Skip to Content

Hana Cloud Integration in comparison to Dell’s Boomi.

In my previous four (1,2,3,4) blogs I talked about iFlows in Hana Cloud Integration. As we all know HCI is not the only middleware solution that is out there and if you are working in the integration scene, names as JitterBit, MuleSoft, BizTalk and Boomi are probably not unfamiliar to you. That last one, Boomi, is specifically for all the SuccessFactors Employee Central users and integration partners. Until a month ago, when purchasing an SAP SFSF enterprise package, the middleware software that came with that package was Boomi. Now it is also possible to go for a SAP SFSF enterprise package with…..HANA CLOUD INTEGRATION.

1) HCI and Boomi.png

Because this option is relatively new, there are still a lot of SFSF customers who are working with Dell Boomi. Therefore I want to compare some options in Dell Boomi to Hana Cloud Integration. I’m going to make a simple integration flow in HCI and Boomi and show you my results. The iFlow will contain an inbound connector (SuccessFactors), a simple mapping, an XML to CSV converter and an outbound connection (email).

Because the HCI web UI is not fully developed yet (e.g. there is no possibility to start a new iFlow from scratch) I’ll be using Eclipse for the HCI part. For Boomi I will be using the web environment (https://platform.boomi.com)

Inbound connector

2) inbound HCI.png

HCI connector and connection


3) inbound HCI.png

Details for the inbound connector



4) inbound HCI.png

Details for the connection

In HCI, you create an inbound connector and a connection to the start shape. On the connector itself you can adjust the authentication details. On the connection you see two sections; ‘Connection details’ and ‘Processing details’. These are quite self-explanatory: one section is to determine where the inbound connector has to go, and the other section tells it what to do over there.
You also have the opportunity to schedule you’re flow here.

2.1) inbound Boomi.png

Boomi connector and operation


3.1) inbound Boomi.png

Boomi connector



4.1) inbound Boomi.png

Boomi operation

As you can see in the pictures, in Boomi there’s one place where you enter the authentication, the connection details, and the operation details (called process details in HCI).
A big difference between HCI and Boomi is the way these connectors are saved. In HCI, you create a project, in which your iFlow is stored. In the iFlow you’ll find the different connectors that have been used. In Boomi, there’s one big project where all your iFlows and connectors are saved. That means, for example, that you create one SuccessFactors connection which you can use in all your iFlows, even those that have not yet been created. That also applies to the operation details. So it’s possible to use the same SuccessFactors connector in two iFlows, but create different operations.

Mapping

The mapping in Boomi and HCI are quite similar. It’s possible to drag a value from your import directly to your desired output, or you can change the data by using different kind of functions. For example, if the date format from your input does not match with the desired output it’s possible to use a TransformDate function.

5) mapping HCI.png

The mapping icon in HCI



6) mapping HCI.png

Overview of a simple mapping in HCI



7) mapping HCI.png

Some of the functions that can be used between your input and output


8) mapping HCI.png

Parameters for a TransformDate function in HCI



In Boomi the mapping looks like this:

5.1) mapping Boomi.png

The mapping icon in Boomi



6.1) mapping Boomi.png

Overview of a simple mapping in Boomi



7.1) mapping Boomi.png

A function to modify the date format



8.1) mapping Boomi.png

Parameters for DateTrans in Boomi



Combine and/or convert

Now we come to the part where Boomi and HCI show some difference. When looking at HCI, we see that the requested data rows from SuccessFactors are treated as one document. Within HCI all records (data rows) will automatically be combined into one document. This is not the case with Boomi. Every single row (record) is treated as one document, which can be sent out individually. Normally, you’d want to have one file (.csv) containing all the rows (records) so it’s necessary to combine the documents (each containing one data row) to one document.
On the other hand, in HCI the data is processed as xml. We need to convert this data to .csv if that is the output we want. In Boomi, we just need to indicate that the output should be a .csv file and don’t need to adjust or transform any data. Let’s see how that looks like in HCI:

9) converter HCI.png

The converter icon in HCI


10) converter HCI.png

Parameters for the XML to CSV converter

And in Boomi, we do not convert but we must combine:

9.1) combine Boomi.png

The data process icon, from where we can combine

10.1) combine Boomi.png

Parameters to combine documents

Another difference is naming the resulting document. In HCI the document is named in the connector which is being used (e.g. the mail adapter, which we will discuss in the next chapter). In Boomi, the name of the document must be set as a property before setting the outbound connector.

