Integration…Integration… Integration…How SAP Plans to Resolve This Challenge?

By Nabheet Mandan, Movilitas Principal Consultant

A common goal for companies is to become an intelligent enterprise. One step is through integration. However, it can be a challenge. For example, a customer has N number of different SAP, partner, and third-party systems. Each system has specific requirements and options for integration. More the degree of heterogeneity, the more integration types we need to complete.

System Integration
Image source: Author

As the technology stack is evolving, so have SAP Integration options, such as the release of SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. In this blog post, we will review the Suite’s components and how it supports new methods to integrate.

What is SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite?

Before we review the different integration options, let’s take a closer look at the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. It is a one-stop-shop for all your integration business needs:

  • Data-based integration
  • API
  • Creating data pipelines
  • Integration for the analytic needs

This suite supports it all. The solutions can handle all types of integration scenarios.

SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite
Image source: Author


Understanding the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite

SAP API Business Hub

SAP API Business Hub is the easiest and quickest way to integrate SAP products or third-party products from selected partners. The hub provides a pre-packaged set of APIs that are available out-of-the-box. For example, we have APIs for integration between SAP Ariba and SAP Concur or SAP Sucessfactor with ADP tax credits. It also includes predeveloped APIs that can be applied for integrating different systems. These are all standard. What if you want to expose custom data? And, every client has custom information😊 This is where the next options come into the picture.

SAP API Business Hub
Image source: SAP

API Management

APIs are the basic building blocks of digital transformation. You will already have a pre-packaged set of APIs available via SAP API Business Hub; yet, what about customer-specific projects and requirements? SAP API Management helps to fully manage the API lifecycle, from creation to applying policies to discovery.

SAP API Management
Image source: SAP

Open Connectors

SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors provides a library of pre-built connectors for many third-party applications, such as Salesforce, Zoho, Twitter, etc. There are more than 150+ connectors available and ready to use. These open connectors create a uniform API layer across different backends such as REST, SOAP, etc. You can be up and running in no time using them.

SAP Open Connectors
Image source: SAP

Enterprise Messaging

Asynchronous and decoupled communication via events is the need of the hour. It is crucial to keep the core of ERP systems clean. Enterprise messaging allows different systems to integrate and exchange messages via events and those with loose coupling. Enterprise messaging is also used to build decoupled extensions for your ERP system

SAP Enterprise Messaging
Image source: SAP

SAP Graph

SAP Graph is the latest addition and still in beta. It provides a single tunnel to access data from SAP systems. This single tunnel or API is based on SAP one domain model. The one domain model will help in reducing the overall integration efforts of different SAP systems.

SAP Graph
Image source: SAP

Integration Advisor

The Integration Advisor helps in the implementation of application-to-application integration, business-to-business integration, or business-to-government. It enables us to create custom flows that can cater to different industry standards.

SAP Integration Advisor
Image source: SAP

Serverless Runtime

The serverless runtime service allows you to build extensions to existing systems by keeping the core clean. You only need to worry about your extension and the scalability; the management of infrastructure is the service provider’s responsibility. It provides a different type of runtimes such as Python, Nodejs, etc., to cater to a wide variety of developers.

SAP Data Intelligence

SAP Data Intelligence helps to build data pipelines. You can leverage pipelines for data cleansing, transform, etc. — typical ETL stuff. This same data via pipelines can be fed to data lake or any machine learning system. The sky is the limit.

We have reviewed the different options that are available for integrating data via SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. The next section covers the options in action via a sample scenario.

Sample Scenario in Action

An SAP Global Track and Trace (GTT) instance is running on Cloud, which provides real-time updates about shipments. A shipment is in transit and sending real-time data (e.g., GPS coordinates and temperature) to SAP GTT via SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. The Integration Suite is used for the following:

  • Update information in SAP GTT for any changes in the ERP system related to the shipment in transit via Integration Advisor (SAP CPI).
  • Update the shipment document or initiate or update any other transaction document in ERP or other backend systems with real-time information in the SAP GTT system via Integration advisor(SAP CPI).
  • Receive or send data to any other third-party applications using the same SAP GTT data via Integration advisor (SAP CPI).

In this scenario, we have used the typical Integration Advisor service to create flows and connectors.

SAP Global Track and Trace in Action
Image source: Author

What Is Next?
This blog post provided a high-level overview of different integration options. Stay tuned for upcoming posts that will provide a deep-dive of details of individual domain models.