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Author's profile photo Mateusz Skrzyniarz

Modern SAP Technology explained

SAP terminology confuses people. That’s a fact. I am not sure if there is another company out there that offers software services and solutions that hide under so many different names and acronyms. This article intends to clarify, once and for all, the meanings of common names that you’d see during your SAP journey. I tried to make it S/4HANA- and new tech- focused so some of the outdated concepts might not be included.

Please note that this article would be pointless if I was to just copy & paste service descriptions from the SAP documentation and therefore, I tried to summarise each one of them in maximum of 2 sentences. If you require more detailed information on any of the offerings, you’ll need to google it 🙂

I’m also planning to make this a living document so feel free to add comments on things that are missing or incorrect – I’ll surely address them.

Have fun, fellow SAP professionals!

P.S. If you are to remember just 2 things from this write-up, please let the correct spelling of S/4HANA and the difference between HANA and S/4HANA be them!

ABAP Cloud

Is a robust development model encompassing ABAP programming with cloud-adapted language scope, ABAP Development Tools, and the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model. Includes standardised public APIs, extension points to facilitate efficient, cloud-ready SAP applications and extensions.

ABAP Development Tools (ADT)

ADT, also known as “ABAP in Eclipse”, is a set of Eclipse-based development tools for ABAP development which allow developers to perform tasks related to ABAP development more efficiently.

ABAP Managed Database Procedures (AMDP)

AMDPs are a way to encapsulate database-specific SQLScript and HANA native code into ABAP. It helps to push down computation-intensive logic into the HANA database, improving performance.

Application Programming Interface (API)

In SAP, an API is a set of rules and protocols for building and interacting with software applications. For instance, SAP provides APIs for connecting their S/4HANA system with other external systems.

Bluefield implementation

Bluefield implementation is an approach allowing companies to migrate to S/4HANA selectively, combining new innovations while preserving existing business processes. It’s like moving to a new system without discarding what already works.

Brownfield implementation

Brownfield implementation in SAP is an upgrade of existing SAP systems with the aim to leverage current data and configurations. This is suitable when a company wants to bring their existing ERP system into the HANA database.

Business Application Studio (BAS)

SAP’s BAS is a modern development environment in the Cloud, offering tools to ease end-to-end application development from designing the UI to writing the business logic. It is the successor of the SAP WebIDE.

Business Technology Platform (BTP)

Platform-as-a-Service offering from SAP that consolidates technology-based services, like Analytics Cloud, HANA, Cloud Integration and more. Place for side-by-side extensibility, integration and easy-to-consume ready scenarios offered by SAP & 3rd party vendors.

Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (CALM)

CALM supports and manages the lifecycle of SAP cloud applications, including design, testing, deployment, and operation. Successor of the popular SAP Solution Manager

Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP)

CAP is a framework designed to easily create business services and applications on SAP BTP, using languages like Node.js and Java.

Cloud Connector

The SAP Cloud Connector is a key element of SAP’s hybrid offering, connecting on-premise systems with applications on the SAP BTP, enabling data and business process integration.

Cloud Foundry

Cloud Foundry is an open-source, multi-cloud application platform as a service (PaaS) governed by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. SAP BTP uses Cloud Foundry as one of its environment options for deploying applications.

Cloud Integration

Cloud Integration on BTP offers integration capabilities with SAP and non-SAP solutions. It additionally consists of thousands of ready integration flows that can be directly consumed or used as a basis for your integration needs. Successor of SAP PI/PO.

Continuous Delivery (CD)

Continuous Delivery is a practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested, and prepared for a release to production. It enables faster, more frequent releases. In SAP, it can be implemented with tools like Jenkins or SAP’s own BTP CI/CD service.

Continuous Deployment (CD)

CD is a release process that uses automated testing for immediate deployment to a production environment. It goes beyond Continuous Delivery by deploying all changes automatically. SAP’s Cloud Platform CI/CD service provides capabilities to implement CD for SAP projects.

Continuous Integration (CI)

CI is a practice where developers regularly merge code changes into a central repository, followed by automated tests. It aims to find and address bugs quicker, improving software quality. In SAP, CI could be implemented using tools like Jenkins or the BTP CI/CD service

Core Data Services (CDS)

CDS are used in SAP to define underlying data models which simplifies the effort to retrieve complex data structures from the database. They form the basis of modern OData services and Fiori apps.


