Skip to Content
Personal Insights
Author's profile photo Timothy Santy

How to take your ABAP assets to the Cloud, part I.

SAP BTP, ABAP environment — or Steampunk as insiders like to call it— is a Platform-as-a-Service for ABAP developers. More specifically, it’s a cloud-optimized ABAP platform based on SAP HANA that serves both as a development and as a runtime environment for cloud apps utilizing the service framework of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP).

Why would SAP create a runtime in the Cloud for an application-specific fourth-generation language like ABAP next to existing runtimes such as Cloud Foundry or Kyma that have proved effective? The answer is threefold.

1. Customer base

First of all, there is a huge amount of existing customer SAP systems in the on-premise world. More then 100.000 to be precise. Many, if not all, of these systems are extended with custom business logic and custom applications. That also means there is a huge ABAP community out there with a tremendous knowledge.

2. Enterprise readiness

In the past decades ABAP has shown to be a proven environment for enterprise ready business applications with competitive cost of development.

3. Transition to the Cloud

As Cloud is becoming the new standard we need to support the existing customer base with transforming their existing on-premise extensions into Cloud ready applications. The best way to do this is by leveraging the skills of the ABAP community in the Cloud.

What’s in it for you as a customer or a partner?

If we have a look at the value proposition of SAP we can distinguish three categories.


Value proposition

1. Cloud ERP

Transform your existing ABAP assets to the Cloud.

We want to help customers with their transition to the cloud by moving their existing extensions to the SAP BTP. This also offers market opportunities for partners, like delaware, because now we can build applications that can be connected with any backend system and maintain them in one place.

2. Innovation platform

Develop and run innovative ABAP apps on a PaaS in the Cloud.

The whole platform is managed by SAP. This means we don’t have to worry about updates, hotfixes etcetera. This also gives the opportunity for SAP to push the latest innovations at all time to this platform. So as an end user you’ll always be using the newest versions of the technologies, such as the ABAP platform or the SAP HANA database and you’ll also have access to the newest SAP BTP services to use or integrate in your applications. It is and will always be the platform where innovations are pushed first.

3. Clean core

Decouple extensions from your core business system.

Last but not least, customers using this architectural set-up are able to decouple extensions from their core system. This also decouples the life cycle management of the extension, so updates and upgrades on the core business system will be much easier and cheaper.


In this first part we’ve focused on the value proposition of SAP for the SAP BTP, ABAP Environment. More information can be found on the SAP Store, in the solution brief or on the SAP Discovery Center. Make sure to also check out the SAP BTP, ABAP Environment community page.

Continue with part 2 where I show you how to map all of this to SAP technology and we’ll have a look how the environment looks like under the hood.

In the meanwhile feel free to add your comments below. Specific questions can be posted in the community here.

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Thibault Devaleriola
      Thibault Devaleriola

      This looks promising. I'm looking forward for part 2!

      Author's profile photo Xavier Vercruysse
      Xavier Vercruysse

      Looking good !

      When is part 2 coming?

      Author's profile photo Tim Leys
      Tim Leys

      Great Job!

      Author's profile photo Shuai Chen
      Shuai Chen

      Great! Waiting for the part 2!

      Author's profile photo Allen Chew
      Allen Chew

      Great blog. I like Steampunk or ABAP PaaS because I don't have to always ask what ABAP version that the customer is using. I can be confident in using the latest ABAP best practice coding whenever need be.

      Author's profile photo Joery Vannieuwenhuyse
      Joery Vannieuwenhuyse

      Had some first experiences with Steampunk in the last months and it looks promising, thanks for the clear explanation here