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SAP HANA XS provides a complete development environment for building so-called 'native' applications.

The term 'native' is chosen as these kind of applications will run directly on top of the SAP HANA XS engine as opposed to applications running on eg. an ABAP stack that would interact with SAP HANA.

The benefits for such applications are enormous ... a detailed explanation would lead us to far  but in a nut-shell - The applications have direct access to the SAP HANA index server and thus an optimal leveraging of its 'in-memory data technology' and they benefit of the parallel computation power.

Writing such an application will require a skill set to master which might not be too familiar for the average ABAP programmer ...

For years now we have seen a shift within SAP from the traditional or classical ABAP (dynpro) application development into 'web technology' development ...

A trend which is mostly driven by the fact that the internet has taken over the business world and lately the consumers world via mobile devices ... A trend which is shifting the way development is done at SAP and its competitors ...

SAP HANA XS seems to be the latest step into that direction as it only offers 'web driven front-end' and 'connectivity' technologies as the cornerstone of its development.

Sap Hana Application Layers

  • SAPUI5 is solely used as the client technology to provide an UI for native applications - a technology which is 100% Javascript and built on top of the popular open source framework 'jQuery' and 'jQuery Mobile'.
  • Data connectivity is obtained via the usage of HTTP(S) requests and is provided as either standard ODATA services and/or custom-built services using 'server-side Javascript'.
  • ODATA is really being pushed by SAP as one of its new connectivity technologies and for good reasons - it is a lightweight service standard with REST at its heart ... the protocol which reconquered the world when mobile devices bloomed ...
  • Database procedures are coded using 'SQLScript' which is an extension of the standard SQL language ...
  • Most database core objects are created via files using the Javascript Object Notation format ... JSON for short ...

By now it should be clear that understanding Javascript, web technologies, etc ... will be a fundamental requirement for developing SAP HANA XS native applications ...

SAP has been moving into web technologies slowly but steadily ... ITS services, BSP, Java and ABAP WebDynpro, mobile development, ... almost a decade later it is clear that having a good knowledge of internet and its underlying web technology is a great skill set for any professional SAP developer ...

ABAP is however far from gone ... the language is extended so that it supports interaction with the SAP HANA database objects ...

'Hybrid' SAP developers which can leverage their knowledge of both skill sets will have a great future ahead ...

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