Why should we use ABAP in SAP

I am currently talking to many customers about exactly this question: “In our SAP development department we are 10 ABAP developers with different levels of knowledge. How do we best prepare for S / 4HANA to keep up? " There is great uncertainty and there are many unanswered questions:

  • What does the S / 4HANA system actually look like technically?
  • Do our previous developments still work under S / 4HANA?
  • What is the lack of knowledge to develop in S / 4HANA?

As a first starting point, you can use the following 5 tips, which I would be happy to give you. I also exchange ideas with customers at our networking events for SAP development at regular intervals - please visit https://mindsquare.de/events/.

SAP development under S / 4HANA [e-book]

SAP development under S / 4HANA: Everything about Core Data Services (CDS), ABAP development on HANA & CDS views and their architecture

SAP development under S / 4HANA [e-book]

Tip 1: bring light into the dark!

Even if it is hard to believe: SAP S / 4HANA is not rocket science! In order to lose the initial uncertainty with regard to the unknown system, simply grapple with it. A demo system that you can easily set up via the cloud is suitable for this. Alternatively, a little theory is enough to reassure the experienced ABAP developer:

  • SAP S / 4HANA is based on a SAP NetWeaver ABAP Application Server, version 7.50 or higher => the entire range of ABAP languages ​​is available there (on-premise!),
  • SAP S / 4HANA is based on a SAP HANA database that many customers are already using,
  • All pure Z developments will run on the new system without any complications to be expected.

With this knowledge, the first bad gut feeling subsides. Nevertheless, a look into an S / 4HANA system usually creates a better impression. You can set up a private test version as described here: https://blogs.sap.com/2018/12/12/sap-s4hana-fully-activated-appliance-create-your-sap-s4hana-1809-system- in-a-fraction-of-the-usual-setup-time /.

Tip 2: Get to know the S / 4HANA Development Model

With a view to maintainability, software quality and uniformity, SAP introduced the first “Development Model” some time ago. Behind this is a predefined technical architecture from the database layer to the surface, which future SAP applications should be based on. Over the past five years, the model has been adapted in some details - and as is usual with SAP, the name has changed every time. From “S / 4HANA Development Model” to “ABAP Development Model for SAP Fiori” to the new “RESTful ABAP Programming Model” you will find a similar structure every time. For example, start here to get a first brief overview: https://erlebe-software.de/knowhow/abap-restful-programming-model/.

Tip 3: decide what you want to learn

If you have taken tip 2 to heart, the question arises:

Which of the technologies listed in the new SAP Development Model do you already master and which do you still have to learn?

Answering this question doesn't just affect you, it affects your entire development team. In addition to these technologies, there are other aspects:

  • How do you want to develop in the future?
  • To what extent should abapGit or Clean ABAP find their way into your everyday life?
  • What about technologies like BRF +, which are also gaining importance under S / 4HANA?

Make a decision as to which topics are of interest to you at all. It makes sense to have an internal plan of how your applications should be designed in the future, also with a view to the SAP user experience. If you need help with this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Tip 4: create security with a SAP Readiness Check (2.0)

Many developers have stomach ache when they think of S / 4HANA. They fear unmanageable expenses for necessary adjustments. In addition, it is not at all clear what needs to be done - where is it technically necessary and how can we prepare a change in a meaningful way?

A good first start is the SAP Readiness Check 2.0. The tool is provided by SAP free of charge for customers and with a little patience, the check for various aspects such as hardware sizing, necessary custom code adjustments, problems due to S / 4HANA simplifications and used business processes can be carried out independently. This gives you a first impression of where something needs to be done - and whether the situation is really as hopeless as it seems without preparation ;-). I am happy to answer any questions about the readiness check.

Tip 5: get started!

All new challenges have one thing in common: They only lose their mystical status when they are actually tackled! It is not necessary to do everything at once. Take one step at a time. Start with a plan:

  • What can we technically check / prepare today so that we can evaluate the data in half a year or a full year?
  • What preparations do we want to carry out in what period of time in order to facilitate the conversion project?
  • Which technologies do we want to integrate into our daily work and when - and by when do we have to have learned them?

Divide up the tasks, and everyone will do their part to slowly but surely pave the way towards S / 4HANA. So many of my customers are currently getting started without falling into stress with great uncertainty.

How do you go your way as an ABAP developer towards S / 4HANA? I appreciate your comments on this topic. You are also welcome to speak to me personally for an exchange on your ideas and questions.

Christoph Lordieck

My name is Christoph Lordieck. A few years of project and implementation experience has not yet satisfied my thirst for knowledge and I am constantly looking for new topics and technical developments in the ABAP environment. I look forward to your question or suggestion!