For me the keynote had two major messages: SAP HANA Cloud Platform is really impressive and enabler for product innovation for SAP and customers. The announcement of Bernd Leukert of SAP about s-innovations was another highlight of the keynote. In this blog entry I will muse about possible key technologies for innovation strategy of SAP but I will also scetch my impressions about the event in Berlin.
I was Born in Berlin and I remember the wall very well. So I used the chance to travel to Berlin the weekend before and took part of at the events and projects refer to the anniversary of ‘25 year Fall of the Wall’ especially the ‘Lichtgrenze’:
I really enjoyed the event since the fall of the wall especially when the ballons of the “Lichtgrenze” went up to the sky and the wall vanished. There was as well a strong political signal since the European Anthem was played instead of the German national Anthem.
The Atmosphere at SAP TechEd&&d-code
This SAP TechED&&d-code was different compared to previous events: SAP sent out many developers to Berlin and so the most interesting discussion had been at various information points, the hacker and code review area as well as the expert networking lounge to mention just a few. So I could address my questions directly and discuss with people who actually built those frameworks and libraries I was interested in. This was really a great experience and I think the people at SAP learned a lot from it.
IMHO it was a good choice to have celebration night instead of a concert because there was room for networking and talks with peers.
Run with the Community
UI5 as Key Technology
- The frontend is decoupled from the backend and SAP can react to new trends.
- SAP can implement UIs that are state-of-the-art.
- Customers can also use REST APIs to create their own UI on top of SAPs solutions. I was really impressed how mature SAP Web IDE is (in fact DJ Adams told me that it is built in UI5). If it will be further improved to support “FPM-like” features I see no reason against building individual enterprise UIs.
And this is why I think SAP will continue to invest in SAP UI5. And this is consistent with the announcements of the future of UI5: SAP is working on “heavy transactions”, optimistic and pessimistic locking and so on. So I expect that UI5 will be as mature as FPM (as long as you use OData). But I will come to that topic later.
- What is the roadmap for s-innovations? When will SAP’s Industry Solutions be part of it?
- SAP needs the Ecosystem – is there a partner model for s-innovations and how does it look like?
- What are the details of the transition from Business Suite (on HANA) to s-innovations for customers and their implementations?
I hope SAP will clarify this but I would like to muse about those questions. There must be a transition path from Business Suite on HANA to s-innovations so s-innovations can’t be completely different. If you look at Simple Finance you might get an idea how SAP can ensure this by using CDS as silver bullet like I explained in my blog.
But s-innovations must evolve and the UI will be part of it. In my opinion UI5 should play a major role as well: it is consistent to SAP’s UI strategy the Cloud strategy and will enable to build new processes and new UIs. But is SAP technologically ready for this? I think so because in the last time SAP invested in many technologies at the application layer that are UI agnostic resp. allow pushing business objects and views to OData and so to USAP I5: BOPF, SADL and CDS.
In my opinion SAP has to ensure the transition path from Business Suite (on HANA) and s-innovations so it would be wise also to port these new technologies back to SAP Business Suite.
But please be aware that these are speculations. – perhaps the RESTful APIs will be enabler for completely new integration scenarios, just think about above mentioned Google and amazon APIs. Perhaps this will lead to a kind of new “enterprise mashups”. So with the speed of innovation of SAP technology in the Cloud it is hard to predict what will be there in one or two years.
I think this is a missing corner stone in SAP’s business rules management strategy. Another very important aspect is the convergence of the different rules technologies. I consider especially the code pushdown to SAP HANA as very important since it leads to completely new possibilities of code pushdown and usage of rules in Big Data scenarios. So far I consider those possibilities currently as limited as I explained in my blog: http://scn.sap.com/community/brm/blog/2014/10/10/a-first-look-at-dsm-hana-expression-dynamic-database-view
In fact at SAP TechEd&&d-code we could see mockups of a new expression type that can be compiled to HANA Rule Framework but I would have liked to experiment with it in hands-on session. IMHO SAP should definitely spend more resources on it since it is an impressive technology with many use cases – think of deployment of business logic into the cloud for example.
In that last three days I spent the focus on UI technology. SAP presented many possibilities to improve the UI: existing UIs can be improved using SAP Screen Personas. For complex use cases (UIs for power users f.e.) FPM is still the best choice especially in connection with NWBC (for integration purposes) and we will use techniques in the future too. But UI5 is getting more and more momentum and I expect it to become the leading UI technology in the future in the SAP world. This correlates with the fact that the “m” in sap.m libraries in UI5 stands for “main” instead of “mobile” as in the past.
Nearly of my concrete technical questions (UI5, Fiori Launchpad…) could be answered be since SAP sent out many developers and I liked the discussions with them more than the lectures.
So let me come to the conclusion: SAP presented cool technologies and as well a vision for next-generation applications. I worked with UI5 and from my experience it’s a stable and mature and fast evolving technology – but this topic for another blog.
There are many follow-up questions (especially to s-innovations) and I can’t wait for the answers. And it seems to me also clear that SAP is using synergies between their key technologies. And in the cloud all technologies will evolve very fast.
For me SAP TechEd&&d-code was definitely worth attending and in fact the most important event this year.