Since today, May 24th, 2013, SAP HANA Cloud provides support for Java EE 6 WebProfile capabilities not only for trial accounts (out since Nov 2012), but also in accounts for productive usage!

What is Java EE 6 Web Profile?
Java EE 6 Web Profile is a subset of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition specifically targeted at web applications. This makes it a perfect fit for usage scenarious in the Cloud, which are typically lightweight. You can find more details on the Java EE 6 Web Profile here.

What does it mean for SAP customers and partners?
SAP customers and partners can build on these Java EE 6 Web Profile standards productively by using SAP HANA Cloud SDK for Java EE 6 Web Profile. Applications which need only basic Java EE web technology support can continue to work with SAP HANA Cloud SDK for Java Web, a lightweight SDK profile which supports a subset of Java EE technologies. The table below summarizes the differences:

Java EE 6 Web Profile

*) Java Mail is not part of Java EE 6 Web Profile specification (ref. JSR-316) but it is supported on SAP HANA Cloud

What does it mean for application developers?
With SAP HANA Cloud SDK for Java EE 6 Web Profile, you can:

  • Make productive use of a set of integrated Java EE technologies in your applications and thus realize sophisticated business logic which is based on open Java EE standards.
  • Utilize SAP HANA Cloud services in a standard Java EE environment – using JNDI or @Resource annotation thus making the source code easy to read and maintain.
  • Clean up your applications from some less digestible XML configurations required earlier by using standard Java EE 6 annotations in the source code.
  • Use the JPA provider of your preference rather than being required to take the one provided with the platform itself.

How can you use Java EE 6 Web Profile productively?
If you already have a productive account for SAP HANA Cloud Platform, then all you need to do is to update your Eclipse IDE to use the SAP HANA Cloud SDK for Java EE 6 Web Profile – you can either install it from scratch or update your existing SDK. That’s done with a few clicks within minutes. Then you can develop applications using the Java EE 6 Web Profile technologies listed above, deploy and run the application in you productive SAP HANA Cloud Platform account.

That’s it – enjoy!

When we were discussing the main themes and directions for our next NetWeaver release at SAP, release 7.4 which we released last Friday to the public, roughly a year ago, it became pretty obvious, that the former NetWeaver solution as a self-contained technology platform was more and more dominated by

  • our extensions into the realms of In-Memory Database computing, manifested in our SAP HANA realtime data platform, …
  • the topic of Cloud computing, represented in particular through “Neo”, or SAP NetWeaver Cloud which evolved into SAP HANA Cloud Platform in the meantime, and last but not least …
  • the topic of mobile consumption and User Experience on top of existing backend system functionality.

SAP NetWeaver 7.4 end-to-end scenariosI have written about the strategic direction of SAP NetWeaver in one of my prior blog posts on this site and you might want to check that one out as well.

For our customers and their more than 70.000 productive NetWeaver systems running, it is essential to see as smooth an evolution of the core technology platform as possible, to not disrupt their existing and established core processes, as it is crucial for them to extend their solutions quickly and efficiently in the areas surrounding their core processes to remain competitive or stay ahead of their competitors in the market.

While SAP NetWeaver was of course continuing to be the well-known set of application infrastructure and middleware products you knew from the former NetWeaver releases, it was constantly growing in new areas as well: either by dedicated products like SAP NetWeaver Identity Management or SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-on, or by bringing new capabilities in by putting SAP HANA underneath the application servers, bringing in Platform-as-a-Service capabilities via our SAP HANA Cloud Platform or by provisioning, for example, core ERP processes of productive SAP Business Suite installations to the end-user via mobile devices using SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition, SAP HANA Cloud Platform Gateway and SAPUI5.

What would then have been more natural than putting the end-to-end scenario perspective into the focus of our activities around developer experience then? Wasn’t that, what developers would be doing with our product offering in the larger SAP NetWeaver portfolio as it developed into the future? Why let them figure it out on their own how to put the bits and pieces to work for their scenario? Why not provide all that information in the first place rather than just product documentation? Great idea. Lots of work. But we made it.

