The way to the SAP Cloud – EP to CP transition (part 1)
Latetly we at VANTAiO have done a lot of work/research in the area of the transition from SAP Enterprise Portal based use cases to the SAP Cloud Platform Portal. We would like to share this knowledge in a EP to CP transition blog series.
In the first blog I will cover the motivation, the basics of the SAP Cloud Platform (Portal) and a suggestion for a transition approach.
Reasons for migration/transition to the cloud
In addition to the common and well-known advantages and promises of cloud vs. on-premise landscapes, such as better scalability, outsourcing of basic IT and security tasks and more agility, the following points in particular are good reasons for SAP (portal) customers to promptly consider the transition from SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) to SAP Cloud Platform Portal (CP):
Maintenance-end of SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal Versions
SAP has been announcing the maintenance end of the SAP NetWeaver stack for some time. Details can be found in the SAP Roadmap Finder and SAP Note 1648480. The following maintenance end date applies to the latest SAP EP versions:
- SAP NetWeaver 7.0 – 31 December 2017
- SAP NetWeaver 7.1 – 31 December 2020
- SAP NetWeaver 7.3 – 31 December 2020
- SAP NetWeaver 7.4 – 31 December 2020
- SAP NetWeaver 7.5 – 31 December 2024 – Update: Extension to 2027/2030 in discussion!
Our recommendation is to upgrade your portal/NetWeaver landscape to SAP NetWeaver 7.5 as soon as possible so that you can plan and implement the migration to the SAP Cloud Platform during the remaining maintenance.
Important update: SAP has extended the Maintenance of SAP Business Suite 7 till the 31.12.2027 (Mainstream Maintenance) and 31.12.2030 (Extended Maintenance). For details check the press anouncement of the DSAG here (Source is German). Currently SAP is checking with his technology partners a similar extension for the support of the SAP Enterprise Portal 7.5. SAP plans to give a roadmap update in Q1 2020 about that topic!
Please watch the following SAP Note 1648480 – Maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 Software including SAP NetWeaver for updates.
SAP will only develop new software on the SAP Cloud Platform
New, innovative software solutions, such as the “SAP Business Workplace” announced for the first time at SAP Teched 2019, the Central Fiori Launchpad, and other centralized services such as the “SAP One Inbox”, search, and notifications, will be developed and offered for operation by SAP exclusively on the SAP Cloud Platform.
Limited further development of SAP NetWeaver products
The further development of SAP NetWeaver products will be limited primarily to bug fixing and the provision of transition tools to the cloud. Since the SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) in particular is a very mature product, this is not so critical in the short term, but new functions should not be expected.
Easier and faster setup/expansion of cloud-based portal solutions
The SAP Cloud Platform Portal offers clear advantages over the on-premise SAP Enterprise Portal in terms of agility, flexibility and complexity of deployment and operation. For example, it is no longer necessary to set up and operate an on-premise infrastructure (including regular updates).
Ideal for external and mobile access to internal systems/services
Together with the Platform Services, including the Connectivity Service with the Cloud Connector, the SAP Cloud Platform Portal ideally supports secure, external access to SAP backend services and, in particular, the exposure of applications that are operated in the company’s own data center. This access is a core requirement for many external use cases, such as a customer or supplier portal, or for employees with private devices to access internal services.
Basics of the SAP Cloud Platform Portal (CP)
One of the most important points to understand or internalize is that the SAP Cloud Platform Portal is not a 1:1 successor to the on-premise SAP Enterprise Portal. The SAP Cloud Platform Portal is a completely new product that does not claim to support all features of SAP EP, but it does bring new features.
This means “unfortunately” that there will be no automatic migration that simply “moves” everything from SAP EP to the CP. For this reason, the word “migration” is also not quite correct, because it is rather a technology transition or transformation from the SAP NetWeaver Platform to the SAP Cloud Platform. Since the services in the SAP Cloud Platform are cut differently, the EP transition to the cloud must take into account other services in addition to the portal service. Depending on the use cases that should be implemented, this could be e.g. the document, inbox, search service, etc. on the target platform.
Based on the required portal use case one would need to pick SAP Cloud Platform services and probably also Non-SAP services accordingly.
Procedure of transition/migration
The procedure of the transition depends very much on the use cases implemented on the SAP Enterprise Portal and is therefore quite customer-specific.
Since no portal is like the other, the first step in the transition is to carry out a stocktaking or “portal inspection”. Based on that everything else should be planned.
Basically, the transition can be approached/planned completely or partially. If the Business Use Cases allow it, a partial or step-by-step transition is recommended to reduce complexity. For example, you could proceed in a use case-oriented or data type-oriented manner.
The transition of the SAP EP based Universal Worklist (UWL) is an example of a use case that can be transformed to the cloud quite well separated. Likewise, the SAP Enterprise Portal-based document stores in Knowledge Management (KM) could be migrated in isolation as a closed data source. Since there are suitable successors or substitutes with the SAP Document Center/Document Service and the Egnyte partner solution recommended by SAP, this use case can indeed be described as a real (data) migration. In the transition phase of the partial transition, one would then operate a hybrid portal with integrated on-premise and cloud services.
Based on the proven VANTAiO portal project procedure model, we have developed a template/schema for the EP to CP transition. It consists of the following phases: Preparation, detailed conception, implementation (divided into waves/sprints) as well as introduction and go-live:
Identification of the required SAP Cloud Platform Services
A very important point in the detailed design is the identification of the required SAP Cloud Platform services and the selection of the SAP Cloud Platform data center(s) based on the previously defined requirements/use cases.
A good overview of the data centers and the availability of the services (important: currently not all services are supported in all data centers/regions!) can be found on the following SAP website: SAP Cloud Platform Regions and Service Portfolio.
In addition to a visual overview, it offers a very useful, interactive table that provides detailed information about the current availability of platform services in the various regions (e.g. Frankfurt, US East, etc.) and infrastructure providers (Alibaba, AWS, Azure, GCP and SAP).
In the second part of our EP to CP transition blog series I plan to cover the following topics:
- Feature Comparision of the individual building blocks (SAP EP vs SAP CP)
- Overview of potential transition paths from EP to CP
I am lookig forward to your feedback! What are your transition challenges and experiences?
Michael Beining – Head of Software Development at VANTAiO