11) properties Boomi.png

The icon to set the properties



12) properties Boomi.png

The parameters to name the file.

 

Outbound connector

The outbound connector is set up in the same way as the inbound connector. In HCI you need to create a connector and a connection, and in Boomi you need to create a connector and an operation.

13) outbound HCI.png

The mail connector icon and connection flow in HCI


14) outbound HCI.png

Parameters for the Connection Details and the Mail Attributes in HCI

13.1) outbound Boomi.png

The Boomi outbound connector icon

14.1) outbound Boomi.png

The connections details for email in Boomi

14.2) outbound Boomi.png

The operation details in Boomi

Wrap-up

When you deploy and run these simple iFlows in both systems you get the following result:

15) deploy HCI.png
Result in HCI

15.1) deploy Boomi.png

Result in Boomi

As shown, Boomi takes up to more than a minute to run this flow. It has read 668 documents (read: rows of data) out of SuccessFactors, and has sent one .csv file out.
HCI doesn’t display the amount of documents in or out, and only takes 16 seconds to complete. Off course this is just one simple test, but I think the speed difference is remarkable.

There are two things that I would love to see in HCI in the near future. In Boomi you have the possibility to “test” the iFlow before actually deploying it to your atom. If your iFlow request to much data it will only take the first 10 documents and run the iFlow as if it is was deployed. In HCI you have to deploy the whole iFlow to your tenant and run it to see if the changes you have made were successful.
The second thing is the way Boomi handles multiple accounts. I now have one email address to login and from there I can service all my customers. This saves me a lot of time and I’m very curious in wat way HCI is going to develop in this matter.

The thing I like a lot in HCI is the trace functionality. Your iFlow becomes decorated with envelopes where you can see the data that is going through. In Boomi the trace function is much more standard and you cannot see directly what data is going through the different steps.

16) trace HCI.png

Trace functionality in HCI


16.1) trace Boomi.png

Trace functionality in Boomi

As explained there are some differences between Boomi and HCI, but definitely also a lot of  similarities between these programs. For now, the community behind Boomi is a lot bigger, but I’m sure HCI will continue to develop more and more standard packaged integrations and become more standard within the SuccessFactors EC community.

I’m very curious if you are working with HCI or Boomi and what your experience are with both systems. Please let me know in the comments or drop me a mail on bob@nextmoves.nl

Blog 1: Starting with Hana Cloud Integration? Keep this in mind!
Blog 2: Starting with Hana Cloud Integration? Create a simple integration flow (iFlow)!

Blog 3: Deep dive in Hana Cloud Integration

Blog 4: Hana Cloud Integration and SuccessFactors Integration Center

Blog 5: Hana Cloud Integration in comparison to Dell’s Boomi.

To report this post you need to login first.

26 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Twan van den Broek

    Hi Bob

    As you write it down it looks like customers do have choice nowadays. Is HCI integration limited to specific modules within SFSF?

    What about licensing consequences. Up till now Boomi was included in SuccessFactors license. What about if you choose to integrate with HCI? Also included or additional license costs?

    Kind regards

    Twan

    (0) 
    1. B. Van Rooij Post author

      Hi Twan,

      Since Q3 2015 customers can choice between SAP HCI or Dell Boomi when purchasing a SAP SFSF Enterprise Package.

      This means that Boomi is still available within the SFSF license, but you can also choice for HCI (with no extra costs in comparison to Boomi).

      I don’t know which “kind” of HCI you will get when purchasing the package. With Boomi you’ll get a special license which contains limited connectors (and no enterprise connections for example). I don’t know if HCI also has several versions.

      Please let me know if you have more questions.

      (0) 
  2. Muniyappan Marasamy

    just curious, were you able to test the map without running the flow in boomi.

    in PO/PI soon after we activate the mapping, we can test it.

    also no logs available to see map conversion in dell boomi.

    FYI. i was using trial boomi account to test SF interfaces.

    Regards,

    Muni

    (0) 
    1. B. Van Rooij Post author

      Hi Muni,

      the only test option I encounterd is the ‘Test mode’. This wil run your flow (and also your mapping) for the first 10 documents. Logging is also available.

