Discussing Integration for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Deployment Options

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Discuss integration for SAP S/4HANA Cloud deployment options

Integration in the Intelligent Enterprise

Key Integration Principles for the Intelligent Enterprise

SAP's integration strategy is based on four key principles:

Out-of-the-box integration

  • Prepackaged content supporting integration of the end-to-end business processes in SAP's intelligent suite (Lead to Cash, Design to Operate, Source to Pay, and Recruit to Retire)
  • Prebuilt integration content can be found in SAP Best Practices Explorer and the SAP API Business Hub
  • The Cloud Integration Automation Service (CIAS) enables easy deployment of supported SAP Best Practices integration scenarios.

Open integration

  • SAP is open for any third-party integration and custom extensions that leverage public APIs.
    • An Application Programming Interface (API) is a messenger that allows two applications to talk to each other. An API delivers a request from one system to another, then returns a response. They facilitate communication between systems by selectively exposing certain functionalities, allowing different applications, websites, or devices to communicate with each other.
  • SAP provides prebuilt connectors for 160+ third-party applications with Open Connectors in the SAP Integration Suite.

Holistic integration

  • SAP provides a holistic integration technology portfolio that covers all flavors of integration required in cloud and hybrid landscapes.
  • With SAP Integration Suite, SAP supports all types of integration use cases, ranging from process, data, user, and IoT, to analytics-centric integration.
  • The Integration Solution Advisory Methodology helps enterprise architects shape the integration strategy for their organizations, which can include integration technologies from SAP and third parties.

AI-driven integration

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to simplify the development of integration scenarios.
  • For example, the Integration Advisor capability has a crowd-based machine learning approach to enable users to define, maintain, share, and deploy Business-to-Business (B2B) and Application-to-Application (A2A) integration content much faster than building it from scratch.

Integration Solution Advisory Methodology

Integration Solution Advisory Methodology

SAP has provided the Integration Solution Advisory Methodology (ISA-M) as a component of the holistic integration principle. This methodology is designed to support enterprise integration architects in shaping and documenting their integration strategy. ISA-M includes a collection of typical integration use case patterns in a hybrid landscape that can be mapped to various integration services/technologies based on a customer's requirements. The methodology is open to include SAP and non-SAP integration services and technologies in the overall integration strategy.

The Integration Solution Advisory Methodology consists of three major components:

  • Integration domains are entry points of the methodology that describe typical integration areas within a hybrid system landscape, such as on-premise-to-cloud or cloud-to-cloud integration.
  • Integration styles describe the different categories of integration: process, data, user, and IoT centric. Each integration style has specific characteristics and can be refined by use-case patterns.
  • Integration technology mapping takes integration styles and use-case patterns and maps them to integration technologies and services, including technologies from SAP and third parties. This allows enterprise architects to derive integration guidelines for their organizations. A sample integration guideline could state that the SAP Cloud Integration service is the preferred integration technology for the process integration style within the on-premise-to-cloud integration domain. This mapping depends on the customer context, which takes into consideration aspects such as existing investments and available skill sets.

SAP Integration Suite

SAP Integration Suite Overview

The SAP Integration Suite offers a modular set of integration services covering all needs in cloud and hybrid landscapes:

  • Process integrations (application to application) across value chains, such as lead to cash, recruit to retire, source to pay, and design to operate
  • Master data integrations that provide master data consistency leveraging SAP One Domain Model
  • API-driven integrations, including full API lifecycle management and omnichannel access
  • Event-driven integrations to support sense-and respond scenarios based on business events
  • Data integration and pipelines to support artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data lake or data warehousing scenarios with the SAP Data Intelligence solution
  • B2B integrations to integrate with suppliers across the digital ecosystem, including e-government - business to government (B2G) - integrations to support document compliance
SAP Integration Suite is complemented by existing on-premise technologies such as SAP Data Services software (from the solutions for enterprise information and data management from SAP) and SAP Process Orchestration software.

SAP Cloud Integration, SAP Cloud Connector, and SAP API Management

SAP Cloud Integration, SAP Cloud Connector, and SAP API Management are integral components of the SAP Integration Suite. Watch the video to learn more.

