SAP Neo and Cloud Foundry: how they are different

May 16, 2022 ZTalent

Last week, SAP Sapphire took place, an event where SAP shows how its services can help companies to make a qualitative leap in their digitalisation process. Many of the talks were related to the Cloud, one of the central themes of the event.

In 2012, SAP created the SAP Cloud Platform, which hosted two distinct environments: Neo and Cloud Foundry. How do the two environments differ, which is better, and what should we base our choice on? In this ZTalent blog post we discuss it.

SAP Cloud Platform at a glance

SAP Cloud Platform – SCP – was a platform created by SAP in 2012. Its aim was to enable the creation of new applications, as well as to allow the extension of other existing applications. All this could be done in a secure cloud computing environment, which was 100% managed by SAP.

After a few years, SAP transformed SCP and added other functionalities. The result was an umbrella of services called SAP Business Technology Platform – SAP BTP –. The decision to drop the old nomenclature was purely strategic. With SAP BTP, SAP seeks to establish a uniform, open and business-oriented technology foundation for all its applications. The aim is to focus on the business added value of the concept.

Neo and Cloud Foundry: differences

SAP offers two different development environments: Neo and Cloud Foundry. Each environment offers different choices of technologies, runtimes and services, which allows for great flexibility in your development process.

Neo environment

The Neo environment is feature-rich and easy to use, allowing you to develop Java, SAP HANA XS and HTML5 applications. You can also use SAPUI5 to develop an outstanding user interface for modern web-based business applications.

In addition, it contains SAP’s own runtime. On the other hand, Neo also supports virtual machines, so you can install and maintain your own applications in scenarios that are not covered by the platform.

Cloud Foundry environment

Cloud Foundry contains the Cloud Foundry application runtime, based on the open source application platform managed by the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Application developers can use Cloud Foundry to enhance SAP products and integrate enterprise applications, as well as to develop entirely new enterprise applications based on enterprise APIs that are hosted on SAP BTP. In addition, Cloud Foundry supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Node.js, and community/own-use language options.

Neo and Cloud Foundry: which one to choose?

SAP expert Raja Prasad Gupta explained the use cases for each environment. Since Neo is a feature-rich, easy-to-use development environment that supports Java, SAP HANA XS and HTML5 application development, we can use it to develop complex HTML5 and Java applications and for complex integration and extension scenarios.

On the other hand, we can use the Cloud Foundry environment for microservices-based applications, for Internet of Things and machine learning scenarios. Applications can also be developed using the SAP HANA extended application services, advanced model (SAP HANA XSA).


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