      (0) 
  3. victor lxy

    Hello Bob,

    Having worked or played with both, the comparison seems incomplete (and bit immature). Any integration is much more than just connecting to end system. Also if you want to compare two platforms, there are number of other metrics which needs to be considered. You may check Gartner quadrants to learn more about same. Anyways, all the best for your endeavors.

    (0) 
    1. B. Van Rooij Post author

      Hi Victor,

      thank you for your reply. I know this is not a full comparison between the two platforms, I mentioned it twice in my blog:

      Therefore I want to compare some options in Dell Boomi to Hana Cloud Integration”.
      I’m going to make a simple integration flow in HCI and Boomi and show you my results.

      There are lots of ways to compare these two, I choose to go for a simple approach, therefore not covering all the options. If there is a full, deep dive comparison available on the web I would be very interested to read it and I would definitely place a link to it in my blog.

      (0) 
  4. Harish Kintali

    Nice blog Van !

    There is one important difference I would like to add here.Take an example of requesting data for 5 employees.

    1.BOOMI IFlow – The records are split at the connector step itself(implicit) and the steps in the Iflow are executed separately for each Employee Data and finally you need to merge the data before the last step of the Iflow.

    2.HCI IFlow: If splitting is required it has to be handled explicitly.

    (0) 
  5. Jon Reed

    Thanks for this Bob.

    There has been some questions on Twitter as to the availability of HCI for all SFSF customers. So, I contacted SAP leadership and heard back from them. The timeframe and availability you have stated is correct, but with a couple of caveats.

    First off, SAP told me that when SuccessFactors customers use a Boomi subscription that comes with their SuccessFactors license, they also obtain content that enables multiple integration scenarios, such as Employee Central to SAP ERP.

    Recently, SAP developed similar content based on HCI, which has led to the option you have described here. At this time, using HCI as the middleware engine of SuccessFactors is what SAP calls an “early adopter” program. Customers can opt for HCI instead of Boomi but as SAP told me, it requires an internal approval.

    It’s not a beta program, any customer can request it. I’m sure that when the time is right, SAP will announce the availability of the HCI integration option for all customers. As for the question of why SAP hasn’t shouted the availability of HCI integration from the rooftops such as at the SuccessConnect keynotes, that’s a question for SAP, not me. But my view is that they want to do this in a gradual way. SAP was clear no one will be forced onto HCI – they are just making it available as an option.

    (0) 
    1. B. Van Rooij Post author

      Thank you for you reply Jon, this is very useful information for anyone who is wondering what is happening on HCI/Boomi/SFSF.

      I’m currently at the SAP CodeJam on HCI and I heard similar information about the HCI roadmap.

      (0) 
      1. Rajesh Kumar Burra

        We can choose either one. As a consultant Do we need to have experience on both Boomi and HCI. Which one would be more reliable to suggest to client

        Thanks for replying

        (0) 
        1. B. Van Rooij Post author

          You don’t have to have knowledge on both, the products are doing the same thing (integrate your products). So if you already have HCI knowledge go with that, if you already have Boomi knowledge you can choose Boomi.

          Depending on your kind of intergration you can choose either HCI or Boomi. Because HCI is relatively new there is more best-practice on Boomi, but that is expected tho shift in the upcoming months/years.

          I hope this helps!

          (0) 
  6. Jacques-Antoine Ollier

    Excellent document!

    Now, we will see who is the first between Boomi and HCI to get a specific adapter for SAP Business ByDesign. 😀

    Thank you for this very nice blog.

    Best regards.

    Jacques-Antoine Ollier

    (0) 
  7. Venu Immadisetty Rao

    Hi Van – I heard HCI is supporting more country’s compare to boomi Iflow’s ( currently Boomi iflows are supporting only few country’s). Can you please help me to understand what are the more advantages using HCI rather then Boomi Iflows.

    Do you see any customer migrated from Boomi iflows to HCI ?

    I am checking what advantages bringing HCI with EC integration compare to Boomi Iflows.

    Appreciate your quick help.

    Regards,

    Venu

    (0) 
  8. John Pawski

    Hello,

    Good article.  Does it make sense or is it feasible for a 3rd party middleware to integrate with HCI.  That way one can leverage HCI capabilities with the SAP ecosystem but maintain the non-SAP ecosystem with the current 3rd party deployment.  This would be instead of trying to build 3rd party integration directly to SAP components such as SuccessFactor iFlows.

    Thanks

    (0) 

Leave a Reply