SAP API Business Hub

The SAP API Business Hub is a public catalog of all SAP APIs and partner APIs to enable integration and application developers in the SAP ecosystem to discover, test, and use public APIs from SAP, and integration content for the SAP Integration Suite. The APIs are documented in the open API format, which is a vendor-neutral open-source format. To ensure stability of the APIs on the API Business Hub, SAP has extended the existing API lifecycle and version management with a deprecation policy that defines versioning, compatibility of changes, and applicability.

Find prepackaged integration content, APIs, and open connectors in the SAP API Business Hub

SAP Open Connectors

SAP Open Connectors are pre-built, feature-rich connectors to simplify the connectivity and seamless integration with over 160 non-SAP cloud applications. Regardless of the application's backend - REST, SOAP, Proprietary SDK, Database, etc. - SAP Open Connectors create a unified API layer and standards-based implementation across every environment. This ensures that developers, integration users, and their use cases are decoupled from the backend services on which they rely. SAP Open Connectors can be very easily integrated with SAP Cloud Integrations, SAP API Management, SAP Data Hub services or your applications.

SAP Integration Advisor

Defining and implementing standards for business document exchange can involve many complex processes depending on the business need. The SAP Integration Advisor is a cloud-based service that helps you to simplify and streamline the implementation flow of your B2B integration process. It uses a crowd-based machine learning approach to propose the most efficient integration interface for B2B scenarios. It also provides a comprehensive library of the documentation and code lists of all frequently used B2B standards and de facto standards.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer to computer exchange of standard business documents (e.g. purchase orders, invoices, inventory levels). EDI software solutions facilitate the exchange of these business documents and data across a variety of platforms and programs by establishing a private connection from one business to another. To compete in the e-commerce arena, business need to support EDI to XML interoperability with supply-chain partners, as XML is much more user friendly to humans being able to interpret the information in a document.

Supported methods of exchanging business documents in B2B integration scenarios:

  • SAP Process Orchestration: For organizations with an on-premise B2B strategy, or those looking for specific features not yet available in SAP Cloud Platform Integration. The customer is responsible for the system, all operation activities, and the B2B content.
  • SAP Cloud Integration: For companies looking to minimize the effort and cost for operations and maintenance, and use the preconfigured content packages for B2B and B2G integration scenarios. SAP Cloud Integration supports the e-document framework for electronic document exchange based on public standards, and lets customers define individual B2B interfaces and mappings through the integration advisor service.
  • SAP Ariba Cloud Integration Network Gateway: This solution is supported by the SAP Cloud Integration, and integrates SAP Ariba solutions into a customer's existing infrastructure. The SAP Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway specializes in supply chain and procurement processes with a defined set of message types and mappings.

Hybrid Connectivity

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Integration Overview

Many customers have a diverse landscape where many different systems have to communicate with each other. There are different integration scenarios that are either managed by SAP, based on pre-defined SAP Best Practices templates, or are bespoke to a customer.

Cloud integrations are grouped into three different categories:

  • SAP-managed integration: These integrations are predefined and set up by SAP because they are required for the system to function correctly. For example, communication between Fiori apps in the launchpad. There is no action needed by customers or partners to set up this integration, as it is defined and predelivered by SAP to support the SAP S/4HANA system functioning the way it should.
  • SAP Best Practices template-based integration: If there is an SAP Best Practices scope item available that supports an integration scenario, it's called an SAP template-based integration. This means the integration is predefined and operated by SAP, so no customer involvement is required, besides the initial setup of the integration through either the Best Practices set-up guide, or the Cloud Integration Automation Service. You find the majority of predelivered integrations for public cloud.
  • Customer-driven integration: If there is not an SAP Best Practices scope item for the required integration scenario, check the SAP API Business Hub for integration packages or open connectors. If a package or open connector supports the integration scenario, it is implemented by the customer or partner, and then maintained by the customer. If no integration package or open connector in the SAP API Business Hub is available, use the predelivered APIs to create a custom integration. This integration is developed and operated by the customer completely..

