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Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo

New vs. Not so New – Version 6.0, Hana s/4, Newer versions

Have you ever purchased a new car?  You drive off the lot and suddenly, bang!  Your new car is a used car and worth significantly less.  Sometimes that is what I feel like with SAP.  I am now using SAP S/4 HANA.  You would think – aha, Michelle is using a new version of SAP.  You would be wrong.  I’m using HANA version 1709 on-premise.

As we all struggle to keep up with the demands of new syntax, new languages, and well new everything.   Does that mean your skills are no longer needed?  They must be outdated right?


Vintage Mac

Constant Learning

At this point, I get to say I love SAP.  I love the challenge, the constant learning, the problems, and the solutions.   At this point, I get to say I really don’t like SAP.  The challenges, the problems and the solutions.

So my point is – start learning now.  It really doesn’t matter what version you are on.  You can create a Javascript page without having anything to do with SAP.  Start thinking about documenting – yes, I said it – documenting your code.   Think about how it can be achieved in a different database.   Look at all the different blogs – and even buy a book.  Start to get a feel of CDS and start thinking in that way.  Let me tell you, that is more than half the battle.  CDS is a strange new language.  I am building table into table into to table with very little help from other languages.  Think AMDP.  Ha!  That sounds hard.   What AMDP is (for me) classes/methods.

At this point, I am constantly learning.  More than I ever have had to learn.   I have to hit the downward climb before I reach the top.  Crazy right?



Yes, it really looks like this. For the non-early release people, they have to quickly learn how to use SAP.  For those of us that have been on other SAP versions, we have to learn new things.  But when they tell me it’s a learning curve – I laugh.  I agree more with the graph above.


For me it’s fun.  So much to learn is awesome.  But time consuming…  And that is why I lean so much on the SAP Community.   There are so many people here.    They are so willing to help I love it.

Recently read a blog:

Is it bad to use some of the “old” constructs on the newer versions of SAP.  Really the title was “The ABAP-Report it is still relative, right?

So do you throw out everything you know and embrace this “new” (Not really) way of doing things?  I say and stand by it.  No, it’s just another tool in your toolbox.

Do you throw away all this new “stuff”.  Why on Earth would you need to know it?  NO! NO! NO!  This new stuff was built for a reason.  Either to make our lives easier or to make the users life easier.  I think you have to add it to your programs as much as you can.

What is troublesome?

As soon as you learn something new, something newer is out there.  You have to pick and choose what you want to learn and incorporate in your development.

Why this blog – what was the point?

Decide if you got anything from the blog at all.  Maybe you didn’t.  And that’s OK too.

Here’s my Summary

  • Don’t lose your old knowledge.  You need it as you transition into different ways of thinking.
  • Do learn the latest and greatest.  If it doesn’t fit with your current job, you’ll know it after reading the highlights.  My favorite youtube videos.
  • Do let the Community help you.  Ask questions, write blogs, message people.  Guess what?  A lot of us are in the same place you are.
  • Do look at the tutorials here.
  • Do try to do an Open Sap course.
  • Do, Enjoy all the new “toys”.  You’ll learn to love some of them most of the time.  Have fun doing so.
  • Do remember when you started programming in real life.  I has a lot to learn.

And everything is coming at us in an amazing speed.  What are your suggestions to make it easier?

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      Author's profile photo Florian Henninger
      Florian Henninger

      I like to stay in teh contex of a car. You used to have a car 30 years ago.. today you won't buy it again without all the inventions made on new ones. Especially the safety ones.


      And yes, there might be some who want to buy the old ones.. yes, like cars.. but these are a few of us. So drop of the old one and gain new knowledge...

      That's the general one. Now it depends on what you are doing.

      Easy example: If you work for a customer and you only write code for this system and you can ask your user(s) directly if they are happy with a good old ALV everything fine.

      If you aren't able to do that one, like me, working for a partner... rolling out SAP to users which never used it before.. my job and also my passion must be to get the best out of a system and that is not an ALV.. except I stay in the same context, because of enhancing something which is already there. I give customers the option to see what is possible and also to start the process to gain knowledge for their own IT-department. Soemtimes triggered from the IT.. sometimes from the users asking why some of the stuff looks much better than other... you know what I mean? 😉

      and last but not least, if you are working in the second row (developing at SAP directly or being a third party product developer I even see it more to use other things than the old stuff... you are a person which drives others to explain why the product/Transaction/program looks like it is... don't bring other people in trouble to explain why a list is an ALV or even a are these people having always a really new release.. being able to use the newest stuff at all. It's in your hands to also train us to use it. Even if it means sometimes a painful job. But yes... you teach us!

      And to answer your question how to make it easier?

      Don't know yet if this fits for all. For me.. the point above works fine. yes, takes time.. a lot of. But I feel like it is worth

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      For me, most of the time it is worth it.   And constant learning is just plain fun!

      But sometimes… 

      Thank you for your reply!


      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      You may eventually be interested to know more about the [eventual] psychological bias of the "learning curve", see the Dunning-Kruger effect (self overestimation).

      PS: drawing by Monlamai Vichienwanitchkul is taken from here.

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo
      Blog Post Author

      Wow!  Interesting reading.   I'll have to re-read it some more.  I will probably get a better understanding each time I read it.

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      I still have to read the documentation and try various forms before I can get GROUP BY to work for me. But one day I'll grasp it!