SAP builds low(er) code bridge for business users

Software is scarce. To put it more bluntly, there is a relative shortage of software application developers worldwide who can build and, crucially, customize and modify the applications and services we all need every day.

In response, and as also mentioned here, SAP has followed broader technology industry trends and updated its platform with low-code technologies to democratize business user software.

Either through a clever marketing distortion or a divine fluke, the German software house has dubbed its latest offering SAP Build. The “build” label used to belong to more hardcore programmers and was (maybe coincidentally, maybe not) the name of Microsoft’s developer convention.

To please the ERP specialists, the announcement came at their SAP TechEd conference, an event with all the hackathons, developer beanbag zones, and unlimited Dr. Pepper that the average developer expects.

domain specialists

The next wave of business transformation will be achieved by unleashing the expertise of those who know best – business users – SAP says. This is arguably a wonderful New Age empowerment message, but it somewhat obscures the fact that for decades, business users have directly specified technology capabilities themselves, using a process known as “requirements,” in which software architects work with users to understand how applications need to be created.

Of course, in reality, this request process will still take place. This means that SAP empowers business people to add more front-end nuances, extensions, enhancements, connections, and customizations that users might need. These are by no means trivial changes that can make people’s jobs easier and more productive.

Built on the SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP Build is a low-code technology for business users, giving them direct, secure access to the end-to-end processes, data, and context they need to make smarter decisions meeting. The offering empowers business users with minimal technical expertise to build and extend enterprise applications, automate processes, and design enterprise websites using drag-and-drop.

There is an important word in this paragraph and it is secured. Handing off low-code development tools to business users needs to be done within the confines of secured policy-based control, which is the case here. This SAP offering seems more no-code for business users than low-code accelerators for trained engineering staff, but let’s move on.

“SAP Build brings together the world’s most powerful business applications with a platform designed to rapidly unleash the expertise of business users,” said Juergen Mueller, SAP executive board member and chief technology officer.

According to Mueller, with SAP Build, business users have the full power of the SAP Business Technology Platform and business application data from SAP at their fingertips. Users can integrate systems; Monitor, analyze and automate processes intelligently; At the same time, they are developing applications for the last mile of innovation – all without moving their data to an external system.

Plus, with native integration of SAP Signavio (a Business Process Management (BPM) technology), SAP Build users get a detailed view into all their processes, so they know what to focus on to have the greatest impact.

Edit reference points

More than 275,000 (appropriately anonymized and obfuscated) process reference points from 4,000 customers and 1,300 use case-specific workflows and automations enable users to tap into a spectrum of business expertise that is built into SAP’s technology… and SAP Build also works with non-SAP systems .

The new SAP Builders program helps users network with peers through hands-on sessions and forums for sharing best practices.

“Given that the demand for contemporary digital solutions outstrips the ability of professional developers to deliver them, IDC anticipates that business people will increasingly become involved in initiatives to develop digital solutions to solve pressing business problems,” said Arnal Dayaratna, Research Vice President, Software Development, IDC. “Globally, IDC expects more than 100 million business people to be involved in the production of digital solutions over the next decade as the importance of digitization continues to grow.”

domain driver

Dayaratna suggests that SAP Build’s low-code development platform allows business developers to leverage the combination of their domain expertise and technological skills to rapidly build and iterate on the development of digital solutions at scale.

As every business becomes a technology company, SAP also recognizes the increasing emphasis placed on the skills and insights that only professional developers can deliver. SAP aims to upskill two million developers worldwide by 2025 by tripling the free learning opportunities on the SAP learning website, partnering with learning platform provider Coursera Inc. to help people build careers within the SAP ecosystem start, and to empower underserved target groups in technology.

β€œI’m excited to announce that SAP is launching an entry-level professional certificate on Coursera today. This certificate is designed for learners of all backgrounds without requiring a college degree or industry experience,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera Inc. β€œIt prepares learners for entry-level roles and in some of the most in-demand areas. We are honored to partner with SAP to to increase access to job-related skills and expand economic opportunity for all.”

SAP style

SAP is good at understanding the enterprise software market, that’s the bread and butter (as they say in German) and the history of the company.

Given the shape of the market, it’s not unfair to say that SAP is also good at watching the automation-only (non-ERP) specialists to see where technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) and low-code are springing up to surface them at some level via its own SAP stack.

Remember, low-code is for programmers and no-code drag-and-drop is for business users. But SAP called this product Low-Code. So, was this proximity branding designed to align SAP Build closer to more popular technology terminology, or was it just an innocent generalization?

As they say in Walldorf, if you build it, you will come.

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