At the recent Hybris Global Partner Summit in Munich,  hybris-as-a-service (yaaS) was introduced as a modern commerce platform based on microservices (it is now in beta ).  I’ve blogged about YaaS in the past in conjunction with SAP’s PaaS – HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) – and its evolution towards a tighter association with Cloud Foundry.

YaaS contains a modern architecture and uses cutting-edge technology such Cloud Foundry, Apache Kafka (a high throughput distributed messaging system), apigee, RAML, etc.

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Note: Other SAP competitors (such as Workday) are also moving towards such micro-service-based architectures.

The architecture also uses micro-services mash-ups to aggregate service calls or to compose more complex service flows that “stop cascading failure and enable resilience in complex distributed systems where failure is inevitable”. This model was demonstrated by NetFlix in its Hystrix solution) and has been used successfully in numerous environments.

Note: Before people start screaming and yelling that YaaS will replace HCP, it is important to understand that YaaS will be based on HCP as its underlying PaaS layer.

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NoteCurrently HCP does not yet support Cloud Foundry so the YaaS Beta doesn’t run on HCP.

As others have discovered, this architecture has broader implications for SAP’s general cloud efforts.

Journalist Jason Bloomberg  states:

Not only does YaaS represent a next-generation strategy for hybris, it portends a momentous transformation of the SAP mother ship as well.

Christine Crandell compares YaaS to Force.com and describes YaaS’ differentiators as a threat to Salesforce:

  1. Independence from the business domain
  2. Independence from devices
  3. Pre-build business processes
  4. Non-proprietary that offers freedom of choice in programming languages, underlying database technology and portability of services and applications between cloud infrastructures.

Truthfully, a threat to Force.com from SAP would be a pretty big change in the “Cloud Platform wars” and would require a very widespread use of YaaS and similar architectures in SAP’s various cloud assets. How realistic is this transformation?

SAP’s developers and YaaS

Cutting edge architectures – such as YaaS- often move slowly into larger organizations / vendors that have other entrenched (I won’t say “legacy”) technologies.  How fast can SAP move towards implementing YaaS-like architectures and engaging internal developers to use such tools.

SAP’s main focus in the PaaS arena remains HCP, yet publicly-available session lists for the upcoming internal DKOMs in Waldorf and Palo Alto provide additional insight into SAP’s activities concerning YaaS, Cloud Foundry and other related development topics.

NotePlaying with the sessioncatalog.sapevents.com URL, I discovered other session lists for internal SAP events (recent FKOM in Mexico, etc).  Although only the abstracts are available, there is a wealth of information available for those patient enough to look at the specific details of individual sessions.  The associated presentations aren’t available but the abstracts provide enough additional information to see patterns and thus gain valuable information.


Session

Description

YaaS

YaaS Overview

Loyalty Management on Hybris as a Service (YaaS) Platform

Hybris Loyalty Management is a brand new application based on the micro-services architecture and Cloud Foundry. It extends Hybris Commerce as a Service solution and helps retailers easily run their loyalty programs to engage customers, deliver personalized promotions, encourage advocacy, and increase sales. Learn how easy it was for us to build business functionality, rule engine, job scheduler, integration with Hybris and SAP systems and responsive UI using YaaS and microservices architecture.

Modern Customer Engagement Center Built on Hybris YaaS.IO-Cloud Platform

The Customer Engagement Center is YaaS.io Cloud Stack based to enable our customers to provide simple and direct next generation customer service via Peer-to-Peer VideoChat and Social Media capabilities. It was built in an greenfield approach using Hybris YaaS.IO commerce cloud platform to deliver a glimpse of what is possible in 8 weeks using Cloud Development paradigms like Yaas.IO factors, microservices, open sources libraries and modern Web based real time communication technologies.

Hands on YaaS – a new cloud platform for CEC

Get your hands on the brand new YaaS (hybris-as-a-service) platform, based on a microservices architecture. Define your RESTful API, use the SDK to bootstrap a service stub in Java within a few minutes, and make it do something cool by calling existing Core and Commerce APIs.

Development on YaaS: First-Hand Experience on Building Microservices

Field report from first projects within the LOB CEC building on hybris YaaS: – Lessons learned and best practices from running proof of concepts and CEC Cloud Bootcamps – Getting started with the help of a growing community

Cloud billing based on yaaS platform

This session will demonstrate how an end-to-end public cloud billing solution can be developed on the cloud foundry (open source) based yaaS platform. We will explain to you the architecture we drafted to be able to quickly deploy rich functionality and how we plan to evolve the solution over time. Based on a realistic user story, the session will give insight into what and how we exactly developed on the various layers of the platform.

Service Management in C4C with Drones

In this talk we will discuss inner workings of drones, software integration of drones with C4C and code that runs on yaaS running image analysis routines and algorithms.

