Explaining Distributed Architecture and Their Challenges

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the distributed architecture
  • Describe the whole scenario

Distributed Architectures and Their Challenges

In this lesson, the following topics are discussed:

  • What is a distributed architecture?
  • What challenges have to be solved?

What is distributed architecture?

A distributed IT system is an architectural paradigm and according to the Encyclopedia of Business Informatics Online Dictionary is defined as follows:

"

A distributed IT system comprises subsystems (components in the broadest sense) that are coupled together within the framework of a specific architecture and handle tasks cooperatively.

"

In contrast, in a monolithic IT system, the functions of a system are bundled (centralized). The logical distribution of system functions among components can be accompanied by a coordinated physical decentralization in a computer network.

We understand all IT installations and services as components. For example ERP On-Prem, SAP S/4HANA On-Prem and/or SaaS applications.

An example of a distributed architecture

Below is an example of a customer landscape. You can see that many different technical systems communicate with each other with all their technical peculiarities.

What challenges have to be solved?

Due to heterogeneity, expensive and complex solutions to the following challenges must be sought, found, and implemented:

  • Many different transport and message protocols
  • Release management
  • Monitoring
  • Error identification and correction
  • Latency
  • Quality of service
  • Security
  • Availability of implementations
  • Observability
  • Documentation

One way to overcome these challenges is to use an API first Approach, which we look at later.

Summary

For the automated processing of technical processes, a large number of different software components, different installations, technology and spatial availability are often coupled via networks with different protocols. The functionalities of these implementations are called services. The interface is provided via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The type, location, and implementation of the APIs are irrelevant for now. These APIs are language agnostic. That's why we also speak of an API first architecture or approach. Cloud native architectures are based on APIs. This is accompanied by new challenges.

Describe the Whole Exercise Scenario

Business Example

A company sells goods to end customers. Due to global delivery problems, some products cannot be delivered on time. The customers who ordered these products should be informed about the delay.

Message Flow

A company sells goods to end customers. Due to global delivery problems, some products cannot be delivered on time. The customers who ordered these products should be informed about the delay.

  • (4) The list of product-IDs is matched with the order database to verify the orders.
  • (5) The verified products are processed further. The associated orderers and their contact data are determined via the order database (6).
  • (7) The orderers are informed about the delay, for example, via e-mail. Part (7) is not implemented in this exercise.
  • You can easily implement the notification yourself with an e-mail adapter.

Task Flow

The entire process is to be realized with the tools and concepts of the SAP Integration Suite. The ISA-M methodology was used to determine the architecture and tools.

The order database is to be made available to the subsequent process via API management. For this purpose, the interface is made available, ready for retrieval, on the API Business Hub Enterprise Portal. This is to be done without additional authentication in the API Business Hub Enterprise Portal.

The product list is processed via the cloud integration, which handles the individual processing steps automatically.

The entire exercise is divided into the following parts.

  • Part 1: Create an interface (API) on the API Business Hub Enterprise Portal based on the order database.
  • Part 2: Consume the list of productIDs and process the data with the cloud integration.
  • Part 3: Study selected sample integration flows within the Cloud Integration to overcome business and technical challenges.

Part 1 and Part 2 build on each other. Part 3 is independent and can also be performed separately.

Prerequisites

You do not need any previous knowledge. However, knowledge in design, development, and operation of APIs is helpful. Also structure of an OData interface.

From a technical point of view, you need an SAP BTP sub account and free access to the SAP Gateway Demo System. We will set both up in the first steps.

Set up an SAP BTP Subaccount With Integration Suite (Free Plan)

Business Scenario

You want to use SAP's offers and use an SAP BTP subaccount to perform the exercises with the SAP Integration Suite. There are four ways to get an SAP BTP subaccount for the exercises.

  1. Get a Trial Account.
  2. Get a free Tier Account.
  3. Get system access via Live System Access within Learning Hub.
  4. Get system access via regular training course.

Below is the description of how to Get a free Tier Account and how to Get system access via Live System Access within Learning Hub. Which variant you use depends on the availability of the solution at the time of your learning session.

Note

If you are participating in an SAP Live Class (SLC) or receiving Instructed Led Training (ILT), your instructor will provide all the necessary resources, like logon Credentials for the SAP Integration Suite.

Task Flow

In this exercise, you will perform the following tasks:

  1. Get predefined system access.
  2. Check out the provisioned capabilities.
  3. Log in and check out all capabilities.

