The Journey from SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation to SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad
The SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation (MLF) was initially released in 2017 and has been used for a broad range of use cases by many customers. This blog is intended to put the spotlight on the evolution of MLF and the introduction of SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad.
Technology in our modern era evolves quickly and as well as the requirements of our customers. Since the introduction of MLF several things have changed like the evolution of SAP Cloud Platform to SAP Business Technology Platform and with it its architectural paradigm. Furthermore, the underlying infrastructure components of MLF provided by our hyperscaler partners have improved immensely both technically and economically. But most importantly, the requirements from our customers and partners have evolved as well in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in the field of intelligent business processes.
SAP has made AI a key strategic pillar to enable the intelligent enterprise. This required an updated approach to the underlying framework that was powering Machine Learning (ML) applications. And this is where SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad were born. As an umbrella term AI foundation is sometimes used to describe the combination of SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad.
The AI foundation is the central vehicle for customers, partners and SAP’s internal teams to manage and extend SAP’s offerings with AI capabilities. The consumption of these AI capabilities is unified by the AI API which is an SAP-governed interface to allow unified consumption of AI content, regardless of whether it is provided on SAP technology or on partner technology. Management and operations of AI content (versioning, deployment, and monitoring) is unified across SAP using the AI foundation. Authoring of AI content is, however, open to different toolsets (such as JupyterLab).
The aim of the AI foundation is to allow:
- Seamless, easy embedding of AI capabilities into other applications
- Leveraging of high-volume data from the applications to create robust machine learning models
- Execution of ML training on accelerated hardware
- Serving of ML inference with low latency and high throughput in a cost-efficient manner
- Adherence to a compliant, explainable, and maintainable process
- Management of all stages of the AI lifecycle using a comprehensive set of tools and services
- Focus on the productization and operationalization of ML scenarios
The following graphic shows how the SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad fit into the broader SAP AI Technology Portfolio.
With the launch of SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad, and its general availability as of October 12th, 2021, an important milestone was reached, allowing SAP customers and partners to utilize a state-of-the-art AI framework to extend their business applications. The general availability of those two solutions also marks the end of development for MLF which has been removed from SAP’s pricelist and won’t be available to new Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreements (CPEA) starting April 15th, 2022. If you have any further questions regarding licensing and pricing please reach out to your account executive.
All existing customers will be supported until the end of their contract, even though they are encouraged to take advantage of the innovations the SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad offer by moving their AI content from MLF to those new services. SAP AI Core in particular is the successor of MLF, while SAP AI Launchpad offers a central place to manage end-to-end operations and the lifecycle of AI content.
SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad are the perfect combination of services helping customers manage and run their AI workloads. The AI API is shipped automatically as part of SAP AI Core and other supported AI workload engines.
If you want to find out more details about the SAP AI Core and SAP AI Launchpad, please visit the following pages.
There is also SAP Note 3102307 providing further information.