Business Rules United – 2018 Updates
Last year we had shared our intention to unify and simplify the different business rule technologies in SAP with the Enterprise Rule Model, a common rule meta-model across SAP applications which is aligned to Decision Modelling Notation(DMN). This year i would like update the progress we made in achieving this north star vision and they are as follows
Increment 1 – Multi-cloud
SAP Cloud Platform is the digital platform that forms the chassis of the Intelligent Enterprise. Our Platform as Service(PaaS) offering powers different SaaS Applications and Business Services enabling enterprises to run their digitisation initiatives. Forward leaning companies need an Intelligent Enterprise Suite that enables effective use of data assets to achieve their desired outcome faster with less risk. The most common desired outcomes include business agility through Intelligent Decisions and consistent Decision Automation. Business Agility is a key sought after ingredient of an Intelligent Enterprise and is natural for the application suite that powers an Intelligent Enterprise to have inbuilt business agility. The use of a business rules service is to encapsulate the business logic from application logic which enables the Intelligent Enterprise Suite to achieve business agility natively while ensuring a common lifecycle management and central governance for introducing business changes without redeveloping the applications. With Sapphire 2018 we launched the SAP Cloud Business Rules in Cloud Foundry Environment on Amazon Web Services datacenter as a beta service. This is aligned to SAP’s multi-cloud strategy to have the platform services available in different hyper scale infrastructure providers. See how to try business rules in CF here
Increment 2 – SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules integration with SAP HANA
With launch of in-memory columnar database SAP HANA, we had an interesting invention of pushing down the business logic very close to the business data. We were able to execute mass data runs with Business Rules on millions of records in a single call without the need of pulling up the data into an application server and loop over the tuples applying business rules. SAP HANA Rules Framework provides a user friendly interface that enabled business experts with little to no SQL knowledge to express business logic as Decision Tables, Text Rules. With HRF SP12 we have a new Rules HANA Connector that enables SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules to deploy the Rules Service a.k.a DECISIONS into SAP HANA as in-memory database procedures. We call this pattern as Analytical Rules based on the use-cases we learnt from our customers and SAP Applications. Learn more about how you can try this new pattern in this blog.
The solution architecture for this integration is as below
The Rules HANA Connector is light weight adapter/connector(XSA application) that enables SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules to act as a central decision service in the cloud to deploy rules service to different managed systems in the on-premise landscape of the customer. This approach gives customer’s with a unique opportunity to re-use rules across different business applications and also different rule runtimes as we have offered abstractions in the enterprise rule model to keep the design time content isolated from runtime information via annotations.
Increment 3 – SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules integration with SAP S/4HANA 1809
One of the most important usage of business rules in SAP has been in SAP Business Suite using NetWeaver ABAP BRFplus. In our vision for unifying business rules technologies in SAP we always consider the data to be federated across different SAP Solutions(systems) and other 3rd party systems. But our goal is to bring the rules to systems where the data resides rather than bring data to where the rules are managed to have a decision executed. This means having support for local rule runtimes is essential to have applications in the Digital Core (S/4HANA) execute business rules locally in ABAP runtime. With 1809 S/4HANA we have enhanced BRFplus to expose APIs that enables SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules integrate and deploy rules service into ABAP. Since this time we have ABAP running on HANA database it gives us an unique advantage to decide how to optimize the rule service to be pushed down into HANA as ABAP Managed Database Procedures.
See the announcement blog here and a detailed how to try this capability blog here to try this out yourself with our classical SFLIGHT example
The solution architecture for this integration is as below
NetWeaver BRFplus is a very mature rule technology( nearly 10 years of development) and supports many runtime stereotypes. As of today with SAP Cloud Platform Business Rules integration with S/4HANA 1809 we are getting started with basic runtime stereotype. In the next releases you will find more important capabilities that enables Decision Orchestration capabilities in this usage patterns, so as always stay tuned…
Increment 4 – Business Rules content in API HUB
As part of an open Platform approach we are moving ahead into Content Marketplace model where SAP Applications, Partners can publish Business Rule Project(with prebuilt Vocabulary, Rule Service, Rule, Ruleset) as ready to use content for all SAP Customers. We today start with simple educational content which we have published in SAP API Hub to kickstart this initiative.
See the first set of content below
- Shopping Cart rules: It shows business rules consumption in customer application (https://api.sap.com/package/ShoppingCartPromotionalRules)
- Offer Management rules: It shows business rules integration with SAP HANA (https://api.sap.com/package/SAPHANAintegrationwithSAPCloudPlatformBusinessRules)
- Flight Booking rules: It shown business rules integration with SAP S/4HANA on-premise (https://api.sap.com/package/SAPS4HANAintegrationwithSAPCloudPlatformBusinessRules)
We would like to collaborate with the ecosystem(partners) and open up for more content which helps all the consumers. Post your comments if you like idea…