a cloud app but first i think I need to get some handson on  cloud platform and then work on the app.
  • Hi Lars,

    We are an SAP Partner and are interested in building industry-specific solutions on HANA Cloud. But we do not want to do it from scratch, but on top of existing SAP functionality (like SAP ByDesign). Some of the key features we are looking for are

    • Data Models for standard objects (Customer, Products, Campaigns, Territories, Org Structure etc)
    • Basic UI5 templates for screens such as search, create, details with drag & drop.
    • Common features like audit trails, approvals etc.

    Instead of HANA Cloud just being a PAAS, if SAP can provide the skeleton of the applications, partners can put meat on it. We can observe that this pattern is quite successful if If we look at the major competitors in cloud space. Needless to say, SAP’s strength is in the business processes.

    Could you please let us know what are SAP’s plans in providing basic business content, RAD capabilities and UI templates as listed above?



    • Hi Ajay,

      thanks for your interest in the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. One of the main scenarios we envision for the platform is indeed such extension scenarios as you describe. There will be lots of news on that front likely to be announced and presented at SAP TechEd soon.

      Regarding some of the questions you mentioned:

      In regards to RAD capabilities you may be interested to hear about the AppDesigner, which is a web-based graphical RAD tool to develop HTML5 applications based on OData (see–a-glimpse-of-the-near-future)

      Alternatively you may want to look into our Spring Roo AddOn in case you have a development team experienced with Java:

      I’m sure you know about our partner program already, however, let me provide a link for all the readers of this blog post (and comments) who may not:

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,


      • Hi Matthias,

        Thanks for your detailed reply. It was helpful on many counts.

        Just some clarification regarding my first query. We are not thinking of an ‘Extension Scenario’ with SAP as the back end. We would try for an independent solution, with the ability to import/export data from any ERP (not only SAP). As it would be a cloud offering for multiple customers, we cannot be sure which ERP the customer might be using.

        So it would be great if the basic data models and screens for common entities are built by SAP (with their excellent experience and use of best practices) and made available to partners. After acquiring a customer, during the implementation phase, partners can modify/extend those basic models and map/integrate them with customer’s ERP. It would take a lot of time and effort to build compelling applications if the partners have to start from the ‘hello world’ level. If SAP is able to provide on HANA even a part of the business content that is available on SAP ByDesign, it would be really helpful.