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Get started with SAP BUILD

I guess you saw the TechEd Las Vegas keynote were BUILD was prominently shown and now want to try it out. Good news is that you can get BUILD from GitHub. Problem is that the installation is not really easy, as several dependencies must be met. Compared to July when the 1st release was published to GitHub, you can now install BUILD. To give help to everybody that wants to try out BUILD, I published two blogs showing how to do this on a Windows 7 64bit laptop:


The install instructions changed. Instead of letting you go through this all manually, you can now use npm to install build.


sudo npm install -g sap-build-cli@0.3.3

sudo sapbuild


Remains the question if this also works on Windows, considering the sudo part …

The most important part here is that even when the installer fails, do not give up. Sometimes running simply npm install again can solve the problem. And reserve some time. You`ll have to download Visual Studio Express (up tp 7GB), run a mongo db in the back and compile some files. It can take from 2 hours to 6 hours to have everything installed.

But its worth, as in the end you get this:


For those who want to know what the admin modules referred to in the GitHub readme of BUILD and how to install it:

Install SAP BUILD Admin module

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    • node-gyp compiles some stuff, and you need to have a C++ compiler for that. Not something MSFT is delivering with Windows, so node-gyp documentation states you should download Visual Studio.

      I guess the installation is way easier under Linux.

      • M$ really outdid themselves when they chose to deliver the compiler only thru VS.. before I think just Windows SDK would suffice, easy and simple install. You also need python and other wee things (which most people would have anyways) - node-gyp

        I'd suggest anyone trying to setup SAP BUILD on a Windows to use something like docker just to provide a separate linux container for it.. - Also, when I setup BUILD the mongod instructions are not 100% and you need to make sure you have you db up running before starting nodejs.. more of a reason to setup everything in docker and configure all of this in some .sh script to run as entrypoint.

  • hi Tobias,

    I'm trying to get my hands dirty on this new tool from SAP (which actually seems to be really well-built and polished) - I couldn't find a lot of material so I'm just wondering if you could also share material related to usage.



      • hi Nick,

        Thanks. I will try to actually watch the webinars you provided.. it's just the first one I clicked it's rather clear someone is reading a piece of paper with a detailed "script" - which I find suspicious.

        I have been trying to use BUILD but the first "prototype" depends upon a form (not a list) and the controls are not good - lots of limitation.. Will try again once the tool is a bit more mature.



        • Hi Daniel,

          I know what you mean, in the second webinar, someone asked a question "...quite confused about the terms Splash and Build..." and another participant (George Hayes III) said:

          BUILD is the prototyping tool. Splash is a website that is meant to inspire and aid you in learning how to design great UX for applications. (This is done by offering floorplans to help jumpstart your portotypes, that can be directly imported to BUILD,  as well as learning content / bite sized e-learnings around design thinking methodologies.)

          I am quite agree with him, as you said the tool has limitation, we can say this tool is focusing on prototyping but not letting you build whole application. Series 3 webinar will be held on next Wednesday (9th Dec) and will show us how to do data binding and export the result of prototype to WebIDE. I think once the program is in WebIDE, you can do anything you want. Information about this upcoming webinar is in the below.

          High – Fidelity Prototyping and data binding

          Wednesday, December 09, 2015 8:00 AM-9:00 AM. (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

          To join the meeting:

