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    Deploy to Cloud Foundry

    Learn here about the essential steps to deploy a CAP application to SAP BTP Cloud Foundry environment.

    Intro & Overview

    After completing the functional implementation of your CAP application by following the Getting Started or Cookbook guides, you would finally deploy it to the cloud for production. The essential steps are illustrated in the following graphic:


    First, you apply these steps manually in an ad-hoc deployment, as described in this guide. Then, after successful deployment, you automate them using CI/CD pipelines.

    This guide is available for Node.js and Java. Press v to switch, or use the toggle.


    The following sections are based on our cap/samples/bookshop project. Download or clone the repository, and exercise the following steps in the bookshop subfolder:

    git clone samples
    cd samples/bookshop

    The following sections are based on a new Java project that you can create like this:

    cds init bookshop --add java,samples
    cd bookshop

    If you want to use a ready-to-be-deployed sample, see our java/samples.

    In addition, you need to prepare the following:

    1. SAP BTP with SAP HANA Cloud Database up and Running

    As starting the SAP HANA database takes several minutes, we recommend doing these steps early on. In trial accounts, you need to start the database every day.

    2. Latest Versions of @sap/cds-dk

    Ensure you have the latest version of @sap/cds-dk installed globally:

    npm -g outdated        #> check whether @sap/cds-dk is listed
    npm i -g @sap/cds-dk   #> if necessary

    Likewise, ensure the latest version of @sap/cds is installed in your project:

    npm outdated           #> check whether @sap/cds is listed
    npm i @sap/cds         #> if necessary

    3. Cloud MTA Build Tool

    • Run mbt in a terminal to check whether you’ve installed it.
    • If not, install it following the instructions in the MTA Build Tool’s documentation.
    • For macOS/Linux machines best is to install using npm:
      npm i -g mbt

    4. Cloud Foundry CLI w/ MTA Plugins

    Prepare for Production

    If you followed CAP’s grow-as-you-go approach so far, you’ve developed your application with an in-memory database and basic/mock authentication. To prepare for production you need to ensure respective production-grade choices are configured, as illustrated in the following graphic.


    We’ll use the cds add <facets> CLI command for that, which ensures the required services are configured correctly and corresponding package dependencies are added to your package.json.

    1. Using SAP HANA Database

    While we used SQLite as a low-cost stand-in during development, we’re going to use a managed SAP HANA database for production:

    cds add hana --for production

    Learn more about using SAP HANA for production.

    2. Using XSUAA-Based Authentication

    Configure your app for XSUAA-based authentication:

    cds add xsuaa --for production

    Learn more about SAP Authorization and Trust Management/XSUAA.

    This will also generate an xs-security.json file, with roles/scopes derived from authorization-related annotations in your CDS models. Ensure to rerun cds compile --to xsuaa, as documented in the Authorization guide whenever there are changes to these annotations.

    3. Using App Router as Gateway

    Configure your app to use App Router as gateway:

    cds add approuter --for production

    The App Router acts as a single point-of-entry gateway to route requests to. In particular, it ensures user login and authentication in combination with XSUAA.

    Learn more about the SAP BTP Application Router.

    If you want to use the SAP Launchpad service instead of the standalone App Router, learn about adding the SAP Launchpad service in the End-to-End tutorial.

    4. Using MTA-Based Deployment

    We’ll be using the so-called Cloud MTA Build Tool to execute the deployment. The modules and services are configured in an mta.yaml deployment descriptor file, which we generate with:

    cds add mta

    Learn more about MTA-based deployment

    The previous steps are required only once in a project’s lifetime. With that done, we can repeatedly deploy the application.

    Deploy as Saas
    If you want to deploy the app as a multitenant SaaS solution, you can now fast-forward to the SaaS guide. Otherwise follow this guide and decider later to switch to SaaS.

    5. Freeze Dependencies

    Deployed applications should freeze all their dependencies, including transient ones. Create a package-lock.json file for that:

    npm update --package-lock-only

    Learn more about dependency management for Node.js

    Note: You should regularly update your package-lock.json to consume latest versions and bug fixes. Do so by running this command again, for example each time you deploy a new version of your application.

    Build & Assemble

    Now, we use the mbt build tool to build and assemble everything into a single mta.tar archive, in a local ./gen folder as a staging area.

    mbt build -t gen --mtar mta.tar

    Got errors? See the troubleshooting guide.

    Learn how to reduce the MTA archive size during development.

    Optional — Running cds build Manually

    The mbt build command runs cds build to generate additional deployment artifacts and prepare everything in a ./gen folder. You can also run a build selectively as a test, and to inspect what is generated:

    cds build --production
    mvn clean install

    Learn more about running and customizing cds build.

    Deploy to Cloud

    Finally, we can deploy the generated archive to Cloud Foundry:

    cf deploy gen/mta.tar

    You need to be logged in to Cloud Foundry.

    This process can take some minutes and finally creates a log output like this:

    Application "bookshop" started and available at

    Copy and open this URL in your web browser. It’s the URL of approuter application.

    You can also visit the “Applications” section in your SAP BTP cockpit to see the deployed apps:

    The screenshot shows the SAP BTP cockpit, when a user navigates to his dev space in the trial account and looks at all deployed applications.

    We didn’t do the admin role assignment for the admin service. You need to create a role collection and assign the role and your user to get access.

    Got errors? See the troubleshooting guide.

    Next Steps

    Turn the app into a multitenant SaaS solution. See the SaaS guide for more.

    Learn about how to automate deployments using CI/CD pipelines.