The hidden champions in SAP’s LCNC world
At TechEd 2021, you heard us talking a lot about how SAP enables every developer to accelerate work and innovate at scale. One part of our new low-code/no-code (LCNC) offering are the so-called “opinionated technologies” that guide you through the development process. That is where one of SAP’s greatest services comes into play. But how do they improve developers’ lives?
With our new low-code/no-code offering, we are bridging the gap between professional and citizen development. Nothing illustrates this better than the enhancements to the SAP Business Application Studio. Thousands of customers already use it to build and extend applications with mostly text-based editors in a pro-code environment.
On top of that, we now provide visual editors that allow application composition with minimal coding effort. In SAP Business Application Studio, you can switch between these two perspectives at any point in your project. You could use visual coding in the low-code perspective to get some easy tasks done and then switch to the pro-code perspective to do more complex work.
In SAP Business Application Studio, developers benefit from well-received SAP technologies you may already know. Let’s take a closer look at these “opinionated technologies” and how they improve developers’ lives in SAP Business Application Studio.
SAP Cloud Application Programming Model is the foundation of any low-code application in SAP Business Application Studio
As a developer, you are faced with a wide range of services and tech choices on our SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). Especially citizen developers want to focus on the business logic and don’t want to care about technical artifacts and setups. The SAP Business Application Studio for low-code application development provides a framework and a set of technologies to build apps quickly and efficiently.
The project homepage in the low-code perspective in SAP Business Application Studio provides a holistic view of the different application components and at the same time guides developers through the application development process
At the heart of every project in SAP Business Application Studio is the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model. The programming model consists of means and best practices for building enterprise-grade pro-code and low-code backends for applications. In the low-code perspective in SAP Business Application Studio, the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model sets the foundation of the application development process by giving a framework to create data models, sample data and services.
Imagine you want to create an easy-to-use application for your Capital Expenditures – a typical business scenario when requesting investments into expensive company assets such as vehicles or machines. Supported by the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model, you would start creating your data model with some properties, for example, “description of investment”, “total costs” and “contractors names”. This is the typical information a manager would require to approve a CAPEX request.
As a second step, you could add sample data for a drop-down menu, such as common contractor names. In case you already have data on contractors in your ERP-System, you could add an external data model by integrating the application with your S/4 HANA system or other SAP backends. To structure the data of your (external) data models, you create services to define which data you want to expose to the application.
Data Models, Services, Sample Data and External Data Models are the foundation of a low-code application in SAP Business Application Studio, defined by the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model
Adding user interfaces and workflows on top of your data models and services
Once you have a foundation of your application with data models, sample data and services, it is time to build your user interfaces (UIs) on top of it. In the low-code perspective of SAP Business Application Studio, developers have two strong options: SAP Fiori elements and the Mobile Development Kit which is part of SAP Mobile Services.
SAP Fiori elements provide pre-defined UI patterns for browser-based application use cases. It accelerates development by delivering complete pages – also considered floorplans – such as reports, worklists, and object pages. Alternatively, you can do the same with the Mobile Development Kit. The Mobile Development Kit provides development tools to build and customize mobile native apps for iOS, Android and desktop browsers with minimal coding effort.
SAP Business Application Studio leverages two UI Application Types: SAP Fiori elements and Mobile Development Kit/SAP Mobile Services, both based on SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori design system
May it be floorplans of SAP Fiori elements, or UI controls implemented with the Mobile Development Kit: Most of the UIs you will see in your deployed application are based on SAPUI5 – SAP’s programming framework for HTML 5 to implement the SAP Fiori design system. SAPUI5 is the key to develop UIs in the SAP world. That’s why it is considered the foundation of SAP’s user experience (Learn more in this blog post: “What is SAPUI5?”).
What is missing before you can deploy your application? Thanks to workflow capabilities in SAP Business Application Studio, you can add an approval workflow to your CAPEX scenario. With a few clicks, you can for example define the data that are passed over once the workflow is triggered and define the recipients of your workflow. To trigger the workflow, you could for example create a form UI based on SAP Fiori elements or the Mobile Development Kit.
Workflow Editor in SAP Business Application Studio
You can deploy your application with a one-click option to a BTP account. With your first deployment, the data that you process in your UIs are automatically stored in your SAP HANA database on BTP. This out-of-the-box integration allows you to access your stored data models in further projects in SAP Business Application Studio.
On the screenshots below, you can see two examples of deployed applications you can create in SAP Business Application Studio. The low-code perspective in SAP Business Application Studio allows you to deploy the same applications as the ones you create with text-based editors.
CAPEX registration form in a deployed SAP Fiori elements application based on SAP Fiori List Report and Object Page
CAPEX approval form in a deployed SAP Mobile Services application based on SAP Fiori workflow task UI
SAP’s opinionated technologies are key to elevating the low-code user experience in SAP Business Application Studio
This blog post puts the spotlight on the strong and well-received technologies and services that we leverage with low-code/no-code and specifically in the low-code perspective of the SAP Business Application Studio. In the end, elevating the user experience is not only about providing strong tooling. You also need to guide developers and leverage best practices to simplify their work.
In the low-code perspective of SAP Business Application Studio, developers’ lives will be simplified with the following ”opinionated technologies”:
- SAP Cloud Application Programming Model to set the foundation of your application with (external) data models, sample data and services
- SAP Fiori elements for web-based UIs and Mobile Development Kit (part of SAP Mobile Services) for native applications in iOS, Android or web
- SAP Fiori design system and UIs based on SAPUI5 programming framework
- Workflow capabilities to define tasks and workflows
- SAP HANA to access external data models and store data of your application in your database
Each of the products can fill books. For further research, I recommend you check out the channels and TechEd sessions I’ve added below. Other than that, you should watch our overview video on how to create Apps with SAP Business Application Studio for Low-Code Development. My colleagues Ludo Noens provides a detailed technical guide on the SAP Community on low-code app development in SAP Business Application Studio.
Also, we invite you to start our Citizen Developer Learning Journey and try out SAP Business Application Studio in our new tutorial: “Develop Full-Stack App Using Low-Code Capabilities of SAP Business Application Studio”.
- SAP Cloud Application Programming Model
- SAP Mobile Technology
- SAP Fiori elements
- SAP Fiori Tools
- SAP Business Application Studio
- Low-Code/No-Code Development Tools
- Make Model-Driven Applications with SAP Cloud Application Programming Model [DEV108]
- Develop Enterprise-Grade Mobile Apps and Mobile Experiences [DEV162]
- Scale Application Development with SAPUI5 [DEV160]
- Scale App Development with SAP AppGyver and SAP Business Application Studio [DEV111]
- Develop Applications from Start to Finish Through LCNC and SAP AppGyver [DEV161]
- Develop Full-Stack App Using Low-Code Capabilities of SAP Business Application Studio
- SAP Learning – Low-Code/No-Code Applications and Automations for Citizen Developers
Related Blog Posts
- SAP Business Application studio for low-code development
- Exploring SAP Business Application Studio for low-code development and deploying a multichannel sample app to mobile
- Accelerate Application Development with SAP AppGyver and SAP Business Application Studio
- Create Business Applications using SAP Business Application Studio for Low-Code Development – YouTube