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Dear SCN Friends,

One year back, I was asked to evaluate HCI capabilities .After evaluation I felt architecture is good but it has

long way to go before it’s ready to compete with its on-cloud competitors (Dell Boomi, Informatica…) or with

SAP’s on premise middleware (SAP PI/PO) .

Recently I realized that SAP is rapidly making improvements for HCI .I believe soon it will become tough

competitor to both on-cloud and on premise middlewares.

I want to share my views on advantages with cloud-based integration platform, current HCI’s major capabilities and its limitations.

SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) is SAP’s strategic secure cloud-based integration platform with a strong focus on

process and data integration.It provides you the Process Integration (HCI-PI) and Data Integration (HCI-DS) capabilities.

  • HCI-PI is for integrating your applications, be it on premise or cloud applications
  • HCI-DS is for efficiently and securely doing ETL (extract, transform, load) tasks to move data between on premise and the cloud systems.

Below are major advantageous with cloud based integration (HCI):

  • No maintenance required ,SAP will take care of it
  • Less implementation time (Prepackaged integration content can reduce TCO for developers and maintaining the custom integrations)
  • Lower TCO (pay as you go subscription model and minimal upfront investment)
  • Effective failover capability (Similar to High availability concept in on premise)
  • Scalability, SAP will take care of it
  • Rolling software updates (currently once in a month. Zero down time but during that window we can’t deploy new integration artifacts to the tenant)
  • Backward compatibility of the integration content is assured
  • During every upgrade, the Web-based IDE is also upgraded (NOTE: We need to manually upgrade our eclipse based

        toolset from the HCI Eclipse update site)

  • Tenant Isolation (For each customer system connected to SAP HCI separate resources(d/b schema,CPU,memory…) are allocated)
  • 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

  • If you are migrating interfaces from PI/PO to HCI ,you can reuse the structures and mappings.You can import these from your PI/PO to HCI .



Currently HCI has below adapters (Took 8/1/2015 release as reference )

Adapter type

Allows tenant to

Mail adapter (Rx)

Send out encrypted messages by e-mail.

IDoc SOAP adapter (Sx & Rx)

Exchange IDoc messages with another system.

SOAP (SAP RM) adapter (Sx & Rx)

Connect to another system based on the SOAP communication protocol and SAP RM as the message protocol (which is a simplified communication protocol

for asynchronous Web service communication that does not require the use of Web Service Reliable Messaging).

SOAP 1.x adapter (Sx & Rx)

Connect to another system that supports SOAP 1.1 or SOAP 1.2.

HTTP adapter(Rx) (POST/GET/PUT methods)

Connect to a receiver system using the HTTP protocol.

SFTP adapter(Sx & Rx)

Connect to another system using the SSH File Transfer Protocol.

SuccessFactors adapter (Sx & Rx) (SOAP/ODATA V2(Rx)/REST)

Connect to a SuccessFactors system using the SOAP protocol.

For REST message protocol only GET/POST operations are supported

Ariba adapter (Sx & Rx)

Connect a tenant to the Ariba network (that way allowing SAP and non-SAP cloud applications to send and receive business specific documents in cXML format to and from the Ariba network).

OData adapter (Rx)

Connect to systems exposing OData services (OData service providers).

Sx->Sender ,Rx->Receiver


Below are some of the major limitations with HCI:


  • B2B/EDI capability (It’s there in their 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,…)
  • In HCI no native support for JAVA udf’s ,need to go for either groovy script or JavaScript (but I think we can import the same from

          PI to HCI and run it ,but can’t modify it in HCI)

  • No native support for operation mapping in HCI, alternative approach given is request reply pattern (We can re-use the

          existing operation mapping from PI/PO and run it in HCI)

  • 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
  • I’m wondering on whether HCI support custom modules and many standard beans available in PI/PO?

   

NOTE:

Many resources available in scn for understanding HCI features ,make use of those.I would like to thank Sujit

for sharing his knowledge on most of the HCI features .


Please share your thoughts on this ,so that we can further enhance this blog and make it more comprehensive for quick reference.


I’m adding few references ,but you can find many in scn ,just need little bit patience

http://help.sap.com/cloudintegration/SAP_HCI_DevGuide.pdf

Basic Web-UI Monitoring in HCI

Regards

Venkat


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4 Comments

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  1. arun kumar

    Nice Info thanks you for ur share! as a pi consultant I want to enter in HCI   what are the sic requirement to learn HCI  ! Where I can learn! please let me know

    (0) 

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