SAP executive voices focused on extending and accelerating business application development, automation, cross-SAP and non-SAP integration, and analytics in product improvements revealed at this year's SAP TechEd hybrid conference.
Though their remarks primarily aimed at what SAP CTO Juergen Mueller called the more than “three million strong developer community,” keynotes included the usual developer-led demos as well as commentaries from early use customers, including technology leaders from the NHL, Barclays, Maersk, Apple, and 12-year-old Dak from Massachusetts.
“One of my absolute favorite things is programming and application development,” Dak, an early user of the new SAP Build, confessed in his video remarks.
“The No Code platform will help me develop into a full stack developer,” he added, reinforcing Mueller’s claims that with SAP Build “everyone can be a builder” and that “people of all skills levels can work together to solve problems” through app development.
Drag Drop Build
Sporting a t-shirt emphasizing one simple, key SAP message—Drag Drop Build—Mueller noted the new capabilities are designed to help customers overcome app development challenges, achieve clean core operations, and reduce manual tasks and time through automation.
The new capabilities (highlighted in more detail below) lean into the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and SAP Signavio, which Mueller dubbed “the business operating system for everything.”
In addition to his technology-focused remarks and interplay with customers, Mueller said SAP will “redouble efforts to upskill” at least two million people, including developers, globally by 2025 to help fill the chronic tech skills shortage. SAP also announced a partnership with Coursera to train and award SAP certifications.
In the demo- and customer-conversation intense second-day keynote, Philipp Herzig led a rapid-fire highlights tour of “how all applications are coming together on BTP,” the platform’s increasing integration capabilities, and how SAP SuccessFactors and customers, such as Red Bull, already leverage SAP Build, SAP BTP and SAP S/4HANA.
The session also included:
- Announcements related to shipment of SAP One Domain Model Master Data Integration for Cloud environments
- SAP Task Center capabilities for mobile platforms
- SAP-Google collaborations to integrate SAP S/4HANA systems and services with Google Workspace applications
- References to SAP Intelligent Spend and Business Network announcements at the recent Spend Connect Live.
SAP kicked off TechEd by introducing SAP Build, an integrated low-code development suite that SAP leaders described as the annual event’s “marquee announcement.”
Bringing together three previously released development tools for SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) with enhanced low-code capabilities, the SAP Build suite combines SAP AppGyver’s low-code development environment (rebranded as SAP Build Apps) with SAP Process Automation and SAP Work Zone solutions.
SAP Build, an evolution of the SAP low-code portfolio of BTP, now enables business users to more easily create and augment enterprise applications, automate previously manual processes, and design more dynamic business sites.
Billed by SAP CEO Christian Klein as a “unified developer experience,” SAP Build is designed to suit the needs of users at various skill levels, emphasizing accessibility and user experience with visual tools and an extensive set of services and pre-built content. Addressing a global shortage of skilled software developers, SAP Build will allow business users to be more hands-on while building digital solutions to pressing business issues—if one was to identify an overarching theme of TechEd, it was “developer tools for everyone.”
As an evolution of SAP AppGyver SAP Build Apps offers improved Cloud functionality, backend launching, and data modeling tools. SAP Build Process Automation now natively integrates with Signavio’s process mining and insights software and Google Workspace, allowing for enhanced automation around Google Sheets, Google Drive, and Google Calendar. Two versions of SAP Build Work Zone or building custom business sites will be on offer: the advanced edition, now generally available as the next incarnation of SAP Work Zone, and a standard edition, launching in early 2023 as an evolution of the SAP Launchpad service.
Leveraging the full power of SAP BTP and business application data from SAP, SAP Build will allow users to integrate systems more easily; intelligently monitor, analyze, and automate processes; and build applications without moving data to external systems. Given SAP Signavio integration, users will benefit from increased visibility into all their operations; business expertise capabilities are structurally ingrained within the platform, with more than 275,000 process reference points from 4,000 customers, as well as 1,300 use-case specific workflows and automations.
Additionally, TechEd allowed SAP leaders to announce the beta of SAP Start, an out-of-the-box central access point for SAP public Cloud solutions, featuring pre-configured business content from SAP and extensibility with SAP Build Work Zone. To further empower business users to utilize SAP Build, the SAP Builders program will serve as an introduction for users and help them maximize their SAP Build investment via hands-on sessions and forums to discuss best practices. Both announcements align with an SAP initiative to empower its users through learning.
TechEd also placed BTP in the spotlight, with SAP launching 10 new use cases to help customers get started with the platform while unveiling a range of new Cloud, analytics, and integration capabilities.
Customers can use SAP BTP in new cloud environments and locations from SAP and hyperscalers. The SAP HANA Cloud database is enabled as a foundation for creating new, intelligent data apps that are self-learning and adaptable, thanks to built-in algorithms for machine learning and AI.
Meanwhile, SAP announced a new, unified user experience in the SAP Analytics Cloud solution, simplifying analytics for visualization and analytical application building in an evolution of previously announced story experience enhancements aimed at improving user experience and elevating performance.
Out-of-the-box integrations include what SAP refers to as “improved functional integrations across leading end-to-end processes for the intelligent enterprise,” such as integrations between SAP Fieldglass and SAP S/4 HANA and between the SAP CPQ and SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management solutions.
Advanced event mesh, a new capability within SAP Integration Suite, is designed to complement the existing event mesh offering for more demanding scenarios, providing scalable, resilient real-time business transactional processing and optimizing operations through real-time visibility into the state of disparate applications.
SAP announced new releases in the expansion and evolution of its leading mobile app portfolio, including SAP Mobile Start, SAP Service and Asset Manager, SAP Ariba Shopping mobile app, and SAP Warehouse Operator.
Additionally, SAP announced a new implementation offering designed to dramatically reduce the time needed for users to start running SAP S/4HANA Cloud, streamlining the process to 30 days or less.