Illustrating the Architecture of SAP BTP


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Illustrate the architecture of SAP BTP

Architecture of SAP BTP

Global Accounts

A global account is the realization of a contract you made with SAP. A global account is used to manage directories, subaccounts, members, entitlements, and quotas. You receive entitlements and quotas to use platform resources per global account and then distribute the entitlements and quotas to the subaccount for actual consumption.


Directories allow you to organize and manage your subaccounts according to your technical and business needs.

A directory can contain directories and subaccounts to create a hierarchy. Using directories to group other directories and subaccounts is optional - you can still create subaccounts directly under your global account. You can create a hierarchical structure that is 7 levels deep. The highest level of a given path is always the global account and the lowest is a subaccount, which means that you can have up to 5 levels of directories.


Subaccounts let you structure a global account according to your organization's and project's requirements with regard to members, authorizations, and entitlements. A global account can contain one or more subaccounts in which you deploy applications, use services, and manage your subscriptions. Subaccounts in a global account are independent of each other. This is important to consider with respect to security, member management, data management, data migration, integration, and so on when you plan your landscape and overall architecture.

An entitlement is your right to provision and consume a resource. In other words, entitlements are the service plans that you're entitled to use. You could also say an entitlement is a booked option or are the booked services you can use in your SAP BTP global account.

SAP BTP: Regions

You can deploy applications in different regions. Each region represents a geographical location (for example, Europe, US East) where applications, data, or services are hosted. A region is chosen at the subaccount level. For each subaccount, you select exactly one region. The selection of a region is dependent on many factors: for example, application performance (response time, latency) can be optimized by selecting a region close to the user. The global account itself is also running in a region.

The infrastructure layer of a region is either provided by SAP or by one of SAP's Instrastructure as a Service (IaaS) partners Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Alibaba Cloud.
Environments constitute the actual platform as a service offering of SAP BTP that allows for the development and administration of business applications. Each environment comes equipped with the tools, technologies, and runtimes that you need to build applications.
Services enable, facilitate, or accelerate the development of business applications and other platform services on SAP BTP. You find all available services in the SAP Discovery Center.
Your business and application data is managed through services like the SAP HANA Cloud service or the SAP Datasphere service.
The business applications that you deploy in a region build on top of, and make use of, the layers underneath.

SAP BTP: Subaccount

Each subaccount is associated with a region, which is the physical location where applications, data, or services are hosted. The specific region is relevant when you deploy applications and access the SAP BTP cockpit using the corresponding cockpit URL. The region assigned to your subaccount doesn't have to be directly related to your location. You could be located in the United States, for example, but operate your subaccount in Europe.

The entitlements and quotas that have been purchased for a global account have to be assigned to the individual subaccounts.


A quota represents the numeric quantity that defines the maximum allowed consumption of a resource. In other words, how much of a service plan you're entitled to use.

A service plan is the representation of the costs and benefits for a given variant of a particular service. For instance, a database may be configured with various "T-shirt sizes", each of which is a different service plan.

The terms global accounts and subaccounts and their meaning in scope of SAP BTP are not referring to user accounts or user management.

SAP BTP: Environments

Environments constitute the actual Platform as a Service offering of SAP BTP that allows for the development and administration of business applications. Environments are anchored in SAP BTP on the subaccount level.

Each environment comes equipped with specific tools, technologies, and runtimes that you need to build applications. So a multi-environment subaccount is your single address to host a variety of applications and offer diverse development options. One advantage of using different environments in one subaccount is that you only need to manage users, authorizations, and entitlements once per subaccount, and thus, grant more flexibility to your developers.

Environments for Your Applications

The availability of different environments allows for greater flexibility in your development process.

The following environments are available: 

Cloud Foundry Environment
The Cloud Foundry environment allows you to create polyglot cloud applications. Cloud Foundry (CF) is an open-source cloud native platform as a service (PaaS), which comprises a set of specifications and tools around the whole application development lifecycle. This includes application deployment, application lifecycle management, service dependency management, security, and more. For interaction, Cloud Foundry offers a command line interface (CF CLI), which allows for high automation through scripting. You can build your application on open standards with Java, Node.js, and Python build packs provided by SAP. Alternatively, bring other languages with community build packs for PHP, Ruby, or Go.
KYMA Environment

The Kyma environment provides a fully managed Kubernetes runtime based on the open-source project "Kyma". Kubernetes, similar to Cloud Foundry, is an open-source cloud native platform for managing the application lifecycle. In contrast to CF, it has a larger focus on containers, container orchestration, and scalability.

Kyma allows developers to extend SAP solutions with serverless functions and combine them with containerized microservices. You can also use the Kyma environment to deploy microservices or even build full-stack applications.

ABAP Environment

The ABAP environment is mainly targeted at creating extension applications for ABAP-based products, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, but also lets you develop independent cloud applications. Technically, the ABAP environment is a cloud enabled environment which lives within the Cloud Foundry or the Kyma environment. The ABAP environment is based on the latest ABAP platform cloud release that is also used for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The software stack contains standard technology components that are familiar from the standalone Application Server ABAP. The ABAP environment supports the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model (RAP) including SAP Fiori and Core Data Services (CDS).

Entity Relationships Between Global Account, Directory, and Subaccounts

The figure Entity Relationships Between Global Account, Directory, and Subaccounts depicts the relationship between a global account, its directories, subaccounts, environments, regions, entitlements, and quotas for feature set B.

A subaccount is specified for the environment Neo or for the environment Multi-Environment (KYMA, ABAP, and Cloud Foundry environment).

The Neo environment of SAP BTP was the first version of the SAP BTP available on the market after the product launch.

The Neo environment lets you develop HTML5, Java, and SAP HANA extended application services (SAP HANA XS) applications. You can also use the UI Development Toolkit for HTML5 (SAPUI5) to develop rich user interfaces for modern web-based business applications.

SAP is focusing on the multi-environment account model with feature set B.

If you still have an SAP BTP, Neo environment, a migration may be suitable for you. Before starting to migrate your scenario, get in touch with our SAP BTP migration experts to create an individual road map for your transition. For further information please refer to:

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Key Takeaways of this Lesson

After you made a contract with SAP, you will get a global account which is on top of the account structure of your SAP BTP. Within this account, you can manage your directories and subaccounts. You need to choose a region where a subaccount is running in to have the best latency. With this decision, you also choose the hyperscaler which acts as the provider of this subaccount.

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