DevOps for Steampunk aka ABAP Cloud with ReleaseOwl

Steampunk is the new buzz word for the SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment or ABAP PaaS. With the ABAP rest-ful programming model and with access to all the SAP HANA capabilities, Steampunk is an innovative platform that is currently playing a hub role in integrating SAP systems, connecting SAP cloud services and any third-party external services.

ReleaseOwl, the leading cloud-native DevOps platform for SAP has announced its integrated Lifecycle management for ABAP Cloud. It also includes full support of the latest gCTS ( Git-based CTS ), which is the recommended approach for transporting objects between ABAP systems in your global account.

In addition to gCTS, ReleaseOwl has full support for ATC integration for ABAP thus enabling developers to have an compliance and early-warning system available out-of-the-box to ensure higher quality code at source.

Below is a typical 5-system landscape ( DEV, QA, UAT, Maintenance and PROD) that we see the ABAP development teams follow as an ABAP provisioning model to discuss the ReleaseOwl capabilities. As a DevOps platform you can use ReleaseOwl to setup your own landscape model with minimal setup effort.
ABAP LifeCycle Management with ReleaseOwl

This is a recommended model for teams who would want to run back-to-back releases and cannot pause the development line for any hotfix or urgent corrections.

This model also separates development from testing where changes are validated first in a non-development ABAP environment first before going-live to production.

Here is a flow of the events in the ABAP development Life Cycle powered by ReleaseOwl ( as shown in the image)
Release Manager typically creates a new software component, and the developers pull it into their DEV System.

Developers then work on their user stories in their Eclipse / Business Studio and deliver them as transport requests. As the transport request is released, the change will be pushed to Master Branch of the GIT repository (managed hosting done by SAP inside the ABAP cloud instance)

Using ReleaseOwl Build Pipelines and Release Pipelines, the teams can now get high quality code delivered into their QA instance with the following built-in capabilities:

a. Automated packaging and deployment of ABAP code
b. GIT Pull support with gCTS for deployments
c. Compliance and static code analysis testing with ATC and Code Inspector
d. ABAP Unit Test execution and Code Coverage

After the changes are deployed to QA environment, the testing team can test the functionality and provide the test results. Once the QA is complete, then using ReleaseOwl, the SAP release manager can create a NN+1 pattern release branch from Master and using Release pipelines pull the changes from Release Branch into UAT/Stage Instance.

The Business users then test functionality and validate with the business requirements. Incase of any immediate corrections, the release branch can be used to pull into a maintenance / correction ABAP instance, where fixes are provided and the transports are released back to the release branch using Eclipse.

Once the UAT is complete and the feature is ready to go-live as per the release decision, the Release Manager can run the pipeline in ReleaseOwl to push the changes into Production.

At each stage of deployment, the Release Manager can initiate an approval process for the deployment as a pre-deployment step or assign an task to the teams post-deployment. To retro-fit and merge the transport requests that are in Release Branch back to master branch, teams can adopt the double maintenance approach recommended by SAP experts.

CONCLUSION

The use of GIT as single source of truth and steampunk evolving as the go-to-platform for the future of ABAP development in cloud, the current offering of ReleaseOwl with cloud-native DevOps capabilities for ABAP will ensure great experience for SAP Development and Release Management Teams in delivering high-quality features with increased release velocity.

If you are more interested to know more about the product or get started with free cloud pilot program, please reach out to sales@releaseowl.com

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