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Processes & platforms

The three kinds of tools for creating useful SAP apps


SAP offers a huge number of standard Fiori web apps to manage your various business processes that work fine in many use cases. However, some areas require additional app development. Custom SAP apps or extensions to standard apps can be needed to help you optimize business processes and the user experience for example in logistics, warehouse management, purchasing, production, field service, and sales.

In SAP’s offering, mainly on the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), there are many options for custom app development. In addition to SAP’s solutions, there are a lot of generic app development platforms and user interface frameworks that can be used for building custom SAP apps. In general, the latest SAP ERP version SAP S/4HANA offers many more standard APIs compared to the older SAP ECC version. This makes API-based app development and the use of no-code and low-code platforms easier.

It can be difficult to choose the best solution from the various options. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at your options and let you know which tools we often use. 

No-code, low-code, and pro-code tools

The types of tools available can be divided into three categories:

  • No-code tools allow building simple apps without coding by using visual interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and pre-built templates. These allow anyone to implement simple apps in a short amount of time.
  • Low-code platforms allow rapid app development with a little coding using drag-and-drop editors and building blocks but they enable more complexity and customization to meet more complex business needs. This requires a bit more knowledge than no–code tools. 
  • Pro-code app development refers to the traditional process of building applications using coding languages and frameworks allowing full customization and advanced functionality. This requires experienced developers but allows the greatest level of customization and functionality. This is useful when creating advanced apps to unlock greater business potential. 

A closer look at the different solutions

There are both SAP tools and 3rd-party tools you can use to create business apps. I’ve divided these into the no-code, low-code, and pro-code categories below: 


  • Standard Fiori apps provided by SAP are ready to be used as is. If needed, they can be extended in a limited way by designated key users to meet specific business requirements without the need for coding. For example, you can add new fields and make small changes to the layout of the user interface.
  • SAP Build apps on SAP BTP is an app development solution designed to quickly create apps without coding regardless of role or skill level.

Standard Fiori apps are increasingly used as SAP’s primary user interface as companies migrate to the SAP S/4HANA system. At Vincit, we also use SAP Build apps for simple use cases as it offers the needed tools and is easy to work with. We have built for example reports, web forms, worklists, and approval apps based on workflows and process automation.


  • SAP Fiori Elements is a framework that is made up of the most commonly used templates designed to speed up development by cutting down the amount of code needed to build SAP Fiori apps. 
  • Mendix provides a single integrated low-code development environment where developers of different skill levels can build apps. 
  • OutSystems is a low-code development platform that gives developers tools for developing, deploying, and managing enterprise applications. 
  • Microsoft Power Platform offers AI-assisted low-code tools for developing apps.
  • Neptune DXP is a SAP-centric and SAP certified low-code app platform with direct connection to SAP data and processes. The Fiori user interface framework is used in frontend development so the end user experience is the same as in SAP Fiori apps.

We mainly use Neptune DXP as a low-code platform in SAP app development as it enables a cost-effective way to build mobile and web apps in SAP systems and quickly respond to new and changing business requirements. Over the years, we have built hundreds of Neptune apps mainly for the SAP logistics use cases including sales and distribution, field service and plant maintenance, warehouse management, production, quality management, purchasing, incoming invoice processing, and master data management.

We also use SAP Fiori Elements as a fast and uniform way to create simple Fiori apps and reports when the requirements fit the layouts supported by Fiori Elements. 


  • Custom Fiori apps are developed using  SAP Business Application Studio on SAP BTP. 
  • SAP Mobile Services is an open standards-based cloud platform that enables mobile application development, configuration, and management. 
  • React apps on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure provides a range of services and deployment options for hosting React apps, allowing experienced developers to choose the best approach based on your application's requirements. React apps can also be built on other cloud platforms. 

We’ve built a lot of custom Fiori apps aligned with specific business requirements. Use cases include for example quotation and order processing, invoicing, claim handling, field service and plant maintenance, warehouse management, production, purchasing, and project management.

We use React apps on Azure for the most complex cases that require a highly customized user experience and functionality. This is because React offers a lot of flexibility and options in the hands of an experienced developer. Example use cases include mobile apps for Android and iOS devices for service warehouse and consignment stock customers, registration forms for new customers, approval workflows, and document management built on top of Microsoft Azure, SharePoint, and SAP.

So which tools should you use for SAP app development? There’s not one right answer, as it depends on the nature of the app you’re creating, your current system landscape and architecture guidelines, license costs, the speed of development, and the availability of resources.

When it comes time for you to choose an SAP app development tool, we’re happy to help you to decide on the best one for the situation at hand. Contact us to discuss more.