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Process Integration (PI) Way Forward and Recommended Actions

Executive Summary 

  1. SAP Process Integration 7.5 is the long-term stable release available until 2027 on standard maintenance and 2030 for extended maintenance
  2. SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite (CPIS) – SAP´s multi-cloud, hybrid integration platform would be the logical successor for PI
  3. Follow the 3 recommended actions: (1) Upgrade to PI 7.5 (2) Build New Integration Scenarios in CPIS (3) Incrementally migrate existing Integration Scenarios to CPIS over the next 7-10 years, to future-proof your Integration Strategy (download the full article here)

As I explain the future of SAP PI, I go back a bit in history to explain the rationale and the way forward for our customers. People who know me, know that I am a bit of a history buff and I strongly believe it is important to understand history to understand the future.

A bit of history …

SAP Process Integration/Process Orchestration (PI/PO) is used by our customers as the middleware of choice for close to 20 years now. More than 12,500+ customers trust PI/PO for their enterprise integrations. Customers deploy PI/PO in on-premise environments, public cloud as well as SAP-managed cloud (HEC) and wire up their lead-to-cash, source-to-pay, hire-to-retire, and design-to-operate processes across SAP and non-SAP.

In this period, we saw enterprise landscapes becoming more heterogeneous, hybrid, and huge. Enterprises built real-time value chains with suppliers and partners, marketplaces and digital ecosystems were becoming prevalent. APIs and event-based real-time integrations, at cloud-scale, was becoming the norm.

In 2014, we made a tough choice to build Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) using fully cloud-native architecture. We did not take the easy route to bring in our legacy code into the cloud, rather we brought our learnings and strong experience in supporting enterprise-grade integrations over a decade. We used cloud-native technologies (microservices, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry) and open source (Apache Camel, Kafka) as a foundation to build and scale CPI.

Most importantly, we took on the lofty goal of supporting out-of-the-box integrations – we want to be the “Netflix of Integration”. Customers are looking for integration outcomes – out-of-the-box, pre-packaged integrations that are fully supported and managed by SAP. Integration Packs can be shipped by SAP, partners, and the community and will help accelerate integrations. We offer 1500+ pre-built Integrations in API Business Hub.

Over the past couple of years, CPI grew into the SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite – SAP´s Hybrid Integration Platform supporting all integration domains and styles, available in multi-cloud environments. We have over 11,500+ customers globally, across industries who rely on the Integration Suite for their hybrid integration needs. We´ve had the fastest growth of customers in the past 6 years and we are very grateful to our customers for their trust in us to connect their value chains – end-to-end business processes, supply chains, and opening up APIs and Events for their digital transformation.

Integration Suite (CPIS) as SAP´s Hybrid Integration Platform and logical successor of PI

At the beginning of 2020, we announced that PI 7.5 would be the long-term stable release available till 2027 on standard maintenance and till 2030 for extended maintenance and that SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite (CPIS) would be the logical successor of PI. We already support the import of content (e.g. mappings) from PI to CPI. At SAP, we are working hard to make this transition from PI to CPIS, very smooth for our customers.

Future-proof your Integration Strategy with 3 Recommended Actions

Here’s our recommendation to help you safely transition to Integration Suite and protect your existing investments.

1. Upgrade to SAP NetWeaver 7.5

Mainstream maintenance for older releases of Process Orchestration and Process Integration will be stopped at the end of 2020 (see SAP note 1648480).

So, it is crucial that you upgrade to SAP NetWeaver 7.5 to protect your existing integrations. Also, migrate existing dual-stack Process Integration deployments to Java-based single-stack Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX) or to SAP Process Orchestration architectures. In addition to all the benefits that the latest version and single-stack architecture offer, you can also use the built-in Cloud Integration runtime to build new integrations on the flexible pipeline.

2. Build New Agile Integrations with Integration Suite

Use CPIS to build new cloud and hybrid integration scenarios. You can use the integration packs available on SAP API Business Hub to accelerate your integration projects. Leverage the other capabilities like API Management and Open Connectors to build an integrated and intelligent enterprise. You can also deploy the integration flows on the local runtime available in NetWeaver 7.5, helping you significantly reduce development efforts.

3. Move Existing Integration Scenarios to Integration Suite

As a part of broad cloud strategy or digital transformation, we recommend that you move existing integrations to Integration Suite. You can leverage the ESR connectivity to import existing mappings and service interfaces. Implement pass-through integration scenarios with the API Management capability and use the API security best practices to secure your integrations. Follow integration flow design guidelines and enterprise integration patterns to develop your hybrid integration scenarios and deploy them on the Cloud Integration runtime, if required.

SAP is fully committed to helping our customers accelerate their digital transformation to an Intelligent Enterprise leveraging a strong integration and API-first strategy. Use the recommended actions to future-proof your integration strategy by leveraging SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite (CPIS) in the cloud-environment of your choice.

5 Comments
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  • Hi Harsh,

     

    Customers, partners and consultants have been asking the PI/PO vs HCI/CPI question for years, with the answer being “it depends” more often than not.

     

    Thank you for this executive summary that provides a clear and definitive way forward and provides a clarity from SAP to this question (hopefully once and for all).

     

    Thank you for the strong and clear leadership from SAP on this.

     

    Regards,

    Eng Swee

  • Thanks for the summary !
    we already have these SAP delivered ESR content for TM/EWM- ERP integration. how do we get them into SAP CPI ? is there a way to import these content ??

    ( creating a custom flow and then pointing to the ESR message mapping — is this a recommendation from SAP ??)

  • Maybe I am missing something, but I know that many customers don’t want to use a cloud-based offering. I feel like this aspect is missing in the article and needs to be addressed.

    Also the whole ESR part which is rather non existent in the cloud environment and the poor bpmn qualities of scp Workflow in comparison with sap pro needs to be addressed.

    If sap doesn’t want customers to migrate their Integration and Orchestration scenarios to other tools, there is still a lot of work to do in my opinion.