SES 3: The Architecture of an Extension

SAP Cloud Platform is placed as the central extension platform for all SAP products moving forward. Now we know that SCP is a secure and scalable application container that can integrate in a secure manner to both cloud and on-premise systems. You can develop extension applications giving them access to the SAP Cloud Solution APIs. You can also create tailored-business workflows that fit perfectly to your business needs.

The typical SCP extension application follows the classical three-tier software architecture and brings in solution-specific artifacts to be imported in the extended SAP solution. Typically, a normal SAP HCP application integrates with extended SAP solution via APIs. So ideally, it is running on SAP HCP in the same datacenter together with the extended solution. In any case, both extended SAP Cloud Solutions and SAP HCP are hosted by SAP and enable applications to communicate through a secure, SSL-encrypted connection. In many cases, extension applications consume data from other backend systems that reside either in cloud or on-premise. An extension application may also bundle native artifacts in particular to the extended SAP cloud solution like data view definitions, custom business objects, permissions, UI definitions, etc.

Extension Application Frontend Layer

The majority of SAP HCP extensions begin with “UI first” by creating a UI mock. SAP recommends using SAP HCP HTML5 application for the purpose. Thus, if you decide to leverage SAPUI5 for your application, then you could benefit from the SAP Web IDE. For SAPUI5, SAP HANA Cloud Platform supports additional integration features too like dynamic branding for portal sites.

Now, what is Dynamic Branding, again?

Since one of the requirements for extension applications is to integrate perfectly in the extended SAP solution like another native module, branding plays an important role here. Thus, by using SAP HANA Cloud Portal sites, an extension application has the opportunity to leverage dynamic branding and get color scheme configured in the SAP cloud solution.

#Insight

This feature is only supported for SAP UI5 based applications but depending on the customer and partner demands and requirements, support for dynamic branding may be extended towards other open source UI frameworks.

The common approach to decouple UI from the backend is via JSON/OData services, which allows you to separate UI development from backend services with reliable testing framework. Despite the widespread news of cross-sectional experts, practice shows that having specialized UI and backend developers, working together pays off in the long run. This is the reason why SAP recommends exploring SAPUI5 Mock Server to scale development process.

What is SAPUI5 Mock Server?

The SAPUI5 Mock Server mocks OData backend calls, simulating an OData provider that runs completely in the client. This is highly recommended for experimenting with various options for backend calls while designing UI, thereby eliminating the overhead to develop throwaway code which might have to be changed couple of times before the user interaction and UI are finalized.

#Insight

To instantiate SAPUI5 Mock Server, create an instance of sap.ui.core.util.Mock-Server in your JavaScript tier, and then use .start( ) method to start the server. Also, make sure to comment out that functionality once you are ready with the final version of the UI.

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