Key Integration Principles for the Intelligent Enterprise
SAP's integration strategy for the Intelligent Enterprise is based on four key principles.
After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
SAP's integration strategy for the Intelligent Enterprise is based on four key principles.
SAP 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 steps:
The SAP Integration Suite offers a modular set of integration services covering all needs in cloud and hybrid landscapes:
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.
Learn more about the SAP Integration Suite in the SAP Discovery Center.
SAP Cloud Integration helps you to connect cloud and on-premise applications with other SAP and non-SAP cloud and on-premise applications. This service has the capabilities to process messages in real-time scenarios spanning different companies, organizations, or departments within one organization. You can:
SAP Cloud Connector facilitates secure communication between SAP cloud solutions and protected on-premise or private cloud networks that cannot be accessed directly from the Internet. The cloud connector acts as a reverse invoke proxy component that is installed and runs on an on-premise network. The administrator has complete control over the on premise systems and resources that can be accessed by the cloud applications and the cloud applications using the cloud connector. Broken connections are recovered automatically, and the tool provides audit logging of inbound traffic and configuration changes. Cloud connector is used in hybrid scenarios where cloud applications must access or extend on-premise software.
Without a solution like SAP Cloud Connector, a developer would need to reconfigure the on premise/private cloud firewall settings to allow external access from public cloud systems. The Cloud Connector therefore provides a much easier, lower TCO method of integrating public cloud and on premise/private cloud applications. SAP also provides standard support for the Cloud Connector.
SAP API Management lets you publish, promote, and oversee APIs in a secure and scalable environment. API Management technology helps you to share digital assets and enable developer communities to consume these assets in new channels, devices, and user interfaces. Available in the cloud, the technology helps promote co-innovation among employees, partners, and the developer community. To gain better insights about consumer needs, you can empower employees and partners with access to critical information and increase reach to a wider customer base. API Management reduces complexity by leveraging a single provisioning platform (API Platform) to provide unified access and governance of APIs across a heterogeneous landscape.
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 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.
Learn more about SAP Open Connectors.
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.
Learn more in the SAP Blog: Announcement of the New Integration Content Advisor.
Most customers have diverse landscapes where many different systems have to communicate with each other to complete end-to-end business scenarios. SAP S/4HANA Cloud integrations are grouped into three categories:
|SAP-managed integration||SAP Best Practices template-based integration||Customer-driven integration|
|Description||SAP cloud to SAP cloud predelivered||SAP verified content guarantees DIY implementation success||Based on robust SAP delivered APIs|
|Created by||Predefined & implemented by SAP||Content predefined by SAP; implemented by customer||Developed & implemented by customer|
|Responsibility||Upgrades managed by SAP||Customer owns and manages their integrations||Customer owns and manages their integrations|
|SAP Best Practices template-based integration||Serach for predelivered SAP Best Practices integration scope items in the SAP Best Practices Explorer|
There are many different methods of facilitating communication between applications or systems. Here are a few methods relevant for SAP S/4HANA Cloud integrations:
Every system or application is integrated directly with another system or application to share data. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Click on REQUEST then RESPONSE to see a pictorial representation of the flow.
OData and SOAP APIs can be used to connect SAP S/4HANA Cloud to SAP or non-SAP cloud or on premise applications. OData and SOAP APIs published on the SAP API Business Hub have guaranteed usage rights and lifecycles form SAP, and some support extensibility.
The virtual data model (VDM) forms the basis for data access in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, for example, in analytical consumption or APIs. The Core Data Services (CDS) views that make up the VDM follow consistent modeling and naming rules. They expose business data, which is stored in abstract database tables, based on business semantics and is therefore easier to consume.
You can use the Custom CDS Views app for different purposes:
BAPIs and IDocs can be used to connect SAP S/4HANA Cloud with on-premise 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.
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 API Management and Open Connectors support building and deploying cloud integrations. 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 with SAP Cloud Integration
|SAP Integration Suite||SAP Process Orchestration|
Monthly subscription fee, pay per use
|Prepackaged Integration Content|
Available for a variety of cloud solutions from SAP, third party applications, and B2B and B2G scenarios
|Preferred Integration Domains|
The Communication Management apps in SAP S/4HANA Cloud enable you to connect your system to another system to facilitate data exchange. SAP has predelivered many different SAP Best Practices integrations that can be activated using the Communication Management apps, which include:
With the Maintain Communication Users app, you create a user that provides authentication for a communication system, and ultimately the final communication arrangement. For a system to post data to another, the solution must authenticate itself with the methods available in the Maintain Communication Users app. You can choose basic authentication, which is user name and password, or upload a security certificate. Keep in mind, the supported authentication methods vary based on the communication arrangement scenario. A communication user is assigned to a communication system, which is then assigned to a communication arrangement.
