SAP Extension Suite


SAP Extension Suite, the Superglue for the Modern ERP

Development for SAP is no longer only the ABAP extensions and custom code that was developed on-premise on the SAP system itself. Today’s developers are increasingly asked to develop multi-experience applications, which may include mobile, bots, analytics, and business extension applications.

An SAPinsider benchmark report on Application Strategies and Development for SAP S/4HANA and Cloud discovered that the applications most in development now are custom apps for SAP S/4HANA (31%) and SAP Fiori applications (30%). However, new application development is being planned in areas such as cloud applications on SAP Business Technology Platform (38%), custom apps for SAP S/4HANA (33%), and low-code/no-code platforms (28%).

SAP Extension Suite, the Superglue for the Modern ERP

Development for SAP is no longer only the ABAP extensions and custom code that was developed on-premise on the SAP system itself. Today’s developers are increasingly asked to develop multi-experience applications, which may include mobile, bots, analytics, and business extension applications.

An SAPinsider benchmark report on Application Strategies and Development for SAP S/4HANA and Cloud discovered that the applications most in development now are custom apps for SAP S/4HANA (31%) and SAP Fiori applications (30%). However, new application development is being planned in areas such as cloud applications on SAP Business Technology Platform (38%), custom apps for SAP S/4HANA (33%), and low-code/no-code platforms (28%).

The major developers focus on what platform they can use to deliver modern applications such as analytics, bots/voice, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) that can integrate with SAP effectively. In addition, they are assessing if low-code/no-code platforms can be a viable option to accelerate migration and rollouts.

Understanding this burgeoning need for developing extensions around SAP S/4HANA, SAP has bundled several tools under the name SAP Extension Suite, which is part of the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

The value proposition for SAP Extension Suite is to:

  1. Deliver applications faster using many prebuilt content, ready-made services and tools.
  2. Enable automation through no-code tools and prebuilt industry content.
  3. Enable seamless experiences across many devices, including mobile, bots, voice, etc.

To deliver the value proposition, SAP Extension Suite includes components such as SAP AppGyver for low-code development, SAP Business Application Studio for extending business applications, SAP Conversational AI for voice and bot applications, SAP Mobile Development Kit (MDK) for mobile applications, and SAP native SDKs for iOS and Android as well as the SAP Fiori design system and design platform for pre-built common applications for thousands of use cases.

This valuable article Extend Your Core Business Applications and Drive Your Business Forward with SAP Extension Suite outlines the various ways in which SAP Extension Suite provides extensibility and walks through the various steps in the process of utilizing it.

Skills are always a major issue in development, as the above-mentioned report found. SAP Extension Suite offers options of different technologies and programming languages. Various options and runtime environments are available on the SAP BTP: ABAP environment, Cloud Foundry runtime and Kyma runtime.

Yet, a thoughtful selection is important based on the expertise available as well as current and future applications. If developers are moving from the on-premise era to the cloud, they may only have ABAP knowledge. So, the decision to have an extension written in ABAP that will finally run on the ABAP environment in the cloud is obvious.

On the other hand, if your development team consists mainly of developers with Node.js skills, then it is most likely to develop an extension using SAP’s Node.js-based Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP). The deployment then takes place on the SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry environment.

There is an exciting range of applications that are possible in today’s platforms. Companies like ServiceNow and Pillir.io provide significant sets of prebuilt apps in their low-code platforms. Consultants such as Cognizant, cbs Consulting, Capgemini, and TechMahindra can provide the expertise to drive innovation.

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