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ABAP is not Dead, but also Not the Only Answer – Summary from #MasteringSAP

Mastering SAP is a wrap for 2021, and it was a great experience.  It started for me by attending Thomas Jung ‘s session.

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Source: SAP

Where it fits in modern structure, applications

Expand technical knowledge

Look at SAP technologies

As move to S/4HANA

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Andre Fischer is pictured above

15 years ago, the thought was Java was to replace ABAP

Product is still being developed on ABAP platform, which has evolved

Backward compatibility is reason it is not dead

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Programs that ran 25 years ago may still run today (Unicode changes)

Strength and weakness of ABAP ecosystems

Great for customers/partners – invest in intellectual property

Long lifespan

Long stability

Down side, may lead to ABAP developers becoming stagnant

May not bring innovation; look to SAP

Topic of extensibility

Old days focus on bubble on the left

New Z program, class, new ALV, new program within S/4HANA

See opportunity to do extensions in cloud, using BTP, formerly known as SAP Cloud Platform

Opportunity to do extensions in different way, side by side extensions

Find API’s to expose from S/4HANA, call separately from S/4HANA

Freedom to upgrade extensions at a faster pace than update S/4HANA

Better security with separation

Better speed to update S/4HANA by keeping core clean

Right side has new topics – data science, process innovation, don’t have in ABAP runtime

Event mesh, alternative run times to ABAP, bring innovation from open source world and IT industry, additional tools, standard functionality to broaden technology landscape

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Do not have to abandon ABAP skill set

Can do it in the cloud

Will feel different; need to find the API’s

Survive upgrades better

Always on latest version with ABAP in cloud (4 times a year)

On premise gets only 1 release a year

SAP takes care of upgrade in cloud

Tuning, monitoring is taken care of by SAP for you

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Before, Gateway, expose Odata services, annotations in CDS, decoupled from Gateway, different frameworks, provide one new end to end programming model – Fiori apps, do it in a single programming model, used at SAP

Replaced Gateway functionality

Used CDS as definition and model, annotations

Service enablement

Bring latest functionality, draft support, latest Fiori annotation support in single programming model

S/4HANA 1909 has unmanaged model

S/4HANA 2020 – use RAP for new Fiori model and retrofit basic Gateway services to RAP

Coding exits for ABAP logic

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SAPLink, ABAGGit, open up ABAP ecosystem to exchange ideas and innovation

Take ideas of open source of problems being shared by the community

Growing community

ABAP in VS Code, not something SAP does, offering syntax highlighting in VS Code, an example that the community is doing

Check the ABAPGit site, where the community is exchanging ideas and technological solutions

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Whole other technology in addition to ABAP run time

Cloud Foundry, Kyma, allowing multiple languages

Choice of programming models

Other is SAP CAP, similar in scope to RAP, both accomplish many of the same things, using a different underlying technology – node.js or Java – deploy to Cloud Foundry or Kyma Kubernetes

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Source: SAP

Above shows a screen shot from SAP TechEd Developer Keynote

Typical development team – long time ABAP developer, brought ABAP skillset

Another developer transitioned to CAPM

Third developer – cloud native developer

Extend sales order process by combining CAPM, Google Go, and ABAP RAP to extend business objects, using Fiori interface, using message bus (BTP Event Mesh, new name) – technology layer

Deployed to ABAP run time, S/4HANA system backend, deployed to Kubernetes (Kyma run time)

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Full lifecycle management

Best practices

Golden path, but not lock into single technology

Plug open sources

Open architecturally

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Full development experience

Similar scope to RAP

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I’m glad I was able to attend this session live; it helped put in perspective where ABAP fits.

8 Comments
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  • Thank you for sharing. I do believe no programming language will ever be dead. There are several good features on ABAP that can be utilised while learning or implementing in other languages.

    That being said upskilling will not happen overnight the shift in industry on more web based technology and cloud native will take time.

    Computers / CPU's / RAM's may be faster cheaper than when we started first but they are still driven by logic, and logic is foundation for any programmers.

  • 1: Brilliant blog. Informative and optimistic 🙂  It shows how much time and effort SAP and community is spending on ABAP. As an ABAP dinosaur, I found this very uplifting.

    2: Can someone please change this slogan, motto, manifesto or mission statement, whatever it is.

    ABAP is not Dead ????

    It is quite negative in itself and to me it seems like an answer where the question obviously was "Is ABAP dead?". not helpful or optimistic at all. I mean think about the following two statements

    A: Exercise is good for health

    B: Exercise is not bad for health

    which one you choose A or B ?

    Community could have suggested many positive slogans for ABAP. i mean following are just some examples but the list can go on and on.

    ABAP forever

    ABAP rulez

    ABAP the language of ERP

    ABAP running the world of business

    ABAP alive and kicking

    ABAP always evolving

    ......