Prerequisites

  1. You need a working training e-mail address, which is provided by your instructor.
  2. You need a sub-account, which is provided by your instructor.

Outcome After This Exercise

You have a usable SAP BTP subaccount with which you can implement integration tasks. The following services, as of Q3 2022, are configured correctly and can be called up with your user:

  • Open Connectors - Extend Non-SAP Connectivity.
  • API Management, API Business Hub Enterprise - Design, Develop, and Manage APIs.
  • Cloud integration - Design, Develop, and Operate Integration Scenarios.
  • Integration Advisor - Implement Interfaces and Mappings.
  • Trading Partner Management - Manage Integrations with Trading Partners.
  • Integration Assessment - Manage and provide Integration technology guidance.

What do you Learn Within This Exercise?

The tasks in this exercise are usually performed by the administrator. They learn the basic steps to use the Integration Suite:

  • Provisioning of the Integration Suite.
  • Role collection management and more.
Note
In this exercise, when you see ##, this is your group number.

Exercise Options

To carry out this exercise, you can choose from the following options:

  1. Live Environment: Using the instructions provided below, you can perform the steps in your SAP BTP account.
  2. Platform Simulation: Follow the step-by-step instructions within the simulation.
  3. Side-by-side: Follow the step-by-step instructions within the simulation and perform the steps in your SAP BTP account simultaneously.
Note
We strongly recommend to perform the steps in the live environment.

Task 1: Get Predefined System Access

Steps

  1. Log on in to your subaccount.

    Your Instructor will provide the credentials.

    Note
    You will only see your sub-account with the schema TS-Region-CLD900-C##.
    1. Use the URL: https://emea.cockpit.btp.cloud.sap

      Note
      You will only see your subaccount with the schema TS-Region-CLD900-C##.
    2. Choose the sub-account link to open the SAP BTP Cockpit.

  2. Check out the associated Role Collections.

    1. Navigate in your subaccount to SecurityUsers and choose the triangle on the far right side of your user.

    2. Open the popup menu from the three dots action button. Choose Assign Role Collections.

    3. Check if all available Role Collections are assigned to your user. If not, assign the available Role Collections to your user.

  3. Check out the Entitlements.

    1. Navigate now to Entitlements on the left side menu.

    2. Check on the details page if the Integration Suite is available.

Task 2: Check out the Provisioned Capabilities

Steps

  1. Log on into the Integration Suite app.

    1. Navigate to Instances and Subscriptions menu entry.

    2. Choose the link Integration Suite in the Subscriptions section. If you are not able to log on, close all web browsers and log-in again.

    3. Scroll down to find the provisioned capabilities.

      Note

      Further capabilities may be available or provisioned.

Task 3: Log in an Check out all Capabilities

Steps

  1. Check Cloud Integration.

    1. Choose the left side navigation entry DesignIntegrations.

    2. If it works you will see the Cloud Integration cockpit.

  2. Check API Management.

    1. On the left side navigation choose SettingsAPIs.

    2. Check out the following entries:

      Account Type: Non-Production.

      Virtual Host Alias: <name_of_your_choice>.

  3. Check Open Connectors: Your user has access to Open Connectors.

    With this user, the capability Extend Non-SAP Connectivity was created.

    1. Navigate back to the Integration Suite Welcome page.

    2. Choose the tile Extend Non-SAP ConnectivityDiscover Connectors.

    3. You will ask for log on credentials to access Open Connectors.

    4. Enter your user and password (use the same as provided for the SAP BTP log on).

    5. Enter your user and hit Enter.

    6. Enter the password and choose the log on button.

    7. Accept the cookies with choosing on the Accept button. This step is only used at the first time.

    8. You are now logged on into the Open Connectors capability.

  4. Check Open Connectors – Your user should not have access to Open Connectors.

    1. Open Connectors automatically use the users credentials from whom, who provisioned the capability. You should get the following error.

    2. The user who created this capability must be logged on into Open Connectors as mentioned.

  5. Find the P- or S user ID.

    1. Navigate to https://accounts.sap.com/ui/protected/profilemanagement.

    2. Log on with the user to be added.

    3. On the details page you will find the user ID.

      This must necessarily be a P- or S-user ID.

  6. Login at Open Connectors and add the new user ID.

    1. Log on with the Admin user.

    2. Choose the Security button.

    3. Choose the Identity tab. Choose the Add Member button.

    4. Add the P/S user ID, choose the Account Admin Role and choose the Save button.

    5. Now this user has now also access to Open Connectors, if all necessary Role Collections are assigned correctly.

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