Last Update: October 2017
What is ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform is SAP’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for ABAP. ABAP has been the foundation for SAP’s on-premise solutions for many years. With ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform, ABAP developers can leverage their existing ABAP know-how to develop and run ABAP applications in the cloud.
What are the main advantages?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform enables the ABAP developer community to step into the Cloud. Customers and partners can build extensions for ABAP-based products like SAP S/4HANA as well as develop new cloud applications. ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform is also an option to transform existing ABAP-based custom code or extensions to the cloud. Finally, ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform provides access to SAP Cloud Platform services such as integration and document management.
What does ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform offer?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform is based on the latest ABAP Platform Cloud release which is also powering SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It leverages the multitenant database container technology of SAP HANA. The software stack contains standard technology components known from the standalone ABAP application server. It supports the modern RESTful programming model including SAP Fiori and Core Data Services (CDS). SAP Services and APIs are offered according to a new whitelisting approach. The development environment is ABAP Development Tools (ADT) for Eclipse exclusively. There are minor adaptations in the tool environment and ABAP Language to ensure secure and stable cloud operations.
When will it be available?
Planned availability for ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform is 2018. A customer engagement initiative will be launched in late 2017 to collect feedback from early adopters. The current roadmap starts with the extension scenario for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Further use cases will be added moving forward.
What are the costs?
ABAP tenants in SAP Cloud Platform will be offered in different sizes (e.g. number of CPUs and SAP HANA database quotas). Pricing will be released prior to planned availability in 2018.
Which development environments are supported?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform supports the standard Eclipse-based environment with ABAP Development Tools (ADT). The traditional ABAP Workbench (SE80) is not supported. An integration option to Git is available to import and manage development artifacts offering direct access to open source projects and state-of-the-art version management control.
Are there any changes to the ABAP Language?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform introduces a subset of the ABAP language optimized for the cloud. This subset excludes statements that are not compliant with secure cloud operations such as direct access to the file system. In addition, statement variants which have already been deprecated have been removed from the language scope.
Which SAP services and SAP objects can be used?
In order to ensure secure and stable upgrades of the underlying software stack, only whitelisted SAP APIs can be used. Usage of other SAP objects of the underlying software stack will lead to a syntax error.
What is the programming model for ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform will focus on the modern RESTful programming model including CDS and SAP Fiori which is also the foundation for SAP S/4HANA development.
Which SAP products can be extended with ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform?
The main focus of the first shipment is to extend SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the leading cloud ERP offering from SAP. Technically, all products can be extended.
How can SAP objects in the extended product be accessed?
The standard SAP Cloud Platform side-by-side extension approach known from Java or Node.js will be used. This allows developers to decouple extensions from core functionality to improve agility and stability. Development and operation of extensions on a separate Platform as a Service require remote connection to the extended product, for example SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Can existing ABAP custom code be migrated to ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform?
The extent of code reuse heavily depends on the quality and nature of the custom or partner code. Loosely-coupled add-ons with a clear interface to SAP objects will have a significant possibility of code reuse. Custom code interwoven with the extended product might imply a considerable refactoring effort.
Additional Questions (Update October 2017)
When will trial access be available?
Detailed information about an offering as a starter edition and/or trial are not available yet. This information will be released prior to planned general availability in 2018.
What is the difference of ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform compared to other cloud offerings such as CAL?
ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform is SAP’s Platform as a Service offering for ABAP. ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform provides the possibility to develop and run ABAP extensions and leverage existing SAP Cloud Platform services. Customers will be able to consume ABAP innovations in a SAP-managed PaaS environment. Partners will be enabled to productize their apps. In contrast, CAL provides images of on-premise SAP solutions in a IaaS environment such as AWS or Azure where the customer runs an application outside the SAP Cloud Platform environment. The customer is responsible to operate and update the CAL based ABAP system on his own.
Is ABAP cloud ready? Can ABAP launch service instances and containers in seconds, like other SAP Cloud Platform runtime environments?
In general ABAP stems from the on-premise world and does not compete in pure cloud-scale use cases with runtimes specifically designed for the cloud. Each runtime in SAP Cloud Platform has its sweet spot. ABAP provides a proven platform for enterprise ready business applications and allows SAP’s installed base to transform ABAP knowledge and ABAP investments to the cloud. Additionally, ABAP has already proven its cloud readiness for business applications being the stable foundation for S/4HANA Cloud. ABAP Platform achieves this with continuous optimizations in areas such as multitenancy, cloud operation and cloud extensibility.
Will existing SAP Cloud Platform services and libraries written in Java or Node.js be reimplemented in ABAP?
Reimplementing existing SAP Cloud Platform services is not necessary since they can be used from within ABAP thanks to the microservices-based architecture of SAP Cloud Platform. Additionally, ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform will provide the proven business application programming capabilities and services in the cloud.
For further information, please also refer to the ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform Overview blog post.