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Author's profile photo Josh Bentley

The Right Tool for the Job

Happy New Year

We great each other, wish each other well, then it’s on to the most challenging task we face each year…accelerating from relaxing through recharged to productive.  So that’s where I am now.  I am productive, I think, or it could be the New Year’s Eve fogginess still guiding my words.  What I want to talk about today is the old saying, “the right tool for the job” .

One of my family tasks this holiday season was building sets for a musical that our synagogue is putting on.  We built a stage last year and we needed to rebuild it this year.  The stage consists of wooden legs re-attached to their 4-foot x 8-foot wooden frame (1.22 x 2.4 m). There are about 20 of these wooden platform decks and I helped put them together and took them apart last year.  I also am handy with tools and I can build things as requested but am not artistic or capable of fine detail work.

I like this analogy for how to use the SAP Cloud Platform.  I like to build the foundation for apps.  I like knowing I can grab a database or an endpoint like an OData source and kick off my app (here is a great tutorial by DJ Adams to get started . This is kind of how I like using a nail gun or a hammer.  I am bluntly putting things together but it’s more of a foundational exercise, a support item.  If you want to grab a paintbrush and build a decorative prop, go right ahead.  This is what I would consider front end work.  Super important, and usually the only part of an app that people remember, but I admittedly am not good at pretty finish work.  I let someone else staple a curtain over the ugly wooden legs later…

A hammer is a blunt object, and as the saying goes, to a hammer everything looks like a nail.  So please explore our versions of a saw, screwdriver, tape measure, etc. which will present itself as a menu of services in our SAP Cloud Platform menu.

To tie my thoughts together I wanted to delve into some back end source information.  My colleague Kevin Muessig shared with me a back end source for OData queries.  If you look here you will see a selection of code that can be used for an SAP Fiori app on an Apple iOS device that will have pre-populated data tables like this:

Expense data

OData Entity Proxy Class name
Expense Report ExpenseReportItem
Report Status ReportStatus
Expense Item ExpenseItem
Currency Currency
Expense Type Expense
Payment Type Payment

To me this is like magic.  We have a pre-built set of items for travel & expense that a developer can use to not only build a solution, but more simply, to show how a front end can be segmented from the back end for reusability.

Imagine after launching this application for iOS someone came and asked you to build something for Android using the same back end.  Just like a stage can be used for the musical The Wizard of Oz one year, it can be used for a different show like, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, a year later.

Build your app with a strong foundation and there’s no limit to what kind of front end show you can put on for your users.

Happy building…

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      Author's profile photo Kevin Riedelsheimer
      Kevin Riedelsheimer

      Hey community the example for the OData is from a workshop series I do. If you decide to look into the repository please keep in mind that this is all workshop content and not to use in any productive use. But feel free to look into it and happy coding!