SAP BTP Environments – Cloud Foundry Vs ABAP Vs Kyma


Introduced in January 2021, SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is a unique and powerful solution offering by SAP. It is the technical foundation of entire SAP ecosystem and plays a crucial role for all SAP customers and partners.

SAP BTP offers 3 major environments – Cloud Foundry, ABAP and Kyma. SAP BTP offers one more environment as well called Neo, which is going to sunset.

In this blog, we will learn:

  • What exactly is SAP BTP Environments?
  • What are the differences between Cloud Foundry, ABAP and Kyma?
  • Why is Neo environment going to sunset and what’s the path forward for existing customers?

Note: If you are new to SAP BTP and looking for a simple explanation of what it is and what problem it solves, see Explaining SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) to a Beginner


What is SAP BTP Environment?

In SAP BTP, “environments” refer to the actual platform-as-a-service offering of SAP BTP that enables us to develop, run, and manage our applications and services.

Think of BTP environment as different playgrounds, each designed for specific types of tasks and technologies. They provide a suitable space for different kinds of software development and operations.

Each environment comes equipped with specific tools, technologies, and runtimes that you need to build applications.


SAP BTP offers you options to choose your preferred programming language, tools, runtime as per your own unique need.

Environments are anchored in SAP BTP on subaccount level. Hence from one BTP global account, you can have the flexibility of choosing environment of your choice.


Let’s take an analogy to understand is better.

In SAP BTP, an “environment” is like a digital workspace or playground where you can create and run different types of software applications.

Think of it as having different rooms in a house for various activities:

  • One room for building web apps (like Cloud Foundry)
  • Another room for working closely with SAP systems (like ABAP)
  • And yet another room for creating small, interconnected software pieces (like Kyma).

These environments provide specific tools and resources tailored to different types of software projects, making it easier for businesses to choose the right space for their specific needs within the SAP BTP ecosystem.


Cloud Foundry Environment

Think of this as a playground for building modern, cloud-based applications. It’s like a place where you can create web and mobile apps using popular programming languages and tools. This environment is great for developers who want to build flexible and scalable software that can run on the internet.

The Cloud Foundry contains the SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry runtime service, which is based on the open-source application platform managed by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. it enables us to develop new business applications and business services, supporting multiple runtimes, programming languages, libraries, and services.

Example use-case: We can use the Cloud Foundry environment to build a web application using Node.js or SAP Cloud Application programming Model, which connects to an SAP HANA database to retrieve and display real-time sales data.


ABAP Environment

In 2018, SAP added ABAP Environment to the SAP BTP, called SAP BTP ABAP Environment or Steampunk.

The ABAP Environment provides ABAP Platform as a service on SAP BTP. ABAP-minded customers and partners can reuse their ABAP skillset to

  • Create extensions for ABAP-based products, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud
  • Develop new cloud applications
  • Transform existing ABAP-based custom code or extensions to the cloud.


Few important points regarding ABAP Environment:

  • The ABAP environment is based on the latest ABAP platform cloud release that is also used for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
  • It supports the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model including SAP Fiori and Core Data Services (CDS).
  • The ABAP environment can be integrated with other SAP BTP services, such as SAP Destination service, SAP Build Work Zone, standard edition, SAP Workflow Management, and SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe.

Example use-case: You can use the ABAP environment to create custom reports and extensions for SAP S/4HANA, such as a specialized sales order processing application.

Kyma Environment

The Kyma environment is a fully managed Kubernetes runtime based on the open-source project “Kyma”. Kubernetes is the underlying technology that Kyma is built on. Kyma is basically a set of extensions to Kubernetes.
In a nutshell, Kyma combines the power of Kubernetes with a set of best-in-class tools and open-source projects, that empowers developers to develop, run, and operate secure and scalable cloud-native applications.

Major Benefits of SAP BTP, Kyma Runtime

  • A fully managed Kubernetes cluster on a hyperscaler of your choice.
  • The latest features of Kubernetes and its ecosystem.
  • Additional features through Kyma (Serverless, Eventing, Observability, Security, Service Mesh, Application Connectivity, and more).
  • Integration with other SAP services and products (for example: SAP BTP (Services), SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and so on).
  • Elimination of operations’ overhead (zero infrastructure management and maintenance effort).
  • Allowing your developers to focus on development.


Neo Environment – Going to Sunset in 2028

Neo was built on SAP proprietary technology stack. Offered since 2012, the Neo environment is the oldest of the application environments offered by SAP BTP.

However, Neo no longer provides the best technological path forward to build a cloud solution. Cloud foundry, ABAP and Kyma collectively combines all the scenarios. Recently SAP announced that Neo environment will be sunset on December 31, 2028, subject to terms of customer or partner contracts.

For more information on this, check the blog by


How to choose the right environment – Cloud Foundry Vs ABAP vs Kyma

Choosing the right environment in SAP BTP is like picking the right tool for a job. It depends on the type of software you want to build or the task you need to accomplish. To make the right choice, consider your project’s needs and objectives. Here are some important points.

Understand Your Project

Start by understanding what kind of software you need to build. Is it a modern web or mobile app, a specialized enterprise application closely tied to SAP systems, or a collection of small, interconnected services?


Consider Your Tools

Think about the programming languages and tools you’re comfortable with or that are best suited for your project. For example, if you’re skilled in JavaScript or Node.js, you might lean toward the Cloud Foundry environment. If you are ABAPer, you might think of ABAP environment.


Evaluate Use-case

If you plan to transform existing ABAP-based custom code then ABAP environment might be good choice.


Scalability and Flexibility

If your application needs to be highly scalable or requires microservices architecture, Kyma might be the right fit. Imagine you’re building an e-commerce platform, and you want to create small, independent components like a payment service or product catalog. Kyma’s microservices capabilities would be beneficial.


Serverless or Containers

Consider whether you need serverless functions or containerized applications. If you want to build event-driven, serverless components, Kyma provides that capability.


I hope by now, you will have a clear understanding of SAP BTP environments.


If you have any feedback or query, please let me know in the comment or get in touch with me at LinkedIn!


What’s Next?

Check this blog to get a comprehensive learning path for SAP BTP, customized for various job profiles such as Developer, Architect, Consultant and Administrator.

Learning Path for SAP BTP – Customized for Developer, Architect, Consultant and Administrator


Other blogs on SAP BTP from me, you might be interested:


Happy Learning!

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