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Just a few weeks ago, SAP Cloud Platform Functions (Beta) was introduced at SAP TechEd Las Vegas. There we showed how powerful the combination of Function-as-a-Service and Event Driven architectures is by using the production process of a car as an example.

Today at SAP TechEd Barcelona we used a different scenario: hiring a contingent worker and making sure that the team gets informed about the new colleague in an event-driven manner.

In case you have not watched it yet, you can find the recording of the SAP TechEd Barcelona keynote here.

In this blog I would like to walk you through the details of the Barcelona scenario. First I would like to start with a high-speed overview of SAP Cloud Platform Functions. If you’re interested in the background and more details please check out the TechEd Las Vegas blog.

SAP Cloud Platform Functions

  • is a fully managed Cloud service for building and running functions
  • use to build both applications and extensions

Functions

  • consist of code (e.g. node.js) and a trigger
  • are typically triggered by an event (alternatively Http or timer)
  • is usually dormant and does not use any resources
  • are executed when triggered

Events

  • are significant changes – for example to an SAP S/4 business object like BusinessPartner
  • can be sent across landscapes and clouds
  • can be out-of-the box Business Events provided by SAPĀ  (e.g. for SAP S/4)
  • you could use external events as well

With SAP Cloud Platform Functions you can

  • extend SAP S/4HANA and other SAP systems on the SAP Cloud Platform – keeping your core clean
  • use the event-driven concept that actively informs on changes (e.g. in S/4)
  • avoid having to poll for changes
  • save development and operations time

Use case for the TechEd Barcelona SAP Cloud Platform Functions demo

The idea is to hire a contingent worker and inform the team about the new team member using the team Slack channel. The information in the Slack channel includes name and selected skills of the new employee. It is posted as soon as the employee’s data is replicated to the S/4 system. The employee’s consent to his/her data being posted is checked using the SAP Cloud Platform Content Repository.

 

Technical Perspective

The demo brings together SAP Cloud Platform Functions, SAP S/4HANA, SuccessFactors Skills Management, SAP Cloud Platform Content Repository and SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors.

The technical flow is as follows:

  1. A new BusinessPartner/Employee is created (replicated) in SAP S/4HANA.
  2. This creates a BusinessPartner.created event.
  3. This event is send via SAP Enterprise Messaging.
  4. The BusinessPartner.created event triggers the function.
  5. The function extracts the BusinessPartnerId and EmployeeId out of the event.
  6. Using this data the SAP S/4HANA system is called using an API call. The data retrieved includes the name of the employee.
  7. The SAP Cloud Platform Consent Repository is called using an OData service to check the employee’s consent for publishing the information in the Slack channel.
  8. SuccessFactors Skills Management is called to retrieve the skills of the employee.
  9. Information collected from different systems is used to build the message that is written into the Slack channel using SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors.

Summary

SAP Cloud Platform Functions is SAP’s new Function-as-a-Service offering. It is a perfect fit for extending SAP systems like SAP S/4HANA in an event-driven way based on business events. SAP Cloud Platform Functions allows for a focus on development – once the function is deployed SAP Cloud Platform takes care of almost all operations-related activities.

SAP Cloud Platform Functions is currently in Beta. Try for yourself!

Additional Information and Relevant Links

Find additional information on SAP Cloud Platform Functions here:

Getting started with SAP Cloud Platform Functions …

SAP Cloud Platform Functions are beta now …

Exploring SAP Cloud Platform’s FaaS …

In case you are interested in the keynote highlights you can find these in the YouTube SAP TechEd channel in the SAP Keynote Highlights section.

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