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SAP One Domain Model – the lingua franca of the integrated intelligent suite

In this blog post I’ll explain to you how SAP will be using the SAP One Domain Model as the one language – the lingua franca – of the integrated intelligent suite. You’ll learn where SAP One Domain Model is already been used and get some basic understanding on the technical concept behind it.

SAP’S CLOUD INTEGRATION STRATEGY

Recently, SAP provided the SAP Cloud Integration Strategy: a comprehensive overview on how SAP will provide an integrated intelligent suite across its portfolio of solutions. SAP’s CEO Christian Klein also provided a blog post explaining SAP’s way forward around the integration in the cloud.

This suite will support end-to-end business processes like:

  • Recruit to Retire (Understand, manage and optimize all aspects of your employees and external workers)
  • Lead to Cash (Manage all aspects of the customer experience)
  • Source to Pay (Manage all purchasing processes)
  • Design to Operate (Create a digital mirror of your entire supply chain – from design to planning, manufacturing, logistics and ongoing maintenance)

You can  get a more detailed look into these processes on the API Business Hub page for SAP’s reference business processes.

Figure 1 – Process flow for “Hire to Retire” subprocess on API Business Hub

 

COMMON SUITE QUALITIES

To facilitate a seamless integration across the suite, SAP defined a set of common suite qualities:

  • Seamless user experience – harmonized look & feel and navigation patterns
  • One workflow inbox – central task management
  • End-to-end process blueprints – implementable reference architectures
  • Consistent security & identity management – central identity provisioning & authentication
  • Coordinated lifecycle management – harmonized provisioning, setup & operations
  • Embedded & cross-product analytics – holistic 360° business and customer view
  • Aligned domain models – aligned business objects across applications

I want to provide you now with some details on how SAP will deliver the aligned domain models.

SAP ONE DOMAIN MODEL

The SAP One Domain Model focuses on the end-to-end Intelligent Enterprise business processes mentioned above. With SAP One Domain Model the SAP applications can synchronize business objects with common attributes and use common semantics. Such objects are e.g. a workforce person (employee, contingent/external worker) or a cost center.

Figure 2 – Recruit to Retire business process: SAP solutions using aligned domain models for “Workforce Person” and “Cost Center”

 

These SAP applications map their representation of one or more of such domains to the corresponding entities of SAP One Domain Model.

So, by using SAP One Domain Model as the lingua franca for understanding business objects (e.g. like a cost center), customers no longer need to implement their own replication or integration solution between SAP solutions for having the same semantic understanding of a business object.

SAP takes care of that semantic harmonization with SAP One Domain Model, applying the principles of Domain Driven Design that my colleague Juergen Heymann explains more in detail in his blog post SAP’s One Domain Model and Domain Driven Design.

Definition with CDS

SAP defines each business object in the Core Data Services (CDS) format. This format is used e.g. in SAP HANA , SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Modell (RAP) and the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP) for describing data models as well.

Moving forward, SAP will also make SAP One Domain Model available via the SAP API Business Hub. This is specifically interesting for customers who want to extend those models with their own custom attributes. I will be writing a separate blog post that explains in more detail how this works.

Figure 3 – Data model of a “Product” in the CDS format

 

By introducing SAP One Domain Model as the common data model for all business objects in the Intelligent Enterprise, it becomes much easier to share business objects like a customer or an employee across the complete suite, as each solution is using the same semantic specification for those business objects. The SAP solutions automatically map the data model for a business object within an SAP solution to the corresponding SAP One Domain Model representation of that business object.

 

WHERE SAP ONE DOMAIN MODEL IS USED

SAP One Domain Model will become the lingua franca used by the business applications of the integrated intelligent suite to semantically understand business objects in a uniform way.

This common language is already used today for the Recruit-to-Retire business process for the business objects

  • Workforce person
  • Cost center

Meaning that customers with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors can already take advantage of a built-in integration between those two SAP solutions for the two business objects Workforce Person and Cost Center. As outlined in the SAP Cloud Integration strategy, more business objects will be delivered in 2020 and beyond via SAP One Domain Model.

Each aligned domain model translates into reduced SAP-to-SAP integration efforts for customers.

Developers will also be able to take advantage of the SAP One Domain Model via SAP Graph (currently in technology preview phase). SAP Graph exposes an API for accessing SAP-managed data, using SAP One Domain Model as the data modelling language. You can try it out already today in the API Explorer of SAP Graph. There is also a blog post available about the development of SAP Graph and the upcoming availability of the SAP Graph API sandbox preview.

Figure 4 – The API Explorer in SAP Graph

 

WHAT COMES NEXT?

Within the next months you will see additional business objects provided by SAP One Domain Model, which will make the business processes run more and more seamlessly across the borders of SAP solutions. This results in reduced SAP-to-SAP integration efforts.

Stay tuned for more information about how the SAP One Domain Model is and will be used across SAP solutions. This will come along also with some more technical depth for developers.

Best,
Rui

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