Extensibility in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition: Drive Business Agility for Business Success
- What`s New?
- Different Extensibility Options available
- How can I check the released SAP Objects to extend
- Further Reading Recommendations
I first discovered Cloud, Cloud Computing, Software Applications that operate in the cloud, and Data storage on the cloud, in the year 2008. I wasn’t sure if I was late to the party, but I recall thinking it may not be sustainable in the future. At that time, I was hesitant to transfer my data from the local disk to the cloud for several reasons. However, things have dramatically changed over the past one and a half decades. Nowadays, most of the data we use is stored on the cloud and the majority of the applications we use run on it. This is because Cloud is more accessible, reliable, scalable, and secure (over time). In most cases, companies running applications on the cloud do not have to worry about hosting, maintaining, or operating it, and they also have the option to pay only based on the usage.
Let’s turn our attention to Enterprise Applications, specifically SAP applications. Running ERP solutions on the cloud is far from straightforward, unlike social networking platforms or simple cloud storage solutions. ERP applications are highly complex and have unique business data and processes that are often customized to meet customer requirements. However, we are making significant strides towards a state where ERP customers feel confident hosting their solutions on the cloud.
I began my career working with SAP solutions on On-Premise Systems like many others. SAP has always been attuned to their customers’ needs and understands their business requirements well. The solutions and products offered by SAP are tailored to fit each customer’s unique needs, making it a preferred choice for various industries. Along with the vast potential that SAP On-Premise Solutions offers to run businesses efficiently, the most significant power is customizing the solutions uniquely for each customer’s business. However, the coin has two sides, and with more customization and flexibility, upgrades become more complicated. Customer systems need to be upgraded to be on the latest version, but since the solutions are heavily customized and far from the standard, upgrades require a lot of adjustments, leading to more time to run and more business downtime, which isn’t ideal for the business.
In the current era, intelligent ERP solutions and faster innovations are essential for customers. It is imperative to have the latest versions of ERP solutions with regular and faster upgrades, causing minimal impact on business operations. As a result, I believe that running ERP solutions on the cloud is the most promising and sustainable option for ERP customers. However, you may wonder(customer using ERP Solutions) about extending or customizing your solution. Your business is unique, so how can you fit into the standard solution provided to everyone? Will you no longer be able to customize your applications in the cloud?
The answer to these questions lies in Cloud Extensions and Extensibility, so I say ERP needs Extensibility!
SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides a new upgrade-stable cloud extensibility model that allows customers to consume SAP innovations smoothly, leading to future-proof extensions that are lifecycle compliant, that require no adaptations during cloud innovation cycles, as No modification to SAP objects is allowed and Only stable & reliable public interfaces and released objects from SAP can be used.
In this blog, I will talk about Extensibility in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition, which helps Drive Business Agility for Business Success. Extensibility is a key capability of every ERP solution, giving customers the power to customize their business processes and allowing partners to enrich ERP with tailor-made solutions, ultimately providing a competitive edge. Our goal is to increase awareness amongst SAP Customers and Partners about how extensibility can benefit their business with more customization and flexibility. We want to support them in adapting to the APAB Cloud Environment (aka Embedded Steampunk) in SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud. To achieve this, I will provide business examples and demos on my blog, and conduct live sessions, webinars, and much more. All of the details of the sessions, slides, recordings on demand, Q&A, and updates on upcoming events can be found in my blog.
If you want to start with the technical aspects, like the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extensibility Model, and various options to choose from, I have tried my best to provide this information also on the Second Part of the Blog
Webinar 1: Extensibility in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition: Sharing Experiences & Exploring Business POCs
- Use Cases and Technical Perspectives in Extensibility
- Diving into Extensibility Options
- Essential Key Steps to “Start your Extensibility Project”
- Demo: Sample Business Scenario
Date and Time: July 25th, 2 PM to 3 PM CEST
If you missed the live webinar, don’t worry. You can access the Session Presentation and Recording through the SAP Learning Hub. Find all necessary information, including answers to questions asked during the session, on this blog. Register-now-extensibility-in-sap-s-4hana-cloud-public-edition-drive-business-agility-for-business-success/
We have more webinars, podcasts, and Demos lined up. Be sure to check back regularly for updates on this Blog.
Business Example 1:
- Demo: Extend “Manage Sales Order App” by Custom Field ‘Sales Order Priority’ using Key User Extensibility and Developer Extensibility
- Area: Sales SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
The Demo shows how you can extend the standard Application by a ‘custom field’ in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public edition in a 3 System Landscape
Story: As a Sales Manager, I have to prioritize customers to provide special care for follow-ups. I need to be able to overview the Priority of my ‘Sales Orders’ based on the ‘date of order’, ‘order type’, and ‘sold to party’. The Current Landscape is 3SL.
Current State: While we have similar functionality in our current solution, it is not providing a priority based on the exact three fields mentioned.
Solution: “Manage Sales Order” App to be Extended by Custom Field, Sales Order Priority based on Date of order, Order Type and Sold to party.
- Check, if possible, to Extend this application by custom field.
- Find and Implement ‘appropriate APIs’ to fill this field.
- Find and Implement ‘enhancement points’ that will help to validate this field at the time of creation.
Business Example 2:
- Demo: Build a Custom Process Based on Standard Business Objects Using Developer Extensibility
- Area: Manufacturing in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition
This Demo was presented during the live session on Manufacturing in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition 2302, Early Release Series, watch out for the replay on demand!
