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Building Industry Solutions in the Cloud

What is SAP’s industry cloud, and why is it awesome? Great question. This post explains what it is, and gives you – our partners – a first overview how SAP Cloud Platform can be used to build industry cloud solutions.

Industry cloud

SAP’s intelligent suite and business networks are a great foundation. They support integrated end-to-end processes for all industries and offer an unparalleled scope of functionality. The concept of an integrated suite always wins – but only when the speed of innovation is compatible with the need for innovation.

Demands for software are changing, though. Digital technologies, regulations, crises, market entrants, and data-driven business models disrupt carefully balanced supply networks, dissolve markets, and impact opportunities so fast that large-scale enterprise systems are challenged to keep pace.

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Industry cloud is SAP’s strategy to extend the intelligent suite with innovative industry cloud solutions. The solutions are built by SAP and partners in the cloud, and use products of the Business Technology Platform.

To be specific, industry cloud solutions are based on SAP Cloud Platform, and serve our customers’ core business, in their respective industries.

What are the benefits?

Beyond the technical side, it is important to understand why moving industry solutions to the cloud actually benefits our partners and customers.

Customer demands are met by partners:

  • Reacting fast to new requirements, through incremental, iterative updates that are shipped easily
  • Ensuring a scalable and elastic solution that handles high load, but can be run cost-effectively
  • Offering attractive pricing models, like pay-as-you-go
  • Providing secure, but VPN-less access from anywhere

You, as a partner, can simplify and accelerate development by:

  • Developing rapidly and with agility in the cloud
  • Focusing on building solutions – hardware and software maintenance are outsourced
  • Benefitting from cloud services and reusing existing, well-tested functionality
  • Picking the cloud infrastructure of your choice, enabled by SAP’s multi-cloud foundation

Running on SAP Cloud Platform

From a technical point of view, an industry cloud solution is one or more applications running on SAP Cloud Platform. However, what makes industry cloud solutions really special is all in the details.

As SAP and partners offer more and more cloud solutions, we need to ensure that customers have a consistent look and feel, quality, and simple integration behaviour across all SAP solutions.

So sure, an industry cloud solution may be “just another” application on SAP Cloud Platform. But, it’s important to define a few guardrails how that solution should be built. Cloud qualities, such as elasticity, resilience, observability, and efficiency need to be accounted for. Ideally, access to the industry cloud solution is also subscription-based, so it can be provisioned as SaaS (Software as a Service).

Checking out the environments on which to develop your industry cloud solution, SAP Cloud Platform lets you choose from 3 versatile options:

By using the SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry runtime, you benefit from a high level of abstraction from the underlying infrastructure, and thus a simplified developer experience for business application development.

The SAP Cloud Platform, Kyma runtime provides you with more flexibility and the possibility to use containers and Kubernetes. If you are already familiar with Kubernetes, using Kyma will help to develop a cloud native solution more easily.

In the SAP Cloud Platform, ABAP environment, you can build ABAP-based industry cloud solutions. This environment is recommended if you already have an existing (on-premise) industry solution developed in ABAP, and plan a transition to the cloud. It can significantly reduce the refactoring, as you can continue to use ABAP as the development language.

All three environments enable you to build scalable, multi-tenancy business applications (SaaS) on industry-standard, open technology – and to consume the services of SAP Cloud Platform.

Guidance for building industry cloud solutions

The above topics can each fill a blog post of its own. That’s why we created a new guide all about building industry cloud solutions on SAP Cloud Platform. The goal is to provide you, our partners, an integrated view into how to build an industry cloud solution, from planning to delivery.

The Architecture and Development Guide for Industry Cloud Solutions has been released today, at TechEd 2020.

In this guide, you will get a lot more details and recommendations on how to build your industry cloud solution, such as information about cloud qualities, runtime environments, usage metering, and many references that point you to information in other guides on help.sap.com.

Please keep in mind that this is the first version. We will continue to update it as the industry cloud evolves, more platform services become available, and best practices form. Check back regularly!

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  • Hi Simon,

    do you have any pointer more information on the topic of Usage Metering? The help.sap.com documentation that I've linked only touches a very high level. I'm looking for the concrete developer advise. What I've found is a metering-service with the following description:

    Metering-as a Service on SAP Cloud platform enables services to meter their usage information, so it can be used later for commercial purposes like billing or license compliance.

    But I can't see this service in my SAP CP Trial and haven't found any further pointers execpt from some SAP Cloud SDK documentation. Can you point me in the right direction?

    Best regards
    Gregor