          Participant Passcode: 564 997 1136

            Australia:   1 800 651 017   tel:1800651017,,,5649971136#

            Belgium:   0800 39675   tel:080039675,,,5649971136#

            Brazil:   0800 887 0285   tel:08008870285,,,5649971136#

            Canada:   1 877 252 4916   tel:18772524916,,,5649971136#

            China:   800 820 8010   tel:8008208010,,,5649971136#

            France, Paris:   +33 1 7070 1777   tel:+33170701777,,,5649971136#

            France:   0800 946 522   tel:0800946522,,,5649971136#

            France (lo-call):   0811 657 737   tel:0811657737,,,5649971136#

            Germany, Frankfurt:   +4969222210764   tel:+4969222210764,,,5649971136#

            Germany, Munich:   +4989710424682   tel:+4989710424682,,,5649971136#

            Germany:   0800 588 9331   tel:08005889331,,,5649971136#

            India:   1800 266 0327   tel:18002660327,,,,5649971136#

            Ireland:   1 800 937 869   tel:1800937869,,,5649971136#

            Israel:   180 921 2927   tel:1809212927,,,5649971136#

            Singapore:   800 186 5015   tel:8001865015,,,5649971136#

            South Korea:   007 986 517 503   tel:007986517503,,,5649971136#

            Taiwan:   00 806 651 935   tel:00806651935,,,5649971136#

            UK:   0800 368 0635   tel:08003680635,,,5649971136#

            US and Canada:   1-866-312-7353   tel:+18663127353,,,5649971136#

            US and Canada:   1-720-897-6637   tel:+17208976637,,,5649971136#

          Kind Regards,


          • hi Nick,

            I find BUILD to be really well-written, so please don't take me wrong there (in fact it uses something 1000x better than UI5 itself) - it's just at this moment when I try to use the SimpleForm I cannot add Combobox (dropdown) and also all the labels / inputs are rather quite misaligned in the generated code - there is no way to override the properties needed to align neither provide a custom CSS to do such.

            Perhaps just adding ability to add a custom CSS would do the trick (as I could fix it myself overriding styles or defining new ones) - as far I could see on the git repo. the SAP BUILD is not "open for contribution" from external parties so perhaps you could leave a word internally (looks like you're SAP)

            About WebIDE, great... but again, you have a nice open source tool like BUILD which relies on a licensed software like WebIDE - so this is a killer, SAP needs to drop the license for the Local WebIDE IMO this way it would gain a bit more traction to be used in developments.

            Edit: In fact, if BUILD has an option to attach a custom CSS somehow I would very much appreciate if I could get a tip how to do it.. it's just I couldn't find, so maybe I'm being a big newbie on this.



  • Dear Friends,

    I am working in a prototype for a client and it is necessary to create a launchpad with an image in the background. In Axure is easy as you just place an image in the working area and place all elements and controls on the top. I can not find a way in Splash. Is it possible?

    Kind Regards,


    • Hi Gilson,

      "Better late than never".

      The way I see it, BUILD was not designed to create the "whole" user experience. The idea behind it is that you can set it up in a way to enable the creation of specific "use cases" and put it to test by a wide range of users. In other words, this tool is more targeted towards UX Researchers/Designers than for an "actual" prototyping - not that it isn't capable of doing so. It is just that in that sense WebIDE will provide you with the same capabilities as BUILD.

      I wouldn't use it for all prototyping indiscriminately.For well-known use cases that have a proven UX (meaning: you have already undergone all of the UX phases for a very similar scenario) you may go directly to WebIDE and simply use the preview with fake data to get the company's approval.

      For new use-cases that do require testing and validation by end-users where designers and researchers are going back-and-forth with the prototypes use BUILD. You will "see" that in a lot of situations BUILD will help getting you feedback on your new design idea.

      On the other hand, if want a play around with Launchpad prototyping you just need to "create" simple launchpads with the code available at SAPUI5 Explored. By clicking on the top-right corner of the screen you will get the source code and a download button. Unzip the file and start modifying the Tiles via data.json. It is very simple and effective.

      You could also use the following blog to create your own CSS to put an image in the background:

      Adding background images to Fiori tiles

      Best Regards,


      • ..."prototyping indiscriminately" I don't know what this means but anyway the word prototype means no risk and iteration is part of the process. I asked the question because there are few tools available, i.g. Adobe Experience Design, Axure, Invision, able to reach my expected result. I will keep with these tools for while.

        • Hi Gilson,

          Sorry, I should've been more clearer about it.Maybe this isn't the right forum to discuss this... I will try to explain what I meant anyway. Feel free to contact me for further interactions.

          I meant that there are certain proven use-cases in which you don't need to care about risk nor do any iterations. Therefore no need to prototype everything regardless - with no criteria whatsoever. Otherwise we wouldn't have SAPUI5 library in the first place.

          Rest assured that I didn't mean to say you were trying use BUILD in that way. I believe that the end-to-end iteration should be considered. Thus, Launchpad navigation should be part of the whole UX. For now BUILD doesn't have it - maybe something to add in the idea place?

          You, better than anyone else, know that there is no single tool to address every need. A good designer will even create his/her own tools when none are available. That's the beauty of being a designer. I certainly keep my options opened just as you do.