Early days of SAP HCI and Solution overview
In this document I’m going to discuss overview of SAP HCI [Hana Cloud Integration] and its features, current service offerings etc.
To connect to the cloud based applications on-premise SAP PI/PO don’t have the sufficient connectors / features, so to do integration between cloud applications we depended on third-party tools like Dell Atmosphere, IBM’s Cast Iron and Mule soft. Finally SAP Come up with HANA Cloud Integration [HCI] to enable and support the customers to connect On-Demand Applications with On-Premise applications. Hana Cloud Integration is the SAP’s first On-Premise application integration tool hosted in SAP HANA. HCI makes it possible for us to integrate cloud applications and trading partners directly from the web.
SAP HCI [HANA Cloud integration] is an integration platform hosted in SAP HANA Cloud enabling the integration of business processes spanning across cloud and on premise systems. The new architecture and flexible rollout options have been built to achieve cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on premise integration.
Early days of SAP HCI
SAP is firmly positioning itself for a complete makeover from a traditional on premise software vendor to a cloud-based software vendor. The company beat its revenue guidance on the back of explosive growth in its cloud business and the continued success of SAP HANA.
Following the acquisition of Success Factors, Ariba and others, it has become increasingly more evident that SAP’s strategy going forward is to reinvent itself in the Cloud. Nothing illustrates this mission further than the announcement of SAP’s 2014 Earnings more than $1.5 Billion in cloud revenues.
SAP allows businesses to leverage existing investments integrating non-cloud and cloud-enabled solutions onto one common platform by launching its HANA Cloud Platform. HANA Cloud is basically SAP’s in-memory cloud platform, enabling developers to build, extend, and run applications in the cloud. The platform provides a set of application services (or SAP HANA AppServices) namely integration, portal, mobile, analytics and collaboration giving developers the flexibility to build their applications. HANA also provides developers with a database-as-a-service (with SAP HANA DB Services).SAP began integrating Success Factors and SAP Business Suite solutions powered by HANA running in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.
What is SAP HCI?
SAP HCI is a platform hosted in SAP HANA cloud.IT facilitates and support end to end process integration across cloud based and on premise applications efficiently and securely. HCI is available since March 2013.HCI is ISO-25001 certified. It helps customers integrate applications between on premise and cloud, as well as cloud to cloud.
Quickly and seamlessly connect your cloud applications to other SAP and non-SAP enterprise software – without extensive coding – using SAP HANA Cloud Integration. This integration as a service solution from SAP can help you harmonize business processes and data in a secure and reliable environment. Pre-packaged integration content helps us to design the integration flows without the need for custom integration code. It will also reduce the total cost of ownership for developing and maintaining custom integrations. Because the technology operates on SAP HANA Cloud platform there is no need to monitor, Support or upgrade the integration technology. This feature helps us to reduce
the cost of infrastructure and application management.
When to use SAP HCI?
Focus on cloud strategy.
- Have the need for cloud to cloud integration.
- Have the leading system(s) within the cloud.
- Do not have SAP Process Integration or SAP Data Services on-Premise.
- Do not want to invest into an on-Premise middleware and bear the costs associated with it, such as system set up, maintenance and operations, build up know how etc.
- Prefer subscription fee based license model.
- Require fast innovation.
SAP HCI Licensing models
SAP HCI is available as IPAAS [integration platform as a service]. It is available for customers and partners in different editions. Customers and partners can subscribe based on their requirements [Bandwidth / connections].
SAP HCI application edition is available with specific cloud services such as SAP cloud for customer, success factors, ariba,SAP FIN etc.
SAP HCI Standard Edition is an entry package,it contains process integration capabilities and allows you to connect to number of systems and use up an amount of bandwidth per month.
SAP HCI professional edition offers more value and is available at little high price. It supports more number of systems connectivity and bandwidth. Both standard and professional editions can be used for any to any integration.
A-la-carte option: Additional la carte option available for extra connections and extra bandwidth [10GB].
SAP HCI Hana cloud Platform Edition is available with HCP premium and multiapp editions, with restriction “one end of the integration should always be HCP”.
SAP HCI Developer / Partner Edition [Not for productive use]
Special edition for customers and partners, where partners can build integration scenarios with integration content.
Implement new adapters / interfaces and can get it certified from SAP.
