Discovering Application Development and Automation

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Discover application development
  • Discover automation
  • Analyze the roles regarding application development and automation

Business Introduction to Application Development

Your company uses a wide range of SAP software within the intelligent, sustainable enterprise. Most of the software in this package is a cloud-based software as a service solution. You want to adapt some UI screens, extend existing SAPUI5 apps with APIs, build a custom development app running on SAP BTP, and your company wants to unify the digital experience of their employees.

In addition to that, your company has lots of business processes, procedures, and tasks inside of the several business areas of the daily business. Some of these processes and tasks are manual, some are partly automated. You want to reduce the amount of manual tasks and increase the amount of process automated tasks through using SAP Build Process Automation. These process automations can be achieved by business process experts, who are enabled as citizen developers through no-code based user experiences.

Application Development

Due to the rising number of SaaS solutions in the market, you are not able to modify the software like in the old on-premise system. Even for on-premise systems, SAP recommends keeping the core of the software clean and use extensions instead of modifications. Through that, you need to use new concepts of custom development and extending the software portfolio in your enterprise. The app development capabilities of SAP BTP is a portfolio of solutions that helps you simplify the development of your application extensions or custom applications. It is optimized for SAP applications to extend the value of your existing SAP investments, but it is also open to extending third-party applications.

SAP delivers a wide range of tools and frameworks for professional development both for frontend and backend developers. In addition to that, SAP offers tools for low-code or even no-code development experiences. SAP offers a toolset to create a unified user experience for your end-users.

If you want to learn more about Application Development and its capabilities, see: https://www.sap.com/products/business-technology-platform/low-code.html.

Automation Overview

Automation in Scope of SAP BTP

When you want to automate your business process to make them more agile or reduce manual tasks, the automation capabilities of the SAP BTP can help you. The automation capabilities of SAP BTP enables you to build with simplicity, automate quickly, and improve agility with visual drag-and-drop tools and prebuilt, industry-specific content.

The next question is, how does all of this relate to hyperautomation?

Hyperautomation is a relatively new term, having only appeared in the market in late 2019. It is a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify and automate as many processes as possible. This can be achieved using multiple technologies, tools, or platforms, including many terms you may be familiar with such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), and business process management software. Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies to rapidly identify and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.

Roles Regarding Application Development and Automation

Developer Roles

Roles, regarding software development are:

Professional Developer

Classical developer who has the knowledge and expertise to write real coding and build software out of it.

Citizen Developer

Uses no-code or low-code tools provided by the IT infrastructure to create business applications without the expertise of a Professional Developer.

Administrator

Manages the lifecycle of the applications and administrate tools, authorizations needed for the software development, DevOps, …

In our modern world where the digitalization is going forward the market regarding on our technology needs is a bit of volatile. That is why our business requirements are constantly changing and evolving. The companies are under pressure of delivering changes and adaptions fast. The resources which are needed for that, especially developers are not enough to fulfill all requests. There is a gap for tech talents.

Based on that market situation and the handicap for talents in the technology sector the IT industry answers with business automation tools and no-code / low-code development tools.

Through that employees which are not able to write code or administer complex architectures are able to develop helpful applications or tools which still the required adaptions fast. These employees working as a role called Citizen Developer.

Citizen Developers are able to work with process automation tools or building applications with no code or when they are a bit advanced they can even work with low code tools which often uses a very simple codebase which needs to be written from a human. All complex code in behind gets generated by the tool itself.

In addition to the Citizen Developers there are of course employees which fitting the Professional Developer Role. A Professional Developer is part of every project where the Citizen Developer can not continue or close a project on it’s own because he can not write professional code. The Professional Developer has the expertise to write code with or without frameworks and low-code/no-code tools. So in conclusion the Professional Developer is for the more complex development projects where very good and deep expertise and programming skills are required.

There are lots of operational and administrative tasks which get handled by the Administrators.

The Administrators manage for example the subscriptions and the service instances in the SAP BTP. In addition to that the administrators handle the authorizations for the tools which are used by the Professional Developers and Citizen Developers. The Administrators grant the access to all functionalities and tools which are needed for the work of the Developers.

Of course there are administrative tasks for connectivity topics like Cloud Connectors or Destinations which are handled by the Administrators too.

In hybrid landscapes with on-premise systems and cloud functionalities the Administrator is also responsible for all on-premise regarding administrative work.

With the growth of digitalization, the market for technological requirements has become volatile. Our business needs are constantly changing and evolving, causing many companies to come under pressure to adapt quickly to changes. There is also a resourcing gap when it comes to the developers and tech talents needed to carry out such changes.

Based on this market situation and the demand for talent in the technology sector, the IT industry must answer with business automation tools and no-code/low-code development tools. This allows employees who do not have coding or advanced tech skills to quickly develop helpful applications and tools. These employees assume the role of citizen developer.

The following summarizes the differences between the roles:

Key Takeaways Of This Lesson

There are a lot of concepts and tools that SAP offers with App Development and Automation as pillars of the SAP Business Technology Platform. Regarding this, it is useful to differentiate three roles: The professional developer who is experienced in building software with writing code, the citizen developer who has often less or no experience with programming, but benefits from his business knowledge and can create business applications and processes with the help of no-code/low-code tools, and finally, the administrator with the importance to, for example, manage the lifecycle of applications or administer tools and services using the SAP BTP cockpit.

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