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Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar

Demystifying: SAP BTP – ABAP Environment, Steampunk, ABAP on Cloud, Embedded Steampunk


In the fast-paced world of SAP development, buzzwords can often create confusion and uncertainty. Among these buzzwords, SAP BTP – ABAP Environment, Steampunk, ABAP Cloud, and Embedded Steampunk have emerged, leaving developers searching for clarity. In this SAP SCN blog post, we aim to demystify these concepts, providing a clear understanding of SAP BTP – ABAP Environment, Steampunk, ABAP Cloud, and Embedded Steampunk, and their significance in the SAP development landscape.

While this blog post does not delve into CAP (Cloud Application Programming), it is essential to take a brief look at its history in order to better understand the buzzwords surrounding SAP development.

CAP (Cloud Application Programming)

To remain competitive in the Cloud race, SAP brought in SAP CAP (Cloud Application Programming Model) – A framework that simplifies the development of scalable, cloud-native applications. The runtime environment of SAP CAP is based on Node.js and leverages the Node.js runtime to execute the applications developed using the Cloud Application Programming Model. The primary programming language used in SAP CAP is JavaScript. Developers utilize JavaScript to define the business logic, data models, and application behavior within the Cloud Application Programming Model framework.

So, all going well. SAP has a Cloud Application Programming Model. 🙂

But there was a challenge to utilize the existing ABAP skills. So.….

SAP BTP ABAP Environment was launched – to provide ABAP developers with a cloud-based development environment that allows them to leverage their existing ABAP skills while taking advantage of the scalability, agility, and reduced infrastructure management offered by the cloud. This enables developers to build and deploy ABAP-based applications more efficiently and effectively in the modern era of cloud computing.

SAP BTP – ABAP Environment

SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is a comprehensive platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering from SAP. Within this platform, the SAP BTP ABAP Environment provides a cloud-based development environment specifically tailored for ABAP developers.

It empowers developers to leverage their ABAP skills and tools, harnessing the advantages offered by the cloud environment to build and deploy applications effectively.


Up to this point, the situation seems relatively straightforward. If you have a background in ABAP, the most convenient choice for upgrading would be SAP BTP – ABAP Environment.

Until 2022, many developers would have pursued this learning path, relying on SAP BTP – ABAP as the preferred option. However, with the introduction of Embedded Steampunk, SAP added a few more technical terms that developers need to decipher and understand.

Taking a closer look at the diagram, we now understand that Steampunk is SAP BTP ABAP environment). Now ABAPers can leverage and develop application which is Cloud Ready and in line with SAP Clean Core. Steampunk runs on SAP BTP and provides side-by-side extension option to the core ERP system.

Properties of Steampunk (aka SAP BTP ABAP Environment)

  • ABAP Restful Application Programming Model (RAP) & new version of ABAP.
  • An environment for cloud development.


What is Embedded Steampunk? What was the need?

While extending the SAP core, side-by-side extension is beneficial for many scenarios, but it may not be suitable for all cases.

Consider situations where custom code needs to run closely with the application being extended to avoid extensive data replication or maintain the same logical unit of work (database LUW). Adopting the on-prem extension style is not a viable choice as it is not cloud-ready or upgrade-stable.

So Embedded Steampunk 🙂

Internally, SAP BTP – ABAP and embedded Steampunk share the same ABAP Platform code line. It just embedded the Steampunk development model directly into S/4 HANA. Custom extensions developed with Embedded Steampunk now have the same properties that made Steampunk Cloud-ready and upgrade-stable.

Developing extensions with Embedded Steampunk using ADT (ABAP Development Tools) feels exactly like developing with Steampunk on BTP.

Great…isn’t it??

This has been available with S/4 HANA 2022 for on-premises & cloud versions.


If this clears some air around the Buzz words, it time to get our hand dirty. Let’s unleash the power of Embedded Steampunk.

Happy Learning…Together. 🙂

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      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Bist
      Prasenjit Bist

      Typical SAP marketing error - it's ABAP that's it . you don't have cloud java, java java, steam-engine, embedded steam-engine , kitchen sink. It's ABAP with different flavors is that hard to remember and steampunk may be your name for your dev team, but does the customer or the ABAPer cares?  Who uses crappy names like steampunk? And it's not even funny. Who creates confusion like this?

      ABAP & ABAP BTP / ABAP for Cloud for S/4 Cloud & BTP side by side extension is enough for any sane person to understand. Done now move on SAP and let these not so funny names be in internal message boards and not confuse the external folks.

      Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar
      Vishal Kumar
      Blog Post Author

      @Prasenjit That is the whole purpose of this blog. To remove the confusion if any.

      At the end of the day, The devolper should be comfortable and confident to do the job and not get lost in the buzz words.

      Author's profile photo Prasenjit Bist
      Prasenjit Bist

      I am not interested in the blog I know the stuff and already working. My message is for the SAP marketing team to stop playing and deliver where it matters with the RAP model, ADT, BAS and stuffs rather than funny names like steampunk and creating noise. Why should there be even the confusion and articles what is so funny I never see Apple or Google doing that? 

      Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar
      Vishal Kumar
      Blog Post Author

      I hope the marketing team reads your message.

      Even I am not a big fan of these fancy words. But someone from SAP who thinks such fancy names either stops doing so or else someone has to put the stuffs in a simple manner so that everyone can understand.


      But I understand your point.👍

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      There have already been blog posts "demystifying" these concepts, one of them is actually listed in "Similar posts" section: (I recommend other Boris's posts too).

      "Steampunk" was an internal SAP project name that was "leaked" and then the name stuck. Then SAP claimed they wanted to get away from "Steampunk" name yet they went ahead and announced "Embedded Steampunk". Go figure. SAP BTP ABAP Environment (without a dash) is not a "buzzword", it's an official product name for "Steampunk".

      ABAP Cloud (not "in Cloud") is what SAP says is a programming model "to develop cloud-ready apps". It includes ABAP RAP, which is also a programming model, so ABAP Cloud nomenclature seems rather superficial, tbh. But SAP will rename everything again next year, so no worries.

      And CAP has nothing to do with ABAP.("To remain competitive in the Cloud race" - what does this even mean? Race with whom and where? Where did you get this information?)

      Sorry, I find this post to be actually more confusing than "demystifying"... If it makes sense to others, I'd like to understand why.

      Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar
      Vishal Kumar
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for taking out time to read through the post and your feedback about the same.

      However, I would like to clarify few things here. SAP BTP, ABAP Environment (with a comma) and since I am writing paragraphs, I used a dash instead of a comma. That should not make much difference. For an expert like you it might not be a buzz word but for many of us, with so much innovation going around in the SAP ecosystem, it is one and important to understand these.

      And CAP has nothing to do with ABAP, indeed and that I have also mentioned in the blog ("While this blog post does not delve into CAP (Cloud Application Programming)"). CAP was one of the initial programming lines introduced by SAP much before SAP BTP, ABAP and I believe SAP had a vision with the cloud technologies, some purpose and wanted to stay ahead of their competitor. Maybe you could share more insight about this.

      Steampunk 'the name' was leaked or not I am not sure about, but I assume you have heard it right and from a reliable source. But the name embedded steampunk has been used by SAP in many events, so it is legitimate to use this until SAP comes up with a new name.

      This is unfortunate that this blog did not add much value to you, and I hope it does to many others. Feedback from you and from experts will help me to improve and the learning would continue so thank you for that.

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      SAP seems to be using a comma very inconsistently there. In the Community page, there is comma in the title but nowhere else. Then comma makes an appearance here yet nowhere to be found here. I have a suspicion that pages run by marketing have a comma because it kind of makes sense from the language perspective. But technical content doesn't have it because having a comma in the product name is confusing. There is definitely no dash though. 🙂

      "For an expert like you it might not be a buzz word" - sorry but definition of a "buzzword" (no space 🙂 ) is "word or phrase, new or already existing, that becomes popular for a period of time" or "is an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen".

      SAP BTP ABAP Environment is none of these things. It is an official SAP product name. Regardless of the expertise level of a person who is using it. By this measure, you could claim Microsoft Word is a buzzword, which would make no sense.

      On "Embedded Steampunk": the blog post I linked starts with "SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment (Embedded Steampunk)". "Embedded Steampunk" is an unofficial name. It's probably more popular than the official one but I digress.

      Hope this clarifies it.

      Author's profile photo Jonny Wellard
      Jonny Wellard

      Hi Vishal

      I actually found your blog a nice quick and informative read.  I just wanted to know what the devil Steampunk was doing at SAP - you answered that.  Seems they tried to get hip with the kids - and failed.  Thanks for taking the time to write and post it.



      Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar
      Vishal Kumar
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for your feedback Jonny Wellard.


      Indeed 'Steampunk' or 'Embedded Steampunk' is not very easy to understand but somehow it has remained.

      Author's profile photo Renato Martins
      Renato Martins

      Hi Vishal,

      I still have confusion over the terms RAP and Steampunk.

      I use RAP to create Fiori applications (code-first) and I can use it for both Premise and Cloud environments, but what about Steampunk?

      I still don't understand what exactly I'm going to use Steampunk for in which environments (Premise or Cloud).
      Can you help me?

      Author's profile photo Vishal Kumar
      Vishal Kumar
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Renato Martins

      Let me try to clarify this a bit !!

      RAP - RESTful Application Programming Model - It is a programming Model which you have been using and can be used for both Premise and Cloud Environments.


      Coming to Steampunk - 🙂

      If the ABAP environment to develop and execute extensions in loosely coupled manner and lies on separate SAP's business Technology Platform layer ( SAP BTP ) - There is another term for this "Steampunk". - You will be using RAP model to develop extension and application on this layer.

      This can be used to develop extension for both Premise & Cloud.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Author's profile photo Renato Martins
      Renato Martins

      Wow, so the term Steampunk applies to developments not coupled to SAP, such as a BTP process in ABAP RAP or even an API in Node.JS in the same BTP, as it integrates with SAP?