Traditionally, software development has required specialist skills, an ample budget, and time. If you wanted bespoke software, you had two choices: develop in-house with your team or procure a bespoke solution from external providers. While both approaches produce software products that provide an absolute fit with business requirements, they come with high build costs and long timelines. But until recently, there was no other option; building software with minimum coding or without any coding at all was considered futuristic.
But that futuristic approach is today’s reality. We can now build efficient apps that map closely to business requirements using low-code/no-code approaches in the SAP landscape. This is truly revolutionary. Feature-rich composers give developers the power to design and build an app or solution with drag/drop functionality and a few clicks. SAP iRPA or SAP Conversational AI or Workflow are excellent examples of such low-code/no-code tools from SAP.
Pros and Cons of Low-Code/No-Code Development Platforms
There are clear business benefits to using these platforms:
- Fulfills business requirements with lower development costs and build timelines
- Requires fewer niche skills
- Enables users to quickly build applications and reduces strict technical training requirements
- Provides faster application enhancements to incorporate new features
Though low-code/no-code platforms provide a faster and more cost-effective application build opportunity, they do come with a few limitations:
- There is still a dependency on skilled professionals if development involves low coding
- Some critical UX requirements might need advanced enhancement, requiring coding by skilled professionals
- Strict dependency on the low-code/no-code platform means little flexibility on underlying technologies
- Limited native features in the apps when compared to iOS-/Android-native apps
SAP Tools for Low-Code/No-Code Developments
If you are a SAP user or developer, you are in luck. SAP has developed or acquired many low-code/no-code tools covering a range of developments. Examples of such SAP tools are:
- SAP Build – It offers quick (drag-and-drop) wireframing and prepares clickable prototypes following SAP Fiori design principles. It also generates code that can be reused for application development, including mobile application development.
- SAP Skill Builder for CoPilot – It is a web-based tool to create chatbots using oData services, which can be integrated into CoPilot. SAP Skill Builder was tightly coupled with CoPilot, but SAP has now discontinued it since acquiring RecastAI and rebranding it as SAP CAI.
- SAP CAI (Conversational AI) – SAP acquired this chatbot designing platform to enable developers to quickly design and integrate BOTs. It also enables to integrate BOTs with a wide range of frequently used digital assistants with ready-to-connect configuration steps.
- SAP iRPA (Intelligent RPA) – SAP acquired this automation platform that allows you to quickly design and develop automation BOTs.
- SAP Mobile Development Kit (SAP MDK) – It is a powerful mobile application development platform based on metadata and native script. It was the only low-code/no-code mobile application development platform from SAP. This has now been replaced by Appgyver.
No app development experience? No problem, thanks to Appgyver
SAP’s recent acquisition of Appgyver adds one more highly efficient low-code/no-code mobile app development tool to their offerings. Replacing SAP MDK provides far greater flexibility. The advanced editor of Appgyver enables developers to build highly efficient hybrid mobile apps quickly for both Android and iOS.
While all earlier app development tools required at least a basic level of app programming knowledge, Appgyver can be used by any developer (non-IT) without any prior app development experience.
Some key features offered by Appgyver that strengthen the no-code app building capability include:
- Multiplatform support – Supports Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows platforms
- Multi-device support – Runs on desktop, laptop, mobile (Android/iOS), tablets (Android/iOS), and TV
- Offline capability – Offers apps to support offline features
- REST service support –Supports REST services to be integrated with apps
- Add-on library – Provides a UI add-on library to add new UI elements to an advanced composer
- Rich composer – Offers a feature-rich composer to design and build apps
- Theming – Supports application themes and provides a theming tool to adjust colors and branding standards based on requirements
- Debugging – A complete debugging console helps developers track down issues
Further details about Appgyver can be found at https://www.appgyver.com/.
Appgyver Adoption Use Cases
Because of its sophistication, ease of use, and features, Appgyver supports many use cases. A few worth considering for their clear value include:
- It can be considered as a quick prototype tool or pilot application to evaluate the advantage of mobile business applications and the adoption of mobile apps for business users
- It can be adopted to quickly mobilize business applications
- It can provide an alternative to the existing mobile application strategy for organizations
- It offers an alternative to SAP Fiori if an application needs to use native features and offline capability
With the acquisition of Appgyver, SAP offers a strong low-code/no-code platform, especially for hybrid application development. This is the next-generation platform for the SAP landscape, allowing users to quickly build prototypes or fully functional business applications in SAP BTP (Business Technology Platform). Replacing SAP MDK, Appgyver provides more flexibility over MDK-based apps. Appgyver is a strong alternative to mobile application development platforms in the SAP BTP offerings.