SAP Build 365 sunrises after a cloudy product sunset
This post was inspired on Paul Hardy‘s great annual blog series about the International Editable SALV Day (which will happen next week, I cannot wait for it again). The fact to be remembered here is the offical SAP Build product “sunset” done by Keith Fischer on February 4th, 2020 completes 1 year today.
After that announcement, SAP made clear BUILD would stay online for a while – without mentioning exactly a deadline. 365 have passed since then and anyone is still able to use BUILD as before – using a trial account.
After this announcement SAP BUILD turned to ashes in my mouth as I personally believe it was a very bad move from SAP. Even worse, even after 85 comments on this single blog post and some duplicated ones on the FAQ provided, there are many open questions.
So, I will repeat some of my questions here to maybe make it easier to have them answered from somebody.
After the end of all customer contracts, will SAP BUILD be shutdown completely of will it just stop receiving updates?
Still no answer, but according to SAP Build offical Help – Customer Data termination, “SAP is legally obligated to terminate the customer’s data”.
Compared with previous years, 2020 was a very quiet year in terms of updates. However just last December 2020 we had an update on the Build blog saying:
“We hope that you enjoy this new release and continue to build beautiful prototypes with SAP Build.”
Right after this wish, there is a link for the sunset blog.
I really don’t get it. I know that probably there are some still valid licenses and updates are needed until all contracts are expired, but this sentence gives me the impression that I’ll still be able “to build beautiful prototypes”. Assuming this is true, why do we have a “sunset”?
Assuming no one will shut down the servers, will it be possible to create new trial accounts?
Still no answer. Not clear if the server will be shut down. Maybe someone forgot to do that and right after reading this blog build.me will give a 404 error. Who knows?
When exactly is the end of all customer contracts (dd-MM-yyyy)
Still no answer. Nobody asked the list of companies with a commercial license. We just wanted to know the exact date of the end of the product. Maybe that’s why SAP uses the term “sunset” when abandoning a product (or a name). Everyday there is a sunset, so it can be any day. Today or tomorrow, it will be a sunset. If the sky is cloudy as the official annoucement was, no one can really tell if the sun has set.
Will SAP Fiori Tools allow prototyping of custom UI5 apps not done with SAP Fiori Elements?
Still no answer but clearly not. SAP Fiori Tools is really NOT something to be compared with what SAP Build provided. More information on Fiori Tools below.
Will SAP Fiori Tools allow validating prototypes with something similar to studies in BUILD?
Hell no – even without an answer as well
Will SAP Fiori Tools be publicly available with trial versions?
Yes, it’s publicly available.
Fiori tools is not a prototyping tool. It’s a developer tool in the form of VSCode extensions. The main extension (SAP Fiori tools – Extension Pack) have been downloaded from VSCode marketplace 8509 times until today.
That’s 1000 downloads per month after approximately 8 months since it was released. Best case scenario, 8500 people are using it. That is not only way less people than the quantity of registered users on BUILD but also a huge fail as an offical and free SAP extension.
Poorly advertised, poorly documented and poorly maintained (for sure the the slowest VSCode extension I have ever used – gives the impression I’m using Eclipse when using it).
None of this 8500 people have used Fiori tools to prototype something. Because it doesn’t.
It’s important to mention that VSCode marketplace download count does not consider OpenVSX registry, the one used by Business Application Studio. Still, Fiori Tools comes installed on BAS.
Rumour has it the extension pack would include an extra extension to allow prototyping. As this was not officially said neither was it released, it does not exists .
Other two questions don’t make sense anymore as we today know Fiori Tools is just a VSCode extension:
Will SAP Fiori Tools have personal accounts?
What will be the pricing model SAP Fiori Tools? If this is not ready, when will it be ready?
I’d like to take advantage of this blog and do some mental exercises:
What if this sunset announcement wouldn’t have been done? Or, at least, postponed to a closer date of the official and still unknown deadline.
Fiori tools was launched months after the sunset blog. How come does SAP “sunset” a product, telling your customers to use another one that:
- Does not do the same thing
- Was not released
How many apps you, Fiori developer reading this blog, have created on the last 12 months? How many of them were apps based on Fiori elements? Please comment below.
Myself: created/supported the development of ~10 apps, 3 of them were based on Fiori Elements and if I could go back in time, 2 of them would be freestyle apps. The most successful apps were not based on Fiori elements.
Now, consider the following:
For those who scrolled to the comment section of the sunset annoucement, saw this comment:
I wasn’t expecting so much engagement on this topic. The comment section goes like that:
I personally challenge the SAP Community team to list all blog posts on 2020 which have more comments and engagement than this one. Or posts on which a single comment had 5x more likes than the actual blog post. I personally saw 2 or 3 blogs with more than 85 comments last year. At the same time, many others were in the “featured content” with less than 2 comments. Of course a human does a review on the blogs to make sure nothing on the featured section gives a bad impression.
But this is actually not important. It’s a fact that all those people were just ignored. Once this happen in this proportion, there is no SAP “Community”.
No plans to open source Build. You know what? I’m OK with that. As I’m OK of not recommending so many tools from SAP that can be and are being sunset right now, specially under the SAP Cloud Platform umbrella.
RIP BUILD as long as it lives
I'm still here, engaged and responsible for the SAP Build Sunset program.
Edit: An update to the program is located here.
SAP Build has filled an important niche to our customers and partners particularly during these times of remote work. The service has remained quite active and while updates come more slowly, the areas of data security, compliance and SAPUI5 compatibility will always remain top priority to maintain the full capabilities of the service that customers expect.
A comprehensive "one year later" sunset update has been in the works and will be released soon. I'll make sure each of the questions you've reiterated are covered and more, as I can't answer them all here.
I will answer the most common question however, by stating that the SAP Build service will remain accessible through 2024 - roughly when last customer contracts expire. We believe that many "beautiful prototypes" will continue to be built until then as demonstrated by the thousands of prototypes our customers and partners build each month.
There's more to come!
Keith - ohhh good news in a dark time. There is still hope, also for SAP -;)
For full disclosure, I don't have any vested interest in SAP Build per se. I do remember that it was demoed to the Mentors and checked it out briefly on my own out of curiosity. I always thought it was a neat tool and even would have liked to use it for good old dynpro applications when I worked with those.
I think this blog highlights some issues that are typical in SAP world, sadly. A popular product is suddenly dropped, renamed, "sunset", usually with no or little explanation. If I wasn't following SCN, I wouldn't know SAP had plans to "sunset" Build. Build's page doesn't have any indications that it's going away. (Strangely, it also has no SAP branding and is called "SAP Build" only on one button.) SAP Help article has no indications of any changes either.
We hear from SAP how partners are important, how SAP Community (and "community" in more broad sense) is important. But SAP is not telling us stuff. Or when they do, it's not clear. Or worse, it generates confusion (which they later "solve" by renaming).
SAP has a communication problem. Not just with Build, with many other things. And I don't think they realize how much it hurts their business and how frustrating it is for the SAP professionals.
Edit: I posted this comment before seeing Keith's response (there were no comments yet when I hit Submit). But after reading it, I feel my comment still stands.