User Experience Insights
No-Code Guide: SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Build Apps Data Visibility
As a business practitioner (aka Citizen Developer) the use of technology can be complicated and time consuming. In this use case, a business lead can follow easy, straightforward steps to show sample SAP S/4HANA Cloud data visibility in SAP Build Apps using the SAP BTP Cockpit.
From the video and blog below, you will learn what took me years to figure out: leveraging an API (Application Program Interface); exploring how the SAP Business Acceleration Hub (formerly SAP Business API Hub) works; and providing a secure integration approach, which in turn helps build skills and confidence.
Upon reviewing this tutorial guide, with business colleagues, who have very little experience using these tools, the steps took 25 minutes to achieve success. It may take you a bit longer, but the good news: it works!
Guideline: This video provides everything you need to know for a step-by-step experience. It moves at a fast pace (10:47) for all who want to see data visibility in these strategic areas. Once you have read the blog’s “Overview” the first time… you can subsequently skip over it and scroll down to Section 1.0 to get started.
No-Code Prerequisites: Desire to deliver value, impact, and innovation. Zero SAP Build Apps or related SAP or 3rd-party program, apps, tool enablement skills required. Beginner, intermediate, and experts are all welcome!:-)
Let’s have some fun… leave a comment below to confirm: it works!
Overview: Why is SAP Build Apps data visibilty important?
Around the SAP Community, there are business colleagues who want to harness powerful products such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Build Apps, third-party programs, and BIG data to address compelling business challenges, trends, and priorities.
Until recently the thought of a business person leveraging APIs and complicated SAP BTP navigation was daunting. In my professional journey, I tried it several times and could not make it work. Thanks to SAP Build products, SAP Build Apps, SAP Build Process Automation, and SAP Build Work Zone, there is an ability to achieve new breakthroughs.
There are many reasons why business professionals should consider leveraging these tools:
- 77% of the world’s transactions touch SAP systems and 400,000+ companies use SAP software.
- ~65 billion (USD) is the low-code/no-code platform market forecast by 2027 (Statista).
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud is recognized as a leading Service-Centric Enterprise product according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant.
In this tutorial, discover how you can make SAP S/4HANA Cloud “Master Product” data visible using an API from the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
As a result, you can set the stage by developing tests, proof of concepts, business cases, and live production rollouts which help drive operational efficiencies, enhance customer experiences, address sustainability (e.g., green ledger), and support decision-making.
First See the Forest Then the Trees – Setting the Stage
For Citizen Developers, up until recent times it was difficult, if not impossible to achieve how this diagram works. The above video and steps below are designed to demystify the navigation required to ensure it works. Seeing the forest first helps us business people know what we’re getting into.
Let’s frame up what you are about to achieve.
Goal: Enable data flows from SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Build Apps in the fewest, most succinct steps to ensure a seamless information exchange.
- Option A: If your organization has SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP BTP, and SAP Build Apps ask for a test instance.
- Option B: If not or if it’s too difficult to get access then leverage free trials. That’s what I did!
What Will You Learn?
- How to set-up a free SAP BTP Cockpit and SAP Build App subaccount, which will be part of the SAP BTP environment.
- How to use the SAP Business Accelerator Hub (formerly SAP API Build Hub) to emulate an SAP S/4HANA Cloud environment to save time.
- The learning journey continues, beyond this tutorial:
- Drive enterprise automation for SAP S/4HANA with SAP Build
- SAP Build Apps – Learn to develop applications for web and mobile and to extend business applications without writing any code.
- Extending SAP S/4HANA with SAP Build Apps and Key User Extensibility
- SAP Build Apps – Build apps quickly with low-code
- Help Center – What is SAP Build Apps?
- SAP Builders Group – Highly recommend all Citizen Developers to join!
Note: Remember to watch the in-app videos at the bottom of SAP Build Apps UI Canvas.
1.0: How-to Steps – Data Flow from SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP Build Apps
- 1.1: Setting up the Environment: Get Ready > Set > Go
- 1.2: Launch SAP Build Apps
- 1.3: The Fun Part – Accessing Data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud
- 1.4: SAP Business Accelerator Hub
- 1.5: Authentication from SAP Build Apps to the SAP BTP Cockpit
- 1.6: The Fun Part – See the Data
- 1.7: Summary & Next Steps
- 1.8: Acknowledgements – A Big Thank You!!!
Preface: Thank you for your patience to go through these steps below. They are as succint as possible. Mostly images. Have a cup of coffee, tea, or glass of water… Find a quiet space and sit back… enjoy the process. The text and print screens provide a clear path and will save you many hours of time figuring it out on your own.
And yes, I had help from experts when I hit a wall (see 1.8: Acknowledgements below).
1.1: Setting up the Environment: Get Ready > Set > Go
First set-up a free SAP BTP trial account, which allows you to set-up a free SAP Build Apps subaccount. For this step, I highly recommend this SAP Learning, Set Up SAP Build Apps (with Booster) on SAP BTP Trial Account by Daniel Wroblewski.
You will follow the directions in the tutorial including clicking into the “Booster” area and searching for SAP Build Apps.
Once your SAP BTP and SAP Build Apps is enabled you’ll find the key subscription in the “Instances and Subscriptions” area in the “Trial” area..
The result is that you will have an SAP BTP Cockpit with an “Instances and Subaccount” (orange arrows above).
Reminder: Remember this path to the “Instances and Subscriptions.” You may need to get back to it.
