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Author's profile photo Antonio Maradiaga

How business people and programmers can collaborate using SAP’s low-code/no-code tools?

In this blog post I will share my view on how the SAP Business Application Studio enables collaboration between business people 🧑‍💼 👨‍💼 (citizen developers) and programmers 👨‍💻 (professional developers).

Developer%20and%20Business%20people%20collaboration

Professional developer and citizen developer collaborating

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to host a webinar related to Low-Code/No-Code (LCNC) Application Development for partners. While preparing for it, it made me realise of an important aspect in SAP’s LCNC offering which is not talked about much -> the collaboration between business (citizen developers) and programmers (professional developers). Although the concept of low-code/no-code is not new, lately there is a lot of interest in LCNC tools due to several of factors, e.g. limited development resources, need to adapt fast and develop software fast.

The concept of low-code/no-code tools is not something new…. it goes all the way back to the 1970s when fourth-generation programming languages (4GL) where created and the idea of automatically generating whole systems using computer-aided software engineering tools started.

Lets start with SAP’s no-code tool.

SAP AppGyver

SAP%20AppGyver%20application

SAP AppGyver application

SAP AppGyver is SAP’s no-code tool. A citizen developer can use SAP AppGyver to develop a mobile/web application that interacts with an existing API. This is what I see as the traditional way that a citizen developer can collaborate with a professional developer. The citizen developer develops the UI, in a service like SAP AppGyver, and the professional developer in charge of the writing the code required to create the API that the front end will be communicating with, normally this will happen in an IDE such as the SAP Business Application Studio. Both developers using different set of tools.

LCNC%20Application%20Development%20-%20Lobby

LCNC Application Development – Lobby

Now lets look at something a bit more involved.

SAP Business Application Studio

We normally associate BAS to professional developers…. The IDE used by developers to develop complex business applications/services/APIs. What’s new here is that a citizen developer can also use BAS. Something I found interesting is that although professional developers are perfectly capable of creating software they are often willing to engage with low-code and no-code developer experiences. In my view this makes sense…. in the end this type of tools simplify some of the complex work they do, they will be able to learn them quickly and deliver solutions fast.

Under%20the%20hood%20this%20is%20a%20Cloud%20Application%20Programming%20%28CAP%29%20model%20project

Under the hood this is a Cloud Application Programming (CAP) model project

The collaboration, using a low-code tool, between citizen and professional developers takes place in SAP Business Application Studio (BAS). Using BAS a citizen developer can define entities, services, user interfaces, by using a simple UI. This is quite powerful as now a citizen developer is capable of creating database tables, OData APIs, mobile apps without writing any code. The code is in essence generated for us. That said, depending on the complexity of what we want to achieve we can have a full working app without the need involve a professional developer.

But, what if we want to extend the service/app and add complex logic/functionality?

Remember, I mentioned above that citizen and professional developers can use BAS… Using BAS enables you to achieve the following: once you hit the UI limitations of a low-code tool, a professional developer can go “under the hood” and write some custom/complex code to overcome the limitation/meet the business needs. Both developers using the same tool, working on the same project/code but accessing it via different “views”.

To get started with the low-code/no-code tools, check out the Subscribe to the Low-Code / No-Code Service in SAP BTP tutorial at https://developers.sap.com.

I hope this blog post helps you see how business people and programmers can collaborate via SAP LCNC offering. I look forward to seeing how the citizen and professional developers in your companies interact to produce the apps that your enterprise needs.

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