The runtime for your Cloud Foundry applications on SAP Cloud Platform: What’s in a name?
Ah… quite a lot actually…
A ‘Name’ gives identity, representation, description of who or what something is.
It helps you to recognize, distinguish what you are looking at, working, or interacting with.
it can also make you build first impressions, opinions, assumptions about a subject, beforehand.
And assumptions are not always right!
By now, you may have assumed that this blog will talk about philosophical topics like identity, the realization of self, etc., etc. or that the author of the blog has mistakenly posted his daily diary entry. Unfortunately, you assumed wrong.
The runtime for applications you build and deploy on the SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry environment is getting a new name.
And this blog explains the rationale behind the new name, what will change, and what that means for you.
The Story so far… A Flashback…
At SAPPHIRENOW 2016, SAP announced its intention to incorporate the popular, industry-standard, open-source technology, Cloud Foundry into its enterprise Platform-as-a-Service offering – SAP HANA Cloud Platform. The move promised to enrich the platform with Multi-Cloud capabilities and to reduce infrastructure vendor lock-in. Additionally, the inclusion of Cloud Foundry also presented a world of choice for developers, with support for all major programming languages, which in turn would accelerate customers’ move towards the cloud and hence their digital transformation journey.
With the GA announcement of the newly renamed SAP Cloud Platform at SAPPHIRENOW 2017, SAP brought the Cloud Foundry technology, and with it, the SAP Cloud Platform Application Runtime service aimed to simplify the lives of enterprise business application developers.
This fully managed runtime service is built to handle the ‘code-to-container’ workflow, which includes bundling of source code, staging, packaging language support (with buildpacks) & dependencies, and finally running the application. In addition, the service also offers logging, monitoring, and health check components to ensure that your applications keep running.
Since then, the SAP Cloud Platform Application Runtime service has been available to platform customers building multi-cloud applications on Cloud Foundry.
As the SAP Cloud Platform grew to become THE integration and extension platform for SAP applications, in SAPPHIRENOW 2019, SAP announced the availability of the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, to revolutionize the side-by-side extensibility of SAP cloud solutions.
By this time, there were already a couple of new runtimes announced as BETA, in the Multi-Cloud realm, namely the Serverless runtime and the Kyma runtime.
Following the core platform principle of openness, the Extension Factory allowed customers to select the runtime option that best serves their needs, in order to deploy enterprise extensions.
The Application Runtime service was one of the runtime options offered under the Extension Factory for customers to deploy their extensions using Cloud Foundry technology. You might have seen that this runtime flavor was, until recently, called the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, application runtime.
Multi-Cloud and SAP Cloud Platform in 2020
The year 2020 saw major announcements in the SAP Cloud Platform extensions area and its multi-cloud runtime capabilities.
At the beginning of the year, SAP announced the general availability of the SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, Serverless runtime which provides a fully-managed, lightweight extension option to enable seamless integration with SAP business systems and processes.
In May 2020, the other multi-cloud runtime ‘SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory, Kyma runtime’, also announced general availability. The latest addition offers a fully managed Kubernetes runtime based on the open-source project Kyma, to build extensions using both microservices and serverless functions.
More recently, there was another significant announcement in the extensions space, which also had an impact on the multi-cloud runtimes of the platform.
We saw the evolution of SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory into the more comprehensive SAP Cloud Platform Extension Suite providing standardized connectivity, developer experience, common registry, ancillary services, tools, and low-code capabilities to help realize your enterprise extension use cases. This change retired the ‘Extension Factory’ naming and its mention in the corresponding runtime service names.
Will the real app runtime please stand up…?
In reality, all of these runtimes can be used for application development on the SAP Cloud Platform. The choice of runtime should be based on which of these fit your use case, requirements, skills, and efforts.
Also, the other runtimes clearly indicate the technology stack or environment your applications are running on. It was not intuitive that the Application Runtime is relevant to applications deployed on the Cloud Foundry environment.
With this rationale in mind, we are happy to announce that the SAP Cloud Platform Application Runtime will be renamed to ‘SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry runtime’ in order to provide absolute clarity on what the runtime provides and is meant for.
You will soon start seeing the Cloud Foundry runtime name replace the old name in all assets like documentation, SAP pricelists, official slides, road maps, etc.
So… now what?
What does this change mean to you? Hmm… not much.
Completing the quote with which we started this blog, the author William Shakespeare says,
“…that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Romeo and Juliet
The rename of Application Runtime to Cloud Foundry runtime is mainly meant to provide you, our customers/partners, clarity and avoid confusion on what the runtime is and should be used for. The service itself does not change in its technical implementation, functionality, or the simplified commercials announced in August 2020.
SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry runtime will continue to:
- Provide a simplified developer experience for business application development.
- Accelerate your speed of development by taking over complex tasks like ‘code-to-container’ packaging, security patching, and app health maintenance from the developer, hence providing the best ROI for your development effort.
- Allow developers to focus on building business applications by abstracting technology internals.
- Demand a short and gentle learning curve with support for all major programming languages.
To summarize, the runtime for your Cloud Foundry applications on SAP Cloud Platform now has a new name – SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry runtime – but retains all the benefits it has been providing for business application development.