Steampunk is going all-in | SAP Blogs


In Poker, going all-in can imply you’re actually determined. Or fairly assured that it’s the correct factor to do. Judging by the spirit of optimism in our ABAP Platform dev groups, I don’t assume we’re determined, and listed below are a few of the explanation why:

  • The ABAP Platform unit has kind of rejuvenated. Greater than half of our workers have joined us in the course of the previous 4 years. ABAP is prepared for the years to return.
  • We really feel we’re related. Our greatest situation now could be to deal with the rising demand of shoppers, companions, and inner stakeholders. Might be worse.
  • We’ve invented Embedded Steampunk. Along with working side-by-side on the SAP Enterprise Expertise Platform (BTP), the Steampunk dev mannequin will now be supplied for extensions immediately inside SAP S/4HANA as effectively, each within the Cloud and on-prem. Therefore the pun: all-in. See beneath to be taught extra.

It’s been two years after our final weblog put up in August 2019. About time once more to anticipate the questions you might need and, as at all times, actually reply them (resisting the urge to get carried away, which isn’t simple this time, as you will note ;-).

I’m misplaced already. Might you give us a fast recap what this Steampunk factor is all about?

I’ve discovered that roughly three quarters of the world’s enterprise transactions contact an SAP System. Most of them are in all probability working on ABAP, and doubtless on-prem. You’ll be able to argue in regards to the size of the transition interval, however there may be little doubt that sometime the software program changing as we speak’s enterprise transactions will run within the Cloud.

From my standpoint, there are two dangers for SAP. Primary, we might be too conservative and stick for too lengthy with outdated ideas which are now not required. And quantity two, we might be too radical and go away our present prospects behind, and even worse, introduce applied sciences with a brief half-life.

That is precisely why now we have invented Steampunk (aka SAP BTP ABAP Atmosphere) with a pointy focus: present an ABAP Platform that isn’t solely the benchmark for enterprise-readiness, as as we speak, however is Cloud-ready as effectively (I want this time period over Cloud-native). The principle Steampunk properties are:

  • a devoted secure public interface between platform and options on high, making certain upgrades with out hiccups,
  • an enterprise-ready surroundings for Cloud growth, together with a brand new ABAP language model and the ABAP RESTful Utility Programming Mannequin (RAP),
  • a Cloud-ready runtime surroundings with BTP integration, standardized system updates and configuration, and automatic operation,
  • a Cloud transition path for our present buyer base, rigorously balancing between the 2 dangers talked about above.
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Right now, Steampunk is obtainable on BTP solely, working side-by-side to the core ERP methods. With Embedded Steampunk, this may seriously change. And this variation will make the so-called clear core rather a lot cleaner. However let’s begin with Steampunk on BTP first.

Steampunk actuality examine – what occurred since your final weblog put up in Aug 2019, and what’s subsequent?

There may be nonetheless rather a lot to be achieved. We all know. But it surely feels as if we’re heading in the right direction, and what the groups have delivered in the course of the previous two years is just wonderful.

The prio 1 characteristic that was postponed in our final weblog put up has been delivered in 2020: help for multitenancy. This implies a major value discount for our companions who can now present a SaaS answer to a number of prospects inside the identical Steampunk system. For ABAP insiders: the Steampunk multitenancy structure is predicated on the Shopper area and thus offers full isolation between shoppers (tenants) with minimal prices per further shopper. For actual ABAP insiders: I feel with this now we have now applied all theoretically attainable multitenancy variants ;-).

Aside from that, Steampunk got here with so many enhancements that I wish to confer with Florian Wahl‘s launch weblog posts for all the main points. An improved ABAP language optimized for the Cloud, extra environment friendly help for builders, higher instruments for directors, migration instruments for ERP customized code, reuse companies, or extensibility for companions are just some of many.

And what are we at the moment engaged on? Properly, this record is lengthy, too. Price financial savings by elastic scaling of software servers with Kubernetes, zero-downtime updates, a discount of the minimal HANA reminiscence measurement (30GB as an alternative of 64GB), excessive availability and catastrophe restoration, extra information facilities and hyperscalers, to only title just a few objects. So, sufficient subjects for future weblog posts.

To me, the vital message for now could be that now we have a strong Cloud providing for all ABAP minded prospects and companions, regardless of the use case. Right now, Steampunk on BTP is stay within the following utilization situations:

  • prospects extending their ERP purposes side-by-side (clear core initiative)
  • companions providing SaaS purposes to their prospects
  • companions creating SAP Options Extensions for the SAP price record (e.g. Vistex)
  • SAP merchandise (e.g. Market Communications for Utilities, or SAP Grasp Knowledge Governance, Cloud Version)
  • SAP’s personal inner ERP extensions

Not sufficient? Properly, we’re engaged on one other one: Embedded Steampunk!

What’s Embedded Steampunk? Embedded the place? And why?

Steampunk is a good choice for loosely coupled side-by-side extensions or for companions providing SaaS options written in ABAP. That is considerably akin to the options that have been working side-by-side on NetWeaver. Let’s take a brief journey again in time.