How to find integration content:

Technologies for Integrating Systems and Applications

There are many different ways to facilitate communication between applications or systems, such as:

  • Point-to-point integration
    • Every system or application is integrated directly with another system or application to share data via APIs. This type of integration can be set up quickly and easily, but it is not scalable. Each point-to-point integration must be individually secured, monitored, and maintained during its lifecycle. This becomes time consuming and costly as more applications are deployed and integrated into the landscape.
  • Hub and spoke integration
    • All applications share data through one central hub system. The hub routes traffic to the respective system/application, and acts as a MOM (Message Oriented Middleware) that can perform any type of translation, transformation, and routing decision. Unlike point-to-point integration, each system that wants to share data doesn't need to be directly connected to any other sharing system. All applications have a single connection point to the hub, to which they can send or retrieve data. With far fewer integrations to maintain, hub and spoke integration massively simplifies the landscape.
      • SAP Master Data Integration Service is a centralized hub of HR master data, where both the HR system (SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central) and the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system access directly to send/retrieve data, instead of just sending the data between the two of them (SAP S/4HANA Cloud & SF Employee Central).
  • Middleware
    • Acts as a bridge between two or more applications that need to share data with each other. As it's name suggests, middleware sits in the middle of an end-to-end transaction, and therefore initiates outgoing messages from one application in response to incoming messages from another application. Middleware takes data from an application and translates, reformats, and restructures the information so it can be received by another application. It has the ability to process, route, enrich, and manipulate the flow of data between multiple source and target systems.
      • SAP Cloud Integration: Cloud-based integration middleware capable of connecting cloud-to-cloud solutions (SAP or non-SAP).
      • SAP Process Orchestration: On premise integration middleware capable of connecting on premise-to-on premise and on premise-to-cloud solutions (SAP or non-SAP).
      SAP Cloud Integration is not "Process Orchestration in the cloud", and will not replace PO. The two solutions complement each other and can be a valuable combination in hybrid landscapes.

Application Programming Interface (API)

An Application Programming Interface (API) is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. An API is the messenger that delivers a request from one system to another system, then returns a response. APIs facilitate interaction between systems by selectively exposing certain functionalities, allowing different applications, websites, or devices to communicate with each other. While APIs carry data, they need an integration technology to facilitate the transfer between two applications, such as a point-to-point connector or middleware.

SAP releases APIs for SAP S/4HANA and other SAP Cloud products to enable customers to securely connect applications and systems. You can find these released APIs in the SAP API Business Hub. The API Business Hub is a public catalog of all SAP APIs and partner APIs to support integration experts and developers discover, test, and use SAP APIs and integration content for SAP Cloud Platform Integration. The APIs are documented in the open API format, which is a vendor-neutral open-source format. To ensure stability of the APIs on the SAP API Business Hub, SAP has extended the existing API lifecycle and version management with a deprecation policy that defines versioning, compatibility of changes, and applicability.

Find prepackaged integration content, APIs, and open connectors in the SAP API Business Hub

APIs for Different Integration Scenarios

APIs for any integration scenario

Open APIs, such as OData (Open Data Protocol) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) APIs can be used to connect SAP S/4HANA to SAP or non-SAP cloud or on premise applications. These are simply different methods of transmitting data over the internet, which is why we also call them web services.

Released APIs can be used to extend SAP apps, customer applications, and support customers in building their own custom integrations. OData and SOAP APIs published on the SAP API Business Hub have guaranteed usage rights and lifecycles form SAP, and some support extensibility.

Core Data Services (CDS) can be used to expose business data within SAP S/4HANA Cloud to make it consumable to other applications. The virtual data model (VDM) forms the basis for data access in SAP S/4HANA and is made up of CDS views.

With the Custom CDS Views Fiori app, you can reuse the existing, released CDS views or create your own custom CDS views for different use cases. For example, you can generate an external API from a CDS view to make certain data consumable by an external app. You could also generate cube or dimension views and use them in analytical scenarios to build highly customized reports. In addition, CDS View Replication enables you to build extensions on the SAP Business Technology Platform that use the replicated data from SAP S/4HANA.

APIs for SAP-to-SAP integrations

BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interface) and IDocs (Intermediate Document) can be used to connect SAP on premise applications to SAP public cloud applications. They are published and released via SAP Notes, and can only be used in the specific scenarios for which they have been explicitly released. There is limited or no extensibility and limited or no lifecycle guarantees for BAPIs and IDocs.

