At TechEd last week, SAP introduced SAP Build, the latest iteration of its low-code concept designed to provide an environment to give business users access to the end-to-end processes, data, and context for building applications within its enterprise suite of software.
It’s based on the SAP Business Technology Platform, a piece of middleware that sits between applications in a way that the vendor claims will allow users to build and augment enterprise applications, automate processes, and design business websites with “drag-and-drop simplicity.”
The German-speaking user group DSAG presented its viewpoint with CEO Jens Hungershausen and CTO Sebastian Westphal welcoming SAP Build as a solution that can be effective in reducing the shortage of skilled workers in many areas of SAP software development and reducing the “shadow IT” problem.
But they also made reservations. “It should be clear to everyone that this solution is not a replacement for classic software development, and therefore it remains to be seen how far the offering will prove itself in practice,” they said in a statement.
It was a positive step to allow SAP Build to closely integrate with core SAP products, existing IT governance and security concepts, and to be upgradeable and capable of being launched in the long term, the statement said. “IT departments must ultimately ensure the operational capability of the entire SAP solution and every company must be able to provide information about business and IT processes to auditors and accountants at any time.”
However, large companies running enterprise SAP software were still grappling with end-of-life dates for many long-running solutions. “SAP roadmaps are still too much rush here and require priority implementation – the new SAP Build offering is no remedy here,” said the user group, which represents companies using SAP in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
He also noted that SAP Build was biased towards a cloud-first strategy, something that users are still skeptical about.
Integration with a cloud-focused business technology platform showed that SAP has been consistently following the path into the cloud-only world. “From the DSAG’s point of view, this path is entirely appropriate and understandable. However, as one of our recent surveys has shown, a significant number of our member firms remain highly engaged in the in-company environment.”
In addition to SAP Build, the vendor has offered low-code methods including AppGyver, a partnership with specialist Mendix, and a different SAP technology called Ruum.
Talking to logBharat Sandhu, SVP of Application Development Platform and Artificial Intelligence at SAP, said that low code has been an evolution for most companies, including SAP. “What we’ve been very focused on is making sure we can deliver good value to our customers through what we’ve learned in the past. And we’ll hear from customers as we work with them every day. SAP Build is an evolution of our low-code strategy. What it really does is it combines our previously unconnected products into One unified development experience.”
He said SAP includes enterprise capabilities such as in-platform authentication. ®