Building SAPUI5 Applications – the things we have learned from 1,200 customers

Yaad Oren

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Just a couple of days before SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 I published my blogThe Simple Way to Build and Extend SAPUI5 Applicationswhere we announced the Beta release of SAP River Rapid Development Environment (RDE). I was happy to see the popularity of the blog – it got over a thousand views within just a few days. I was happy, but not surprised. Customers had been asking us about how they could easily build and extend SAPUI5 based applications applying SAP Fiori UX. SAP River RDE (now called SAP Web IDE – more on that later in this post) was created exactly to serve this purpose and more.

We had great expectations from the Beta product and we were eager to hear what customers thought about it.

Three months later, we had more than 1200 customers who had signed up with the Beta version and created their own SAPUI5 based solutions! This is quite an adoption story for a Beta release, and now I would like to share with you the top 3 things that customers liked and also key points they asked us to consider.


So what did these customers like the most?


1. Simple on-boarding


They liked the zero installation experience. All they had to do is to register and configure the product against their SAP system. Furthermore, we got very good feedback about the simplicity that a Web IDE brings. Some of the customers told us that they plan to leave the on-premise Eclipse for the heavy lifting tasks but when it comes to developing apps with SAP Fiori UX, a Web IDE is the smart and simple choice for them.


2. Developer Productivity


The Beta version contained many productivity boosters like code-completion, wizards, extensibility panes, and more. But, there were two capabilities that customers liked the most. The first one was the mock data that allows the developer to build and preview the entire application UI without connecting to any system. The second capability was the templates gallery that gives an option to use an out-of-the-box UI patterns such as Master-Details, Fact Sheet and more. These capabilities enabled customers to build SAPUI5 based applications that apply the SAP Fiori UX quickly.


Actually, at Tech-Ed & d-code Las-Vegas, in about two weeks, you’ll have the opportunity to hear it all first hand from many of our Beta customers. In fact, one of them, PepsiCo, is going to be on stage with me in one of the sessions demonstrating their successful experience with the product.


3. Engage with any SAP system landscape


Our customers really like the benefit of the cloud app development experience without “pushing” them to move their entire system landscape to the cloud for that purpose. Some of them even emphasized that they consider the apps developed in the cloud on top of any SAP systems landscape deployments (i.e. on-premise, on-demand, hybrid) as a key differentiator compared to some other non-SAP solutions they tried out.


Key requests from our customers


1. The product name


To put it simply, customers told us as that the name of the product is somewhat confusing and does not necessarily capture the full essence of the product capabilities. We took this feedback very seriously. In matter of fact, as a result, we decided to change the product name to “SAP Web IDE“. This name should be more in-line with the product’s capabilities. We will start using the new name as we prepare for SAP TechEd & d-code starting on October 20, 2014, in Las Vegas.


2. Local installation


A pretty repeated ask we’ve heard from many customers is to test the product while it deployed on one of their on-premise servers. Even though an on-premise version of the product obviously won’t have the full-benefits of its cloud version, it still gives one more option to experience how simple it is to create and extend SAPUI5-based applications with SAP Web IDE. Therefore, we are looking into providing an on-premise trial version soon. Stay tuned for more news in TechEd && d-code…


3. “We want more!”


This is the feedback that I liked the most. Customers asked us for more capabilities: from UI modeling capabilities, connectivity to non-SAP OData providers, advanced integration with SAP Fiori Client for mobile (via Kapsel plug-ins), and more! We took note of all of those requests and we are evaluating them. At SAP TechEd && d-code we will have a roadmap session where we will also talk about how those requirements fit in our work plans.


So what’s next?


SAP Web IDE was released to customers after a very successful Beta period as a generally available product. Today it is already included for SAP HANA Cloud Platform customers. At SAP TechEd && d-code we plan to make a couple of announcements around some exciting capabilities. These will include a new way in which customers can start using the product (hint: no heavy prerequisites, very simple), and some features that make SAP Web IDE the best tool to develop and extend SAPUI5 applications that use SAP Fiori UX. How am I so sure? Well, we had over 1200 customers’ contribution in our development process…and, I thank every single one of them for helping us bring forth a more desirable product.


My team and I will be in Las Vegas for the entire week of October 20, 2014. Feel free to reach out and we will do our best to satisfy all your SAP Web IDE questions. See you in Las Vegas!

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