Skip to Content
Product Information
Author's profile photo Vera Gutbrod

SAP Portal On-Premise or in the Cloud? Some Considerations

I have been working in the SAP Portal product management team for many years now. I still remember the Enterprise Portal 6.0 times, when we explained customers about the role and workset concept, delta-links, permissions concepts and the role-upload from the ABAP backend system. At those times SAP Enterprise Portal looked like this – if you are a Portal veteran, you might remember the following design:

Now 12 years later SAP Enterprise Portal (on SAP NetWeaver 7.5) is delivered with a new multi-channel portal framework page following the SAP Fiori design guidelines based on SAP UI5, providing end users a coherent user experience across devices and consumption channels:

Almost 13.000 customers are running the on-premise Portal. SAP Enterprise Portal is primarily suited for sophisticated corporate intranets, which integrate a big amount of classic SAP content (e.g. Web Dynpro ABAP/Java, SAP GUI for Windows, HTMLB) and require advanced web content and document handling.

Beside the classical Portal offering on the SAP NetWeaver Platform, we followed SAP’s cloud strategy and we also offer SAP Cloud Platform Portal as the recommended solution for building modern, cloud-based portal sites such as application launchpads or line of business home pages. Cloud Portal is a major service of SAP Cloud Platform. Customers can use the portal service to create flexible, mobile-ready business sites to engage with employees, customers and partners. Common scenarios include Employee Self-Service, Portal/Launchpad, Supplier Portal and Partner Portal. This is an image showing an example of a Dealer Portal (screenshot taken from our demo systems):

Some Advantages for Moving your Portal to the Cloud


Running your Portal in the cloud is much more simple than an on-premise implementation. SAP Cloud Platform Portal lowers your TCO by eliminating the need for on premise systems & upgrades. You do not need anymore portal servers, development and production systems, ongoing operational costs for maintenance, upgrade and patches.

Speed and Features Availability

SAP Enterprise Portal is usually updated via regular support package stacks 3-4 times a year. Cloud Portal offers more frequent innovations and enhancements on a bi-weekly basis. This delivery pace means an important aspect of agility and flexibility, it also brings frequent changes (e.g. improved user interface, enhanced configuration editors) you need to track.

Access to on-premise Systems

You can build, brand, and publish portal sites with Cloud Portal that integrate with on-premise and cloud systems. Cloud Platform Portal can aggregate and integrate cloud-based SAP Fiori apps side by side with classic UIs running on-premise.

Content and Extensions

You might be familiar with the business packages concept for SAP Enterprise Portal. For Cloud Portal consumption we offer SAP Fiori Cloud: pre-packaged SAP Fiori apps for SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA. Also if you plan to use your SAP applications / products more and more in the cloud, it might be reasonable to move also your Portal to the cloud.

Customers can also integrate regular SAP transactions based on Web Dynpro ABAP, SAP Screen Personas and SAP GUI for HTML (Web GUI). Furthermore, Cloud Portal can be used to integrate and extend SAP cloud solutions such as SAP Hybris Cloud for Service (Support Site), SAP Hybris Cloud for Sales (Partner Portal) and SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central.

Get the latest UX innovation

As design standards change, the Portal’s look and feel will never become out-dated, because the UX is upgraded to the latest SAP Fiori design automatically.

Enjoy the other Features from SAP Cloud Platform

When acquiring a subscription for SAP Cloud Platform you have not only access to the portal service. You can leverage SAP Cloud Platform and enjoy a flexible and agile platform to develop, extend and consume enterprise applications via cloud services. SAP Cloud Platform Portal is also part of the SAP Cloud Platform Experience Maker which provides a set of integrated services (SAP Web IDE, SAP Build etc.) that deliver delightful user experiences across various digital touchpoints.

For a detailed comparison of Enterprise Portal and Cloud Portal please check out our updated SAP Portal deployment options guide. It contains a table outlining a detailed comparison of features and functions of both products.

Transition to Cloud

We are observing that more and more of the on-premise Portal customers consider to move their Portal to the cloud. I recommend watching this interview with Yariv Zur (Product Management Vice President, SAP Cloud Platform User Experience) recorded at SAP TechEd Barcelona recently. Yariv explains the concept of SAP Cloud Platform Portal as an UI integration hub acting as single access point to different applications. He gives also some insights into the transition process from SAP Enterprise Portal to SAP Cloud Platform Portal and what customers need to consider before starting a transition project.

We recommend to plan a transition to the cloud as a gradual move in a scenario-oriented approach. You could start for example with an external facing Portal (supplier portal, dealer portal) etc. Check again the Portal deployment guide which outlines the recommendations for typical Portal use cases.

If you are not ready to completely embrace cloud-based services, you can take a first step toward the cloud with a hybrid portal approach. Companies that want to keep their back-end systems and data on-premise can design a hybrid environment with SAP Cloud Platform Portal. In this environment, corporate data, including enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and other business assets, remains on-premise while the user interface layer is served from the cloud.

I would like to repeat Yariv’s recommendation in the SAP TechEd interview to take this decision – to transition to the cloud or to stay on Enterprise Portal – based on acquired knowledge.

Do the following to acquire more knowledge:

Read the Portal roadmap presentation giving you an insight into the two main Portal product flavors including existing and planned feature development.

Access the material from our openSAP course “Building Portal Sites on SAP Cloud Platform Portal” we held in April this year. You still have access to the course material.

Get access to the SAP Cloud Platform trial landscape and get a trial account for free.

Read carefully the following guides: SAP Portal Deployment options and Your Fast Route to the Cloud.

We will create more material on the topic “transition from Enterprise Portal to Cloud Portal” in the next weeks and months. Stay tuned for further information in 2018 on SAP Community and on our SAP Portal community topic page.




Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Well written Vera. It's amazing to see SAP Portal has come up such a long way.

      I've had the opportunity to work on SAP Portal 6.0 and it's getting more and more good. Having Portal over the SAP Cloud Platform is definitely a plus point in terms of wider scope for integration with various systems and interoperability.


      Author's profile photo Vera Gutbrod
      Vera Gutbrod
      Blog Post Author


      Thanks, Ritu. Yes, we also see that more and more customers start with Portal projects in the cloud.

      Author's profile photo Vara Prasad Kodati
      Vara Prasad Kodati

      Hi Vera,

      I have followed your steps in integrating SAP Enterprise portal with Cloud portal and fine with all the  steps.

      After all the steps i have stuck with end user access. Can you please help me with that

      Thank you



      Author's profile photo Vera Gutbrod
      Vera Gutbrod
      Blog Post Author


      Hi Prasad!

      Please create a question in the SAP Community forums to get an answer for this question. Or you create an SAP support ticket.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Angel Eduardo Cruz Gonzalez
      Angel Eduardo Cruz Gonzalez

      Hello Vera,


      Our company in this moment is running an assesment to implement S/4HANA and we have a doubt with the SAP Fiori App installed on premise serve.

      It's necessary to have the SAP Fiori Cloud to extend de SAP Fiori App to the user needs or it's enough with the product embbeded in the on primise solution. This claritication is important to us because the actual architecture we find on web is confuse.

      The related link which confuse us is .

      Thank you for your time.



      Author's profile photo Thomas Hensel
      Thomas Hensel

      Dear Angel Eduardo,

      thanks for your question. Let me help to clarify our recommendations.

      SAP Fiori is an integral part of the SAP S/4HANA (on premise) product. The general recommendation for SAP S/4HANA 1809 systems is an embedded SAP Front-end server deployment. Check the UI Technology Guide for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori Deployment Recommendations for details.

      In addition to the standard (out of the box) Fiori experience, customers can use SAP Cloud Platform (Web IDE) to extend SAP Fiori apps and develop custom Fiori/SAPUI5 applications. These apps can by deployed back to your on premise server or run on the cloud. The "SAP Fiori Cloud" bundle offers you the relevant services and tools to develop, customize, and exend your Fiori apps in the cloud.

      Hope this helps. Let me know, in case you have additional questions.

      Best regards Thomas