My key take aways from 2013 SAP TechEd, Las Vegas
It was a great experience attending educational sessions at SAP TechEd, Las Vegas, having the opportunity to listen and talk one on one with SAP product experts. One thing I really enjoyed was the the Q&A sessions in the lounge area which followed the each lecture session.
Whenever I go to TechEd, the first thing I always look forward to is the opportunity to listen to the lecture by Dr. Vishal Sikka. member of the Executive Board and the Global Managing Board of SAP AG, responsible for all SAP products and innovation.
Some of the key points highlighted during Vishal’s address this year included SAP’s plan to offer HANA cloud as a platform that can be used by the SAP customers to extend the reach of their applications. Eventually SAP plan to move every SAP application to HANA could platform. Vishal defined great technology as the one which just don’t just solve problem but fundamentally improve things, empowers end users, and amplifies the reach of the people. It sounded so much appealing and meaningful…..one should always keep this in mind while service customer…. While listening to Vishal I realized that that SAP as a company is now accepting the fact that the traditional (ERP) business is declining.
Therefore, SAP is in the trying to put a lot of attention to its HANA platform in the cloud which they claim will enable customers extend their applications.
HANA cloud platform is more than just a platform….because it includes….
- Development Environment: SAP HANA Cloud Tools, which comprise the SAP HANA Cloud Tools for Java and the SAP HANA Cloud SDK.
- Runtime environment: a java runtime environment for deploying and running application son the platform.
- PaaS: platform as a service which includes a rich set of application and service
- UI development toolkit for HTML
To learn more about HANA Cloud platform, visit the following link to the technical documentation on HANA Cloud platform. It was released early this month.
With the release of NetWeaver 7.4 SAP has renewed its ABAP language and made several changes that will let you utilize the power of HANA in the ABAP applications. Starting with SP2 of NetWeaver 7.4 you can create external views at ABAP data dictionary level that will let you consume views created in HANA database from ABAP application. Likewise you can create database procedure proxies that will let ABAP application consume database procedure in HANA and you can take advantage of HANA transport container to transport both ABAP objects and HANA artifacts in one package across your SAP system landscape. Starting with SP5 of NetWeaver 7.4 SAP will offer advanced ABAP database programming feature such as ABAP-managed procedures, advanced Open SQL, advanced ABAP view building, Fast Data Access protocol etc. You can get additional information in the following SCN link: ABAP for SAP HANA Reference Scenario http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-35518.
The other area that caught my attention at the TechEd is SAP’s User Experience Strategy. SAP is not shying away from the fact that the transactions like VA01 with 10+ screens and sub-screens with each screen full of many data fields is a complex UI and not meant to deliver the best user experience. Therefore SAP came up with UI tools like SAP Persona that would let you take any SAPGui transactions and simplify it by eliminating unnecessary fields and screen. Thereby user gets to see what they want to see and as a result realizes a better user experience. SAP is going a step further and promoting Fiori application based on SAP UI5 that can be used to develop simple applications (with not more than 3 screens per transaction) that can run either on desktop or a mobile device. The strength of Fiori application lies in the fact that, unlike its predecessors including classic and web dynpro, it a totally decouple from the backend business logic. The backend business logic is exposed as OData services via the NetWeaver gateway which is then consumed by a UI5 based Fiori application using OData model. SAP claims that that this decoupling will ensure that the business logic encapsulated inside an OData service can still be used even if you switch to a new UI technology in future. SAP has already released 25 Fiori applications as part of its Wave 1 release and planning to release many more in Wave 2 that is scheduled to be released in 4th quarter of 2013. When the SAP expert was asked if the SAPGui is going away the answer was “No”. In fact one mentioned that even today 80% of the SAP customers are using SAPGui. The real message SAP is tried to convey in this TechEd is this……you need to invest time in a design workshop with a customer and select the tool that best suits the need of the customer. So, at the end of the day, all UI tools including SAPGui, NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC), SAP Personas, UI5 and Fiori will keep playing their own role in SAP UI strategy. Yet SAP is hoping that SAP UI5 will be a big forward leap in SAP’s UI strategy and looking for to wide range adoption of this new UI technology among its customer and partner.
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