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Within the on-prem world, prospects may adapt SAP software program by modifying it, or by writing customized code that would make use of any SAP object (purple within the drawing). There was no devoted secure and public interface, and that was precisely the rationale for annoying improve hiccups. With NetWeaver Standalone, it was a minimum of attainable to write down loosely coupled extensions with a lifecycle separated from the ERP core.

The scenario as we speak appears like this (a minimum of from the ABAP perspective, I’ll pass over our BTP Java and Node.js universes for simplicity).

Relating to the extension mechanism, nothing a lot modified on the on-prem aspect (backside left). However within the Cloud, it’s a should to solely provide Cloud-ready extension mechanisms that survive upgrades with out hiccups. For all loosely coupled ABAP situations, the answer is Steampunk on BTP (high proper), with a secure public interface (inexperienced) between platform and layers above.

Extending the ERP core side-by-side is nice for a lot of use circumstances. However not for all of them. Take into consideration customized code that should run near the app that’s being prolonged. Throughout the identical context, calling native APIs, e.g., to keep away from big information replication, or to run inside the identical logical unit of labor (database LUW). For these circumstances, S/4HANA Cloud thus far solely gives key-user extensibility (high left). A strong mechanism that enables for area extensions or customized enterprise logic however can’t be in comparison with the traditional extension prospects on developer stage. And providing the on-prem extension model is after all not an choice (not Cloud-ready, not upgrade-stable).

So right here we lastly go: Embedded Steampunk!

Internally, S/4HANA Cloud and Steampunk share the identical ABAP Platform code line anyway (marked blue), with Steampunk being a form of frontrunner for improvements. So, it’s only a logical subsequent step to embed the Steampunk growth mannequin immediately into the S/4HANA Cloud stack. Customized extensions developed with Embedded Steampunk now have the identical properties that made Steampunk Cloud-ready and upgrade-stable:

  • Utilization of secure public interfaces solely
  • No modifications of SAP code
  • Restricted utilization of the ABAP language and different applied sciences
  • Restricted utilization of system performance
  • Environment friendly growth with RAP

Growing extensions with Embedded Steampunk utilizing ADT (ABAP Growth Instruments) feels precisely like creating with Steampunk on BTP. With one vital further profit: Embedded Steampunk extensions can’t solely name the extra technical ABAP Platform interface (inexperienced), but in addition a neighborhood(!) public S/4 interface (orange) containing the enterprise performance (e.g., CDS views like I_Product, changing direct entry to desk MARA, or RAP facades for the creation of buy orders). In S/4HANA Cloud, the customized code itself is both an personal app or service, or applied by way of public extension factors, utilizing the well-known BADI know-how.

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In case you are an ABAP developer and keen to familiarize your self with RAP, with ADT as an alternative of SE80, or with clear APIs as an alternative of freestyle modifications, you’ll really feel immediately at dwelling with Embedded Steampunk. You should use all of the instruments and processes you already know. And these are the identical instruments and processes 1000’s of builders are utilizing every day at SAP.

Sounds good. Anything deliberate?

Sure. Embedded Steampunk for S/4HANA on-prem!

S/4HANA on-prem nonetheless permits for traditional extensions, shortening the migration path from the traditional ERP world, however leaving the improve points. With Embedded Steampunk in S/4HANA on-prem (backside left beneath), we wish to help the transformation of those methods to a cleaner core, with a secure public interface between SAP and extensions. After all, we can not implement such a transfer in a single day, as a result of huge quantity of traditional customized code and lacking public SAP APIs or extension factors. That’s the reason on-prem ABAP customized code can now set a flag telling the ABAP compiler whether or not to permit traditional code or implement strict Steampunk checks. On-prem S/4 prospects thus have a free selection on ABAP class stage: stick with the traditional extension technique or refactor it. For sure, refactoring makes the core cleaner step-by-step, decreasing improve points and making ready for a future transfer to the Cloud.

The Steampunk growth surroundings is precisely the identical in BTP, S/4HANA Cloud and S/4HANA on-prem. The native public S/4 enterprise interface (orange) is at the moment created utilizing the Cloud-first method however will develop over time in S/4 on-prem as effectively.

From our standpoint, Steampunk and Embedded Steampunk make the lengthy transition interval from on-prem to hybrid to Cloud rather a lot simpler. And each totally help the clear core technique.

Nice! However when is all this accessible?

Embedded Steampunk has already been briefly introduced as a lab preview at Sapphire 2021. We begin with S/4HANA Cloud and are at the moment gathering first buyer suggestions by way of an Early Adopter Program (by invitation solely), earlier than rolling this out to all prospects. Keep tuned for extra infos at SAP TechED 2021!

Final query: How did you draw these footage?

With GoodNotes on my daughter’s iPad. An awesome instrument if you wish to sketch one thing shortly … or spend hours and hours optimizing your drawings afterwards ;-).

September 30, 2021

Replace Oct 12: Why learn a 7-minute weblog put up in the event you can have all of it in a 1-hour video interview ;-).

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