If you are an ABAP developer and decide you want to become a full stack developer by learning SAP Fiori, this post is for you!
In this post, I’ll explain how to go about this adventurous—but very fruitful—journey.
First, Why Become a Full Stack Developer?
There are two major benefits of becoming a full stack developer.
The first is that you become an even more-valuable developer for your team. Think of this: Whenever bugs are identified in SAP Fiori apps, it is very important to figure out if the bug belongs to the UI code or the backend code, so that they can be efficiently triaged. As a full stack developer, you have the skillset to do this task, and you’ll likely be much faster (and save time) than having both a frontend and backend developer looking at the issue.
The second advantage of knowing SAP Fiori is how it helps progress your career as an SAP application architect. Whenever your organization creates a new project, rarely will it require ABAP skills alone. Most projects have an SAP Fiori UI included as some part of the deliverable. As an application architect, you’ll support your sales and presales team by creating the app for the delivery stage. This is why full stack developers are rated highly and can easily transition into an SAP application architect role.
Skills Needed for SAP Fiori and Full Stack Development
Now that we have discussed the importance of learning SAP Fiori, let us look at what skills are involved with being an SAP Fiori Developer.
The next skill relates to SAP Fiori elements. SAP Fiori elements is a technology that is built over SAPUI5 that can automate UI creation by using annotations. As an ABAP developer, this can help you generate UIs with almost no SAPUI5 coding. I would suggest you start with this technology in your SAP Fiori journey and gradually get familiar with SAPUI5. (This is called top-down learning where you learn abstracting technologies first and get into technicalities [deep dive] later.
The next topics should already be familiar to you. As an ABAPer, OData was probably the easiest technology (and standard) to master. You’ll need to keep it in mind as you use ABAP code (via SAP Gateway) to generate OData services.
Lastly, the ABAP RESTful Application Programming model is a mandatory skill to have if you work with SAP S/4HANA systems. This is a relatively new framework that makes it easy for you to create OData services, as well as create an SAPUI5 frontend (using SAP Fiori elements). ABAP RESTful Application Programming model is mandatory if you’re working on an SAP S/4HANA system from version 1909 onward. If you are on earlier versions of SAP S/4HANA, you can use the framework ABAP Programming Model for SAP Fiori which is a very similar technology, but slightly more complex. It’s recommended to learn ABAP RESTful Application Programming model.
How to Gain These Skills
Let us explore how and where you can get the skills that we’ve identified in the previous section. We will also explore what are the best tools to use, so that you head in the right direction.
You can get started with theory and some hands-on exercises by utilizing SAP PRESS books. I have always been a fan of SAP PRESS because of their high-quality content. Here are a few of my recommendations, including a book I wrote for them.
- Full Stack Development with SAP, by Rene Glavanovits, Martin Koch, Daniel Krancz, and Maximilian Olzinger
- SAP Fiori Certification Guide: Development Associate Exam, by Krishna Kishor Kammaje
- SAP Fiori: Implementation and Development, by Souvik Roy, Aleksandar Debelic, and Gairik Acharya
- SAP Fiori Elements: Development and Extensibility, by Rene Glavanovits, Martin Koch, Daniel Krancz, and Maximilian Olzinger
- ABAP RESTful Programming Model: ABAP Development for SAP S/4HANA, by Stefan Haas and Bince Mathew
Another great way of honing your skills is by getting practical exposure: Nothing beats learning in a real-time project environment. This is how I, as an ABAP developer, learned SAPUI5 and OData for the first time. As part of your project, there will be many OData and SAPUI5 tasks. Next time you start a project, talk with your project manager and commit to any tasks related to OData and to small tasks in SAPUI5. For example:
- Setting up the SAP Fiori launchpad tiles
- Adding an attachment screen
- Adding a simple form
- Adding UI annotations within CDS views
- Creating OData services
Another unconventional way (that helped me a lot) of honing any new SAP skill is by contributing to community literature by answering questions, writing small blog posts about your learnings, and even creating YouTube videos. When you think from a content creator’s shoes, your understanding expands and you are forced to think about the same topic from different angles, all of which improve and solidify your skills.
Lastly, when you feel you’re ready, I recommend going for the SAP Fiori certification. I am always a proponent of getting certified in an area; not for the brand value of the certification, but rather because certification usually gives a learning path to pursue for a useful skill. C_FIORIDEV_22 is the code for the SAP Certified Fiori Developer certification.
Onward, ABAP explorer! By embracing SAP Fiori, mastering SAPUI5, harnessing SAP Fiori elements, taming OData, and venturing into the realm of the ABAP RESTful Application Programming model, you'll be able to transform yourself into a full stack expert. Get certified, devour those SAP PRESS books, contribute to the community, and dive into real projects. This journey may have its challenges, but it's filled with excitement, growth, and the thrill of becoming an SAP application architect. So gear up, grab your developer cape, and conquer the SAP Fiori universe!