Extend Business ByDesign by integrating external applications
Authors: Christian Happel, Director of Product Management, SAP Business ByDesign
and Puja Sampat, Sr. Client Services Manager, Park Com
Open Cloud Solutions
SAP cloud solutions are open, flexible and easily extendable. Business ByDesign is a comprehensive cloud business suite, spanning all lines of business: Financial Management, Human Resources, Project Management, Supplier Relationship, Supply Chain and Customer Relationship Management. It provides a complete, seamless integration with existing on-premise systems and data. In addition, ByDesign allows you to extend it with applications tailored to fit a kaleidoscope of unique business needs.
ByDesign is created on an open platform that facilitates easy integration of external applications to generate value-adding business solutions. The open and flexible platform allows partners to customize solutions in a number of ways:
- Mashups: Partners can integrate desired features at screen level. Existing HTML-web-pages can be added as a mashup. Fields from the UI can be used as parameters. In addition data can be consumed via webservices and displayed as a mashup. These mashups are normally hosted at the partner server but it’s also possible to write HTML code directly in ByDesign.
- Software Development Kit:Partners can use an SDK to build their own native applications into ByDesign. This starts with simple screen enhancements or completely new solutions crossing multiple work centers and integrating with existing ByDesign functionality. These add-ons will be hosted by SAP.
- Integrated Solutions: Everyone has the ability to extend their ByDesign solution by connecting applications to ByDesign using webservices/APIs regardless of how and where these applications were created. Integrations entail defined interfaces, are open to any platform, and can be hosted on any server.
In this article, we will focus on the extension of ByDesign via webservices, by showcasing a terrific example: the SnapEngage/ ByDesign integration. SnapEngage was built on the very popular Google App Engine, thus the partnership nicely demonstrates how Business ByDesign can be extended with functionality of any solution regardless of platform.
Case study: The SnapEngage / SAP Business ByDesign Integration
SnapEngage is a live chat solution: A chat function incorporated in customer-facing web fronts such as a website, online store or Facebook page. It enables customers and prospects to engage directly with customer service agents through live chat sessions, and is currently installed in more than 2,000 websites.
SnapEngage was integrated with Business ByDesign to address two needs:
The first relates to sales, and handles leads; while the other is a support solution dealing with service requests. Once a chat is initiated on a website, a service agent responds via Google Talk or SnapEngage’s own web chat client. At the start of the session, SnapEngage pulls content rich information from Business ByDesign. At the end of the session, chat transcripts are automatically sent to ByDesign and create a lead or a service request for each visitor, and populate it with comprehensive content and communication history.
The customer data tie-in provides valuable insights to SnapEngage, and there are plans to take this solution to the next level. Future plans include integrating additional SAP cloud solutions such as Sales OnDemand, and generating advanced / customized information such as geo-location and mapping features.
SnapEngage was identified as the perfect partner for Business ByDesign as it provided a great customer fit with a shared target customer base of mid-sized companies. With its listing on the SAP store SnapEngage on the other hand is able to extend their market reach and functionality to SAP’s eco-system of cloud based customers. Integrated solutions channeling through the SAP store (https://store.sap.com/) are deployed instantly and seamlessly. SnapEngage was in fact the 100th solution added to the SAP store.
More on the SAP Store
This is just one example of how applications can be integrated into ByDesign to create new solutions, but it would be equally straightforward to integrate other apps built on the Google App Engine (or any other third party platform). Other examples of solutions from the SAP Store that integrate with ByDesign despite being built on completely independent platforms are coming from partners such as Hybris (an e-shop solution), Paymetric (a payment processing and credit card authorization solution), Cameleon (a Sales Configurator), and Trias or Navigator (both eCommerce hubs for integrating with Amazon or Magento).
Happy chatting 😉