The Communication Systems app enables you to create a communication system, which is then used to establish a communication arrangement. A communication system represents the communication partner within an integration scenario.
To allow two systems to send data, they must be "registered" with the Communication Systems app. You provide technical information, such as the host name URL, logical system, HTTPS port, specify if the integration is using Cloud Connector, and other details.
When creating a communication system, you must assign a communication user to the inbound and/or outbound user sections (varies based on the integration scenario) to authenticate the partner system. Inbound communication refers to a third-party system calling services provided by SAP S/4HANA Cloud (messages are coming into SAP S/4HANA). Outbound communication refers to SAP S/4HANA Cloud calling services provided by the third-party system (messages are sent from SAP S/4HANA).
You can use the Communication Arrangements app to create and edit communication arrangements that connect the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system to another system. Through a communication arrangement, you are configuring the electronic data exchange between the two systems. The communication scenario determines the authorizations, inbound and outbound services, and the supported authentication methods required for successful setup of the integration.
There are many SAP Best Practices predelivered communication scenarios available that you can simply follow the setup guide instructions in SAP Best Practices Explorer to activate for a particular scope item.
Learn how to create a communication arrangement, map the arrangement to a communication system, and map a user to the communication system in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
The Display Communication Scenarios app is used to display an overview of all available communication scenarios available in your SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. You can also see the scenario details, supported authentication methods, properties, and status.
With the Maintain Business Technology Platform Extensions app, you can create Business Technology Platform extensions to automatically connect an extension build on Business Technology Platform to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
You can use the Custom Communication Scenarios app to create scenarios to use later in the Communication Arrangements app. A communication scenario bundles inbound and outbound communication design-time artifacts and is the basis of communication between systems.
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.
In SAP Maintenance Planner, you will access the Cloud Integration Automation service via the Plan for Cloud Integration Scenario app. In this app, you can find and activate supported SAP Best Practices integration scenarios by completing the guided workflow steps. Always check the set-up guide from SAP Best Practices Explorer first, because there are often prerequisite steps that must be completed before you can run the automation.
SAP Maintenance Planner is a tool within the Landscape Management component of SAP Solution Manager. SAP Solution Manager is the Application Lifecycle Management tool used to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and SAP S/4HANA on premise, therefore most apps in Maintenance Planner are designed to support customers in maintaining and upgrading their private cloud or on-premise systems.
Complete the following steps in the SAP Maintenance Planner Plan for Cloud Integration Scenario app to set up an automated integration scenario:
(Continued) Complete the following steps in the SAP Maintenance Planner Plan for Cloud Integration Scenario app to set up an automated integration scenario:
SAP Cloud ALM for Operations enables customers to monitor processes and be alerted to potential issues. A component of Cloud ALM for Operations is Integration & Exception Monitoring. To get a holistic view across your integrated landscape, all cloud and on-premise systems are set up in the SAP Cloud ALM Landscape Management app. Then you can monitor your systems with the Integration & Exception Monitoring app in Cloud ALM.
Capabilities of Integration & Exception Monitoring in SAP Cloud ALM:
Access the Integration & Exception Monitoring setup guides for the supported cloud and on-premise solutions here.
For SAP Cloud Integrations built on the SAP Business Technology Platform, a developer can check the status of messages and integration content artifacts for a tenant cluster.
The start page is divided into the following sections, each covering a specific task area:
The SAP Cloud Integration Reporting Dashboard is developed on SAP Analytics Cloud. It is a simple and intuitive widget-based analytics dashboard that provides at-a-glance view of relevant key performance indicators of a 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:
In the application layer, app-related interface logic (for example, 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 (for example, validating and reprocessing failed sales orders).
The SAP Application Interface Framework (AIF) is a solution designed to make it easier to manage 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 shipped as an add-on for SAP S/4HANA on premise, but it is already embedded in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The SAP Fiori apps in the launchpad, including Message Dashboard, Assign Recipients to Users, and Configure Value Mapping, are built as Web Dynpro for ABAP applications available as SAP Fiori applications on the launchpad for all deployments of SAP S/4HANA.
Learn more in this SAP Blog: SAP Application Interface Framework: All You Need to Know About SAP AIF.