Given that I am very pleased to announce today is the availability of a set of complete, detailed end-to-end development tutorials for typical scenarios we have been seeing with customers. All of the scenarios are available on the SAP Community Network in the Developer Center. They come with extensive, step-by-step tutorial documentation explaining how to put the various technologies and products at work for your scenario. They come with ready-to-run source code provided in the SAP repository of GitHub that you can study, run and deploy yourself, or copy and modify for your own purposes, explaining in detail how to link the various technologies together. Plus we have set up a backend system in the cloud on top of SAP HANA that you can use as a “trial” backend to start your own experiments with the samples we have provided, based on our Enterprise Sales and Procurement Model (ESPM).

This is the first four scenarios we’ve provided:

  • Develop a SAP HANA Cloud-based Web application with SAPUI5 & JPA persistence (Link)
  • Develop a SAP HANA Cloud-based mobile Web application with back-end connectivity to an SAP Business Suite system running on-premise (R/W persistence) (Link)
  • Develop an on-premise business application on SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP 7.4 with SAPUI5 and SAP HANA (Link)
  • Extend a SAP HANA Cloud-based Web application using both an on-premise backend application and extend it with data stored in the SAP HANA Cloud (Link)

If you’re not clear what all of this is about, check out the introduction video to give you an idea what wealth of information and running code you are getting with those end-to-end scenarios.

Yes, there needs even more to come. But if you’re a developer, it’s definitely time to get your hands dirty!

SAPUI5 for tablet, smartphone and desktopWow! SAP has today released the next (compatible, of course) version of SAPUI5, our HTML5 controls library, that SAP is using as the standard User Interface Control library in all their future applications that need a “consumer grade” User Experience, whether it is on desktop, tablet or smartphone! It’s the basis for SAP’s User Experience strategy. Now we have released version 1.12 officially and it is ready for download on the SAP Community Network Development Center. If you want a copy, here we go:

Now why am I so excited about this new version? Well, that’s easy:

First, SAPUI5 per se is an absolutely cool and great UI framework. It’s based on open source and open standards like JQuery, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, LESS and others, it’s extensible (“if we don’t have something in stock, add an open source or 3rd party control) as a core framework and has been built from ground up to best support modern browsers like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Firefox and Microsoft IE 9 and 10 (for details, check this out). It is independent of the backend system, whether it is SAP Application Server ABAP, or SAP Application Server Java, or HANA Cloud Platform — it just doesn’t matter. We’ve effectively decoupled the lifecycle of the UI, which changes often, from the backend system release, which changes more seldom. It is optimized to consume REST/OData services as exposed by e.g. SAP Netweaver Gateway, SAP HANA Cloud Gateway or SAP HANA itself. So you can connect it basically to any SAP system!

But with the newest version we’ve done the next major step: We are no providing two “flavors” of SAPUI5 based on the same programming model and tools:

  1. The full-blown desktop version with a vast set of UI controls to easily and quickly build state-of-the-art Web UIs
  2. The tailor-made mobile version that supports not only Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone 8 for both tablet and smartphone form factors, but also supports to run the tablet versions on desktop browsers (even for “old” IE8 with a few degradations) — a capability that is absolutely unique in the market!

If you want to see SAPUI5 v.1.12 in action and what SAP has built with it, check out SAP Fiori, a collection of consumer-grade productivity applications for tablet, smartphone and desktop as announced at SapphireNow 2013 in Orlando.

