Why SAP Build Code is a Game-Changer for SAP Developers
Last year at TechEd, we released SAP Build – our unified low-code environment to create web and mobile apps, automate processes, and design business sites through intuitive drag-and-drop simplicity. SAP Build has achieved significant momentum over the past year with thousands of customers globally, enabling both business users and technical developers to achieve new levels of efficiency and innovation.
Following that success, today I am excited to introduce SAP Build Code, a new solution for those who prefer a code-first approach with a simplified experience, optimized for SAP development, and enhanced fusion team collaboration.
Supercharged development with generative AI
Envision this: You can build business applications rapidly using AI code generation, including generating app logic, data models, services, and sample data from natural language descriptions. SAP Build Code makes this a reality. Furthermore, it simplifies the developer journey with guided experiences and pre-built templates for building full-stack, back-end, and mobile applications.
Tailored for SAP development
What sets SAP Build Code apart is its optimization for SAP-focused development. Loaded with pre-integrated APIs and business services, it delivers seamless connectivity to SAP and third-party applications – increasing your productivity levels. Built on the foundation of SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), the solution benefits from many proven SAP BTP capabilities including trusted security for authentication, authorization, and data protection. This way, SAP Build Code provides a “fast lane” to cleanly extend your enterprise systems like SAP S/4HANA.
Enhanced fusion development
Using SAP Build Code, developers can easily fuse programming languages and low-code into their development projects. Furthermore, since collaboration is key for most development projects, SAP Build Code stands out for enabling developers and business experts to work together – through app composability and reusability of project artifacts across SAP Build low-code tools, SAP Build Code and the ABAP Environment on SAP BTP. Rounding it off, built-in governance unites all project stakeholders and allows IT to maintain control while emphasizing security.
Stay with me and have a look at how SAP Build Code affects every phase of the development lifecycle in more detail. ⬇️
SAP Build Code accelerates the time to realize value for your development projects with streamlined onboarding, including automated environment setup and one-click provisioning of essential SAP BTP services for cloud and hybrid applications. The essential services included are those most used to develop secure and high-performing enterprise applications.
The pre-configured essential services included with SAP Build Code are:
- SAP Business Application Studio, pre-configured for high-productivity development using the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP) and SAPUI5.
- SAP Mobile Services, with industry-leading tools and services for developing enterprise mobile apps, including the mobile development kit and the native SAP BTP SDKs for iOS and Android.
- SAP Build Work Zone, Standard Edition, a unified access point to deliver customized experiences on top of applications, processes, information, and data on any device.
- SAP Document Management service, for securely storing and managing business documents and attachments.
- SAP Continuous Integration and Delivery service and SAP Cloud Transport Management, for enterprise-class DevOps.
- SAP Alert Notification service for SAP BTP, for publishing alerts and for consumers to receive real-time alerts that may interest your business and operations.
- SAP Audit Log service, for creating secure and compliant audit logs for all operations performed within your applications.
- SAP Cloud Logging, for robust and scalable application-level logging.
Developing and testing
As mentioned, generative AI significantly accelerates development productivity with SAP Build Code. Other key capabilities that improve the developing and testing experience include:
- SAP Build Lobby as a single-entry point for all SAP Build Code projects and functions, and as a central hub to manage and monitor them. It also facilitates navigation and fusion collaboration on development projects. From the Lobby, you can instantly access the cloud development environment in SAP Business Application Studio for end-to-end full-stack application development.
- Visual programming tools and guided wizards grounded on proven best practices improve productivity by making it easy to create full-stack web and mobile applications based on CAP, SAPUI5, SAP Fiori elements, SAP Mobile Services.
- Development tools designed for CAP leverage the programming model’s capabilities, SAP BTP service integrations and cloud qualities for easy back-end creation. CAP simplifies the definition of data models and services, using CDS (Core Data Services) for entity-relationship model creation and making it possible to expose data models as OData services. For application logic, CAP provides Node.js or Java runtime. CAP’s powerful abstraction of the essential SAP BTP services into a declarative model eliminates boilerplate code, reduces technical debt, and future-proofs your solutions.
- Integration of SAPUI5 and SAP Fiori elements for developing consistent and user-friendly web interfaces – the SAP Fiori tools can be used to develop, test, and deploy SAP Fiori UIs. SAP Fiori elements provide an efficient way to create web UIs with predefined floorplans, that always include the current UX without the need for adaptation in the application code. UI apps built with SAP Fiori elements rely on OData metadata annotations and various configurations, offering extensive functionality for standard business applications. SAPUI5, which is the foundation of SAP Fiori elements, offers a high degree of flexibility for building custom web apps. Both are supported in SAP Build Code and provide enterprise qualities like accessibility, internationalization, keyboard support and extensibility.
- A seamless integration with SAP Mobile Services enables capabilities like offline data synchronization, push notifications, and advanced app management out-of-the-box. With the mobile development kit, you can build SAP Fiori mobile apps that can run natively on both iOS and Android platforms from a single codebase.
- A storyboard providing a graphical view of an application’s data models, external resources, services, and UI front ends of the application, as well as the connections between them. This allows for a quick understanding of the application’s structure and components.
- An optional switch to the generated code allows manual code exploration and enhancement using text editors.
- One-click provisioning and an integrated sandbox for local testing with mock data further accelerate the development process.
- Debugging tools assist in early pinpointing and resolving issues during development. When transitioning to testing with real data and external services, you can easily modify the setup to include live databases and services.
- Fusion development capabilities enable the consumption of SAP Build Code project artifacts across SAP Build low-code solutions.
Integrating and connecting
Key capabilities impacting this phase of development include:
- Service Center to directly access SAP API Enterprise Hub, SAP Business Accelerator Hub, and more from a single point, for simplified integration of data from various systems.
- Support of event-driven application patterns with defined and easily consumable publish and subscribe services for exchanging SAP business events.
- Integration and interoperability with SAP Build low-code tools and SAP BTP ABAP environment enable application composability and collaboration with technical developers coding and business experts building as citizen developers.
Deploying and operating
And finally, the key capabilities of SAP Build Code in this phase of the development process include:
- One-click deployment for everything from database schemas to UIs to your runtime on SAP BTP. Integration with SAP’s Continuous Integration and Delivery service (CI/CD) ensures efficient development cycles and strengthens IT governance while reducing overhead and lowering cost.
- SAP Cloud Transport Management manages software deliveries across different environments, ensuring transparency and clear audit trails of changes to stay compliant. This also enables people with distinct roles to participate in the process. For example, you can allow individual developers to initiate changes in the development environment, while centralized teams are responsible for deployment to the test and production environments.
- Built-in services like identity authorization, application logging, and auto-scaling ensure applications are enterprise-ready upon initial deployment.
Accelerating developer productivity and innovation
SAP Build Code supercharges application development on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) by bringing together essential tools and services and delivering a distinctive user experience. It leverages generative AI in Joule to generate code from simple language descriptions, boosting productivity. Furthermore, its unique fusion development approach promotes collaboration between developers of all skill levels, working with classical programming and low-code projects. SAP Build Code simplifies and streamlines the work of SAP developers and helps organizations ensure robust governance while lowering their total cost of development.