SAP Cloud Platform Integration (f.k.a HCI) – A complementary offering to SAP Process Orchestration
A lot of ambiguity is seen wrt. usage of SAP Process Orchestration and SAP Cloud Platform Integration (f.k.a SAP HANA Cloud Integration or HCI) and in short referred as Cloud Integration. Even heard that Cloud Integration is a replacement of PI/PO which is not TRUE. Cloud Integration is public since 2013. And we get from time to time, questions on the difference between Cloud Integration and SAP Process Integration/Orchestration. Let us understand on both the offerings:
SAP Process Orchestration provides on-premise middleware platform to design, model, execute and monitor business processes by ensuring connectivity to multiple different business / technical systems and applications (SAP and non-SAP). Along with the options of creating human and/or system centric processes, it offers the following products under one umbrella:
- SAP Process Integration (including B2B Add-On and Connectivity Add-On)
- SAP Business Process Management
- SAP Business Rules Management
SAP Cloud Platform Integration is a SAP’s strategic secure cloud-based integration platform with a strong focus on process and data integration across domains (SAP Financial Services Network (FSN), SuccessFactors, Cloud for Customers, Ariba, Business by Design, Travel On Demand etc.). It provides you the Process Integration (HCI-PI) and Data Integration (HCI-DS) capabilities.
SAP Cloud Platform Integration enables you to connect your cloud applications quickly and seamlessly to other SAP and non-SAP applications (on-cloud or on-premise) without extensive coding. This integration as a service solution from SAP can help you integrate your business processes and data in a secure and reliable environment. Also, another important point to understand is that cloud integation is not SAP Process Integration on cloud. It is a new product that runs on SAP Cloud Platform. Cloud Integration is designated as IPaaS — Integration Platform as a Service.
As both the products are from SAP, SAP has provided a way to re-use your existing investments on SAP Process Orchestration wrt. message mappings that can be readily used in SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Both the solutions are complementary and lot of factors decide on which solution to be used:
1. Cloud to cloud integration. There are many use cases that derive integration from one cloud solution to another. E.g. SuccessFactors to SHL or PeopleAnswers or Workforce integration. These cloud solutions can be SAP or non-SAP. Right choice of the solution for this use case would be SAP Cloud Platform Integration as there is no on-premise involvement and most important fact to understand is that customer has invested on cloud to get everything as an hosted/subscription model including integration to avoid capital expenditure and development of technology skill set.
2. On-premise integration: There are use cases when a customer wants to integrate mainly on-premise systems and applications. These can be SAP or non-SAP. As all systems/applications need to be connected reside in customer’s on-premise landscape, the right technology to use is on-premise middleware i.e. SAP Process Orchestration.
3. Cloud to on-premise and vice versa: We also call it as hybrid integration use case. This integration area is causing most of the confusion. Let us see the different factors that need to be considered to decide which solution fits best:
- If a customer is already having PO/PI and wants to leverage the same, SAP has introduced the required technical adapters e.g. SuccessFactors adapter, Ariba cXML adapter etc. to connect to the respective cloud applications. So SAP Process Orchestration can be continued as a single middleware in customer’s landscape covering both integration needs.
- If customer is not having PI/PO, immediate right choice would be to use SAP Cloud Platform Integration as a minimal up-front investment. SAP Cloud Platform Integration is a multi-tenant solution specially built for cloud integration usecases.
- There are many usecases that exist when the customer is on PI, but still SAP Cloud Platform Integration can be considered for cloud Integration. Few examples:
- Customer is thinking to move into the cloud and requires speed integration of new cloud applications for business innovation and Pre-packaged content is only available on SAP Cloud Platform Integration, then SAP Cloud Platform Integration is the right choice.
- From the different LOBs perspective, they want to have integration bundled within cloud application to achieve faster results and keep a bifurcation of different integration use cases. So, customers can have one middleware each for cloud integration and for on-premise integration use cases respectively.
- PI is on older release and does not have all the technical adapters available with latest release. Customers do not want to invest on upgrade.
Though SAP Cloud Platform Integration is already capable of integrating cloud applications via custom integration, in cloud era, lot of focus is on simplicity, quick configurations and deployments. Pre-packaged content is of utmost importance. As of today (Jan. 2015), lot of pre-packaged integration content is already available on SAP Cloud Platform Integration:
- SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) with SAP ERP
- SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) with SAP CRM
- SAP SuccessFactors LMS Curricula with SAP HCM Qualification
- SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite Competency with SAP HCM Qualification
- SAP SuccessFactors HCM Suite Talent Management with SAP HCM
- SAP SuccessFactors Recruitment Management (RCM) with 3rd party assessment vendor PeopleAnswers
- SAP SuccessFactors Recruitment Management (RCM) with 3rd party assessment vendor SHL
- SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central (EC) with 3rd party benefits vendor Benefitfocus
- eDocument (Electronic Invoicing) solution with government solution in Peru (SUNAT) and Chile (SII)
Lot of other pre-packaged content is under development for Ariba, SAP SuccessFactors (e.g. Employee Central Payroll, Cost Centre, Org integration) and other cloud applications that is s planned to get released during next release cycles.
