Eat like never before: SAP Networking Lunch

Putting SAP HANA Cloud Platform to work

If you are working in a dynamic company, the following might sound familiar to you: You once worked in a project with a number of colleagues, but then everybody moved on into new projects or teams. You would like to stay in touch, but work keeps you busy and you just forget to catch up regularly. Besides that, you notice that you usually move around the same circle of colleagues. It is human nature to congregate with people that are very much like us and we tend to hang out with people who have similar experiences or perspectives as ours. Wouldn’t it be great to occasionally meet new colleagues and get insight into other areas of your company and include “unorthodox / not-your-daily-routine” people into your network?

At SAP we have an application, named “Networking Lunch”, which addresses exactly this topic – and we are using it successfully within the company with thousands of lunches organized already. It helps colleagues to stay in touch and also meet new colleagues by organizing joint lunch meetings.

Using it is very easy: All you have to do is to visit the Networking Lunch website and define the days and time ranges when you are available for lunch. You can also choose whether to meet new colleagues or lunch with ‘buddies’ you already know. The rest is done for you. The application automatically finds lunch partners that have matching time slots and sends out corresponding appointments via email.

No doubt, it is the easiest way to connect employees within your company by using their time they have at lunch to enable them to develop a company wide and diverse network.

Eat like never before: Boost your internal social network through a joint business lunch!


Although Networking Lunch can be used as a stand-alone application, it is one of the first to seamlessly integrate into SuccessFactors Employee Central:

  • Widgets can be used to organize lunches directly
  • Theming and navigation will automatically be adapted to fit the SuccessFactors styles
  • The same Single Sign On can be reused
  • Data and tag suggestions will be extracted from the employee profile to eliminate the need to enter data twice

Eat like never before: SAP Networking Lunch


The application is realized in Java and runs in the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. It provides a fine showcase how to integrate cloud-based and on-premise applications. In our example, we can access the SAP employee directory in the on premise IT landscape, the SuccessFactors Employee Central in the cloud and SAP’s groupware infrastructure operated on-premise.

Thanks to SAP HANA Cloud Platform the developers can concentrate on the application logic and do not have to invest much time into the infrastructure. Hosting, logging, user management, backend & database connectivity and much more are already available.

User Management: Users will be able to use Single-Sign-On with their corporate identity provider which removes the need to create an additional user account.
Scaling: Thanks to the flexible architecture Networking Lunch can withstand traffic spikes using the elasticity features of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
Database: While developers locally use Derby for testing the SAP HANA Cloud Platform provides HANA and MaxDB databases to choose from.
Backend Connectivity: The SAP Cloud Connector provides a secure channel to the company’s backend data, for example a non-public Exchange Web Server.
Document Service: Networking Lunch uses the CMIS compliant SAP HANA Cloud Platform document service to store binary data like profile pictures, custom terms of use and customization files.
UI: Having the SAP UI Development Toolkit for HTML5 (aka SAPUI5) as a front-end technology Networking Lunch provides a state-of-the-art user experience. Also, compliance for accessibility and localization became much easier. In addition, SAPUI5 for Mobile is used to provide a mobile app.