About 6 months ago, we started rolling out SAP Business Application Studio (a.k.a. BAS), since then the question which comes up the most is: How is BAS different from SAP Web IDE Full-Stack?
I would like to start by sharing some of the motivations for developing a next generation IDE. The idea was to offer a better experience for full stack and cloud development via modern IDE with a consistent experience to leading IDEs (e.g. optimized code editors, debuggers, Git and more). In addition, provide a desktop-like experience in the cloud with terminal (CLI) access and local test run, providing more control over the environment. All of these motivations while keeping the great tools from SAP Web IDE Full-Stack.
In this blog I will share the main differences between the two IDEs:
Adopting Open Source & industry standards
It also provides developers the ability to quickly extend and enhance the IDE capabilities with a large amount of extensions available on the market (see this blog post for more information).
Although, Web IDE also uses some open source components, its extension framework and many of its integrated tools are SAP proprietary, which limits the number of extensions and reusability.
As BAS embraces the Microsoft VS Code user experience, it has a similar look and feel and includes similar capabilities like terminal (CLI) access, command pallet, Git and more. BAS provides a local like experience in the browser including local test run & debug (via the debug pane) for fast dev <> test cycles by running the application in the dev space.
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack has an SAP proprietary browser-based experience. It lacks the ability to control the development environment, use a Command line (CLI) or install additional tools and extensions. In SAP Web IDE Full-Stack, testing is done by previewing the app on the target runtime which results in a cumbersome and slower development cycle (each preview deploys the app to the cloud target run-time).
Another important point is that in BAS automates some of the actions for the developer like running an application, but the developer has full control and visibility so he can see the dependencies and bind whatever is required. In Web IDE, running an app seems in many cases is like “magic” since many of the processes happen behind the scenes.
BAS allows you to instantly spin-up pre-packaged isolated environments called dev spaces (which are like “virtual machines on the cloud”) where you can develop, build, test and run using pre-installed runtime and tools. The dev spaces are managed and hosted by SAP, simplifying and saving time in setting up the development environment and updating it.
Each dev space is suited for the development of target scenarios. This means that it is created with the tailored tools and runtimes for the relevant scenarios. As the product progresses, the intention is to add additional dev space types to address additional SAP development scenarios.
The dev spaces can be customized by adding SAP extensions while creating the dev space or afterwards. In addition, developers can easily install tools from an integrated Open VSX Registry , CLI tools, components from NPM.js , and adding their own extensions (e.g. bundling existing extensions into a new extension and share with your team). This provides developers more flexibility, freedom and control over their development environment like on their desktop but without the overhead of installing and maintaining. For more information see this blog post on dev spaces and this blog post on projects and workspaces.
BAS supports the major development scenarios supported by SAP Web IDE Full-Stack, here are some key examples:
- SAP Fiori / SAPUI5
- SAP Workflow Management
- SAP Mobile
- Mobile Backend Tools (MBT)
- Mobile Cards
- Mobile Development Kit (MDK)
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack provides generic workspaces, not scenario specific which could lead to overloaded workspaces. Extending workspaces is possible by developing SAP Web IDE Full-Stack proprietary extensions.
Support for personas
BAS provides the opportunity to better address the professional developer needs with a built in terminal access, local-like developer experience, extensible language support, industry standard IDE and other capabilities described in the product walkthrough blog post.
It provides web & mobile developers a suited environment to develop web and mobile apps using SAP Fiori, SAPUI5 and SAP Mobile tools. Furthermore, additional personas can be supported with a suited experience per persona using the dev space concept. Like SAP Web IDE, BAS supports the ability to develop end-2-end scenarios without the need to use CLI by providing wizards, graphical tools and productivity tools.
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack’s support for cloud and full stack developers is limited, as no terminal access, local-like development is possible. Web & mobile developers can use Web IDE Full-Stack to develop applications using Fiori, SAPUI5 and SAP Mobile Development Kit. The experience in Web IE is similar for all personas.
Both development environments are managed (hosted on the cloud), you can access them from any computer, at any time.
BAS is available on SAP’s Multi-cloud environment – on AWS, Azure, and Alibaba in various regions (choose the list view to see the details).
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack is only available on the SAP BTP, Neo environment in the following regions (choose the list view to see the details).
Development and deployment targets
BAS supports developing applications and deploying to:
- SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry environment
- On premise ABAP
- SAP BTP, ABAP environment
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- SAP HANA Cloud
SAP Web IDE Full-Stack supports developing applications and deploying to:
- SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry environment
- On-premise ABAP
- SAP BTP, Neo environment
- SAP HANA Cloud
To summarize see table below:
I hope this blog post helps clarify how BAS is different from SAP Web IDE Full-Stack. If you would like to experience the differences, see this blog post to try out BAS on the trial environment .