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HTML5 Applications Managed by SAP Cloud Platform – The new way of developing HTML5 apps

There were plenty of changes in SAP Cloud Platform since last month. Some of the services were renamed or superseded with new services. You will most of the updates in the “SAP Cloud Platform Service Description Guide”. Some of these have direct impact on the decisions which need to be made when developing HTML5 applications which are accessed via a Fiori Launchpad on SAP Cloud Platform. This has been one of the most common discussions I have been having in the last few weeks. In this blog, I hope to clear some of the confusions and outline the available options when developing HTML5 apps.

 

Building a central Launchpad using SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad

Part 1 – Getting Started

Part 2 – Understanding the options around developing HTML5 apps in Cloud Foundry

Part 3 – Developing HTML5 apps

Part 4 – Integrating HTML5 apps with the Central Fiori Launchpad

Part 5 – Integrating 3rd Party apps with the Central Fiori Launchpad

Part 6 – Integrating chatbots with the Central Fiori Launchpad

 

Application Runtime:

When developing HTML5 applications in SAP Cloud Platform (Cloud Foundry environment), you always needed a subscription to “SAP Cloud Platform Application Runtime”. This not only allows you to deploy HTML5 apps, but also apps based on nodejs, Java, Python etc.

Few weeks back, there was an announcement of a new service called “SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, Application Runtime” which supersedes this service. That is a long name for a service.

So what’s the difference. Some of the key aspects have been documented in this blog post “Redesigned SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, application runtime“. It was mainly around the simplification of this service across all hyperscalers. What you would notice, is that the new service includes some of the underlying capabilities without any quota restrictions (as shown below).

When you build and deploy your HTML5 apps, these apps are usually accessed via an application router. These apps get deployed within the space of a subaccount. In the “Applications” menu, you will be able to see the application routers which will help consume the contents which are deployed into the HTML5 application repository.

As per the documentation – “An application router serves static content from HTML5 application repository, authenticate users, rewrite URLs, and forward or proxy requests to other micro services while propagating user information. “

When you navigate to the “Service Instances” you will be able to see the HTML5 Application Repository along with the connectivity & destinations which are used by the application.

This is an approach which we have been following to build HTML5 applications for a while.

 

HTML5 Applications Managed by SAP Cloud Platform

Recently, SAP introduced a new option to build HTML5 apps.  With this new option, you no longer have to deploy your apps with your own application router. Its all managed by SAP as a service.

As per the documentation, here are the benefits of using this approach.

  • Simplify and speed up your development and deployment experience
  • Save resources by running a serverless HTML5 application, which doesn’t require any application runtime
  • Lower maintenance efforts by leveraging the most up-to-date routing capabilities
  • Meet the changing demand for HTML5 applications by automatically adjusting the service to maintain consistent and predictable performance

SAP recommends using the standalone Application Router only in advanced cases, for example when application router extensibility is required.

Note that applications which are deployed using this method will no longer show up within the spaces. This will be in the “HTML5 Applications” menu at the subaccount level.

Most importantly – to use the “HTML5 Applications Managed by SAP Cloud Platform”, you need to subscribe to either SAP Cloud Platform Portal service or a new service called “SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad service”.

Going forward, as part of new engagements – if you are going to either build new HTML5 apps or leverage a Fiori Launchpad on SAP Cloud Platform – ensure you have the below services:

  • SAP Cloud Platform Launchpad service
  • SAP Business Applications Studio
  • Bandwidth
  • Custom Domains (Optional)

In the next blog post, I will walk you through the steps which are required to develop a HTML5 app managed by SAP Cloud Platform and how it can be integrated into a central Fiori Launchpad.

 

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