Integrating SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) with SAP CRM/ERP via SCPI – Step by Step Tutorial – PART 1/6
The article is divided into 6 parts. It assumes that you have already gathered first project experience with SAP Commerce Cloud (Hybris) and a running Hybris instance on your computer. You do not have to be familiar with IntegrationObjects, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI), since they will be introduced in such a manner that you can understand the whole landscape and perform the proof of concept for the integration. This means that you will set up your own SCPI instance in your own SAP Cloud Platform with only a few clicks! Setting up the whole landscape is free because SAP provides everyone with trial accounts without asking you to provide any payment information.
The whole series will provide links to additional information on given topics if you want to depend on your knowledge of them. The first part introduces integration options for SAP Commerce Cloud and provides a big-picture on integration utilizing SCPI.
The second part briefly explains SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) and its relations to Neo, CloudFoundry, SCPI, SCP Cockpit and guides you through the setup of these systems with a few clicks.
The third part discusses SCPI and topics such as Packages, iFlows, Authentication, and shows you how to create your first iFlow and trigger it via a rest client such as Postman.
The fourth part discusses the SAP Commerce Cloud side and the Integration API Module. In this part, you will learn about IntegrationObjects. You will test them and design new ones for learning purposes. Since the Integration API module is independent of the SCPI, this part focuses solely on the SAP Commerce Cloud.
The fifth part glues everything together. You will learn about SAP Core Module and SAP SCPI Module required for the integration with the SCPI, and you will learn about the OOTB (data and process) integrations to SAP CRM/ERP/S4HANA and other systems. Finally, you will replicate orders from the SAP Commerce Cloud into SAP ERP for order fulfillment purposes.
The sixth and final part covers the advanced topics such as what to consider when modifying existing OOTB integrations which were explained in the fifth part.
So, let’s start with the first part.
Integration Options – SCPI & IntegrationObjects are the strategic way forward
Different ways exist to integrate SAP Commerce Cloud with SAP and non-SAP systems. The detailed analysis of every approach and its pros & cons are not the scope of this article and thus only the available options are listed below. For more information on different options, you can take a look at Know Your Integration Options for SAP Commerce Cloud Webinar available on the Hybris Wiki and at Integration Options for SAP Commerce Cloud available at CX Works. Also, the official documentation for integration is available here.
8 Different Integration Options
SAP App Center
A marketplace where SAP partners sell their applications which extend SAP solutions.
Data Hub (SAP Commerce Data Hub)
Data hub is a service-oriented solution used mostly for integration with other SAP systems. It is Hybris’ product and it was one of the main choices, but at the time of writing this article, it is not the strategic integration option of choice anymore. Nevertheless, SAP Data Hub is still important because it has many pre-built integrations with many SAP applications.
IntegrationObjects + Integration APIs
IntegrationObjects and Integration APIs represent the Integration API Module which is the strategic way forward for data integration with SAP Commerce. The Integration API Module can be used on its own, i.e. without SCPI, though the two combined are now the strategic way forward for the whole SAP C/4 HANA suite. The Integration API Module will be explained in more detail later since it is crucial to understand how it works. If you are interested in other modules, you can find them here.
SAP Cloud Platform Integration – SCPI
SCPI is independent of SAP Commerce Cloud and can be leveraged to integrate processes and data across heterogeneous IT landscapes consisting of SAP solutions, 3rd party solutions both on-premise and in the cloud. SCPI represents an important asset for an integrated & intelligent enterprise as outlined in the SAP Vision for Integrating SAP Applications in Cloud and Hybrid Environments white-paper. The SCPI will be discussed in more detailed in part 03. You can also read about it on its official page.
Figure 1 SAP Cloud Platform Integration integrates processes and data across heterogeneous IT landscapes consisting of SAP solutions, 3rd party solutions both on-premise and in the cloud
SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory
Since the 1811 version, SAP Commerce Cloud works with the extensibility layer for the SAP C/4HANA suite as well. This extensibility layer, i.e. Extension Factory Integration Module, is a layer on top of the open-source project Kyma and represents the integral part of the SAP Cloud Platform itself. The focus of the Extension Factory are scalable microservices and serverless. However, as of today, the EF is still a beta version.