New solution from SAP for Data Warehousing needs. Offers improved capabilities in the space of analytics and cross-organisation integration. Successor of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud


The SAP Ecosystem comprises SAP solutions, partners, customers, and professionals that collectively contribute to the ongoing growth and innovation of SAP.

Embedded Steampunk

Available starting from S/4HANA 2022, it is an ABAP language version check variant which ensures that developments are built in a cloud-ready and upgrade-safe manner. It checks aspects like the allowed syntax or the release state of an API


Fiori is SAP’s user experience paradigm, which provides a role-based, consumer-grade user interface across all lines of business, tasks, and devices. A common use is streamlining tasks in S/4HANA.

Fiori Elements

Fiori Elements provide a framework for developing SAP Fiori applications based on ready templates, ensuring design consistency and reducing the amount of frontend code needed. They are used to create both simple as well as more advanced SAP applications.

Greenfield implementation

Greenfield implementation means starting from scratch with S/4HANA, instead of upgrading an existing system. It’s like constructing a new building on an empty lot.

Grow with SAP

SAP offering targeted at small businesses that are ready to implement a full-scale ERP system to enable further growth. It consists of ready-made solutions, services and procedures to implement SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud.


HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database designed to handle both transactional and analytical workloads. It’s a foundation of S/4HANA, speeding up processes by holding the entire dataset in memory.

In-app extensibility

In-app extensibility in SAP allows customers to adapt standard business software to their business needs within the app, like adding fields to a business object in S/4HANA without altering the standard code. Changes remain upgrade-safe and maintenance-free.

Integration Suite

Integration platform available on the BTP. It consists of services like Cloud Integration, Open Connectors, API Management, Event Mesh and more.


Kyma is an open-source project initiated by SAP that allows developers to extend and customize enterprise applications using serverless computing and microservice architectures.


SAP Landscape refers to the arrangement of SAP servers. Typically includes Development, Quality Assurance, and Production servers, which support the lifecycle of an SAP application from development to deployment.

On-stack extensibility

On-stack extensibility involves adding functionalities directly on the existing SAP software stack, like enhancing an SAP Fiori app directly on the ABAP stack in S/4HANA.

Open Connector

Open Connector is a service in SAP BTP to provide pre-built connectors for non-SAP solutions, simplifying the integration by creating unified APIs for disparate systems.

RESTful Application Programming Model (RAP)

RAP is an SAP development paradigm that guides developers in building efficient, scalable, and modern web-based applications, using RESTful services and modern ABAP language.


SAP offering targeted at businesses that run an ERP system (be it SAP or not) on premise and want to move to the Cloud.

S/4HANA (S/4)

S/4HANA is SAP’s next-generation ERP business suite, built on the HANA in-memory database. It offers real-time analytics and simplifies the IT landscape by integrating different business processes.

S/4HANA Private Cloud

S/4HANA Private Cloud is an option where S/4HANA is hosted on a private cloud infrastructure. This is typically chosen by companies that want the flexibility of the cloud but with more control over data and systems.

S/4HANA Public Cloud

S/4HANA Public Cloud is the SaaS version of S/4HANA, maintained by SAP. It’s chosen by companies that want a quick, standardized implementation with regular updates and no hardware maintenance.

SAP Activate

SAP Activate is an implementation methodology, providing a set of accelerators, tools, and best practices to speed up the deployment of SAP solutions like S/4HANA.

SAP Build

Suite of low-code/no-code software solutions to help customers build applications and workflows with intuitive drag&drop interfaces. It consists of solutions like SAP Build, SAP Build Process Automation and SAP Build Workzone

SAP Build Apps

No-code software solution used to build mobile and web applications with the help of a drag&drop interface. Product that was acquired by SAP in 2021, original name – AppGyver

SAP Build Process Automation

Low-code solution to build custom workflows. It combines solutions like the Workflow Management, RPA, Decision Management, Processs Visibility and Embedded AI into a single application. Successor of SAP Workflow Management

SAP Build Workzone

Intuitive and easy-to-use site builder that provides an interface available on any device, powered by a drag & drop interface.


SAPUI5 is SAP’s HTML5 framework for building web applications. It’s the technology behind Fiori, helping developers to create responsive web applications that can run on any device.

Side-by-side extensibility

Creating extensions that operate independently of the core applications, typically using microservices. For example, developing a new customer rating feature on SAP BTP without touching the existing S/4HANA system.