Transitioning from On Premise to Cloud Integration Technologies

SAP Process Integration (PI) and SAP Process Orchestration (PO) are SAP's traditional integration middleware products for on-premise deployments. PI enables message-based integration between systems in an SAP landscape. PO combines the capabilities of PI, SAP Business Process Management, SAP Business Rules Management, and out-of-the-box B2B connectivity support for EDI communications to meet most on-premise integration needs.

For customers that still have a relatively heavy on-premise footprint on the journey toward the cloud, the first step is to use the built-in cloud integration runtime of PI/PO (release 7.5 and higher). This is provided with any SAP Process Integration or SAP Process Orchestration license, and allows SAP customers to take advantage of the prebuilt integration packages provided with the SAP Integration Suite while deploying the actual integration scenarios on premise. In this case, design-time work is done in the cloud while deployment is through the on-premise runtime.

Moving forward, new integrations should be built with the SAP Integration Suite, and existing integrations should be eventually moved to the SAP Integration Suite. Prebuilt integration packages that can accelerate an implementation are in the SAP API Business Hub. Other capabilities like SAP API Management and SAP Open Connectors support building and deploying cloud integrations. In addition, the SAP Cloud SDK (Software Developer Kit) is a set of tools and libraries for developers to build and extend SAP applications in the cloud.

Learn how to address different integration use cases with SAP Cloud Integration in this SAP Blog: Enterprise Integration Patterns in SAP Cloud Integration

Cloud Integration Automation Service

The Cloud Integration Automation Service (CIAS) is a framework that provides task based procedures with automation. It eases the technical configuration of SAP Best Practices integrations by reducing the manual work, and offers integrated parameter management so data can be entered once and reused throughout the workflow. You can assign integration tasks to different roles to ensure the right person can execute the right task, and allows traceability of activity by collecting information on who did what steps during the integration workflow.

Task types in the Cloud Integration Automation Service:

  • Automated tasks: The respective applications provide APIs, which allows the CIAS to automate the corresponding configuration step.
  • Semi-automated tasks: These may include customer-specific data (e.g. customer tenant URLs defined in the integration setup in SAP Maintenance Planner) to partially automate certain tasks.
  • Manual tasks: These will show the respective excerpt of the implementation guide for the responsible person to apply the necessary setting manually before confirming the task.

The CIAS is accessed through the Plan for Cloud Integration Scenarioapp in SAP Maintenance Planner. To use this app, you must request CIAS Entitlement following the instructions provided in SAP Note 2608492. Customers can use this service at no additional cost if they meet the following prerequisites:

  • An S-User assigned to the customer ID for access to Maintenance Planner.
  • An SAP Cloud Platform Neo subaccount in EU1 region or an SAP Business Technology account to subscribe to it.
  • System instances of licensed SAP products that are in scope of this service.
The majority of integration scenarios supported by the CIAS tool are for Public Cloud, although there are some scenarios available for Private Cloud and On Premise.

SAP S/4HANA Deployment Options & Supported Integration Tools

The methods of setting up integrations vary between public and private cloud systems. In the public cloud, the SAP Fiori Communication Management apps enable you to easily configure prepackaged Best Practices integrations. In the private cloud, these apps are not available and therefore integration setup directly in the system is only possible via the SAP GUI. Alternatively, SAP Business Technology Platform can be used to setup and run any integrations for public or private cloud.

Public Cloud Integration Tools

  • In the public cloud, there are several SAP Fiori apps designed to help you connect your system to another system to facilitate data exchange.
  • For an SAP Best Practices integration, there will be a set up guide that details the scenario(s) to activate using the Fiori apps: Maintain Communication Users, Communication Systems, and Communication Systems. Depending on the integration, it may be partially automated through the Cloud Integration Automation Services. Additional setup in the system being integrated may also be required.
  • For a customer-driven integration in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, the Custom Communication Scenarios app is used in some situations.

Private Cloud Integration Tools

SAP Process Orchestration integrations are defined with the Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX) in SAP NetWeaver. AEX provides the connectivity capabilities of the Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE) in addition to design and configuration tools (ES Repository and the Integration Directory) to set up integration scenarios. The Business Process Management and Business Rules Management tools are used to design, execute, and monitor business processes. Because AEX is accessed via the SAP GUI, it is only available in the private cloud.

Integration Tools for All Deployments of SAP S/4HANA

The SAP Integration Suite running on the SAP Business Technology Platform can always be used to deploy integration packages and flows from the SAP API Business Hub, or create unique integration packages and flows.

