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During my many years of supporting SAP ERP customers, one thing has remained consistent: the need for SAP ERP data to be integrated with innovative edge applications.  And while SAP S4/HANA is built on an architecture to enable innovative use-cases, many SAP users are still using legacy SAP ECC ERP.  So, the big question is: How can I facilitate the innovation the business requires before migrating to S4/HANA?

Well, this blog series will show you an example of how the SAP Cloud Platform can be used to drive agility and innovation with your existing SAP ERP implementation.

The Power of SAP HANA

Much has been said about how the speed and power SAP HANA can turn insights into action.  But to demonstrate the steps to actually make this happen, I would like to cover a real-world scenario that arose from a customer presentation I was recently involved in.

Because it is built on HANA in-memory database technology, S4/HANA can do cool things like the material autocomplete.

Innovate Today with SAP Cloud Platform

The customer I was talking to mentioned how functionality like this could improve order entry speed and accuracy for their call-center order entry staff.  In our subsequent discussion, I sketched out the following high-level architecture showing how SAP Cloud Platform can help realize their quest for innovation.

This solution will leverage an SAP ERP instance on the Cloud Appliance Library (CAL), Smart Data Integration (SDI), SAP HANA Modelling, SAP HANA XS, and an SAP Fiori front-end written with SAP Web IDE using SAPUI5.

The great thing about SAP Cloud Platform is the above architecture can be used for more than just  real-time type-ahead suggestion.

  • Enable real-time, ad-hoc analytics on existing ERP data (aka HANA sidecar in the cloud)
  • Leverage SAP HANA XS engines with existing ERP data
    • Geospatial
    • Text Analytics
    • Graph
    • Predictive Analytics
  • Extend SAP ECC implementation through traditional WRICEF requirements

Getting Started

The next entries in this blog series will be a simplified recreation of the steps to required to implement this solution.  This example leverages the free SAP Cloud Platform trial landscape. Note: to limit duplication of existing information, some links below go to relevant existing content.

  1. Overview (this blog)
  2. Sign up for SAP Cloud Platform Trial Account (SAP Developer Tutorial)
  3. Create Instance on the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (by SAP HANA Academy Video)
  4. Create an SAP Cloud Platform HANA Database for use with Smart Data Integration (SDI) [coming soon]
  5. Install and Configure Smart Data Integration (SDI) for Cloud Appliance Library (CAL) Instance and SAP Cloud Platform Trial HANA Database as a Service [coming soon]
  6. Replicate existing SAP ERP data to your SAP HANA instance [coming soon]
  7. Expose the SAP ECC data as OData [coming soon]
  8. Create SAP Fiori application to consume SAP ECC data [coming soon]
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