In today’s business world, adding scope and reach to a company translates to extending core processes through innovative differentiation.

SAP’s short answer for that is to use SAP S/4HANA as the digital core of the enterprise and expanding it in unique ways with innovations powered by SAP Cloud Platform.

SAP Cloud Platform is SAP’s Platform-as-a-Service offering that can scale out indefinitely based on processing load, enabling agile and highly responsive solutions at the same time — all while keeping the core SAP system intact and taking the functionality of the digital core to new and beyond-enterprise constituencies in the cloud.

The platform brings powerful SAP Leonardo technologies — including IoT, machine learning, Big Data, blockchain, and beyond-ERP analytics — to your innovation toolbox, allowing you to invent and improve business capabilities without fragmenting your overall landscape into pools of redundant data.

Here I will highlight what implications this strategy bears for our partner ecosystem and how you can be successful in it with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud software development kit (SDK).

What Is the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK?

  • The SDK is SAP’s toolset for the development of enterprise-ready extensions for SAP S/4HANA, meeting 12 factor app standards
  • It provides SAP S/4HANA specific end-to-end capabilities, tools, and processes for development, life-cycle management and commercialization of extensions
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK is based on SAP Cloud Platform SDK and SAP Cloud Platform foundation services

SAP S/4HANA Extensions on SAP Cloud Platform: Merging Cloud and Subscription Model with Rock-Solid ERP Technology

SAP S/4HANA extensions built on SAP Cloud Platform are publicly discoverable and available for consumption in the SAP App Center. For our customers, this makes the process of finding, buying and getting software easier than ever. These solutions provide intelligent endpoints for SAP S/4HANA, which can be managed independently, based on their own lifecycles.

For partners, this constitutes an opportunity to take their wealth of domain experience ‘from project to product’ and enter the as-a-service market. By creating SAP S/4HANA solution offerings on SAP Cloud Platform, partners can apply new subscription-based business models, generating new revenue streams.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK: Partner’s Toolset to Industrialize the Creation of Extensions

While SAP Cloud Platform provides the developer with a choice of languages, it is important to understand that, when building for the Cloud, the consideration of which language to use needs to be taken in conjunction with a decision for the architecture of the solution. So, whereas node.js, Java and (forthcoming in 2018) ABAP workloads can be processed by SAP Cloud Platform, state-of-the-art SaaS development depends on achieving cloud qualities, which in turn is linked to languages supporting elastic scale-out behavior such as, for instance, Java and node.js.

On top of these architectural considerations, partners need to consider how to establish maximum quality and productivity, and this is where SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK comes in: The SDK is SAP’s strategic toolset for the development of SaaS apps based on the modern microservices architecture paradigm and meeting the industry’s twelve-factor app standards.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK is generally available, released to customers, partners, and the developer community at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas last month, and generating a true buzz in our ecosystem.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK enables development efficiency and high-quality standards in the software development and delivery process. By using the SDK, our partners can easily build enterprise grade software that is resilient, secure, and elastic. It allows achieving much faster development cycles within which enticing new features are continuously delivered in an agile way. Since customers can download partner applications at any time, independent of SAP S/4HANA release cycles, the SDK helps dramatically reduce our partners’ time to value. It helps massively reduce technical entrance barriers for digital inventors and cloud natives.

What are Partners Saying?

“The SDK gave us an ideal chance to implement our reinsurance solution in the cloud and take advantage of new possibilities there.”

-Helmut Königseder, Solution Architect at msg systems ag
Read what else they are saying here.

With SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK, partners can focus like never before on writing the business logic that is based on domain knowledge. All technological components that are available to partners in the business suite landscape management world are provided as platform services.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK: Toolbox to Build, Deliver, Sell, and Manage Scalable Extensions

Development Capabilities Product Lifecycle Capabilities Commercial Capabilities
  • Presentation & Access Channel
  • Runtimes (Java, node.js)
  • Security & Compliance**
  • Integration services (e.g. connectivity, destination)
  • SAP S/4HANA interoperability (CDS modeling & consumption*, Eventing*, SAP S/4HANA VDM consumption**, OData provisioning & consumption**)
  • SAP Cloud Platform abstractions**
  • Caching**
  • Analytics and search
  • Deployment
  • Container management
  • Upgrade
  • Scalability
  • Resilience**
  • Testing**
  • Mocking**
  • Code checks**


  • Store
  • Subscription
  • Metering infrastructure**
  • Microservices and app billing (vision)**


Assets and Accelerators
  • Project templates and best practices**
  • Open source project examples**
  • Tutorials and deep dives**

SAP Cloud Platform; * enhanced by SAP Cloud Platform SDK for service development; ** enhanced by SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK

As shown in the above diagram, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK includes all development capabilities provided by SAP Cloud Platform SDK for service development (e.g. OData provisioning and consumption, business events processing) and the foundational capabilities of SAP Cloud Platform for lifecycle management.

On top, it adds specific support for building, delivering and managing SAP S/4HANA extension solutions throughout their entire lifecycle. The most salient are:

  • Native access to the SAP S/4HANA virtual data model and APIs for Java-based development environments.
  • Fully transparent multi-tenant connectivity to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and on premise such that developers writing business logic do not have to worry about the different details of authentication and how connections are managed and configured across different tenants.
  • SAP Cloud Platform abstractions, allowing to develop and test applications easily across various environments, such as local runtimes, as well as SAP Cloud Platform Neo and SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Foundry.
  • Adoptions for several established open source technologies, which introduce enterprise-related capabilities to these frameworks and libraries.
  • Ready-made project templates such as Maven archetypes that allow to quickly bootstrap new applications and projects for getting started rapidly with writing SAP S/4HANA extensions.
  • A fully-fledged open-source Jenkins pipeline for a complete end-to-end development experience out-of-the box. This includes aspects ranging from various kinds of tests across all the layers of the application (such as unit, integration, or frontend tests) to a final zero-downtime deployment of the artifact to the productive environment.
  • Embedded quality checks fulfilling SAP S/4HANA quality requirements and best-practices used in our own solutions such as fulfilment of a minimum code coverage, ensuring resilient consumption of SAP S/4HANA APIs, or sufficient application logging.
  • Documentation and regular blog post series providing guidelines and examples for best practices and recommended approaches.

Mature at Birth

While a new instrument in our partners’ hands, SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK has been internally used and proven by SAP for years, acting as underpinning for our innovative applications SAP RealSpend, SAP Financial Statement Insights, and SAP Cloud for Real Estate.

Learn More and Meet Us at SAP TechEd

This year at SAP TechEd in Bangalore and Barcelona, we will offer several sessions focused on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud SDK and will give you the opportunity to talk to us in person about its capabilities and outlook. Please join me at this unique event and share your feedback and questions with us.

Additional Resources