How to Use SAP Build Governance Capabilities for Low-Code Development
Co-authored with S. Hathaway & F. Marby.
Good governance of people, data and processes for citizen development is essential for organizations’ success with low-code technology. While low-code tools revolutionize the digital process and application development experience for users, it must be well-managed to avoid shadow-IT and establish a firm foundation of trust between citizen developers and corporate-IT.
In the product management team at SAP Build, we’ve learned a few important things from talking with our customers. From the perspective of the IT organization, the things that are top of mind with low-code technology are:
1) total acknowledgement of the benefits and a keen interest in the speed and efficiency offered by low-code, which is somewhat tempered by
2) the potential dangers of security and compliance with productive solutions, DevOps and lifecycle management, and a risk of proliferation by the citizen developer which creates, rather than avoids, shadow-IT.
On the other hand, the business and citizen developer perspectives are a desire to build flexibly, within a scalable governance framework, catering to the needs of each line of business and industry – without hindering innovation. That means, governance should not be too restrictive, but it should ensure that firm guardrails empower businesspeople to create well-working solutions without causing problems. Furthermore – even if they start with a small idea for automating their day-to-day work – the low-code toolset in use should enable collaboration with technical experts and scale to support the wider organization as needed.
When viewing these needs from a holistic perspective, we believe that three key aspects form the basis of establishing IT trust of citizen development, a so-called “governance triad” which is comprised of People, Processes and Tools/Technology. The People and Processes part is addressed by things like guides and best-practices for starting up and running a low-code center of excellence, as well as taking part in low-code learning and community opportunities.
And, in this article I will share how SAP Build handles the Tools & Technology aspect of the governance triad with its built-in product capabilities.
Demoing the Built-in Governance Capabilities of SAP Build
So, let’s dive right in with a demo of the product capabilities that SAP Build has to offer both citizen developers and IT administrators with governing SAP Build.
There’s already quite a lot available as you can see, so let’s recap what you just saw. The current governance capabilities of SAP Build include in-depth monitoring of projects of various status, tenant-level governance, security and user administration, project collaboration, lifecycle management and more.
Monitoring with SAP Build
Monitoring is pivotal to the day-to-day management and success of the IT Admin running SAP Build. With SAP Build Process Automation and soon SAP Build Apps, you can see the current running status of all projects, providing a 360-degree view of all events happening in the customer tenant.
The Automation Overview dashboard portrays different metrics and shortcuts to the various aspects such as processes, automation jobs, and so on. Customers can also drill down into the data for different time periods as well as see the daily quota usage for unattended or attended automations, as well as manage the configuration and starting of processes, triggers, and even visibility scenarios and business rules. There are logs, alerts, various types of notifications, and the ability to export historical data.
Within the Agents view, the IT Admin can register new Agents or simply display all connected agents, filter by machines, logins, status, attributes, project or by state. And it is possible to drill down into each Agent, and view key events, activities over various time periods and more. And the same is possible Jobs History, available projects (for attended usage), disabled scenarios or even trace reports. Traces can be later downloaded or shared as needed.
Learn more about SAP Build monitoring by doing these tutorials:
Technical Governance with SAP Build
Having governance capabilities that are seamless to the cloud ERP system is of key importance to the IT Admin. SAP Build is part of the SAP BTP Cockpit, which allows the IT Admin to create subaccounts in which the products such as SAP Build Process Automation will be subscribed to and deployed in a few clicks using a Booster. Subaccounts are set up and security can be managed at the subaccount level, adding users, defining and associating role collections, and so on. Application roles based on the application capabilities are also displayed.
Furthermore, adhering to BTP constructs, separate tenants can be created for different environments (e.g., dev, test, prod) or specific business needs (HR, finance, etc). Tenant-based isolation in addition to the security defined at the project level allows the IT Admin to follow some well-known rules when dealing with lifecycle management of projects and project deployment, and to define specific governance rules for each tenant. For instance, if a tenant is restricted to productive usage, that means the users can deploy projects there from other tenants such as test but would need to use transport management to transfer the project.
The seamless transport of projects across various landscapes can be done within no time with the SAP Cloud Transport Management system. Creating and facilitating a smooth movement of projects across tenants the transport process speeds up production.
Collaboration and Sharing with SAP Build
Collaboration and the ability for citizen developers to reuse and share versioned content is at the heart of SAP Build. With just a few clicks existing content can be scanned, selected and added to different projects with a drag and drop workflow. And, citizen developers can easily publish their own content to the library for easy use by others.
Within the Lobby of SAP Build, lifecycle management activities such as import, export, rename, and general managing of projects to and from various tenants are easily monitored and steered within the same platform.
What’s next with SAP Build Governance?
SAP Build won’t stop there in terms of supporting the user experience of the IT Admin with operating and administrating low-code development and is already advancing. In the next months, you will see many new capabilities coming that provide large and small teams with support for their low-code journeys with features such as a governance control tower and fusion team development.
To sum it up, SAP Build offers low-code tooling that democratizes the experience of building and running apps, business processes, and business sites. By enabling citizen developers across the company, SAP Build provides the gateway to all the experts in non-technical domains to build, automate and run their activities digitally, without waiting for IT. However, with great power comes great responsibility.
Good governance of SAP Build can be achieved by addressing the critical aspects of the Governance Triad, and especially by having the in-built governance capabilities in the product that help the IT Admin to address security, compliance, and lifecycle management requirements effectively. By fostering trust, collaboration, and this unified approach to governance, SAP Build enables businesses to harness the power of low-code and no-code tools and drive innovation!
Learn more about SAP Build hands-on with our tutorials on SAP Developers: SAP Tutorial Navigator | Tutorials for SAP Developers