The more detailed list of new features added with V1.12 reads nicely as well:

  • Components: One can bundle UI5 related objects like modules, views, controllers, etc. in components
  • New view type: Declarative HTML, this is also included in SAPUI5 Eclipse tools
  • New desktop controls like
    • Form, ResponsiveLayout, Autocomplete, Collection Inspector, FormattedTextView
    • Notetaker, DateRangeSlider, SplitButton
  • Best practices mobile demo application
  • All mobile (sap.m) controls which are not experimental support Blackberry 10
  • New mobile controls like
    • SplitApp, PullToRefresh, MessageToast, MessageBox, ActionSheet, InputDateTime
  • New experimental mobile controls like
    • TileContainer, TabularList, Shell, Accept/Reject Switch, GrowingList, IconTabBar, ActionSheet
    • DateTimeInput, Link, ObjectHeader, TextArea, URLHelper
    • Calendar, ProgressIndicator, TabContainer
  • New mobile features
  • Configurable/themable background images for App, SplitApp, Shell (experimental)
    • Swipe-for-action in Lists
    • Mobile library comes with new experimental Blue Crystal theme
    • Mobile library with Blue Crystal theme runs on smart phones, tablets and desktops. This is only an experimental feature
    • Charts in sap.viz library
      • Basic touch support
      • New charts: Dual Bar, Dual Line, Dual Combination, Dual Column, Dual Stacked Bar
    • New Icon fonts / pool
    • sap.ui.Device: API for device and feature detection and media query support
    • Calculated fields in databinding, i.e. bind control properties to more than one data property

And our new WYSIWYG, browser-based UI creation tool with dozens of pre-designed templates to start with, SAP AppDesigner, is soon to be released as well…

I can only recommend you to download this latest release as a free trial from SCN Developer Center and check it out! There’s tons of documentation, tutorials, sample code snippets and demo applications

Dear SAPUI5 team! You really rock! Thanks! 🙂

127 HoursAron Ralston: You know, I’ve been thinking. Everything is… just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all of this. This rock… this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. In its entire life, ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago up there in space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right, right here. I’ve been moving towards it my entire life. The minute I was born, every breath I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the earth’s surface.

[From 127 hours, 2010]

With the recent announcement of the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud, a number of questions have been circulating about how this offering relates to SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP NetWeaver Cloud Platform, “NEO” etc.. Confused? So let me try to put things straight, it’s actually pretty simple:

What is SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud?

The SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering is a comprehensive cloud infrastructure combined with managed services to allow customers to run their SAP HANA applications, including SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, in a managed virtual private cloud environment. We prefer to refer to this as an Enterprise Cloud.

What is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform?

It is (and remains to be) SAP’s only public Developer Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) offering that allows SAP partners, SAP customers and SAP development itself to build, deploy and operate applications in an open and standards-based Cloud environment. Building these applications is made easy by our offering of a number of shared application services and in particular the power of SAP HANA in a service-based manner. The SAP HANA Cloud Platform is hence tailored towards the huge SAP developer community: It provides both Java and Java VM-based language environments like Java itself, (j)Ruby, Scala, Python, Clojure or Groovy as well as HANA native development capabilities like e.g. SQLScript or River Definition Language.

SAP operates this infrastructure, partners and customers can focus on their applications without having to worry about the operations of the underlying technology stack.

While in general allowing to build a wide variety of application types on top, the platform is particularly optimized for two major use cases:

  1. Serving as an open extension platform for
  2. Building completely new, powerful and high-performance applications on SAP HANA

Examples are “edge” applications extending core functionality in the SuccessFactors Employee Central offering, or extending the reach of classical SAP Business Suite applications like Human Capital Management (HCM) employee self-services with a consumer-grade user experience via mobile devices using HTML5 (e.g. via SAP UI5) or native mobile device experiences.

SAP NetWeaver Cloud Platform is the retired name for a subset of HANA Cloud Platform, which has meanwhile smoothly evolved into something even bigger. It provides the SAP HANA Cloud Platform with its core operations framework, the core services like Identity Management, Single Sign On, Cloud/On-Premise Connectivity, Persistency, Metering and Monitoring, integration into the SAP Store for subscription and billing purposes, etc..

