I’ve been watching the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) closely but I can still be surprised by how it evolves. For example, last week I read a blog stating that the SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.4 – based on HANA – would soon be available on the HEC.
Previously, more traditional applications (but still HANA-based) had been made available in this environment:
I’ve blogged about the HEC as an extension platform but I had totally ignored the possibility of the NetWeaver Portal existing in this environment.
Note: There is an accompanying explanatory document concerning this new offer which I find quite good and which contains an useful comparison of NetWeaver Portal 7.4 (OnPremise), NetWeaver Portal 7.4 (HEC) and HANA Cloud Portal.
In this blog, I’d like to focus more on why the NetWeaver Portal is even being offered in this environment. The document mentioned above contains the following description.
[HEC] has been expanded beyond the “pure” HANA scenarios to enable NetWeaver scenarios which run on HANA. HEC is Ideal for mission-critical applications such as SAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse scenarios, both of which have strong relationship to the SAP NetWeaver Portal. For new customers looking to deploy portal or for existing NetWeaver Portal customers with a “cloud first” / “cloud only” policy, this is a highly recommended option. From a feature perspective, this is the same as the on premises SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.4. So the decision criteria in this case between the two offerings is based on managed vs. on premises (landscape) considerations only. (Emphasis: mine) [SOURCE]
For me, “a strong relationship” implies an extension of the more traditional business applications. Although it is theoretically possible, a scenario with an isolated portal instance without the accompanying HEC-based applications with which to integrate is probably suboptimal. For users evaluating the new HANA-based 7.4 NetWeaver Portal, this isolated instance might be an option but having multiple applications running in HEC – perhaps sharing HANA resources / databases- is a more relevant scenario that more optimally uses the advantages provided in the environment.
What NetWeaver application comes next?
Once you open the door for NetWeaver applications in the HEC, what application might be the next choice to appear in this environment?
My choice is NetWeaver Process Integration (PI). Although it is not official announced as being ported to HANA, there appears to be work being done in this area. Similar to the NetWeaver Portal, PI could also act as an extension platform for the existing applications in this environment. Although there might appear to be a competition between the HANA Cloud Integration offering and OnPremise PI installations with HEC-based PI installations, I think that similar arguments exist to distinguish distinct PI-related offers as have been proposed for Portal-related solutions.
Can HEC partners support such new applications?
There are a variety of HEC partners right now – these partners usually provide Business Suite / BW support but as the list of available applications in the HEC expands and includes more exotic applications then such partners might not have the expertise to support such applications. This is especially true for HEC partners who have more of an IaaS focus. In such usage scenarios, it is recommended that customers ask their HEC partners if the relevant experience is available.