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Author's profile photo Krishnendu Laha

Please bring an ALTERNATIVE of SDK to enhance the business logic

Dear SAP and all fellow members,

I am writing this blog to propose a new Tool to enhance the business logic for SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C).

Nowadays, if we want to any business logic enhancement or addition, we need to use SDK aka Cloud Application Studio to do this. But this is really painful and time consuming even to do a simple change like “introduce of search help”, please see the example blog:

The language “ABSL” (ABAP Script language) and tools are not well known and limited to “Business By-Design” world. Many developers has no clue how to handle things and projects budgeting are going haywire.

We are already over-stressed to learn the new “Cloud software” in the way of implementing and handling customer (SAP Savvy) requirements. We are ready to take the challenge posed by a new wave, but would like to request SAP, to help us bringing a simple way to enhance the Business-Logic from the cloud.

Referring to S/4 HANA “cloud” world: in S/4 HANA Cloud version, SAP has provided a rather simple way to write logic through in-app “BADI” Implementation. Yes it is restricted ABAP, but more convenient than writing ABSL and hovering around the tool of SDK. The example blog:

S/4 HANA is build on Neweaver ABAP layer and it is leveraging the ABAP language usage and making it simple for the developers and consulting company by leveraging the existing skill set.

SDK aka Cloud Application Studio: SDK is actually rebranded from PDI (Partner Development), which was used by Partners to develop “additional” tools, which can be sold in B2B scenario. The SDK aka PDI is good for Partners, who has a group of developers with the knowledge set. But in my view, it does not go well with Consulting companies. As it is not possible to build a “one-for-all” software, it would be required to adapt Business-logic and SDK make it really hard to accomplish this.

Why not the similar approach for C4C from S/4 HANA world: As C4C is build upon Netweaver ABAP and yes SAP Developers has access to the back-end, why not we also get leverage through a App-kind mechanism to adapt Business-logic. It would make our life little bit simple, to run the business “Simple”. I would on behalf of colleagues and fellow members of C4C, would like to request and urge SAP to bring such kind of tool.

Please treat all the comments as my personal view, but hope the fellow members would support me to accomplish the goal.

Thanks a lot.


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      Author's profile photo Tiago Almeida
      Tiago Almeida

      I couldn't second more this request! The current way of doing enhancements on C4C has too many problems to summarize on a comment (unfortunately) but I will provide some points so that I'm not accused of non constructive criticism:

      Manual transports between systems - R/3's main strengths is the integrated software lifecycle. You develop, it gets tracked and you can selectively move the changes to the next system. Not perfect but quite good. C4C has none of this. When you export/import it is a full dump. It is very hard to coordinate over multiple development streams and it takes ages to do the export/import process (in our solutions consistently over 1 hour just to import 1 solution)

      Too limited "programming" language - ABSL is not generic enough to implement any logic beyond the basic "copy property A to B". No arrays/lists (closest are 1-N nodes but those don't have index based access), huge number of confusing data types, no way to define generic functions, let alone classes, no version control (here you have to manually copy files 🙁 )

      Way too complex data model. This is by far the biggest pain point of c4c development. Every object has hundreds of fields and finding which one is the right one is like searching for a needle on a haystack. It doesn't help when the documentation is lacking for most objects and the right fields have very non obvious names (like the owner of an object being inside a "Party" node with a magic constant).

      Incomprehensible limitations. Solutions and objects belong to "deployment units" (DUs) . As a programmer, you only have write access to objects in the same DU as your solution. This means that you can't for instance write an absl program that changes fields of both Leads and Accounts (as these are in different DUs) without using ugly hacks (like internal communications or webservice calls from c4c into c4c). These hacks not only increase the solution complexity but also make the system a lot slower (webservice calls vs field update) and more fragile (WS dependent on comm. arrangements being correctly setup).

      Don't take me wrong. There are good things on C4C (e.g. generating screens for objects in 3 clicks) but overall it makes development really unproductive and too limited.

      To sum up, there is no technical reason why C4c as a cloud solution can't be as programmable as the old R/3, it just needs a different way to do it.

      my 2 cent

      Author's profile photo Krishnendu Laha
      Krishnendu Laha
      Blog Post Author

      Yes I agree. In my view, to make C4C Interesting to developer, SAP has to think simpler way.

      Author's profile photo Ramakrishna Prasad Gelli
      Ramakrishna Prasad Gelli

      Another point is, no SAP Press book specific to "Cloud application studio" and Business By-Design book from SAP Press book seems like discontinued, not available anywhere.

      Author's profile photo Andrei Vishnevsky
      Andrei Vishnevsky

      Very good point. May be it's worth to bring SAP attention through the Idea Place?

      Author's profile photo Krishnendu Laha
      Krishnendu Laha
      Blog Post Author

      Hello @Andrei, Many thanks for guidance. I have created the entry in Idea place, here is the link:


      Author's profile photo Dhruvin Mehta
      Dhruvin Mehta

      The language “ABSL” (ABAP Script language) and tools are not well known and limited to“Business By-Design” world. Many developers has no clue how to handle things and projects budgeting are going haywire.

      : IT is very simple to design some logic in the PDI - SDK , I am an ABAP developer and it was very easy to learn ABSL.


      With PDI - SDK the options of enhancing systems are enormous unline Marketing cloud where it very very restricted by using of Badis using restricted abap.

      Imho SDK is very powerful tool to create new objects , enahancing standard ones. There are definately areas of improvement but gettting rid of the whole SDK sounds ver absurd to me.

      Getting access to ABAP backend will be amazing! ( of course with some limitation like onPrem CRM where u create a custom UI object by enhancing standard and whole objects becomes a mirror of standard and we work on that)

      As a techincal developer for onPrem and C4C , i feel idea of development of Badis on web like marketing cloud will be really really restrictive imho.

      Author's profile photo Mohan Babu K J
      Mohan Babu K J

      I totally agree to Krish and all others. I've been ABAP developer for 8 years and worked internally in SAP for SAP C4C development. We have in fact had many issues working in SAP Cloud Application Studio. Since we were internal, we had backend system to debug and analyze the issue whereas as I'm working from client side now and if I get any error, I have to raise incident and wait for response.

      It is very painful to do development and every 3 months you need to upgrade to new software version.

      I've raised or given feedback in many forums and directly to SAP itself, but I have not seen much progress in changing the SAP Cloud Application Studio for last 3 or 4 years. I'm waiting to see when this will be as smooth as ABAP development.