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How is SAP Build changing the rapid prototyping game? By making it smarter! But why is this part of #APIFriday? Well let’s start with the basics:

If you have ever studied anything about the Software Development Lifecycle, there is one thing that pretty much gets hammered into your head time and time again. Maintenance is expensive. Most of the costs of software come from maintenance. I personally have seen this in action MANY times. How many times have you built a product or solution, only to have it scrapped or begrudging used because it wasn’t the right solution? How many times have you had to redesign or try to fudge the application to try and make it meet the user’s needs? Are you laughing (or maybe crying) in your head right now about the times this happened to you?

This fact right here is why prototyping and design is so important. If we can get it right the first time, we can reduce our costs, our headaches, our tears, our pain from throwing away months of code, our misery from trying to sort through terrible code to try and fix a bug only to expose 3 more. Just thinking about all of this brings back scary memories.

But back to good design. Not even good design, RIGHT design. Let’s build it right the first time.

SAP Build is SAP’s rapid prototyping tool that allows you to create high fidelity (read: mockups you can interact with and test workflows) which was already a big win. If you can let your developers, QA’ers, and end users all “touch” the application before they’ve even built it, you can get real feedback on the application and design better from the start.

Now here’s where the API part comes in. As you all (probably) know if you’ve read my work before, SAP has this thing called the SAP API Business Hub which is a central location for all APIs & their docs from SAP, as well as a sandbox. If you haven’t tried it, please please please take a look. api.sap.com. Not too hard.This really extra bonus piece is the sandbox, which you’ll see in a second how cool that is.

And you are probably thinking “where the heck are you going with this Meredith, your thoughts are all over the place”. To which I would slightly agree with you 😊

But here we go: SAP API Business Hub is available in BUILD. What does this mean for you? You can import the data structures of SAP systems/endpoints into your prototyping tool. Let that sink in for a second. When you are designing and prototyping, you can prototype against the data structure you will use in your productive applications. So at design time, you know pretty much exactly what your application will look like and how it will function. Cool right? 😎 You basically can see the future now! The fact that API Hub has sandbox data attached to it also means you get test data out of the box in BUILD. So not only do we have a prototype built against the structure of our productive data source, we also have test data from that data source the minute we drag and drop the field onto the control in BUILD.

Don’t believe me? Try it out yourself! I already wrote a tutorial for you all. Click here to try using SAP API Business Hub with SAP Build. You’re welcome!

Oh and I’ve tried importing it into SAP Web IDE, and worked out some kinks. If you import your SAP Build prototype into SAP Web IDE and it has a API Hub data source, when you run the app, you won’t see any data. This is because the API Keys are not being ported over and the ignore key flag isn’t working. To remedy this is quite simple. Just follow the following steps:

  • Log into the API Hub (api.sap.com) and click the Get API Key button on any API Package. Your key is unique to you, not package.

  • In your Web IDE, open the Component.js file.

  • Locate the API Hub model create in the Component file. It should be around line 36 or so.

  • Add in the headers parameter to pass the APIKey
headers : {"APIKey": "<YOUR_API_KEY"},

And now your application will work when running it from SAP Web IDE!

If you thought this was interesting, check out my CodeTalk with Ian Thain about SAP Build and SAP API Business Hub. We chat a bit more about the integration, where to find the documentation, and even have a little demo.

So that’s what we’ve got for #APIFriday this week! Stay tuned for more about BUILD. I’ll be chatting with some SAP Build Product Managers and a community expert more about cool integrations with BUILD!

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3 Comments

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    1. Meredith Hassett
      Post author

      Hi Sven,

      No, there currently is no integration with the SAP Cloud Platform API Management Service in Build. Apologies if the tag was misleading; SAP API Business Hub and API Management share the tag. There is a way you can kind of use the API Management service in SAP Build. You would have to find a tool that can export the OData service as an EDMX file, which can be imported into BUILD.

      Thanks!
      Meredith

      (1) 
    2. Elijah Martinez

      Hi Sven,

      To append what Meredith said; Build like many SAP tools expects OData as the model, so for API Management services, you would need an OData API, which you could then pull the $metadata from, save as an XML file, and import into Build 🙂

      This is not as beautiful an integration as the link for SAP API Business Hub, but it is at least possible!

      Regards,
      Elijah

      (1) 

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