SAP Cloud Platform [SCP] is an open platform-as-a-service [PaaS] that delivers in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique microservices for building and extending intelligent, mobile-enabled cloud platforms.
The platform is designed to accelerate digital transformation by helping quickly, easily, and economically develop the exact application that you need without investing in on-premise infrastructure.
According to SAP, the SCP is intended to allow organizations to extend existing on-premises or cloud-based ERP applications with next-generation technology, such as blockchain, advanced analytics, or machine learning; build and deploy new enterprise business cloud and mobile apps; connect enterprise applications and data to Internet of Things [loT] ; integrate and connect enterprise applications.
For example, SAP Cloud Platform allows for the integration of SAP S/HANA Finance with cloud applications such as SAP SuccessFactors or Ariba. It can also integrate these applications with non-SAP systems and data sources, which includes social media sites and other applications for vendors’ enterprise.
SAP Cloud Platform is based on open standards and it provides the developers the flexibility and control over which clouds, applications, and frameworks to deploy. SCP uses different development environments, including the Neo and Cloud Foundry and it provides different programming languages.
The main limitation of the SAP Cloud Platform is that it is designed to support cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud integration, but not ground-to-ground integration. This makes the tools less useful for integrating SAP and third-party applications that are both on premises.
SAP Cloud Platform capabilities and services
- Digital transformation
It accelerates digital transformation by rapidly deploying next-generation apps on SAP Cloud Platform, the foundation for SAP Leonardo.
- Open Enterprise PaaS
It leverages a singular, open enterprise platform-as-a-service [PaaS] to meet every need. You can explore ABAP, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry environments.
- Data Management and Analytics
It leverages data management and analytical services to build an intelligent enterprise. It can deliver real-time data insights and deliver data to support ant app or analysis.
- Integration and Orchestration
It securely integrates and seamlessly orchestrates business processes, decisions, and data between cloud and on-premise applications in real-time.
- Digital experience
It creates delightful user experiences across digital touchpoints and streamlines user experience design and development, collaboration, user interaction, and mobility.
- Solution Extensibility
It exploits the intelligent enterprise by leveraging the platform’s extensibility to unlock solution flexibility and innovation for your line-of-business applications.
SAP Cloud Platform Licensing Models
SAP Cloud Platform is available in two commercial models: subscription-based and consumption based. These options allow companies a flexible way to match SCP services with organizational needs, according to SAP.
Under the subscription model, customers get access to SAP Cloud Platform services for a fixed price and defined time and can use as much of the service as they want. This model also allows organizations to protect their IT investments with predictable costs as long as they are subscribed to the service.
For the consumption model, customers can buy SCP services through credits and use them as they wish. This setup allows companies to start and scale up development projects quickly whenever business requirements change. The SCP credits are paid for up front, and a cloud credit balance is kept for all the services used.
SAP Cloud Platform use cases
Even though the applications developed are running on SCP offer a range of divergent functions and benefits, they share a common characteristic of enabling business digital transformation.
The following are a number of cases that are available on SAP Cloud Platform:
- Automating employee onboarding processes through integrating SAP Business Suite and SAP SuccessFactors.
- Building custom, SAP Fiori-like user experience [UX] apps for SAP S/HANA.
- Creating mobile apps for field service workers.
- Building an employee recruitment travel and expense management application that integrates SAP API Business Hub with SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Concur.
SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS
One of the key integration tools for developers in SCP is the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS. This option allows the developers to build mobile apps for iPhones and iPads that integrate data from-end enterprise applications with the iOS front end.
The SAP Cloud Platform includes a library of prebuilt user experience [UX] components and access to iOS device capabilities like location services, Touch ID, and notifications.
SAP Cloud Platform vs. SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud
Even though the SAP Cloud Platform shares a similar name with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud [HEC], the two platforms have different intents and purposes. Both of these platforms are variations of HANA cloud technology, but they use different service models.
While SCP offers a platform-as-a-service [PaaS] tool intended for developing and running cloud-based applications, The HEC is an infrastructure-as-a-service [IaaS] tool that enables companies to run SAP-based operations in a hosted environment.
SAP hosts HEC applications in various data centers located across the world and provides ongoing application support and management, which includes upgrades, patches, backups, restoration and recovery, infrastructure and monitoring, and event detection.