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I want to share the insight I have gained into the ever-changing world of SAP integration while participating at SAP TechEd 2015. SAP integration has changed a lot over the last couple of years, and it is constantly evolving. As someone who has been working with SAP for over a decade, I was able to see trends that will definitely change the way we do integration for our clients.

I want to give you not just a recap of what I’ve seen and heard at TechEd, but also more information on how to deal with these new trends, and how to implement the changes.

In this video, I tried to summarize the most important topics of TechEd 2015. New technologies, and thus new challenges, are on their way. Integration specialists need to stay updated and focused in order to implement the SAP integration strategies that are best for their companies.

Trends

Without further ado, here are the things that I have considered of greatest value at this year’s conference — from the perspective of an integration consultant. There are 3 important changes that will transform the way we do integration:

Cloud strategy

A lot more integration will be going on inside the cloud. If the business decides they want some specific integration, we will build cloud applications. Companies will still have their on-premises SAP systems, so there won’t be any need for changing those systems just yet, but you will need to interact with a hybrid strategy.

Different speeds of innovation

This issue gets interesting especially when we talk about API management, where interacting with our consumers (and the different methods of interaction) becomes the focal point.

Companies want to interact more with their customers. In order to do that, they need new methods of interaction, and new tasks may be completed to achieve this, such as pulling center data or other relevant endeavors.

Big Data

This is probably a more extensive topic for those who work in data analytics and related fields. From an integration perspective, the Internet of Things is of great importance. We need to integrate, to find out how to put data from multiple devices into our HANA, Hadoop or Spark systems, so that someone else can analyze it — this is our job, as integration consultants. It’s not our job to figure out what should be done with the data, but we need to make sure that the data is available to the right people.

We’ll also get a higher volume of frequency and number of concurrent connections, precisely because of these trends. A lot more interaction with the data is necessary.

On the mobile front, we’ll have more integration with people in our network who might want to do business with us, so this will lead to more users and integrations, because we need to expose the data that we have in our SAP ECC or S/4HANA systems to all the potential customers.

Protocols

These are the main trends I have used to create this round-up. SAP is betting quite a lot on OData. Partners are allowed to create OData services, which could happen through mobile apps, browser-based apps, enterprise software, or cloud and social software.

MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport), which is an Internet of Things protocol, is a lot like MQ (Messaging Queuing) or JMS, but the handling functionalities have been removed, so it is a much leaner protocol, which is going to make interaction easier for companies. It is best for edge devices; smart media will communicate with them. It could be Wind River, which will collect all of the data before data is posted to SAP.

REST (Representational State Transfer), a protocol that works on sets of data, is important when doing integration with the outside, because it’s easier for mobile apps and third parties to use — it seems to become the standard we are moving towards.

SAP Process Orchestration

Regarding Process Orchestration, we have a few functionalities to discuss. The REST-based adapter has already been delivered, and they have also been developing the OData adapter.

There has been some improvement on the BPMN (Business process Model and Notation) front as well: you can create a task and task APIs. You can also generate and use the SAPUI5 interface with the click of a button, which makes it easier to create online apps. The current version does not support Fiori and line items, but it is a nice way to start.

PowerDesigner, an SAP tool that is able to describe the processes that are happening in your organization, should be easier to use. It may be used for developing and documenting processes. Data can be exported in BPMN format, then the needed processes can be enhanced and curated in Developer Studio.

I think Integration Advisor has been a much-discussed topic for a while now. It is relevant because it provides users an easier way of interacting with multiple suppliers. Usually, the process of onboarding B2B suppliers can be tedious, especially if you lack a predefined format that you wish to use. With this B2B add-on you might get some more instances that are relevant to your development.

Some improvements have been made to the B2B add-on, but since I haven’t been using it, I’m not that familiar with what needed to be improved. The Integration Advisor should be mentioned here, because it may enable you to deploy and develop applications faster, while also allowing you to integrate with B2B integrations more efficiently.

I think we will see more of ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) tools, especially when dealing with edge device integration.

NetWeaver 7.5

It’s a shame that TechEd takes place during the fall instead of the spring. I think there will be a lot more changes. I’m really looking forward to SAP NetWeaver 7.5. Some of its highlights are the following:

One of the most important topics is Java 8.  This is really great because there have been enhancements in Java, and it will enable the use of the newest JDBC/JMS adapter. There could be issues with backward compatibility, with customer functions and adapters.

With Eclipse Luna 4.4 you don’t have to install and run the NetWeaver Developer Studio zip file, you can use the standard Eclipse, and update the plugins. This is the same as you do with HCI at the moment.

The UI5 generator should also be better now, they should be able to support lower-level items, and the generated tasks should be fully Fiori-compliant.

A great feature is that you should be able to run HANA Cloud Integration content locally. You wouldn’t be able to work with HCI flows because they are structured in a slightly different way, but you could take the existing SAP content from HCI, download it, create a zip file or an executable compiler file, upload it to your on-premises PO system, and then use the content locally. Because it is currently somewhat limited, I believe it will be enhanced with other features as well.

HCI adapters and Camel — you would be able to use the Camel adapters on the logon system, and that means you would be able to download these adapters, and run them locally. Right now, after downloading an adapter, you have to start from scratch. With the Camel add-on, you get a lot of these predefined adapters, so you can easily select the ones you want, and enhance them, if needed.

While Operational Process Intelligence (OPINT) is not an important product just yet, it will probably become more significant in the future. Now it shows the real-time status of the existing data. It will be enhanced with more intelligence; the creators want to enable you to view the real-time status of the process, while also increasing the amount of interaction with the processes in an intelligent way. They also talk about smarter processes — you would be able to interact with HANA Cloud Platform services, which need certain requirements to be met for different scenarios. This could offer more insight into what is currently happening inside the processes, and show whether there are any delays.

You can see the rest of this post at https://picourse.com/sap-teched-from-an-integration-perspective/ which will cover IoT, Api, the keynote and other relavant information.

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5 Comments

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  1. Sebastian Simon

    Hi Daniel,

    Interesting update, i heard about the HCI option on PO 7.5.

    Will open some good opportunities with HCI’s more flexible Iflow pipleine.

    However i worry it will be a “Split world” from PO’s monitoring / operation perspective (HCI, Java Gateway and PO feature overlap on one box). Let’s see how that topics wil develop.

    Cheers

               Sebastian

    (0) 
  2. Maximiliano Colman

    Hi Daniel,

    About this NetWeaver 7.5 feature:

    “With Eclipse Luna 4.4 you don’t have to install and run the NetWeaver Developer Studio zip file, you can use the standard Eclipse, and update the plugins. This is the same as you do with HCI at the moment.”

    Where is the update URL for SAP PO Plugins?, It is “the end” of NWDS for SAP PO?.

    Best Regards.

    (0) 
    1. Daniel Graversen

      Hi

      I dont know the Update url.

      I think it will be the end of NWDS. I’m not sure if all functions ie java development and software compoents will be switched.

      (0) 

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