The video below shows Niklas’ demo part, which I have cut from the recording of the session. In the video, my colleague Niklas Meinert explains the extensibility model and presents the demo example Build a Custom Process Based on Standard Business Objects Using Developer Extensibility that is published on the SAP Extensibility Explorer. The scenario extends the standard process order, followed by scheduling a custom application job that evaluates the process order to create defects.
More information on the scenario can be found on the blog by Gerhard here: https://blogs.sap.com/2023/02/06/manufacturing-in-sap-s-4hana-cloud-public-edition-2302/#6.
Business Example 3, Procurement in My Video:
The Business Example in My Video is explained here: https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey/develop-extensions-using-sap-s-4hana-cloud-abap-environment/exercise-implementing-a-simple-developer-extension_b3c25577-aece-4d38-8290-aa5ece13bca3
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition, is a ready-to-run Cloud ERP SaaS solution that provides the latest pre-configured industry best practices with continuous innovations and feature delivery. Unlike traditional SAP upgrade projects, here automated software updates run for all customers in parallel. The public edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides a new upgrade-stable cloud extensibility model that allows customers to consume SAP innovations smoothly, leading to future-proof extensions that are lifecycle compliant, that require no adaptations during cloud innovation cycles.
From the Cloud Release 2208, For the new customers, SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment (or development extensibility) is embedded directly into the S/4HANA Cloud stack with the 3SL. With this, SAP now provides powerful capabilities to develop cloud-ready and upgrade-safe extensions by combining the benefits of custom ABAP code, with the required characteristics for cloud readiness. From a customer standpoint, this opens up more possibilities for enhancing the scope of the solution, resulting in more added value.
- I would strongly suggest starting with the official ABAP Extensibility Guide to start from scratch and dive in-depth: ABAP Extensibility Guide
- For Technical ABAP Cloud development use cases, check out this guide: ABAP Cloud: Technical use cases and recommended technologies
There are two options available on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Stack.
- The first option, called Key User Extensibility (or in-app), is for low-code/no-code extensions created by key users such as adjusting the UI field layout, custom forms and templates, and custom analytics through CDS views.
- The second option is On-Stack Developer Extensibility for developer extensions that are directly implemented in ABAP on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud technology stack using the SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment. This option enables developers to create custom ABAP code, extend SAP S/4HANA Cloud solutions, and develop partner extensions.
- The 3rd option is Side-by-side extensibility for developer extensions using the development environment offered by SAP BTP. Our Focus in the video is On-Stack options.
Both On Stack options are based on the usage of mandatory public SAP APIs and SAP extension points. Side-by-side extensions can access SAP S/4HANA business objects through remote APIs that have been published in SAP’s API Business Hub.
This model clearly separates SAP code and extensions.
Here are some rules of the game:
- No modification to SAP objects is allowed
- Only stable & reliable public interfaces and released objects from SAP can be used
SAP Released Local Public APIs and local extension points can be seen directly in the system via ADT under the Release object tree. These are also available at the SAP API business hub along with CDS Views, other dev extension objects, and Remote APIs.
- SAP S/4HANA Business Accelerator Hub: https://api.sap.com/products/SAPS4HANACloud/developerextensibility/bointerface
- SAP Extensibility Explorer: https://extensibilityexplorer.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com/ExtensibilityExplorer/
For more information, please check this: https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey/develop-extensions-using-sap-s-4hana-cloud-abap-environment/navigate-and-find-the-released-objects-in-sap-s4hana-cloud-abap-environment_db2d3158-e5b4-486d-b948-5ca289619e75
If you’re eager to broaden your understanding, I’m happy to offer some suggestions for additional reading:
My Personal recommendation for beginners is to definitely check the learning journey below(*may require user in SAP Learning Hub): https://learning.sap.com/learning-journey/develop-extensions-using-sap-s-4hana-cloud-abap-environment/understandng-extensibility-framework-for-sap-s-4hana-cloud-_ffdc15c8-9e2b-4490-b037-0cf04447f2b9
- Key User Extensibility: https://blogs.sap.com/2022/11/21/sap-s-4hana-cloud-key-user-extensibility-easier-than-you-may-think/ (By Christina Adams)
- On-Stack Developer Extensibility(Embedded Steampunk): https://blogs.sap.com/2022/09/05/embedded-steampunk-some-more-details-for-abap-developers/ and https://blogs.sap.com/2022/12/22/abap-cloud/ (By Boris Gebhardt)
- Explained in a simplified way: https://blogs.sap.com/2022/11/15/sap-s-4hana-extensibility-simplified-guide-for-beginners/
Additionally, I really enjoyed reading the following blogs by Marco Valencia:
- Drive-competitive-advantage-through- differentiation-in-sap-s-4hana-cloud-public-edition-my-experiences-choosing-the- proper-cloud-extensibility-technique-to-achieve-business-outcomes
I appreciate you taking the time to read through this blog. I hope it has provided you with valuable insights. I will continue to update it with more information on business examples, upcoming sessions on extensibility, upcoming podcasts, and more. You can follow my blog for notifications. Thank you again for your attention, and I look forward to your continued engagement.
More Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud release blog posts here and previous release highlights here
- Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Early Release Webinar Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- openSAP Microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud topic page: here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here