Trail Phase edition:
SAP is providing great opportunity to all it’s customers and prtners to participate in SAP HCI trail phase [30days].
To get the trail access please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your details and SAP Service user ID.
SAP HCI Components
HCI has the following components to design / configure and monitor the integration flows.
Designed for business users
- Single access point to configure process integration flows and data integration flows.
- Discover Pre-packaged content.
- Deploy security artifacts for process integration flows.
- Run integration scenarios.
- Download integration flows to eclipse for enhancements.
- Monitor deployed artifacts [Integration content] and message monitoring.
- We cannot design [New] or modify existing integration flows.
It is developer’s workbench.we can use Eclipse UI for the below tasks
- To configure own integration flows based on the business requirement.
- To change the mapping.
- Changes required to the standard content can be done in Eclipse UI.
- Add/Delete fields to the existing content.
- Monitor messages and process integration flows through HCI runtime.
- Simplified BPMN modeling of process integration flows.
- Enterprise integration patterns.
- Deploy / undeploy artifacts.
- Start and stop instances.
- Import process integration [on-Premise] scenarios.
- Implement value mapping / XSLT mapping / UDF etc.
- Message transformations.
- SAP HCI has a multi-tenant architecture (separated firewall rules/separated system config/security etc…)
- Speed implementation using pre-packaged integration content.
- Lower TCO with an affordable, pay-as-you-go subscription model and minimal investment.
- Centralized monitoring and management of integrations.
- Existing PI content is supported and can be imported into HCI; Service Interface, Operation Mapping, Message Mappings rep. objects.
- As user interface to SAP HCI there is a an HTML5-based web UI available to enable browse and discover standard integration content delivered by SAP, and also Eclipse based tools to create and modify integration artifacts, such integration flows, mappings, connectivity and security settings.
- Connectivity Options: The following adapters are available in SAP HCI ARIBA, AS2, Facebook, HTTP(s), IDOC, SOAP(1.x and RM),SFTP,SFSF(REST/SOAP/ODATA V2/ODATA V4) / ODATA, JMS, LDAP, Mail, ODC, RFC, Twitter and ProcessDirect between backend systems.
- Customers (and partners) can be able to develop, extend, test, deploy and share integration content, based on existing integration connectors. Another feature of HCI is that it will be available during upgrades and that it is scalable if more capacity is required.
- Backward compatibility of the integration content is assured.
- Since SAP HCI is offered as a service, the on demand solution provides highest level of security features such as content encryption and signing, certificate based authentication, encrypted data storage, data isolation at run-time as well as persist-ency.
- Re-use UDFs, there is a high backward compatibility (all PI versions from XI 3.0 can be used for importing service interfaces in iFlow).
- We can modify the existing / pre-packaged iFlows by importing into eclipse. Eclipse is the IDE to modify the iflows and this is the developer’s workbench.
- Message Processing Pattern: It supports both Synchronous and Asynchronous processes.
- SAP CPI Software’s are upgraded every month on SAP Side for maintenance of the cloud infrastructure.
- HCI currently runs on top of Sybase & HANA as database.
- HCI run-time hosted on SAP HANA cloud allows processing, transformation and routing of messages.
- Web based modeling and monitoring.
- SAP HCI provides capabilities such as run-time for processing, data transformation, routing of messages, and diverse connectivity options.
- HCI is automatically gets upgraded to higher version without interrupting the message processing.
- Light weight nature of HCI may be used in future for mobile based communication for non-SAP back-end systems with the availability
of REST/ODATA capabilities
Major Limitations with SAP HCI
- B2B/EDI capability (In SAP’s Road Map).
- Standard version management is not available.
- No support for JAVA/ABAP mappings.
- No look up concept in HCI, but as an alternative Request-Reply pattern available to suffice the gap.
- Can’t control individual channels(Start/Stop/External Mode) like we do in PI/PO.
- Monitoring is good but it needs further enhancements (Filter based on channels, option for logs more than 1 month,…)
- No native support for operation mapping in HCI, alternative approach given is request reply pattern.
- PI/PO operation mappings with cardinality 0..1 or 0..unbound are not supported.
- PI/PO operation mappings with multiple operations are not supported.
- PI/PO operation mappings with “Do Not Resolve XOP Includes”, “Read Attachments” are not supported
- Some of existing adapters need to enhance further to support more features.
- Look and feel of message logs is not good. It needs further enhancement.