Port your legacy SAP middleware flows to cloud-native PaaS solutions
it is time to revisit the integration patterns surrounding your SAP systems. Knowledge about them reduces the friction during integration projects and proper application tremendously increases robustness of your interfaces.
Question of the day: Do my patterns change when moving from SAP Process Orchestration (PO) or Process Integration (PI) to cloud native? Find out more on the next section👉🏿
Not yet ready for cloud native? How about shifting SAP PI/PO to the cloud as is then? Have a look here.
image source: makeameme.org
Thanks to SAP you can sit on your legacy SAP Process Integration/Orchestration a little while longer if you want – mainstream maintenance till 2027 and extended maintenance till 2030. According to the annual global community survey 2022 many of you intend to do so beyond 2025. But if you are brave enough or looking to drive your own destiny ahead of time – competitive edge anyone? – you are in for an adventure 🧙♂️.
Given my experience and background I will be focussing on Azure, but the patterns, architecture and guidance is not limited to that. In addition to that there is already a lot of extensive materials for the native option – SAP Cloud Integration on Azure (natural successor of SAP PI/PO), hence I won’t repeat. However, I can warmly recommend below blog series for a comprehensive overview from the SAP BTP perspective:
- EIPinCPI series by @Bhalchandra Wadekar (valued community member)
- Enterprise Integration Patterns at SAP Cloud Integration by @Alexander Bundschuh’s (Product Manager for SAP Integration Suite at SAP)
In case you are looking for good old-fashioned SAP PI/PO guidance on Azure find your calling here.
For the fun stuff: Buckle up💺
It is time to clean up your dusty legacy integration flows🧹
and head into the new era. How do you get started? I will post it to you via this blog series. Hurray! 🥳
Over the coming months we will discuss integration architecture patterns that came my way most often and how they differ to your legacy integration flows. Curious yet?
Pick your treat from the pattern feed…
Message Pass-Through for iDocs
Featured by Bartosz Jarkowski
|Typical trading partner topic with SAP’s proprietary message format with SAP on Azure or on-premises.|
|Circuit breaker for planned SAP downtimes||Ensure that your connected services like Azure Service Bus don’t keep sending messages while your SAP backend is down for maintenance. Otherwise enjoy the christmas tree🎄 of avoidable red lights 😉|
|Integration Protocol offload with AS21||Integrate with your B2B trading partners securely using AS2 while easing the burden on your SAP system by terminating the AS2 request in your cloud middleware.|
|Process Exactly Once and in Order (smaller payloads < 30mb)1||Implementation of legacy b2b pattern, that requires exact and reliable delivery of messages.|
|Process Exactly Once and in Order (gigantic payloads 🐳)1||Mass data synchronizations, batch loads, nightly updates often lead you to this flavor of the pattern.|
|Message Transformation Chaining1||Keep integration flows readable, maintainable, and individually scalable to your needs|
|Message Throttling and Usage Quota1||Ensure that your middleware and SAP backend can never be overwhelmed with requests especially during important periods like financial closing.|
|Ping me for any pattern that you desire to see most and want to see next||…|
1Soon to come in no particular order if you don’t convince me otherwise 😉make yourself heard!
Above series will never be complete and has no aspiration to be. The described concepts to move to a cloud-native approach can be applied to all integration challenges.
See a vendor agnostic and more complete list of integration patterns to dig deeper on your individual tasks. Microsoft maintains a guide and Cloud Design Pattern list on its Architecture Centre too. For SAP native have a look at the series I mentioned during the intro.
Small detour 🛫
The patterns above mostly discuss messaging. But consider also event driven architectures, message sizes and purpose.
“Every event is a message but not every message is an event!”
Have a look here to learn more about the differences.
Show me the moneeey! 💰
For a simple comparison I looked at a typical transition scenario with hybrid connectivity needs. I implemented a simple message pass-through flow with http inbound and OData outbound to SAP S/4 in an on-premises environment. For simplicity, I will ignore secondary cost for backup, disaster recovery, monitoring, operations and choose minimum sizes.
Note: Given there is a flat fee / license for SAP PI/PO and SAP Integration Suite cost of running additional flows decrease per flow – assuming that no up-sizing of the infrastructure is required. Also, the bundles get you more features than required for the single integration flow increasing cost beyond the comparison scope.
By no means does this comparison attempt to be a thorough cost comparison that is applicable in all scenarios. It is supposed to give a rough overview for single flow scenarios – as often used for PoCs – and equip you to derive your own analysis. Price snapshot taken on 30.08.2022.
|SAP PI/PO||SAP Integration Suite||Azure Integration Services|
|Components||VM (minimum size)1||Cloud Integration tenant, Cloud Connector (SCC)||Logic App with http, On-Premises Data Gateway (OPDG)|
|Cost models||License + Infrastructure cost||CPEA or PAYG, Standard (Flat fee), or message volume||Serverless + PAYG|
Incl. Gateways for on-premises access.
30.75$ + license cost/month2
🤑 30.75$ + X
Or Volume3: 7.72$
SCC VM3: 28.86$
OPDG VM4: 69.36$
1 D2v4 – 2vCPUs, 8GB RAM, RHEL, Azure Hybrid Benefit, 3-year reserved compute
2 There are no public resources on the PO license cost other than the note that it is being done per core. Other Non-SAP articles indicate the costs are in the order of magnitude around multiple 10k$.
3 Flat fee: Integration Suite with Service Plan: Standard, single tenant; Volume-based: 10k message block with PAYG; SCC VM – T-Shirt size S – Azure SKU D2as v5 (3 year reserved, Azure Hybrid Benefit) in West Europe
4 Single Logic App with 4001 actions per month to exceed free plan, Consumption Plan, 1k standard connector calls per day; OPDG VM SKU D4ads v5 (3 year reserved, Azure Hybrid Benefit) in West Europe
Partners enable a smoother transition
Since many of the SAP PI/PO integration flows follow a standardized pattern, they are migratable in an automatic manner. In addition to that partners implemented migration tools to move to SAP Cloud Integration or Azure Integration Services as easy as possible.
I’d like to mention a few that are quite active in the SAP community but there are likely more. Anyone else with compelling, publicly available migration materials and tooling you would like to see mentioned?
QUIBIQ – Migrate your SAP PI/PO flows to Cloud Native | SAP Blogs
INT4 – Move to Azure Integration Services with IFTT & SAP PO to SAP CPI migration
FIGAF – Overview of your SAP PI to CPI migration | SAP Blogs
Serverless360 – Overview (document360.io)
My favorite feature is “message recording” including input and output. Really neat approach to playback your original integration message to reliably check if your newly migrated solution works the same way.
Thoughts on production readiness 🏭
SAP is striving for feature parity between SAP PI/PO and Integration Suite and will eventually get there. SAP Cloud Integration is one of the most used services on BTP and on the market for many years.
With the Azure eco system it will boil down to applying the right blueprint to achieve the same integration flow capabilities.
The involved Azure Integration Services components power global SaaS applications like Bing, D365, XBox etc. So, maturity of them is a given.
- Exposing SAP legacy middleware with Azure PaaS securely – Azure Virtual Machines | Microsoft Docs
- SAP Process Integration | SAP Help Portal
- SAP Integration Suite | SAP Help Portal
- Azure Integration Services | Microsoft Azure
What do you think @community? Anything to add?
As always feel free to ask lots of follow-up questions.