SAP and Integration: The Dark Clouds May Have Just Passed!
Two years back when I wrote the blog, SAP – A Comprehensive Integration Solution?, I wrote it with a bit of frustration having worked in Integration and numerous SAP based landscapes for quite a while. Today I think it is a good opportunity to pause, look back, and take stock of things as they are of now.
Let me start off by saying that it is indeed very exciting to see the focus SAP has given in the area of Comprehensive Integration capabilities in the last 24 months. If I am to represent where things stand as of today, the below figure should probably capture the essence in its entirety;
Bridging the Gap
1. With HANA Cloud Integration, SAP has done its bit to introduce a cloud integration capability. The adoption of HCI and the way it is being positioned seems to be evolving.
2. The B2B Add-On has underwent multiple SP upgrades. This is a great sign since now the dependency on third party solutions for this capability has reduced drastically. The end to end monitoring features are extensive as the Add On is well integrated into the overall product stack. SAP does seem to keep on innovating in this area. Overall, great momentum.
3. SAP Process Orchestration itself seem to be in the center of many new innovations at SAP. Operational Intelligence and SAP 360° solutions are focused and centered around Process Orchestration capabilities.
4. SAP Gateway continues to evolve and is core to most or all of the Mobile and UI/UX innovations at SAP. With the promise of Integration Gateway capability to be made available in SAP PI, I believe the future holds the option of having Gateway like capabilities in the Process Orchestration suite. Personally I believe this is a major step as it provides customers with an option of centrally managing services and consolidating skills around technologies. SAP is making a bold statement – oData is here to stay!
Note: RESTful services provisioning and consumption on PI is still very much dependent on third party adapters. A major gap still and this continues to add additional implementation and run the business costs.
5. SAP doesnt deliver a specialized MFT capability and most customers still rely on third party vendors like Globalscape or IBM Sterling to bridge this gap. The Secure connectivity Add-On does seem to be a small step from SAP to provide MFT like capabilities.
6. The recent partnership with Apigee to deliver the SAP API Management platform is a big stride in the area of APIs. API management comes with the option of being deployed both on Cloud and On-Premise and is a boost for the Web and Mobile use cases. Early previews of the product does seem impressive and this is another area that is sure to undergo aggressive innovation.
7. Single IDE vision seems to be intact and on track. NWDS is central to the development in SAP PO with PI, BPM and BRM capabilities including modelling now available for developers within the development environment.
Note: The integration into NWDS/Eclipse is still incomplete. Many features are still unavailable. Ex. Debugging of message mappings seems to be a gap. Developers would still want to connect to the Swing tool rather than NWDS.
8. SAP recently simplified the license model. This again is a very welcome measure.
Overall, the dark clouds seem to be clearing and the latest Gartner report, positioning SAP as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant should come as relief for many, and encouraging for all others. I for one have been keenly following SAP’s journey in the area of Integration and so far SAP has kept me engaging.
PS: I will be attending the SAP TechEd && d-code event in Berlin (Nov 11-13 2014). Please do stop to say ‘Guten Morgen/Guten Tag/Guten Abend’ or just a ‘hello/hallo’ as we cross paths 🙂