Companies today face the old devil called Integration in a new avatar. Business expansion, consolidation and acquisition bring a plethora of heterogeneous IT systems. A typical IT landscape consists of a web of technologies.
The advent of cloud computing brings another twist in the story as now new integration scenarios needs to be catered for.
Whether between different LoBs, B2B or B2C, integration today is a complex task.
HCI or HANA Cloud Integration is SAP’s cloud based integration platform that tries to solve these problems plus provides a starting point for Integration Projects by offering pre-packaged Integration Content.
Here in this blog post I would like to give an overview of HCI. I will be more concentrating on the WEB aspect of the product. But other details are also provided at useful links section at the end of the post.
HCI is built using open source technologies and provides a design time (eclipse) and run time environment. Also today there is a Web UI for HCI, capability of which I will be listing a little later.
Design time eclipse allows Integration Developer to design, configure, deploy and monitor integration flows.
HCI runtime hosted on SAP HANA cloud allows processing, transformation and routing of messages. As of today run time supports connectivity via large no of adapters like SFTP, IDOC, SOAP, HTTP, Successfactors and OData.
Web UI for HCI is built keeping in mind different personas involved in an Integration Project.
- Content Author who has the system integration knowledge and creates a template integration flow for a business use case.
- Business/IT consultant who wants to go through all the different integration flows/scenarios available to decide the one which best suits the business use case.
- Integration Developer who is configuring/modeling the integration flow and deploying it on the run time environment.
- Administrator who wants to monitor the state of integration flows and messages it is processing.
The role of content author is very crucial in today’s challenging integration industry.
More so, relevant content related to different scenarios is very important. Availability of good integration content reduces implementation time and results in faster value addition to the customer.Developing integration content requires in-depth knowledge about the industry as well as technology.
SAP HANA Cloud integration comes with pre-packaged content catering to various cloud to cloud and cloud to on premise scenarios. The integration flows in the pre-packaged content are mostly pre-configured and require very minimal configuration so as to be used in productive scenario.
Pre-packaged content is publicly available at Central Content Node.
Please have a look at SAP HANA Cloud Integration – Catalogue Content
You will require SCN credentials for login.
When a HCI cluster is provisioned for a customer, its Web UI software component is available in the Tenant Management Node.
User access is restricted by using SCN credentials for authentication and Role based Authorization.
Since this is a cloud based offering, no compromise is done with security and data isolation is provided by tenant specific schemas.
Now let’s look at a simple use case where HCI Web UI augments configuration of Integration flow for Integration Developer:
An Integration Developer has designed an Integration flow in eclipse and has deployed it in runtime. Because of some upgrade issues Receiver system is no longer available and he quickly needs to change the configuration of his integration flow. With Web UI he can easily view the already running integration flow and reconfigure certain properties of adapters and re-deploy the updated integration flow.
This use-case is very useful, considering the fact that most of the times its system address or authentication mode etc. needs to be re-configured of an already running integration flow.
The Run section of the tool displays the deployed Integration Flows and allow configuration of parameters via a configuration wizard.
Figure1. Run section displays deployed artifacts
Template Integration Flows pertaining to different cloud to cloud, cloud to on premise integration scenarios are available as pre-packaged content with HCI Web UI offering. Integration Flows are part of Integration Packages which can contain other useful artifacts such as help documents, value mappings URLs and Data Integration artifacts.
Figure2. An Integration Package with its contents
Business consultants can browse through the Integration Packages, view the integration flows in the Discover section.
Figure3. Available Integration Packages in Discover Section
The Integration Packages can be copied to Customer Workspace. Here the contents of Integration Package can be configured and saved. The Design section of the Web UI hosts the copied content.
This section also allows import/export and creation of Integration Packages.
Figure4. Customer Workspace
Copied Integration Packages can be edited and new artifacts related to Integration can be added or existing ones can be deleted.
Figure5. Editing an Integration Package
An Integration Developer can view, model, configure, save and deploy an Integration Flow in this section.
Figure6. Editing an Integration Flow
There is also an option to save artifact ‘As version’. As such different states can be maintained as different versions and can be retrieved when required. As mentioned previously Data Isolation is achieved via tenant specific schemas.
Deployed Integration Flows state and run time message execution state can be viewed in the Monitor section of the tool.
Figure7. Monitoring Integration Artifacts and Messages
In this blog I have just given an overview of SAP’s cloud Integration offering called HCI. Focus was on HCI Web UI and different personas/use cases it targets.
In my next post I would be talking about Integration flow modeling and configuration via Web in more detail. Stay Tuned.
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