With the latest version of the Business Suite’s technology, SAP provides customers and partners with powerful instruments for implementing state-of-the-art applications.

In a customer experience session at this year’s TechEd in Amsterdam, I will picture how dramatically the latest toolset has influenced a custom development project at DB Systel: How it facilitated design, implementation and communication. I will explain what the project had to do in order to exploit the benefits and how an agile development methodology was established with the assistance of this infrastructure.

With every release, the suite of applications provided by SAP covers more and more business processes. Nevertheless, specific customer requirements sometimes demand realizations as custom development projects. These custom modules use rarely more than SAP Netweaver as a platform and loosely integrate with other SAP components. When it comes to designing the application architecture for those custom components, software architects at customer’s and partner’s side had to rely on their own creativity for a long time. The tools and frameworks helping in this critical phase of the project were limited – each application may have been designed and implemented with love and care, but each one is unique – with negative impact on implementation efforts, maintainability and TCO.

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Picture 1: What’s inside the box of technology provided by SAP

Few years ago, the floorplan manager (FPM) was introduced to provide architects and developers with a UI framework ensuring a common paradigm and user experience across applications. Still the backend architecture and the way, technical services integrate with business functions had to be designed and implemented individually.

The SAP business object processing framework (BOPF) closes this gap: It provides technical services out of the box and introduces a consistent and recognizable application architecture which leverages the strengths of the object oriented ABAP. This way, it allows development teams to concentrate on the actual task: implementing business processes which fit the customer’s needs.

One major benefit we experienced in our implementation is one which may not be obvious at first glance: The tools allow a development team to easily organize an agile (iterative) development model! If you want to know why and are eager to know about in in detail, I’m looking forward to meeting you in Amsterdam an November 6 in Session CD219: http://sessioncatalog.sapevents.com/go/ab.sessioncatalog/index.cfm?l=57&sf=1504

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    1. Oliver Jaegle Post author

      Dear Renzo,

      There was no official recording of my session on tape. However, I managed to do a voice recording. But honestly, I have just listened to it while adding it to the slides and I must say: Kudos to the ladies and gentlemen doing professional sessions and recording – I’m not one of them. I have stopped counting how often I used a “so” in my poor English language (int-overflow) and some gestures and mimics which are missing in the voice recording make it tricky to follow in some parts.

      However, I will bring this to Thea tomorrow when we are presenting the same content together at the DSAG and I’ll let her decide whether she wants me to publish it.

      Cheers, Oliver

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    2. Oliver Jaegle Post author

      Dear Renzo,

      only two years after the event a recording and the slides have been published. You can find them here: TechEd 2013: Agile custom development with BOPF.

      It might be late, but as some architecture council decided to lay the Next Generation’s ABAP Programming model on it and BOPF finally moved into the Netweaver layer where it belongs, it’s more relevant to ABAPers than ever 😉

      Cheers,

      Oliver

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        1. Oliver Jaegle Post author

          Dear Renzo,

          of course I know Martin’s post. I am also still in touch with the BOPF team and keen to experience the new programming model once the 7.50 Developer Edition is available.

          As a customer, we’re currently experiencing exactly what I foreshadowed two years back: Mobilization and stateless interaction between client and server is breaking our necks with respect to custom applications (shamelessly promoting my post: http://scn.sap.com/community/ui-technology/blog/2014/11/18/teched-2014–some-thoughts-on-business-application-development).

          I frequenttly receive incredible expressions once I claim that moving a custom implementation to BOPF is compliant to the future way of implementing ABAP applications. I’m really loking forward to finding an offical description of the new ABAP application architecture. Do you have something at hand?

          Cheers,

          Oliver

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