SAP Business Technology Platform – An introduction for Enterprise Architects
This BLOG is an introduction SAP BTP, the framework in which you can structure your account using regions, subaccounts and environments, and the tools and products you can use to create and integrate hybrid systems, products and processes.
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SAP BTP is a set of tools and products that enable you to integrate and extend all SAP, 3rd party applications and data assets.
The platform offers the user to turn data into business value.
SAP BTP forms the technology layer of the Intelligent Enterprise. Underpinned by the Infrastructure layer, SAP BTP delivers the services, products and tools to integrate and extend SAP and 3rd party applications and business processes.
If you are familiar with the SAP NetWeaver Platform, you can think of SAP BTP as the next generation platform, combining SAP and open-source technologies, to develop and run data-driven applications, consisting of:
- Database and Data Management
- SAP HANA
- SAP HANA Cloud
- SAP Data Intelligence
- SAP Master Data Governance
- SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise
- SAP Analytics Cloud
- SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
- SAP Business Objects BI
- SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
- SAP BW/4HANA
- Application Development & Integration
- SAP Integration Suite
- SAP Extension Suite
- SAP Process Orchestration
- Intelligent Technologies
- SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation
- SAP Conversational AI
- SAP Internet of Things
- SAP AI Business Services
- SAP Ruum
Each of the above services are topics with extensive functionality deserving of their own BLOG(s).
Note: Cloud products and services are usually referred to using the suffix ‘as a Service’, prefixed with the type of service, such as Infrastructure, Platform, … abbreviated to: IaaS, PaaS…
When referring generically to cloud services we use the prefix ‘X’; XaaS.
SAP BTP Account Structure
The SAP BTP Global Account is the highest level of account management and can be of type ‘enterprise’ or ‘trial’. A trial account allows you to try out many of the SAP XaaS for free, whereas an enterprise account is associated with a customer or partner and is the level at which resources and services can be purchased:
Region – Is a point of presence from which services are provisioned. Whilst services can be provisioned globally from any region, data, technical and government requirements contribute to designing an architecture which is fit-for-purpose.
Sub Account – Are technically independent, meaning that users, applications, authorizations etc… are not shared with other Sub Accounts. When dealing with several Sub Accounts they can be optionally managed using directories and quotas. Sub accounts can be used to separate environments such as development, quality assurance and production, or other logical work package requirements such as department or project.
Space – A space provides complete isolation for applications to run independently. Many (1:n) application instances can run within a space.
Services – An application instance is created using a service template (provisioning) or a custom application can be deployed using a container.
NEWS: (as of Nov 2021) A “Free Tier” can now be provisioned within an enterprise account. The benefit of the enterprise free tier (over the trial account) is an easier transition to productive usage and that developers can register for a personal account using a private/personal email address. For details of how to register and get started SAP BTP Free Tier: Create Your Individual Account
SAP Integration Suite is now also offered as a free tier service. An Integration Suite free tier tenant is a tenant that offers all capabilities of Integration Suite service with an option to seamlessly upgrade to paid service plan.
SAP BTP is a multi-cloud platform deployed on cloud providers; SAP, Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Alibaba Cloud.
The deployment of XaaS along with data considerations are just two factors to be addressed architecturally ensuring the requirements of government, business (functional) and technology (non-functional) are satisfied.
You can review the geographical location of SAP BTP Cloud providers using the SAP Discovery Center https://discovery-center.cloud.sap
Note: Cloud providers are not responsible for; sizing, provisioning, monitoring or managing users. These tasks are a customer responsibility.
Entitlements and Quotas
The SAP BTP provides many services. Each service is assigned to a service plan when it is provisioned. You can manage your Service plans using entitlements which are assigned to directories or sub-accounts using quotas. Quotas are administered as you would expect, and can be increased or decreased at the sub-account level as long as an entitlement is available within the service plan:
The SAP BTP is available in different “flavours”: Multi-cloud(inc. Cloud Foundry, ABAP and Kyma) and Neo(inc. Neo). Each environment groups together tools, technologies and run-times needed to build applications, and are assigned at the sub-account level:
- Cloud Foundry
- Develop new business applications and services using various run-times, programming languages, libraries and services. Cloud Foundry allows your organization to focus on developing and running the applications, and not the platform.
- Appeals to organisations that prefer a wide range of cloud technologies and languages
- Develop extensions for ABAP-based products, and new cloud applications
- Appeals to organisations that have a large ABAP development capability
- Develop on a fully managed Kubernetes runtime
- Appeals to developers who prefer to develop cloud-native applications which are serverless, containerized micro-services.
- Cloud Foundry
- Develop HTML 5, JAVA
- Provisioned from SAP data centers
- Develop HTML5, Java and SAP HANA Extended Application Services (SAP HANA XS) applications.
- Many early adopters of SAP BTP having deployed applications to SAP BTP(Neo) are now migrating these applications to other multi-cloud environments as these offer more flexibility.
- Develop HTML 5, JAVA
On-Premise to Public Cloud Connectivity
SAP BTP Cloud services can be created and used independently of other services and systems, however it is common that On-Premise services are required to share data with cloud services. An example would be a workflow configured on SAP BTP using the SAP Managed Workflow service requiring the ability to read and write approval steps to the On-Premise SAP S/4HANA system.
The bi directional communication between the public service and the SAP S/4HANA system is required to be secured. This type of communication can be achieved in various ways. The SAP approach to this is to use a proxy, the SAP Cloud Connector, which is installed On-Premise.
The SAP Cloud Connector (SCC) is a reverse invoke proxy, which DOES NOT require inbound communications to the On-Premise systems, only outbound. Once installed the SCC makes an outbound encrypted connection (On-Premise to Cloud) to the SAP BTP, once the connection is established, data from Cloud Services to On-Premise systems can use the same encrypted tunnel.
Note: Dependent on the use case connectivity can be provisioned in various other ways.
With the SAP BTP trial and free tiers there is nothing to stop you developing differentiating applications, or optimizing your existing integrations and business process, using side by side extensions and intelligent technologies to assist and predict.
Getting a firmer grip on SAP BTP
Further reading in all areas of SAP BTP: