Establishing a Seamless Integrated Data Landscape
Having worked closely with cloud platforms and technologies over the past couple of years has helped me recognize the importance of establishing a seamless integrated landscape in order to facilitate compelling cloud application development programs. Whether you’re extending current cloud-based applications, looking to integrate with an on-premises database, or developing new IOT-based business solutions, your path to success begins with having the right integration technologies in place.
At SAP we have access to many integration capabilities as part of our HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) solution. These integration services include a wide spectrum of technologies to help customers rapidly unify their technology landscapes—setting the groundwork for agile application development and rapid innovation.
Figure 1: Cloud Integration Technologies
I’d like to elaborate on some common integration services used by SAP customers and how they help lay the foundation for a unified holistic IT landscape.
Process Integration provides pre-packaged content that facilitates near-term integration between two lines of business applications. An organization, for example, may need to share cost center information from a cloud-based HR solution with the core on-premises ERP system used within the organization. Alternatively, a sales department may want to keep records synced between a legacy on-premises system and a newly implemented mobile sales enablement tool.
SAP currently offers over 85 pre-packaged integration modules—available through the SAP public catalog—that contain over 200 integration mappings. This pre-packaged content enables customers to implement seamless data communication between key applications in a matter of weeks, or even days in in some cases. Third party integration mappings are available, and customers can also import mappings from legacy SAP on-premises integration tools or create their own content if desired.
Data Integration services contain two key tools: Smart Data Integration (SDI) and Data Services (DS). The focus at SAP is on SDI as we look to help customers leverage the in-memory advantages of HANA. Using SDI, customers can integrate, replicate or federate their SAP and non-SAP databases with HANA running on HCP as a service. This ability to perform real-time updates to a cloud instance of HANA enables our customers to spin-up agile data marts for specific projects or departmental use cases. For example some customers are using SDI and the HANA service to support dedicated instances for heavy users like sales, marketing and operations, in order to drastically reduce the burden on core databases and landscapes.
Integration Services for High Volume Data Stores
Data sources that provide high volumes of data like IOT devices, operational applications operating at the edge of a technology landscape or key central systems provide unique value and importance to many organizations. SAP has brought to market specific integration tools like smart data streaming, remote data sync and IOT services to handle these high volume data stores .
These integration services can analyze large volumes of data in real-time and apply logical functions and filters to discern the importance of data events. Events can be easily automated to ensure data gets routed to the right application or user for appropriate action.
Data Access and Usage Monitoring
For many of the customers I work with, integration needs are not only focused on getting data into HCP but equal importance is given to providing secure access to data for both internal and external stakeholders. Customers who implement end-to-end data communications not only internally but also with customers and strategic suppliers can easily achieve a 360 degree view of their operations—helping improve quality, minimize costs and maximize revenues.
Monitoring internal and external usage of key systems is also a need that comes up with HCP customers. Using API management services, customers can not only choose which systems and data fields they wish to make available, they can also provide a sandbox for external developers to understand and test their API connections. In addition, HCP customers can monitor ongoing usage by system or developer group through access and throttle controls and many other features.
Figure 2: How HCP integration technologies provide a seamless data landscape.
An Integrated Data Landscape for Successful Application Development
Once a seamless system landscape is in place, customers can quickly create innovative user-facing applications with HCP to deliver the right information to the right user at the right time—regardless of where they are. And, since customers are able to reuse integration connections over and over again, the costs of application development and the time to market for new features, offerings and solutions are vastly reduced.
Thanks to the HANA Cloud Platform integration services, IT departments everywhere can become the stars of their organizations by providing a seamless framework for rapid application innovation and scalable secure delivery.