Side-by-side extensions are also oriented towards the traditional developer persona. These extensions do not run on SAP S/4HANA Cloud but instead on SAP BTP, using the development and runtime services it offers. This could be Java, Node.js, or SAP BTP, ABAP environment. The primary consideration with choosing a side-by-side approach is that while the application may need SAP S/4HANA Cloud data, it doesn't need the runtime environment. In Unit 3 Lesson 2, Exploring The ABAP Cloud Development Model, we discussed how SAP S/4HANA Cloud has both local and also remote public released interfaces. Side-by-side extensions utilize remote APIs for access and manipulation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud data. The data is then available to be utilized locally by other SAP BTP services, stored locally if desired, or combined with additional data from other sources for reporting and analysis.
Some of the possible use cases for side-by-side extensions are as follows:
- Custom applications needing access to SAP BTP services such as machine learning, AI, and so on
- Custom applications integrating with several different systems, both on-premise and cloud-based
- SaaS solutions developed by partners
SAP BTP, ABAP Environment
As mentioned earlier, the ABAP Cloud development model is available across all SAP S/4HANA deployment possibilities, as well as available in the SAP BTP, ABAP environment. SAP BTP, ABAP environment is SAP's Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for ABAP. In addition to side-by-side apps, customers can also develop their own standalone apps, both of which can benefit with the multitenancy capabilities of SAP BTP. The same as with SAP S/4HANA, an SAP HANA database is included with SAP BTP, ABAP environment. Developers utilize the ABAP RESTful application programming model as the programming model and ABAP development tools for Eclipse is used as the development environment along with the ABAP Cloud language option. This makes the SAP BTP, ABAP environment a natural choice for side-by-side extension development.