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New SAP Build Low-Code Development Tools Enlist Business Users In Digital Transformation Initiatives

Rick Whiting

The new SAP Build tools, unveiled at this week’s SAP TechEd conference, allow non-technical users to build applications, automate workflows and design web sites as openings for professional developers go unfilled.

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SAP today unveiled a new low-code application development toolset designed to address the industry shortage of experienced programmers and bring software development capabilities to a wider audience of business users.

The new SAP Build, launched today at the company’s SAP TechEd conference in Las Vegas, will allow business users with minimal technical expertise to create and augment business applications, automate business processes and design business web sites, according to the company.

“There’s a huge shortage of developers right now,” said Sid Misra, SAP global vice president of product marketing and solution management, noting in an interview with CRN that something on the order of 15 percent of developer positions are vacant.

[Related: SAP To Raise Support Prices In 2023 Due To Inflation]

This developer shortage comes at a time when businesses and organizations are undertaking digital transformation initiatives – projects that require developing new business applications, automating business processes and creating customer-facing websites, Misra said.

Aside from the shortage of technically trained developers, Misra also noted that line of business managers and employees in such functions as finance, procurement, customer service and human resources are close to many of the requirements and challenges around digital transformation projects and are in a position to help accelerate them – if given the right development tools.

The new SAP Build solution, now generally available, is part of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) that provides much of SAP’s application development, automation, AI, application integration, data management and data analytics capabilities under a single umbrella. BTP also provides more than 275,000 process reference points from 4,000 customers and 1,300 use-case-specific workflows and automations that developers can tap into.

SAP Build relies on SAP BTP for underlying security and compliance, including identity authentication, user authorization and provisioning services.

Within the Build solution are several products: SAP Build Apps for developing and extending web-based and mobile applications, SAP Build Process Automation for automating business processes, and SAP Build Work Zone for designing web sites.

SAP Build Apps, which uses visual drag-and-drop functionality and an expansive component library, is an evolution of the company’s SAP AppGyver development technology. Build Apps also provides a visual way to create a cloud-deployed back end for applications that can define and run business logic and manage persistency and integrations in the cloud, according to the company.

SAP Build Process Automation uses robotic process automation bots, workflows, forms, embedded AI, business rules and decisions to automate business processes. SAP Build Process Automation is also integrated with SAP Signavio Process Intelligence, SAP’s process mining and optimization software, which can trigger automated actions through APIs to perform process automations with workflows and bots.

SAP Build Work Zone incorporates the SAP Launchpad service and SAP Work Zone into one solution.

Many of SAP’s 23,500 partners will benefit from the new SAP Build products, Misra said. “This is a massive opportunity for SAP and our partner ecosystem,” he said, adding that SAP is addressing a market that’s growing at 20 percent per year and is forecast to reach $150 billion by 2030.

The SAP Build toolset can be sold by SAP reseller partners, used by ISV partners to create applications that can be sold through the online SAP Store, and by systems integration and consulting partners who do custom application development and integration work for clients, the SAP executive said.

“Whether you are a consulting partner, whether you‘re an SI, whether you’re an ISV, whether you‘re a reseller, this really opens up a lot of opportunities,” Misra said.

Professional developers are also expected to make use of SAP Build for development tasks that don’t require writing code. But SAP still provides its ProCode development tools for professional developers for complex software development jobs.

SAP also said it is committed to increasing the number of professional developers by tripling free training offerings on the SAP Learning site, as well as working with learning platform provider Coursera to help people develop careers within the SAP ecosystem.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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