NEO” has been the SAP internal project name for SAP NetWeaver Cloud platform before it was originally released last year and — as such nicknames tend to do — has been more sticky with people than the marketing department has been hoping for 😉

How do HANA Enterprise Cloud and HANA Cloud Platform fit together?

As outlined above, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is focusing on providing SAP solutions powered by HANA as managed services in an enterprise-grade, virtual private cloud environment. SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be used to extend these solutions via our public cloud Platform-As-A-Service offering, as one can already do with SAP solutions “classically” operated on-premise or SuccessFactors solutions offered in a cloud environment itself.

Both SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud and SAP HANA Cloud Platform are running collocated in the same certified SAP Data Center sites and hence allow to be efficiently combined and put to action for dedicated scenarios. In a way, SAP HANA Cloud Platform is available with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, or it is contained in it, but somehow these statements appear to be a bit academic to me. What is really important is that these two offerings fit and work together: One does not replace the other, but each of them solves a specific problem of our customer and partner ecosystem. They compliment each other: All capabilities offered by SAP HANA Cloud Platform can be put to work with solutions provided by SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

Hope that helps to clarify a bit.

P.S.: Make sure to checkout out Aiaz Kazi’s blog post as well.

Today is a big day for us! We have made the next release of SAP NetWeaver generally available (GA) to the public: SAP NetWeaver 7.4!

I have outlined the direction of our activities around our technology platform which is productively used in more than 70.000 system deployments world-wide in one of my previous blog posts. SAP NetWeaver 7.4 is now the next step of this roadmap delivered to our partner and customer ecosystem.

SAP NetWeaver 7.4, now being the new NetWeaver go-to-release for all existing NetWeaver customers, comprises new versions of the application hubs like SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration and SAP NetWeaver Gateway, the Application Servers ABAP and Java, as well as Lifecycle Management, SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and Single Sign-On as well as new UI capabilities and services, in particular “SAPUI5“.

SAP NetWeaverSAP NetWeaver 7.4 is a “non-disruptive evolution” that extends the “classical” NetWeaver into the “dimensions” of HANA, Cloud and Mobile. It continues to support all databases but is now optimized to optimally support SAP HANA. With ABAP 7.4 optimized for SAP HANA it is the foundation for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP Business Information Warehouse powered by SAP HANA. With this it plays also an important role in our new SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud offering. In addition, also the SAP NetWeaver Java-based Hub solutions will run on SAP HANA.

During the development phase we put a strong focus on a number of specific cross scenarios that substantially improve the development experience, lower the total cost of development and operations and best support hybrid on-premise/Cloud scenarios.

The most important SAP NetWeaver 7.4 cross scenarios include:

  • Seamless end-to-end development experience across components based on the Eclipse Development Environment including running sample scenarios provided for trial access in the Cloud, complemented by documentation, tutorials and working code. You might want to check my related blog post.
  • Easy deployment to Virtual Private Clouds like Amazon Web Services or (soon) HANA Enterprise Cloud with the SAP Cloud Appliance Library
  • Further improved support of Business Continuity to minimize the business downtime in customer landscapes
  • Optimal support for hybrid application scenarios (On-premise/Cloud) with SAP HANA Cloud Integration as already used by SuccessFactors to integrate with SAP Business Suite
  • Easy creation of Mobile applications with SAP HANA Cloud using SAPUI5, SAP NetWeaver Gateway and SAP HANA Cloud Gateway and SAP Mobile Platform Cloud Edition
  • One Identity and Access Management with NetWeaver Identity Managament and Single-Sign On, spanning federation of user data from on-premise to cloud and allowing seamless Single Sign-On capabilities

You might want to check out the new SAP NetWeaver 7.4 “landing page” on the SAP Community Network to get in-depth details about what’s new and exciting in SAP NetWeaver 7.4.

That much for today…