Figure 2 Know Your Integration Options for SAP Commerce Cloud Webinar -Tyler MacWilliam (June 2019)
Good old import and export scripts (ImpEx) used for the data setup during development can also be öeveraged for getting data out of and into SAP Commerce. However, the ImpEx approach is more of a workaround-like approach.
Omni-commerce Connect Layer
Some of the REST APIs from the OCC layer could be leveraged to get data out of the system or to update particular parts of it. You can see available Rest APIs here.
Hot Folder is the file-transfer approach. Files containing data are stored in specific folders from where they are picked up by SAP Commerce Cloud or other SAP and non-SAP-systems.
You might find that a custom extension or extending the OOTB code is required for the integration. Custom development is not bad by default, but it may come at a high cost.
SCPI & IntegrationObjects – The Big Picture
Leveraging the SCPI & Integration API Module, you can integrate SAP Commerce Cloud with theoretically any system with minimal development and configuration effort. Using SCPI is aligned with the SAP long-term integration strategy as described in the SAP Vision for Integrating SAP Applications in Cloud and Hybrid Environments white-paper.
As of today, SAP Commerce Cloud integrates out of the box with S/4HANA and ERP in different scenarios. These scenarios are categorized in two manners: Inbound Integration and Outbound Integration.
Inbound Integration – Data goes into SAP Commerce Cloud
Inbound integration means importing data into SAP Commerce Cloud, also known as replicating data from other systems into SAP Commerce Cloud. Just to name a few examples:
- Replicating B2B customers from S/4HANA into SAP Commerce
- Replicate Price Row and Discount Row from ERP to SAP Commerce Cloud
- Replicating Products from a homegrown system into SAP Commerce Cloud
Figure 3 Big Picture – Inbound Integration
The integration between SAP systems is available out of the box and for homegrown systems it requires minimal development on the SAP Commerce Cloud side and at the SCPI. However, the principle is always the same:
- Source system (also known as sender) sends data to SCPI. E.g. SAP System could send an
- SCPI processes the received data as specified in the corresponding Integration Flow (iFlow), transforms it in desired data format and perhaps executes other tasks
- SCPI sends the IntegrationObjects to the target system (also known as receiver), i.e. SAP Commerce Cloud.
- SAP Commerce Cloud process the IntegrationObjects and stores the data into the database.
Outbound Integration – Data goes out of SAP Commerce Cloud
Outbound Integration is the opposite. It is all about exporting the data from SAP Commerce Cloud, i.e. sending the data out of SAP Commerce Cloud or replicating it into another system. Just to name a few examples:
- When a customer registers with the SAP Commerce storefront, the data replicates to ERP and/or S/4HANA.
- Replicate orders from SAP Commerce Cloud to SAP S/4HANA
- Replicate order cancellations from SAP Commerce Cloud to SAP S/4HANA
Figure 4 Big Picture – Outbound Integration
The principle is the same, just in the reverse order:
- SAP Commerce Cloud sends IntegrationObjects to SCPI.
- The corresponding iFlow in the SCPI receives the data, process and probably transforms it (e.g in XML, IDoc, JSON, etc) into data format understood by the target system (receiver).
- SCPI sends the data to the target system.
- Target system receives the data and, for example, stores it in the database.
In the first part, we gained an overview of 8 different integration options for SAP Commerce Cloud. We learned that the SCPI integration approach is the strategic way forward because it’s the solution which SAP has included in its vision for integrating cloud and hybrid systems of an enterprise. We also learned that for the SCPI integration approach, we can leverage SAP Commerce’s IntegrationObjects, which are part of the Integration API module. Finally, we saw that the integration is categorized into outbound integrations, i.e., replicating data from SAP Commerce into other solutions, and inbound integrations, i.e., replicating data from different solutions into SAP Commerce Cloud.
In the second part, we will tackle SAP Cloud Platform and its relations to Neo, CloudFoundry, SCPI, SCPI Cockpit, and we will set up our own SCPI instance for learning purposes. Though setting the own SCPI instance is optional (because you can use your own), I encourage you to do it to gain a better understanding of the topics discussed.