Analyzing the Integration Landscape

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Analyze the integration landscape with the Integration Solution Advisory Methodology
  • Become familiar with the SAP Integration Suite tools

Integration Solution Advisory Methodology (ISA-M)

Introduction to Integrations and APIs

Integrations are used to connect applications on different platforms to each other for the purpose of sending data and/or adapting processes. For example, a customer may use SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central as their human resources (HR) system of record, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud as their financial system of record. If we want to create employees in Employee Central and have them display as users in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we need an integration. An integration package is often a collection of one or more Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The APIs are messengers that carry different types of data, such as worker details, photo, availability, and workforce information. When a group of APIs collectively accomplish a task, like integrating employee data from the HR system of record to SAP S/4HANA Cloud, we call it an integration package.

Integration Solution Advisory Methodology

The initial known integrations should be captured on the Digital Discovery Assessment (DDA) in the Discover (sales) phase of the SAP Activate Methodology. The information gathered here should be viewed as a starting point, because it would be difficult for the person completing the DDA to remember every single application that may need to send data to, or receive data from SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This is another reason why Fit-to-Standard workshops are important; the partner line of business configuration experts will likely uncover at least few additional applications that need to be connected to SAP S/4HANA Cloud while conducting each workshop with the customer line of business experts.

After all Fit-to-Standard workshops have been completed, all integration requirements should be documented in SAP Cloud ALM for the relevant business processes and should now visible in the Requirements app. The lead integration experts from the partner and customer project teams can then begin analyzing, designing, and documenting their integration strategy with the Integration Solution Advisory Methodology (ISA-M).

Partners and customers can begin the ISA-M here and download a collection of resources curated by integration experts at SAP, including:

  • SAP Integration Solution Advisory Methodology - Integration Planning and Documentation Template
    • To support you in assessing your integration strategy and designing your hybrid integration platform.
    • The new Integration Assessment is designed to walk consultants and customers through the steps of the Integration and Planning Documentation Template in a guided, automated way to define, document, and govern a new integration strategy for their organization.
  • The CIO Guide: Process and Data Integration in Hybrid Landscapes
    • To help you learn about designing a hybrid integration platform with best practices and how to enable a practice of empowerment.
  • SAP Business Accelerator Hub
    • A library of predelivered integration packages, APIs, and other resources.

Integration Principles for the Intelligent Enterprise

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

  • Out-of-the-box integration
  • Open integration
    • Huge library of predelivered public APIs on the SAP Business Accelerator Hub to support integrations with third party applications and any type of custom extensions.
  • Holistic integration
  • AI-driven integration
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning are used to simplify the development of integration scenarios. For example, the Integration Advisor capability within the SAP Integration Suite 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.

SAP Integration Suite running on SAP Business Technology Platform

SAP Integration Suite

All of SAP's prepackaged integrations run in the SAP Integration Suite, which is hosted in SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP). The SAP Integration Suite is just one of many different services that can run on SAP BTP. Explore all services in the SAP Discovery Center, where you can both learn about, and estimate the cost of different services running on SAP BTP in the Services area, and try them out in the Missions area.

Watch a video

Watch this video to get an overview of SAP Integration Suite in a nutshell.

SAP Integration Suite

We will focus on a few of the integration-related services running in SAP Business Technology Platform:

  • SAP Integration Suite, which is SAP's comprehensive, hybrid integration platform covering all integration styles and landscapes. The following capabilities are included:
    • Integration Assessment - A component of the Integration Solution Advisory Methodology, the Integration Assessment is designed to help consultants and customers define, document, and govern a new integration strategy for their organization.
    • Migration Assessment - A tool that helps customers estimate the migration effort for moving from SAP Process Orchestration (PO) integration to SAP Integration Suite, and has the ability to automate the actual migration from SAP PO to SAP Integration suite with integration flow templates.
    • Cloud Integration - A tool that supports developers in building end-to-end process integration packages covering application-to-application (A2A), business-to-business (B2B), and business-to-government (B2G) scenarios.
    • Integration Advisor - A tool that uses both crowdsourcing and machine learning to propose the most efficient integration interface for B2B scenarios using a comprehensive library of documentation and code lists of all frequently used and de facto B2B standards.
    • Trading Partner Management - A tool that facilitates maintaining, operating, and monitoring B2B integration scenarios with trading partners. The Integration Advisor generates Message Implementation Guidelines (MIG) and Mapping Guidelines (MAG) that make it easier to get your trading partners onboarded to new integration scenarios.
    • API Management - Enables developers to manage the entire lifecycle of their APIs (design, develop, manage) until deprecation. SAP Graph is embedded in API Management to enable creating an out-of-the-box connected data graph of SAP-managed business data directly in SAP Integration Suite. Developers can also compose their own or extend the business graph with additional data models and sources.
    • Open Connectors - A huge library of prebuilt connectors designed to make it easier for customers to quickly set up connections between their SAP applications and a wide range of third-party cloud applications. For example, Google (AdWords, Analytics, Drive), Microsoft (Office 365, OneDrive, SQL Server), NetSuite (Finance, CRM, ERP), Oracle (DB, HCM Cloud, Sales Cloud), Salesforce (Files, Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud), and many others. View the entire library here.
  • SAP Event Mesh - An "Event" is when a specific action has occurred or a state has changed in an application. If you require an event in one system to trigger an action in a different system asynchronously, SAP Event Mesh is the service that can be used by developers to set up an event brokers, which facilitate communication between the applications producing event messages and applications consuming event messages. This service will also require Cloud Integration to support mapping and transformation of source data into the target data structure, and API Management to provide secure access to APIs used for this type of transaction processes.
  • SAP Connectivity Service - This service enables developers to build integrations between a public cloud application and an on premise or private cloud application. On premise and private cloud applications are protected by a firewall, so the SAP Connectivity Service creates a secure "tunnel" through the firewall that allows messages to be received. You still need an integration package with APIs to carry the actual messages/data, but adding the SAP Connectivity Service ensures the messages can be received by the on premise or private cloud application.

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