SAP Cloud Platform-SAP’s recent release of ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform indicates that ABAP programmers have a future working in SAP programming, albeit one that relies more on DevOps and Agile methodologies to release new features and upgrades to existing systems. Experts see this move as a way to extend SAP S/4HANA, while still enabling developers to utilize their core skill sets with the new methodology.
ABAP hasn’t been at the center of innovation for SAP for quite some time, according to Tamas Szirtes, group innovation director at SOA People. But the release of ABAP in SAP Cloud Platform, coupled with new ABAP releases, is bringing new energy to improve ABAP, which, in turn, will offer a lot to developers, he said.
While the ABAP environment in the cloud is built on the new programming model, it’s not quite the same ABAP that developers have used for the last couple of decades. Szirtes noted that older development methods aren’t supported, and that a DevOps programming model is required to use the new model. Additionally, developers need to ensure they’re familiar with ABAP Core Data Services (CDS) and how to connect data to CDS, he added.
“A lot of ABAP developers have been developing code for 10, 12 years,” Szirtes said. “They have to learn techniques to work in this environment.”
CDS will be critical
SAP has done a reasonably good job presenting its vision for ABAP and where it is going, said Graham Robinson, an independent developer. Nothing new is on the horizon; SAP is still building out its ABAP capabilities in the cloud.
However, CDS will be an important technology to watch. According to Robinson, CDS is the new way of building a data model, which will be the same across any SAP technology. Right now, developers don’t need the SAP Cloud Platform to build a data model, but CDS will fundamentally change the way developers build applications.