Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ruby over ABAP - is this SAP's cloud PaaS play?

Something caught my eye the other day which might be nothing, but might be the first inkling of another global PaaS play. This great interview on InfoQ with Juergen Shmerder on Blue Ruby, SAP's implementation of a Ruby VM over their proprietary ABAP stack.

So this is SAP's strategy to drive much broader developer adoption of the ABAP technology in which much of SAP's ERP products are written. (Let's face it they're never going to do it with ABAP by itself! ;-) ) To quote Vishal Sikka, SAP CTO:

"The language Ruby, for example, is thought to have reached a million programmers faster than any other language ever."

Now Blue Ruby itself is still very much still in SAP's laboratory, but when you combine this with SAP's recent acquisition of cloud application platform Coghead's IP assets, and (maybe I'm reading too much into this) you start to see another PaaS play emerging. In the same way that SalesForce have leveraged their leadership position in the CRM space to drive adoption of Force.com and the Apex language, so SAP might play in the ERP space with Ruby:

GoogleSalesForceMicrosoftBungee ConnectHerokuSAP?
PlatformGoogle App EngineForce.comAzureBungee ConnectHeroku (Rails over Amazon EC2)SAP Cloud Platform?
LanguageJava and PythonApexC#, VB, Python, RubyBungee Logic (proprietary)RubyABAP and Ruby

1 comment:

nocturnal said...

I have programmed both in ABAP and in Ruby, and personally i don't like any of them. ABAP is pretty much COBOL and it's feels silly to code in it in this era. ( i know there are some advance stuff in it, but it sucks ). Putting Ruby on ABAP gives no benefit at all as both don't provide any benefits to developer. ( At the end of day, it's all about how fast i can write code that is secure and robust.