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Navigating through the end-to-end process blueprints of the Integrated Intelligent Suite

In this blog I want to explain to you how to better understand SAP’s reference architectures for the business processes of the integrated intelligent suite from SAP.

SAP’S CLOUD INTEGRATION STRATEGY

As you might know from my blog post around the SAP One Domain Model, SAP provided the SAP Cloud Integration Strategy: a comprehensive plan on how SAP provides an integrated intelligent suite and explained more in details in a blog post from SAP’s CEO Christian Klein.

With common suite qualities across all the SAP applications the suite enables customers to run 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)

To better understand the reference architectures for those business processes and how they can be, one of the common suite qualities are the end-to-end process blueprints.

The corresponding reference architecture content is now available via SAP API Business Hub, addressing a main customer pain point of having no clear visibility into:

  • SAP’s end-to-end reference architecture
  • Which SAP products to use for what and how they are supposed to interact
  • How SAP products map to business process steps

Providing this transparency leads to a reduction of implementation efforts and allows for better planning of investments

SAP Reference Architecture Models

The SAP reference architecture content has been integrated into SAP API Business Hub.

Figure 1 – Business Processes in SAP API Business Hub

 

To explore the models yourself, search for the CONTENT TYPE “Business Processes”. Select a process (e.g. Hire to Retire) and click on one of the chevrons for a process step (aka business activity) and you will get a detailed solution process flow for that business process.

Figure 2 – Collaboration Diagram for process “Onboarding New Hires” in Hire to Retire business process

 

The solution process flow clearly points out how the business process is implemented using SAP solutions. In case it covers multiple solutions, you can even click on the message flows (dotted lines) between the application activities and you are immediately directed to the documentation of the API that is called for this step. Likewise, you can navigate easily to iFlow documentation for SAP CP integration flows.

KEY BENEFITS FOR CUSTOMERS & PARTNERS

With this detailed drill-down customers and partners have access to SAP’s reference architecture for the business processes of the integrated intelligent suite.

You get:

  • Business Scenarios & Value Flow Diagrams providing a list of value-adding business activities in a standardized and IT-agnostic way.
  • Software Collaboration Diagrams showing the flow of application activities across all components of the involved SAP solutions and pointing out how the components interact, including references to all relevant APIs and integration content (iFlows).
  • Clear links between the business activities and application activities / software components, bridging the gap between business architecture and IT solution architecture.

Your benefits:

  • Get a consistent overview on E2E processes supported by the integrated intelligent suite based on a standardized methodology
  • Explore how E2E scenarios decompose into applications, modules, business services, technologies and integrations
  • Map out the roadmap to adopt the solution and transition from current solution landscape to target
  • Align to SAPs future reference architecture

 

FEEDBACK IS WELCOME

In case you have feedback for any of the business processes, just click on the “Details” tab and press the button “Write a review”. We are looking forward to hearing more from you and we are eager to learn more about your view on the provided blueprints.

Figure 3 – providing feedback on business processes

 

WHAT COMES NEXT?

First, SAP will be offering you two new types of diagrams for describing additional aspects of scenario implementations, in particular:

  • Architecture Blueprint: Diagrams showing an overview of a concrete implementation variant, covering involved software products and components along with their interrelations and structural groupings.
  • Data Flow Diagrams providing an overview of needed data, the data object names and the data flow between data objects as well as software components.

Also, SAP will consistently add hybrid scenario implementations (combination of cloud and on premise) in addition to the current cloud-only scenario implementations for all E2E processes covered by the integrated intelligent suite.

We will keep you posted!

5 Comments
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  • I think SAP could do it better. All IP exists since Rapid Deployment Solutions in 90th. I had looked into Lead to Cash “Reference Architecture”.

    Documentation provided is basic and does not meet SAP SE high benchmark standards.

    Even in SOLMAN Focused Build or it’s cloud replicas ALM you have better list of Diagrams and set of Steps connected to Executables and or Interfaces.

     

    • Dear Adi,

      thanks a lot for your feedback.

      The reference architecture models reflect latest developments concerning the E2E integration of SAP Cloud products. The content is based on a state-of-the art enterprise architecture framework allowing for a very concise and comprehensive specification as well as linkage of business and IT solution architecture. Wherever possible, we refer to existing documentation in SAP API Business Hub, pushing further to make it the single source of truth for all types of development documentation, covering APIs, events, data model, and integration. This content is also the basis for SAP Cloud ALM and other tools.

      Due to current technical limitations we are not able though to show the complete picture in SAP API Business Hub. We will soon add additional types of diagrams and meta information. Furthermore, we are working on providing extended documentation for all models/diagrams, as known from best practices content.

      Stay tuned for updates on api.sap.com. Let me know if you have additional feedback.

      Regards,

      Christof

  • Thanks a lot Adi for your feedback.

    Are we done? No. We are on a journey here and I can tell you that we are working very hard to document all the processes across the intelligent suite, including APIs used between each solution within a business scenario. E.g. clicking an arrow that connects 2 solutions within a process step will bring you to the API specification.

    In any case I’ll forward your feedback to the respective teams on the SAP side.

    As I wrote below, please also use the official channel via the “Write a Review” button. This is the best way to provide SAP with your feedback and to express your expectations with regards to the scope and quality of the process descriptions you need.

    Best,
    Rui

     

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  • Thanks for this. Where can I find the Business Scenarios & Value Flow Diagrams shown in the Blog (what looks like a level 1 to 4 process map)? I have only managed to find Software Collaboration Diagrams in the API Business Hub.

     

    Thierry

  • Hi Thierry,
    as written by Christof Momm above additional diagram types will be provide through the API Business Hub.

    Generally the diagrams have also embedded links that bring you to more detailed view on the process or to API details. Let me know if you are interested in one flow specifically and I can guide you through the flows.

    Best,
    Rui