SAP Track refers to the path that a change (transport) follows from the development system all the way to production. It might consist of systems like test, quality, regression, pre-production, etc.

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      Author's profile photo Jasmin Gruschke
      Jasmin Gruschke

      Hi Mateusz Skrzyniarz,

      let me comment on "you'll need to google it". Actually, I would rather appreciate to be informed about your sources/links (like in well-written Wikipedia entries).

      However, what bothers me even more is that you got the first (the others I didn't check that carefully) in your list only half-correct. You described ABAP Cloud and that in fact is more than a cloud version of the ABAP language. It is a full-blown development model. Can you please do me the favor of correcting this - see this blog for more details ;-).


      Author's profile photo Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the comment Jasmin. The source for the most of them is my head. Hence there are no links to the corresponding documentation.


      True! ABAP Cloud is more than just a language variant, I agree.  Let me rewrite it tomorrow. Though I'm not exactly a fan of calling it a model because it might be even more confusing. I think I'll stick to the word platform instead? The models live inside it, like RAP, for example. Right?

      Author's profile photo Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Blog Post Author

      How does this sound Jasmin Gruschke Please remember that this is supposed to be a concise 2-liner and not a full-blown definition so small compromises are needed 🙂


      Is a robust development model encompassing ABAP programming with cloud-adapted language scope, ABAP Development Tools, and the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model. Includes standardised public APIs, extension points to facilitate efficient, cloud-ready SAP applications and extensions.

      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      I preferred your previous definition rather than SAP technico-marketing jargon "robust development model..." or "full-blown development model", which is absolutely meaningless for newbies LOL. Being half correct "cloud version of ABAP" helps more than saying obscure things... I would indicate RAP but not ADT and others.

      +1 to Kai

      Author's profile photo Jasmin Gruschke
      Jasmin Gruschke

      I halfway agree. The second version sound a bit "influenced", but correct now. And I am sure even newbies understand the difference between "language" and "development model" ;-).

      How about "state-of-the-art ABAP development model"? Just to add a 3rd option...

      Thanks for the quick update Mateusz Skrzyniarz, really appreciated!

      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham

      "State of the art". More "SAP technico-marketing jargon". 😉

      Author's profile photo Kai Sicker
      Kai Sicker

      I like this article.

      That Mateusz Skrzyniarz as SAP Champion and Jasmin Gruschke as SAP employee can't agree on what ABAP Cloud is tells something...

      What adds to the confusion is SAP's habit of renaming things all of the time.

      Kind regards

      Author's profile photo Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Mateusz Skrzyniarz
      Blog Post Author

      I'm sure the understanding is the same or very similar. It's more about drawing the line and including enough content in a 2-line description. This is challenging!

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      Thanks for sharing!

      I have to really hold myself to not get into a long argument on semantics but some obvious stuff:

      1. It's spelled RISE with SAP.
      2. RAP is "RESTful Application Programming Model", hence it's referred to as ABAP RAP. If A in RAP was already for ABAP, that wouldn't make any sense, would it?
      3. It's the first time I hear about "Track"... Did you mean transport route ? Not quite sure why this is on the list here... It's neither modern nor significant.

      I would suggest to use full names consistently, otherwise it's just "Fiori" but then "SAP Build", why?

      It's admirable effort but with SAP's renaming addiction, I think some of this will have a very short life span. 🙂 Unless you plan on coming back and updating "SAP Build" to "SAP Rise and Grow, then Build, now with more Cloud" or whatever atrocity SAP decides to rename it to in 1, 2...

      Author's profile photo Horst Keller
      Horst Keller

      In fact, terminology work is tedious work, especially in times of evolving technology. It is not simple to define glossary terms that are technically correct, consistent, and that do not contradict product names (from SAP Basis over SAP Netweaver to ABAP Platform).

      In the ABAP environment we are working at the ABAP Glossary, constantly growing, constantly changing, far from perfect, but at least we try.

      Regarding "Modern SAP Technology" you might refer to ABAP Platform, where we tried to put  important concepts into context. Many technical terms are listed and linked there.


      Author's profile photo lucina scott
      lucina scott

      Thanks for sharing! Step by Step Guides...

      Modern SAP technology refers to the latest advancements and innovations within the SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) ecosystem. SAP is a leading provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and various other business solutions.