Is SAC Application Design enterprise ready?
No, but that’s okay.
Somewhere this quarter we can expect the new Application Design option in SAP Analytics Cloud, which enables us to do the things that we know from SAP Lumira Designer like scripting and setting up more complex custom interactions. I think we should really see this as a sort of preview release to get familiar with the tool and definitely not as a full featured solution that is capable of everything that Lumira Designer already can do. This is also in line with the expectations that were set by the SAP engineers at the announcement in mid-2018, who communicated that it would probably take around two years to catch up with Lumira Designer.
So for me there are a couple of must-haves before this tool is ready for serious usage scenarios. First, without container component the Application Design option will never work for apps that go further than simple one-page demo scenarios. We need options to group widgets that belong to each other so that we can create multiple pages and setup scripts on the whole group at once. Without this it will be a nightmare to build multi layer applications as you’d need scripts to hide/show each widget individually. In addition to this, global scriptsare also a must to be able to reuse scripts within the application. Performanceis always an issue when applications get more complex. Therefor, we need (scripting) options to tweak the way that data sources are loaded: loading order, background loading, parallel loading, lazy loading etc.
With these must-haves I believe the Application Design could already work in an enterprise setting, but, as always, I have a longer list of nice-to-haves. Here we go: Support for bookmarks, export options (PDF/CSV/Excel), composites/application templates, more styling/CSS options, mobile support, pixel-perfect sizing and (relative) positioning of widgets and of course making all the SAC story features available in App Design (for example the Geo map is not available yet). Finally, it would be great if we could migrate a SAC story into an SAC app (#Interoperability), as we are now in a situation where you’d have to decide upfront which of the two solutions you will use.
As you can see below the roadmap for 2019 already covers most of the above points! So let’s be a bit patient here and do this same exercise at the end of the year to see how far we are. If you want to check out Application Design in the meantime, make sure you check my article on 5 tips to kickstart SAC Application Design.