Cloud for Customer – OData APIs and Extension Apps on yaaS/HCP

To complement SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) application, our customers and partners, can leverage yaaS or HCP to build innovative cloud scale application integrated with C4C. We have built new capabilities in C4C enabling customers to quickly consume OData APIs exposed by SAP Cloud for Customer for not only standard business objects but also those extended/customized by customers in an open, standard based, easy to use cloud development and runtime environment and build application using HCP/yaaS

Interesting dimensions

  1. Session  speakers are from SAP SE and hybris which shows that the technology is expanding to include more than just hybris developers.
  2. Although the focus is primarily on LoB Customer Engagement & Commerce (CEC) applications, there are a variety of other YaaS-based applications (drones, cloud billing, etc) which are more generic in character.
  3. The fact that extensions might also run on YaaS technology is intriguing.
  4. There are still more general HCP sessions than YaaS sessions at the DKOMs – Palo Alto : 20 vs.6 – Waldorf: 17 vs. 9) but the amount of YaaS-related sessions is interesting especially as it was just released at the beginning of February .
  5. The development speed that this new architecture may bring is important to consider – building a cloud solution in 8 weeks is pretty impressive.

As mentioned above, YaaS also focuses on micro-service-based architectures; I also found a variety of related sessions.

Session

Description

Developing apps with SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Cloud Foundry

At this booth we will present our plans to integrate the open elastic runtime platform Cloud Foundry as substantial part of SAP HANA Cloud Platform. We will explain how this allows developers to build applications in Java, node.js or XSJS. And you will learn how developers can use well-known community as well as enterprise-grade SAP services to build micro service oriented cloud applications.

SMP/HCPms and Microservices in the Cloud

This talk will describe the factors and techniques that were involved in taking an existing monolithic on-premise application, SMP – SAP Mobile Platform, and turning it, without major redevelopment, into deployable cloud services; HCPms – HCP mobile services. This includes the steps taken to ensure we can adapt to the evolving cloud microservice architecture and container strategy of SAP. Targeted at server-side developers and architects, you will gain insight into the HCPms cloud architecture.

LoB CEC Strategy and Architecture

Our mission is to enable companies to provide real-time, contextual, consistent, and relevant experiences to their customers, regardless of channel or device, across Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce. This talk discusses the architecture implications, API and integration technology strategy, and evolution of product portfolio towards a more harmonized micro-services based cloud architecture to enable these customer experiences and different deployment options.

Note: I just have access to the DKOM session abstracts and have no way to judge how many developers will really attend them but the presence of such sessions is an indicator of their relative importance.


My take

SAP DKOMs contain many sessions (in Waldorf there are over 300) that compete for developers’ interest and the emergence of S/4HANA, Fiori /UX or HANA will probably pull larger crowds but I’m hoping that the YaaS sessions will also draw crowds.

As SAP moves towards the cloud, YaaS and its architecturewill play an important part in this evolution.  DKOM is an internal event for developers – I’m waiting for similar efforts to educate the partner ecosystem. One of the most important features of YaaS is an app / services marketplace that will finally provide SAP partners with the opportunity to easily sell their cloud assets – a change that will be welcomed by such companies considering the present lack-luster SAP Store in terms of its support of cloud solutions.

For SIs / ISVs struggling to understand / cope with the impact of this transition to the cloud, the necessity of learning yet another new technology may not be welcomed.  Thus, existing partners must be motivated to take advantage of such offers. In the future, they will be faced with a new type of competitor who is micro-service-savvy and already accustomed to the new development paradigms promoted by AWS, Netflix , etc.  Such competitors may not have experience in enterprise software space but their technical maturity in the necessary technology makes them excellent choices for larger more traditional SIs to acquire to quickly gain market share.

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4 Comments

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  1. Matthias Steiner

    Another interesting read and even interesting methods of research “messing around with event URLs… tst, tst) 😉

    Note:  Currently HCP does not yet support Cloud Foundry so the YaaS Beta doesn’t run on HCP.

    Technically, YaaS is our pilot to validate/verify the CF runtime of HCP (before we roll-it out as a general purpose runtime alternative), so I’d argue that YaaS Beta is running on/in HCP. Don’t you agree?

    BR,

    matthias

    (0) 
    1. Richard Hirsch Post author

      Another interesting read and even interesting methods of research “messing around with event URLs… tst, tst) 😉

      I guess I’m a hacker at heart and SAP always makes it so easy for me to get my “Sherlock Holmes – Boy Detective” kicks.

      Technically, YaaS is our pilot to validate/verify the CF runtime of HCP (before we roll-it out as a general purpose runtime alternative), so I’d argue that YaaS Beta is running on/in HCP. Don’t you agree?

      OK – you got me there.  This might be emphasized more by the Hybris’ team. 

      … but YaaS could theoretically run in any environment that supports CF.

      D.

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  2. Ryan Fleischmann

    Some really amazing things going on with Hybris! I think one key to YaaS really catching on will be to clearly communicate the the uses and advantages of the microservices architecture.

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  3. Mutheeshwaran S

    Hi.. It will be great if you can examples on How hybris is efficient in terms of

    1. Independence from the business domain
    2. Independence from devices
    3. Pre-build business processes
    4. Non-proprietary that offers freedom of choice in programming languages, underlying database technology and portability of services and applications between cloud infrastructures.
    (0) 

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