SAP C/4HANA Extensibility 101: SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, Kyma, Price and Support
As announced in May, we launched the SAP C/4HANA Foundation. One of the key capabilities it brings is the approach for the side-by-side extensibility for the SAP C/4HANA portfolio. This approach is based on the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory.
The SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory is the go-to cloud-native extensibility framework for the Intelligent Enterprise (see Pic 1). It streamlines the way extensions are built, by providing out-of-the-box integration to applications with a secured and managed connectivity, a Central Management Plane with registry for all applications’ APIs and events, and runtime options to host your extensions on.
Customers and partners can use the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory today, fully integrated with SAP Cloud Platform and as part of the SAP C/4HANA Foundation for SAP C/4HANA extension use cases.
Get more information about the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory and how it is embedded into the SAP Cloud Platform and the SAP C/4HANA Foundation in this blog post.
Pic 1: SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory Vision
SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory – What is Available Today within SAP C/4HANA Foundation?
Now, let us focus on what is already available from the above vision in the context of SAP C/4HANA. There are two aspects to look at: functional and commercial.
SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory is a new approach to extend SAP applications, which is included in customers’ subscription for respective SAP products (e.g. SAP C/4HANA Foundation).
Functionality, available with the SAP C/4HANA Foundation launch, is comprised of three areas of components: Application Connectivity Integration, Central Management Plane and Administration UI, Runtimes and Infrastructure (see Pic 2).
- Application Connectivity Integration
This is one of the major differentiators that SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory provides. It simplifies and automate the configuration of the integration between the SAP applications and SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory to ensure secured and managed connectivity. Through this operation the application’s APIs and events are registered in the central Management Plane. From there the APIs and events definition can be used in runtimes to improve the developer experience during the development phase but also for smarter operational aspects.
Currently, customers and partners can integrate with SAP Commerce Cloud (from 1811 release on) to build productive extension scenarios. In addition to that, you can explore a Preview of the integration with SAP Cloud for Customer (SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud) and SAP Marketing Cloud. These are meant to support early PoC customer projects and prepare for the GA releases of these integrations.
You can find a step-by-step description on how to set up Application Connectivity Integration with SAP Commerce Cloud in this blog post.
- Central Management Plane and Administration UI
The central Management Plane orchestrates the configuration of the Application Connectivity Integration and the setup of the Runtimes. All this orchestration is performed via the Administration UIs.
Currently, there is a support for setting up of a Kubernetes-based runtime in a Bring Your Own License model and installation of open-source project Kyma. As mentioned above, you can connect SAP Commerce Cloud productively to the Kubernetes runtime to build extensions and customizations for production-ready scenarios. All this can be done via the “Extensibility” view in the SAP C/4HANA Cockpit.
This blog post provides step-by-step guide how to setup a Kubernetes-based runtime from the SAP C/4HANA Cockpit.
- Runtimes and Infrastructure
Runtimes are the environment, where your extensions are hosted. This is where the workload (events and data) between the applications, being extended, and the extensions is flowing through, and extension’s business logic is executed.
Currently, the supported runtime is Kubernetes-based one. It is available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) infrastructure. Kubernetes-based runtime comprises of a Kubernetes cluster provisioned, leveraging the managed Kubernetes offerings from GCP (Google Kubernetes Engine) and the open-source project Kyma installed and configured in it. Kyma simplifies and improves the developer experience using Kubernetes to extend enterprise applications in state-of-the-art and cloud-based approach.
Pic 2: Components overview
Now, let us focus on the commercial and support aspects for the functionality we offer today.
As mentioned above, SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory is not a separate product, rather it is a framework, delivered as part of other SAP products.
The different commercial aspects get visible when splitting the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory components, described in the Functional Overview above, in two groups: one – comprised of Application Connectivity Integration, Central Management Plane and Administration UI – and second – comprised of Runtimes and Infrastructure (see Pic 3).
The first group of components is delivered as part of the SAP C/4HANA Foundation since May 7th, 2019. SAP C/4HANA Foundation is included in customers’ and partners’ subscription for SAP C/4HANA cloud products. As part of it, customers and partners get the standard SAP support and SAP Service Level Agreement. The support covers the Application Connectivity Integration with SAP Commerce Cloud (version 1811 or later), the Administration UI via the “Extensibility” view in the SAP C/4HANA Cockpit and the provisioning and setup of the Kubernetes runtime (Kubernetes cluster and Kyma).
The second group covers the Runtimes and the Infrastructure. As mentioned already, the Kubernetes runtime is supported in a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) model.
This means that customers and partners need to have a license for Google Cloud Platform (in other words – having a direct contractual agreement with them without SAP involvement). Therefore, customers and partners are directly paying to the cloud providers for the Kubernetes compute and hence receive support for it as per their direct contract agreements.
If you do not already have a license from any of the cloud provides – check this blog post about the Google Cloud Platform campaign for a free starter package for the SAP C/4HANA customers.
On top of the Kubernetes, you have the open-source project Kyma installed, which of course is free of charge. The support for it is provided via the open-source Kyma community channels (GitHub and Slack).
Pic 3: Commercial and Support overview
What is next in the SAP C/4HANA extensibility space?
Well, now it is simple to explain it – next steps are focused on continuously delivering on the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory vision described in the begging of the blog post – from enabling the Application Connectivity Integration for all SAP and third-party applications via a Central Management Plane, through enabling the multiple runtime options, in fully managed by SAP model from commercial and support perspective, on all the big cloud providers’ infrastructure.