Why SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite Should Be Your Preferred Choice for Enterprise-Wide (incl. Non-SAP) Integration
We at SAP, understand that your organization has diverse integration requirements that include SAP<->SAP, SAP<->non-SAP and non-SAP<->non-SAP scenarios. Our strategy is to offer out-of-the-box integrations via integration packs, deliver process excellence across the enterprise for lead-to-cash, recruit-to-retire, source-to-pay, and design-to-operate scenarios, and cater to all your integration needs.
Some customers ask if SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite can be used for non-SAP integrations. The answer is a resounding yes. We will share how we simplify non-SAP integrations with our capabilities and integration packs. In fact, we have a lot of customers who are using these to integrate non-SAP systems and accelerate their digital transformation journeys. Some of the big names include Centrica, Harrods, and San-Francisco 49ers, who have used Integration Suite capabilities to integrate non-SAP systems (more on that in a minute).
The 1400+ integration packs available on the SAP API Business Hub will reduce the overall cost, efforts, risk and time for go-live, making it a configuration activity for some common use cases. The packs support key business processes from SAP and other enterprise application vendors. The content includes integration flows, mappings, and scripts, including targeted content for business-to-business and business-to-government integrations based on industry standards like EDIFACT, EANCOM, ASC X-12, and EDIFACT to name a few. Integration to new cloud services from ADP, Adobe, Twitter, Google, ServiceNow, etc. is covered by Open Connectors capability. Additionally, we also offer an Adapter Development Kit (ADK) that you can use to develop adapters for non-SAP<->non-SAP integrations that are not covered by common APIs. This can be used by customers and partners alike to develop, publish and maintain adapters and integration packs on the SAP API Business Hub.
With such a wide range of capabilities & a comprehensive feature set, you will be convinced at the end of this article that SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite is the best choice on the market for enterprise-wide integration. This blog will give you a peek into some live examples and elaborate on a few more points on why SAP Integration Suite should be your service of choice for non-SAP integration. As there are so many topics to talk about, this is going to be a slightly longer read, but it will be worth your time!
Live Customer Scenarios with Non-SAP Integration using Integration Suite
Let’s start by looking at some examples of customers who are using SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite for Non-SAP integration. The SAP Innovation Awards entries for 2020 feature many customers using the Integration Suite in their innovation journeys. Let’s take a look at a couple of them: Centrica and Harrods.
Centrica is an energy & services company that was looking to transform its ten-year-old ERP and CRM system APIs layer to cater to the changing expectation of its customers in the 24/7 digital world. They used Cloud Integration and Open Connectors capabilities of the Integration Suite to ensure that their non-SAP systems like Salesforce, Workday, Microsoft Dynamics and Service Now are well integrated with their other systems and can deliver a seamless user experience to their users.
Harrods, a luxury brand well known for its iconic department store in Knightsbridge London, wanted to standardize its approach for the integration of several non-SAP on-premise and cloud-based systems. They wanted to seamlessly integrate all their systems with a resilient and scalable setup that was simple and easy to manage. With a small team of four people supported by niche experts in backend APIs, they were able to deliver a new cloud-based integration infrastructure in just 3 months. The non-SAP systems in their IT landscape included CRM, SAS and PIM systems on-premise, and Workday, IBM Watson, Freshservice and Zendesk on the cloud.
These are just two of the many examples that you can find where customers have used the Integration Suite to seamlessly integrate their landscapes and deliver business value to their customers and offer improved and simplified user experience to their employees. One of the key factors in their success was the use of integration packs available on the SAP API Business Hub, which brings us to the next reason why Integration Suite is well-equipped for non-SAP integrations.
Integration Packs Helps You Reduce Development Time
If you have been involved in integration projects, you will know that a significant amount of time is spent by the integration development team in building all the integrations. With integration packs, you save a significant amount of time (and costs, of course!) in content development. The API Business Hub contains more than 1400+ integration packs, each containing multiple integration flows that you can get started with. Many of these integration flows can be deployed with just a few connectivity settings. They are also a great starting point for your integrations and will significantly reduce the time you need in getting the integration up and running.
Let us look at the content for Salesforce integration as an example and assume that you want to integrate Salesforce with your S/4HANA system (both on-premise and cloud). There are dedicated packages for Salesforce integration with S/4HANA and S/4HANA Cloud with integration flows and value mappings. Scenarios like sales contract replication, sales order replication, and product master data replication are provided to help you go-live quickly.
If these integration accelerators have not convinced you yet, let us take a look at the Open Connectors capability, Integration Suite’s capability for non-SAP connectivity.
Open Connectors for Non-SAP Connectivity
The Open Connectors capability in Integration Suite is tailored for non-SAP connectivity. You get ~160 pre-built and feature-rich connectors via harmonized RESTful APIs. These APIs come with built-in interactive API documentation that you can use to try out the connectors before you actually deploy them. The Open Connectors layer will provide you with a normalized authentication layer – what this means is that you do not have to worry about bearer or basic tokens, and most importantly refresh of these tokens. Once you have authenticated your connector instance with the non-SAP application, you can just focus on using the connectors and Open Connectors takes care of the authentication-related actions.
Cloud Integration includes an Open Connectors adapter, with a specific credential type called Open Connectors credentials to help you easily use your Open Connector instances in your integration flows.
Now that we have covered the capabilities and value adds that Integration Suite provides for non-SAP integration, let us get into some technical details that complete our non-SAP integration story!
Adapters, Message Transformers, and Adapter Development Kit
If you are evaluating an integration solution, one of the important points to be considered is the support for different message protocols and the message transformation options. The Integration Suite’s process and data integration capabilities ensure that you have a wide variety of adapters that support most of the commonly used message protocols in today’s industry. The message protocol-based adapters like SOAP, OData, STFP, RFC, IDoc, and Mail (SMTP, IMAP, POP3) are complemented by the application-specific adapters like SuccessFactors (SOAP, OData, REST), Ariba, Facebook, and Twitter adapters.
Messages can come in different formats and you should have the features to handle them easily. The set of message converters available in Cloud Integration helps you handle CSV, XML, JSON, and EDI (EDIFACT and ASC X-12) formats.
If you need additional options, we also provide an Adapter Development Kit, a framework that will help you develop new adapters. The tool provides a wizard-based step-by-step approach to simplify your adapter development experience. We also offer a certification program for ISV adapters to ensure a harmonized and standardized development process.
A Few Closing Thoughts
SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite is an open, enterprise-grade integration platform that supports all your integration needs, both SAP and non-SAP. It has the capabilities to support all integration domains – APIs, apps, databases, B2B partners, governments, events, data, and IoT, to name a few. With more than 1400 integration packs, around 50 percent of them targeted at non-SAP applications, you can expect enhanced developer productivity and faster time to go-live. The customer use-cases clearly suggest that the Integration Suite is well equipped for all your non-SAP and SAP integration needs.
Experience the Non-SAP Connectivity on Trial
We understand that you might be excited to try your hand at all the options that we just went through for non-SAP integration. If you don’t have a test system, you can try out these capabilities on the SAP Cloud Platform Trial page.
I hope I was able to provide you with enough information on the non-SAP integration options provided by the SAP Cloud Platform Integration suite. We would be very happy to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. Please drop a note in the comments below and we can discuss more on how to help you in your non-SAP integration journey.