In an earlier blog post, we showed how SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) can be best and most efficiently used as a toolbox for diverse use cases. At SAP TechEd 2022 in Las Vegas, SAP introduced SAP Build, a low code/no code toolbox. We would like to introduce SAP Build in more detail, focusing on three key questions:
What functionalities does SAP Build offer?
Who is the target group for SAP Build?
Which use cases is SAP Build suitable for?
The most important functionalities of SAP Build
SAP Build is the new low code/no code package from SAP and runs as a service on SAP Business Technology Platform. It contains a summary and further development of already known components under a uniform configuration interface.
SAP Build Process Automation
As a further development of SAP BTP service Robotic Process Automation (RPA), SAP Build Process Automation helps to develop workflows visually. Existing building blocks support rapid integration with SAP and non-SAP systems as well as the definition of triggers and actions. In this way, processes can be quickly automated with a simple user interface. Integration with SAP Signavio is also available so that workflows and process chains can be derived directly from SAP Signavio.
SAP Build Apps
SAP Build Apps is an interface where apps can be built using drag-and-drop, connected to data sources and deployed to SAP BTP. SAP Build Apps is based on AppGyver and is particularly suitable for implementing simple use cases. SAP has worked hard to reduce the typical limitations of a low-code/no-code solution (such as roles, complex integration of different systems, or complex front ends). However, there still remains a difference in functionality between a custom development and a low-code/no-code app.
SAP Build Workzone
Companies need a unified launchpad for SAP Build Workzone – that is, a central start page for business extensions. If this is available, SAP Build Workzone can be the right tool when it comes to making apps from different sources available to users on one start page.
The target group for SAP Build
SAP Build is aimed at business departments that face the challenge of implementing specific use cases independently of IT. The tool simplifies access to basic building blocks of SAP Business Technology Platform in an intuitive interface. With SAP Build, process extensions can be designed and implemented, different systems can be created in applications and deployed in SAP BTP, and individual start pages can be created on SAP Build Workzone that connect the essential and user-specific applications.
With SAP Build, SAP provides an environment that already covers many aspects that SAP Business Technology Platform also has, while being much easier to use. The user is limited to the essentials. On the one hand, this is positive because simple use cases can be implemented quickly. At the same time, however, companies must be aware that not all challenges can be solved with SAP Build.
Suitable use cases for SAP Build
Our recommendation is to decide, depending on the use case, whether a low-code/no-code solution is suitable to solve the problem at hand. As a simple rule of thumb, if there is a need for more than one source system, data connection or role within the application, low code/no code solutions such as SAP Build will reach their limits. A low code/no code solution also does not cover the complex processing of multi-layered data, or only to a very limited extent. Examples of such use cases are release processes (such as in HR or variant management) or order creation in the ERP system, which is triggered by external triggers.
But there are enough simple process enhancements that are very well suited for implementation with SAP Build. A reliable assessment of whether SAP Build is suitable for solving a challenge can only be made after a closer look at the problem.
Conclusion: Real alternative for simple use cases
In a way, SAP Build is an attractive alternative for simple use cases in order to achieve a fast time-to-market. Even non-technical employees from the business departments can quickly understand and learn how SAP Build works. This strengthens the role of SAP Business Technology Platform as a driver for real innovation as well as the basis for complex, highly integrated extensions and applications.