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A year ago at TechEd in Madrid I was introduced to the SAP NetWeaver Cloud by way of hands-on sessions and subsequent “playing” in between other sessions. It was by far the most excited I had been by any SAP technology I had encountered so far. Coming from a ‘purist’ Java and web development background this was by no means an easy admission to make. In the months following customer projects took precedence and NW Cloud faded into the back of my mind.

Recently, I have been enjoying the OpenSAP courses in particular HANA XS development and currently the HANA Cloud course. Aside from the rebranding from NW Cloud to HANA Cloud there is a whole new level of functionality available, not least of which is the ability to run HANA XS applications on the HANA Cloud platform. I signed up for a FREE account (https://account.hanatrial.ondemand.com/) and while I was there it amazed me what else I could get access to:

  • Document Storage, Authorisation Services, HANA Persistence (via JPA/JDBC)
  • HANA Cloud Portal
  • HANA Cloud Integration
  • Gateway as a Service
  • SAP Mobile Platform Cloud
  • Gateway Productivity Accelerator
  • Plus all of the Eclipse tooling (https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/)

I’m now hooked!, having got my first and second HANA XS applications working on the HANA Cloud platform. My thoughts are turning again to UI5 development and how much easier it is going to be now that I have a place to quickly create OData services that can be consumed by UI5.

The fact that all of this is running on the HANA database platform means that I can do all of the Studio-based analytics (as far as I can tell) that anyone with a very expensive piece of on-premise technology can do but for a tiny fraction of the price. From recollection, I could get a proper HANA Cloud server for about $40/month. This is seriously going to make it a no-brainer for small business everywhere. Not to mention all of the JavaScript developers who may never have even considered SAP as an application platform provider – these guys and girls should be getting on this right now because their potential customer base is literally global.

I’m lucky enough to be working somewhere where we are working with the SAP development teams on the next releases of functionality that will soon become available as features on HANA Cloud. One I am particularly looking forward to is a new development language called RDL. Using RDL we can create a fully functional entity model with some complex logic (all taking advantage of the HANA database analytics performance) and expose it all as OData endpoints for a UI5 application in a matter of hours.

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