Exploring How to Make Landscapes Core Compliant

Objective

After completing this lesson, you will be able to Keep landscapes reliable and flexible in a clean core compliant way.

Clean Landscapes

Introduction

So far, we have looked at three dimensions of clean core, business processes, extensions, and data. We now turn our attention to the landscape dimension. By "landscape" we refer to the total of different systems that enterprises use for different purposes, and the inevitable necessary integrations between them. Clean core matters here as much as it does in the other dimensions. "Keep the landscape flexible and reliable" is the mantra for the landscape dimension. In this lesson, we see how to do this.

Watch the video to get an overview of the dimension — integration.

Mantra: "Keep the landscape reliable."

Base Integrations on Standard APIs

When integrating SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems with other systems, it is important to base the integrations as much as possible on standardized OData and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) APIs. These APIs allow for communication and data exchange between systems, ensuring smooth and efficient processes. They represent a robust and flexible framework for integrating diverse systems, ensuring smooth communication and interoperability along with security and reliability. They are important for integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the various LoB solutions, as part of the SAP product portfolio. For example, SAP Ariba, SAP SuccessFactors, or SAP Fieldglass.

An excellent tool to discover and explore APIs is the SAP Business Accelerator Hub. With this tool, customers can explore APIs by category, product, domain, or even business process. In addition to basic exploration, for OData APIs customers can "try them out" against a sandbox system provisioned by SAP and dedicated for this purpose.

Apply SAP Integration Suite

SAP Integration Suite is SAP's integration platform as a service (iPaaS) which provides a complete and comprehensive solution for implementing middleware (also referred to sometimes as mediated) based integration scenarios. As a complete solution, SAP Integration Suite determines if a target system's incoming messages must be forwarded (routing). If necessary, it performs message mapping before forwarding the message (mapping). It uses an extensive repository of adapters to ensure that the message is in a format that the target system can understand (connectivity).

Naturally since SAP Integration Suite is an out-of-the-box integration solution that works with the standardized APIs discussed. Both the OData and SOAP adapters allow developers to quickly and easily establish connectivity with target systems. Integration scenarios can be set up, and importantly, easily tested.

Use SAP Event Mesh for Event-Based Scenarios

A service offered as part of SAP Business Technology Platform is the SAP Event Mesh, which allows applications to communicate with one another via asynchronous events. This type of communication allows the design of event-driven business processes. With an event-driven architecture, you have an event provider that raises an event and an event consumer that is notified of the event and reacts accordingly. SAP Event Mesh functions as the "glue" between the provider and consumer.

For example, a company maintains business partners using SAP Master Data Governance on SAP S/4HANA Cloud and a business partner's mailing address is changed (a "change of state"). An event is raised. Both the event itself and also (if necessary) some contextual data associated with it is transferred to SAP Event Mesh. Several custom-built applications (such as a Node.js application running in SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry runtime) have "subscribed" to this event. SAP Event Mesh notifies them of the event and the contextual data. The custom-built applications then respond to the event. For example, each application can request the updated business partner information from SAP S/4HANA Cloud or an application can kick off a notification workflow for interested stakeholders.

These "asynchronous" designs are suitable for certain types of integration scenarios. The SAP Business Accelerator Hub, as with standardized OData and SOAP APIs, offers customers the ease and convenience of exploring event objects that can be used in integration scenarios.

Avoid Legacy APIs And Their Legacy Extension Options

While Remote Function Call (RFC) and Intermediate Document (IDoc) are common in SAP systems, they are only recommended for integrations if absolutely necessary. These older technologies do not align with clean core principles of keeping integration reliable and flexible. It's better to use the newer, more flexible technologies like OData and SOAP for integrations. By avoiding RFC's and IDoc's, organizations can embrace modern integration approaches that better align with clean core principles and promote a more agile and efficient ERP environment.

Use SAP Application Interface Framework

Traditionally IT staff have handled errors in interfaces. While that approach is appropriate if the error is technical in nature, in many instances the error is business-related, such as, bad data. In those situations, it makes sense for a business user to be able to monitor and correct errors in interfaces. In this situation, SAP Application Interface Framework comes into play. It allows business users to centrally monitor interfaces across technologies, such as OData, and SOAP, configure alerts for errors and fix errors without involving IT. Security features allow sensitive data deemed unnecessary for monitoring and error resolution to be hidden from business users. SAP Application Interface Framework allows companies to simplify their landscapes, reduce time needed for error handling and improve governance across their system landscapes.

Tools To Ensure Success:
  • SAP Integration Suite
  • SAP Event Mesh
  • SAP Application Interface Framework

SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology

We saw with the extension dimension of clean core that SAP Application Extension Methodology is available for customers to use. Also, with the data dimension, the SAP Data and Analytics Advisory Methodology is available. Integration is no exception. Here, customers have the SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology (ISA-M). ISA-M offers a comprehensive framework that helps accelerate hybrid integration platform design, safeguard integration projects based on SAP best practices, and enable an agile integration practice across your organization. Based on the methodology, companies can define, document, and apply a strategy for enterprise. The methodology offers a framework that includes:

  • integration use case patterns.
  • architecture blueprints.
  • more best practices for cloud and hybrid IT landscapes.
Its scope isn't limited to technical aspects. It also covers the organizational dimension of enterprise integration like setting up an Integration Center of Excellence and defining integration roles, including their tasks. It is an open framework whose concepts you can apply to integration technologies from SAP or the ones from other vendors. You can also adapt and enrich its concepts and content according to your needs. A well-defined adoption path allows you to apply the methodology in your organization step by step.

Customers are encouraged to use ISA-M to establish a clean core-compliant integration strategy. The easiest way to do so is through SAP Integration Assessment. SAP Integration Assessment is included in SAP Integration Suite and is also available as a separate service running in the SAP Business Technology Platform, Cloud Foundry environment. It applies SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology in a tool-based way.

Conclusion

Making SAP S/4HANA Cloud integrations clean core compliant is essential for organizations looking to optimize their ERP environment. Organizations can streamline their integration processes and ensure clean core compliance by following best practices and using appropriate tools, such as:

  • OData API's.
  • SOAP API's.
  • SAP Integration Suite.
  • SAP Event Mesh.
  • SAP Application Interface Framework.

With the right approach, organizations can build flexible, scalable, and efficient integrations that align with clean core principles and support their long-term ERP objectives.

Goals:
  • Upgrade stable interfaces.
  • Proper monitoring and error resolution capabilities
  • Only actively used and well-documented integration

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