Important Tip: Look for an email to activate SAP Build Apps. Otherwise you’ll wonder what happened!:-)
1.2: Launch SAP Build Apps
From the “Subaccount” click on SAP Build Apps to launch it. Put in your credentials (aka “authenticate). In the “Lobby” click on “Create” then “Build an Application” and choose a “Web & Mobile Application” fill in the information to create a new test project (e.g., S4-Test).
Great job! Now you’ve made great progress!
1.3: The Fun Part – Accessing Data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud
Next return to the SAP BTP Cockpit and click on the “trial” (orange square).
Next click on “Connectivity” then “Destinations” and click on “New Destinations.” Now fill in a “Name” (e.g., S4-Product) and you will proceed to the next step with the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
We will need a URL for that (2nd arrow on the right), so let’s go to the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
1.4: SAP Business Accelerator Hub
Once you are in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub (formerly SAP Business API Hub).
Let’s choose “S/4HANA Cloud” (see image below).
|Tip: What’s great about the SAP Business Accelerator Hub is that you can simulate an SAP S/4HANA Cloud API and data set without having to set-up an actual SAP S/4HANA Cloud test or leverage a production site. Ideal for tests or proof of concepts.|
>>>Next click on “APIs” then “ODATA V2” tabs and type in “Product Master” (orange arrow) (for this example) and click on “Product Master (A2X).”
|Note: Product Master (A2X) is just used for these instructions. Feel free to try out other examples separately. It was picked, because in a video I reviewed it worked!:-)|
Now scroll down to the “Configuration Details” and there’s the Sandbox URL we need to copy.
In the SAP BTP Cockpit create a “New Property.”
|Tip: Make sure you are in the SAP BTP Cockpit area (see the 2nd image in Section 1.3 with the arrows.)|
- Make sure you have filled in the “Name” (S4-Products).
- Copy and paste the “Sandbox URL” from the SAP Business Accelerator Hub into the URL (noted below with the asterisk).
Next click on “Edit” at the bottom of “Additional Properties” and then “New Property.”
>>>You will type in the following 4 “New Property” items to create and configure the destinations. The first 2 are drop downs and the 2nd two must be typed in explicitly (exactly as you see them below in the blue font).
HTML5.DynamicDestination = true
WebIDEEnabled = true
AppgyverEnabled = true
URL.headers.APIkey = << API Key Code >>
(Note: The code is found on SAP Business Accelerator Hub when you’re logged in. Top right. You must copy and paste it in this spot highlighted in blue. See image below.)
|Tip: Originally, I was confused by having to type in AppgyverEnabled, since the product is now the SAP Build Apps. but it works so go with it.|
Here’s the spot where you will get the “Show API Key”… click on it to get the API Key Code (Orange Box).
Copy the API Key and then paste it to the cell to the right of URL.headers.APIkey.
In this example it begins with HZAH… (Your code will be different).
So then click on “install integration” and “Save” and then “Enable Data Entity” and click on “Save.”
And “Save” (bottom left).
1.5: Authentication from SAP Build Apps to the SAP BTP Cockpit
- Go to the SAP Build Apps “UI Canvas”
- Click at the top on “Auth” and then “Enable Authentication” and then select “SAP BTP Authentication.”
|Why do these steps matter? So that these two systems can share secure data with each other.|
|Tip: You can get rid of the text/instructions at the bottom by clicking on the box at the bottom.|
1.6: The Fun Part – See the Data
Now go back into SAP Build Apps and click on the “Data” tab and “Add Integration” (Right Arrow).
Next Click on BTP Integrations (bottom right button).
You can see the destination, “S4-Products” and click on it (see arrow).
Now you can see the data which is simulated from SAP S/4HANA Cloud using the SAP Business Accelerator Hub! And you can click on “Browse Real Data” to
Here’s the data (image below)! You did it!
1.7: Summary & Next Steps
Hopefully you got this far and found success! Congratulations!!!
Once data flows between systems works, then business people can develop proof of concepts, business cases, and live enterprise-wide and department level production rollouts per their organization’s governance process.
Let’s harness the power of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other SAP products/solutions/innovations with SAP Build Apps and other SAP Build products: SAP Build Process Automation and SAP Build Work Zone.
In order plant to take this opportunity to the next level…
- Let’s grow the voice of the business practitioners to pave the way in using these tools.
- Let’s turn complexity into “do ability!”
- Let’s welcome the teaming between business practitioners and technology experts.
Encourage more instructions that are easy and straight forward for Citizen Developers to follow.
And it would be awesome learn what you’re planning to do with this knowledge. What breakthroughs are now possible? Feel free to leave a comment below.
1.8: Acknowledgements – A Big Thank You!!!
A special heartfelt thanks to a few friends and colleagues!
As I said in another blog, sometimes we business people need expert’s help. So my deepest appreciation for…
- Beatrice Pasch who showed me how-to’s, an excellent video, and answered questions.
- Daniel Wroblewski who framed up the best path forward and showed me the way including his learning journey on set-up and boosters covered below.
- Phillip Mugglestone who did the amazing video, BTP Onboarding: Pay as You Grow, which was pointed out to me by Beatrice on Denys van Kempenblog, “SAP BTP Developer Onboarding | SAP Build Apps.”
- Esmee Xavier who did the Spotlight Interview and encouraged me to continue forward with my thoughts around Citizen Development including the “coloring book” analogy! 🙂
- And my team (Jenny, Erin, and Nikki) who provide encouragement and listened to the progress of these steps including a successful outcome.
Without these experts, I would be stuck in the mud! A B I G t h a n k y o u!!!
Pass this blog forward so that others can build their Citizen Developer skills and confidence that they can do it! Share a comment below with the simple word: “Completed!”
Visit the SAP Builders group to engage with a community of peers to unleash innovation!
O.K. Together we can do it!