Exploring Side-by-Side Extensibility with SAP BTP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the need for side-by-side extensibility.
  • Describe the use cases for the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).

The Need for Side-by-Side Extensibility

Usage Scenario

You are a developer at a company that is using SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Your company has a requirement to extend the standard SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution with custom business logic and UIs. You want to explore the options for side-by-side extensibility with SAP BTP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

When building extensions in an SAP system, especially in a cloud environment like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the traditional approach to develop and run custom business logic directly on the application server is no longer possible. Historically, SAP ERP solutions were extended on-premises directly by adding custom code to the ABAP application server. The capabilities and paradigms of extending SAP solutions have changed through the shift into a cloud environment.

Nevertheless, the standard SAP S/4HANA Cloud system can be adapted to custom business needs. Various possibilities exist to customize the standard system, like leveraging key-user extensibility, for example, to add custom fields to a SAP Fiori User Interface (UI). However, this only meets the requirements for simple customizations. For more complex requirements, like adding custom business logic, a side-by-side extensibility approach is required. Let's explore this in more detail.

Side-by-Side Extensibility

As introduced above, the SAP BTP is a cloud-based development platform with a clear focus on business-centricity. The SAP BTP provides a future-proof cloud(-native) development environment, harmonizing the development experience across SAP products and providing a seamless experience in the cloud. Three application runtimes, namely the SAP BTP, ABAP Runtime, SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry Runtime, and the SAP BTP, Kyma runtime, provide a variety of options for both ABAP and non-ABAP developers on the SAP BTP to develop and run applications in a pro-code way. Similarly, for citizen developers, the SAP BTP offers a low-code/no-code (LCNC) suite of products to build enterprise-grade extensions in a fully low-code way. SAP Build consists of three deeply integrated products, SAP Build Apps, SAP Build Process Automation, and SAP Build Work Zone. Worth mentioning here is that both sides of the spectrum, pro-code and low-code, can be combined to build extensions in a hybrid approach, where pro-code developers and citizen developers collaborate in so-called "Fusion Teams" to build extensions.

Use Cases for the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP)

Depending on the development skills and the need for customization and flexibility during the development process, developers can leverage different approaches on the SAP BTP to build side-by-side extensions. Watch the following animation, to see, how the following matrix will guide your decision-making on whether a low-code, no-code, pro-code, or hybrid approach with fusion team development best suits your project.


In this lesson, you identified side-by-side extensibility with SAP BTP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. You have learned about the need for extensibility to adapt the standard SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution to individual business needs and gain a competitive advantage. You also explored the use cases for the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and how it provides various services and tools for professional and citizen developers to develop and run custom extensions in the cloud.

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