Also, as SAP Cloud Platform Integration is having monthly release cycles, it becomes interesting to check continuously and keep yourself up-to-date on the newly released features and upcoming pre-packaged content.
Thanks a lot Piyush.!!
Clear cut information between HCI and PI/PO
Great blog, Piyush!
Thank you for sharing...
Thanks Piyush for the detailed explanation.
What will be the SAP recommendation if there are multiple customization/custom interfaces required for the cloud integration with ERP/CRM to cater the business requirements?
Any details on how custom attributes are managed in HCI for a specific customer?
Both PO and HCI support custom interfaces development. Depending on the different factors as written in the blog, selection can be made.
Can you please elaborate more on custom attributes for a specific customer?. Each customer gets a seperate tenant where their processes run. There is no sharing of tenants.
Hope this answers?
Thanks Piyush for the clarification. I was under the assumption that the HCI tenants are shared across multiple customers.
Thank you Piyush for summarizing it beautifully. Finally I get to know the difference between the two.
Thanks Piyush, for precisely clubbing fundamentals with use cases of both products,keep on sharing thoughts in this area. Good going...
Wonderful! Thank you for the explanation of both and use cases!
Thanks Piyush for sharing...Explained very well. Appreciate your time.
Great blog ,thank you for sharing
Why does SAP has PI in Cloud? what's its purpose for puting PI in cloud?
HCI is not PI on cloud. HCI is a new intgeration solution that runs on SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
As per current HCI and PO versions - I would like to request you to please answer my query where am currently working in
1. My Client is wants to install a single middleware where he can implement below use cases all at a time.
a. SFSF - Employee Central Cloud Solution for few modules.
b. SFSF - Talent Hybrid Solution for Payroll and other few modules.
c. SAP ARIBA Solution.
d. SAP Concur Interfaces.
e. Non SAP KRONOUS Appllication
f. some other SAP HCM local system as we have 2 HCM systems.
2. I know SFSF EC has standard packages for SAP HCI or Dell Bhoomi but as per my knowledge whatever the standard packages that are available for SAP HCI can be deployable in SAP Process Orchestration as well as both are eclipsed/nwds based packages. right?
3. Hence can I suggest SAP PO instead of HCI as for HCI B2B ADDON is still in road map.
4. Is HCI has ARIBA package readily available?
Can PO can be used for complete cloud SAP EC implementation?
I am wondering if you got your answers. I am inquiring if there is a package for PO to implement EC with hybrid solution.
And if yes, is the implementation the same effort with HCI, meaning configure PO (on premise) instead of configuring HCI.
Thank you Piyush,
Hi Carol, adding to expert Piyush
In simple words PI for premises and HCI for Cloud integration, each has it's own role and complement each other
Get started with SAP HANA Cloud Integration
Thanks Piyush for this amazing blog..
Things are much clearer now.
All confusions sorted out in one blog..Great work!!
Can you share the link where we can find complete list of HCI/PI pre-packaged contents?
You can go for the public content catalog. have a look at https://cloudintegration.hana.ondemand.com/#shell/catalog
Thanks Piyush, very good text.
I would like to know how mature is HCI to integrate with Ariba solutions.
Today we have native integration between SAP ECC and Ariba Network and Ariba Sourcing via PI. Do we have the same for HCI?
I will be writing a Blog shortly for all integration usecases with HCI including Ariba.
Is it possible to integrate Ariba with SAP HCI data services? is there any document available on this?
Thanks for the effort in summarising the points.
Thanks piyush.. for the informative blog 🙂
Very helpful info. I have a doubt whether HCI supports file adapter?
Great information...It really sorted out all my doubts in just 15 mins.....
Thanks for this info. We have the requirement to integrate SAP C4C with CRM running on S4 Hana. We tried finding some documentation for the same but could not. Can you please help me how can we do this?
Once you subscribe to SAP Cloud Platform Integration, you will be provided with an SDN account that enables you to access the platform using this link https://cloudintegration.hana.ondemand.com. SAP recommends you to read through the Quick onboarding guide for SAP Cloud Platform integration to familiarize yourself with all SAP Cloud Platform integration's features and capabilities.
I wonder how the decision matrix to develop integration on-prem vs cloud would look now.