Integration Monitoring

Integration Monitoring with SAP Cloud ALM for Operations

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations supports integration monitoring with the Integration & Exception Monitoring component for cloud or on premise systems set up as managed systems in the Landscape Management app. The target audience is business users and the IT organization.

The purpose of Integration & Exception Monitoring is to provide transparency for the data exchange processes. It supports the monitoring for peer-to-peer interfaces as well as interfaces using orchestration platforms and provides a unified user experience for all interface types using a common look-and-feel and handling pattern.

Capabilities of Integration & Exception Monitoring in SAP Cloud ALM:

  • End-to-End monitoring by correlating single messages to end-to-end message flows across cloud services and systems
  • Monitoring of integration-related exceptions
  • Support of peer-to-peer interfaces as well as orchestrated integration
  • Closes gap between business and IT during problem resolution process (technical issue vs. business issue) by:
    • Alerting to notify responsible persons in business and IT about discovered integration related problems
    • Search and track single messages based on exposed business context attributes e.g. order numbers
    • Operation automation to trigger operation flows context sensitively for automated correction of problems

Integration Monitoring with SAP Solution Manager

SAP Solution Manager supports integration monitoring with the Interface and Connection Monitoring and Exception Management components for cloud or on premise systems set up as managed systems in the Landscape Management app. The target audience is business users and the IT organization.

Interface and Connection Monitoring in Solution Manager comprises all the metrics from Interface Channel Monitoring, Connection Monitoring, and the former Interface Monitoring metrics from Business Process Monitoring in one powerful tool.

SAP Exception Management includes the proactive monitoring of mission critical components that are required for a smooth and reliable flow of the core business processes in heterogeneous cross-technology landscapes. In addition, it provides tools for deeper error analysis, processing and documentation.

SAP Solution Manager Focused Run

Focused Run for SAP Solution Manager has many capabilities, one of which is advanced integration monitoring. Service providers monitoring many customers, and customers with large, integrated landscapes who need to monitor, create alerts, and track integrations on a single interface or message level will find this solution most useful.

Integration Monitoring in SAP Business Technology Platform

The SAP Business Technology Platform Cloud Integration capability within SAP Integration Suite has multiple out of the box monitoring functionalities targeted to integration developers and more technical roles.

The start page is divided into the following sections, each covering a specific task area:

  • Monitor Message Processing: View the number and status of processed messages within a specified time window.
  • Manage Integration Content: View the number and status of integration content artifacts (e.g. integration flows).
  • Mange Security: Manage certain tasks related to the setup of secure connections between your tenant and remote systems.
  • Manage Stores: Manage temporary data stores on the tenant.
  • Access Logs: Monitor audit logs (resulting from system changes) and analyze errors that occurred during inbound HTTP processing.
  • Manage Locks: Display and manage lock entries that are created (in the in-progress repository) to avoid the same message being processed several times in parallel.

Integration Monitoring in SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud provides the SAP Cloud Integration Reporting Dashboard with analytic widgets targeted to business users. The dashboard is designed to provide an "at-a-glance" view of relevant KPIs in the SAP Business Technology Platform tenant where your SAP Cloud Integrations are running. The widgets in the dashboard displays data in a simple metric that helps you visualize the context information with slicing and dicing capabilities.

Using the dashboard, you can:

  • Monitor the integration flows which has the highest processed messages.
  • Analyze the status of processed messages.
  • Get the count of the deployed artifacts.

Integration Monitoring with SAP Fiori Apps

In the application layer, app-related interface logic (e.g. business validations, business mappings) is often distributed through different technologies. Some interface logic may be implemented in user exits or business add-ins (BAdIs), while other logic is defined in various coding places. Even with the best middleware technology, there will be failed IDoc postings and service calls in the application layer that require monitoring and quick resolutions (e.g. validating and reprocessing failed sales orders).

The SAP Application Interface Framework (AIF) is a solution designed to make it easier to manage application-to-application (A2A) process integration by enabling you to create, deploy, monitor, and manage all of your application interfaces in one location. AIF enables business users to reduce the time needed for error handling because they are able to monitor interfaces and troubleshoot issues without IT. AIF is embedded in SAP S/4HANA via the Message Monitoring SAP Fiori apps.

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