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Author's profile photo Mohini Verma

SAP S/4HANA EWM goes no-code with SAP AppGyver

Introduction

What is possible by today with the latest no-code technology? Can your business process experts create applications for your ERP system without a single line of program code? Let’s find out!

Executive Summary

This blog covers the use case of mobile storage bin-based inventory counting in the warehouse with SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA 2021. We leverage SAP AppGyver as a platform for this mobile application – without a single line of code: Not in the frontend, not in the backend. It is relevant for you if you run business processes on-premise or cloud systems and intended to spark new ideas.

Low-code/No-code on the rise 

Application development is evolving, low-code/no-code as a key enabler of accelerated Development!

The market is becoming more volatile and resources are scarce, as per the Gartner report 2020 and 2021 – “By 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted an LCAP as one of their strategic application platforms.” & “By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity”.

SAP’s vision is to provide fully integrated Low-code/No-code Offering which in turn gives a unified experience across the developer continuum and end-users.

Please refer to the Blog post from Juergen MUELLER and SAP news from for more information in this area! Here is the image attached from the news article which depicts the SAP Low-code and No-code strategy!

 

SAP%20Low-code/No-code%20Strategy

SAP Low-code/No-code Strategy

Introduction and Business Process

No-Code application development is the answer to the increased demand of providing mobile applications at a consumer-grade level in business processes. We have picked the inventory counting process in SAP EWM for this prototype to show you “No-Code”-integration. The insights from this blog will be of relevance if you have On-Premise ECC or S/4HANA systems running for which you would like to increase the value, performance, or reach of your specific business process.

SAP EWM provides mobile access to its application for years through the RF framework. There are scenarios, however when you want to use a regular phone or tablet to perform certain operations. In some countries for example annual inventory counting is required by law and permanent or cycle counting methods are not an option. In such cases, you would close the warehouse and often work with a temporary staff that can’t be equipped with rugged RF hardware. So, it could be done by using their smartphones!

Process%20Outline%20and%20application%20flow

Process Outline and application flow

The process starts with the documents being generated in SAP EWM. A user then logs in on the AppGyver application running on Android or iOS hardware or simply into a browser. The counting is done by guiding the user to the next bin, scanning the storage bin barcode to verify the location (Code-93), and scanning the code of the product (GTIN-13). AppGyver is able to process all common typologies including Data Matrix, QR-Code, and other 2D types. That way we can also control which barcode we want to scan and which to ignore (think of e.g. GS1-128 shipping labels with 3 or more typologies). In the end, the counted quantity is keyed in and submitted as a result of the physical inventory document.

As this is a prototype we have only set it up for material-based scanning, HU-related activities could be added.

POC Demo Video 

POC Demo Video – Integrating SAP S/4 HANA EWM to SAP AppGyver 

Application architecture

Application%20architecture

Application architecture

My learnings and tips 

While developing this use case, I traversed through many unknown paths! And I would like to share this with all of you which will help in accelerating the development time.

  • For this scenario, you need to be clear on how the business process runs in standard EWM (user knowledge). Also, you need to understand what OData services are and where they are documented. A developer might be handy for this part.
  • If not set up yet, your IT administrators need to host and install the SAP Cloud Connector for you.
  • SAP API Portal must be in place and your IT administrators can help you to set it up. This is needed for exposing on-prem services to the cloud. Here, make sure to add CORS policy as well while deploying the URL since AppGyver throws CORS errors in such scenarios. If you’ve done it once, you know it for next time.
  • In SAP AppGyver, while connecting to the data resource – use REST API integration instead of OData integration. I found the OData integration feature (still) a bit unstable as the same API worked every time with REST integration.

Way Forward

This use case shows the power of no-code integration with SAP backend systems and this idea is just a start!

This POC opens doors to many more business scenarios which can get simplified via user-friendly mobile applications: All that with zero lines of code!. SAP AppGyver brings your business users and developers together to join forces.

Thanks to Gunter Albrecht for working with me on this POC and for also supporting this blog post!

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      8 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Mustafa Bensan
      Mustafa Bensan

      Hi Mohini,

      I would be interested to know more about why the BTP API Management service is required "for exposing on-prem services to the cloud".  Normally when Cloud Connector is used, there is no need for an API Management middleware for the OData services to be consumed by an app deployed to BTP.  For example, when building Fiori Elements apps on BTP that connect to an on-premise S/4HANA backend system, using only the Destination Service and Cloud Connector is sufficient.  There is no need for API Management.

      Is the requirement for API Management in the case of AppGyver due to the fact that AppGyver does not yet have a concept of connecting through Cloud Connector via Destinations as is done with Fiori Elements apps?

      From a solution architecture perspective, if we have to add an additional layer/service such as API Management as a prerequisite to being able to connect from AppGyver to an S/4HANA on-premise system then this adds to the total cost of ownership compared to alternatives such as Fiori Elements.

      Regards,

      Mustafa.

      Author's profile photo Mohini Verma
      Mohini Verma
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Mustafa,

      You are right about Cloud connector, as when CC is used there is no need for API Management layer generally but in this scenario, we needed API Portal because Appgyver cannot consume destinations directly at the moment. Consuming BTP Destination is one of many features which are planned to get delivered next quarter. You can check this in the SAP Discovery center. So, once we have this feature we might not require API Portal unless we want to add policies in middleware.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Thanks,

      Mohini

      Author's profile photo Mustafa Bensan
      Mustafa Bensan

      Thanks Mohini.  That certainly answers my question and makes sense.

      Regards,

      Mustafa.

      Author's profile photo Ramanuj Sarmah
      Ramanuj Sarmah

      Thanks Mohini along with the video it is a very clear explanation of the POC as well as the technical pre-requisites to set up the EWM system with SAP AppGyver. Looking forward for more such blogs from your side.

      Author's profile photo Mohini Verma
      Mohini Verma
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, Ramanuj!

      Author's profile photo ahmed alrasheed
      ahmed alrasheed

      hey Mohini

      would be usefull if you can share the building blocks flow for the above demo 😉

      without any credentials ofcourse

      Author's profile photo Mohini Verma
      Mohini Verma
      Blog Post Author

      Hey Ahmed,

       

      Yes, we have another blog in writing which will talk about all the technical aspects involved in this POC.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Author's profile photo Pierre COL
      Pierre COL

      Very inspiring, thanks a lot Mohini!