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Author's profile photo Srikanth B

Free Open Source Software on BTP

We often heard that Open Source Software allows us to Innovate great things, faster and less disruptive than an enterprise software, however the challenge about these technologies is to make them enterprise trust worthy. This is where the SAP Cloud technologies like Kyma and BTP comes in handy.

Having these solutions coming from SAP, we have embarked on writing our Industry Cloud Software using FOSS ( Free Open Source Software) Stack on SAP Kyma with BTP for Integrations to all the SAP S/4 and other Cloud Applications.

In our case, our target Industry being the Educational customers, who are historically known for building many quick legacy systems inhouse than buying something off the shelf product. This is a proof why we don’t find many enterprise software leaders offering solutions for the Education industry, There may be some but not very popularly adopted and many are limited to a geography.

This is one of the reason why we choose to build our Industry Cloud Software using FOSS but we want to make them Enterprise Grade Software that it has a global acceptance, so naturally as EX SAPiens we opted SAP Cloud Platform with Kyma, best of it being available as an Open Source. For those who don’t know what is Kyma – “Kyma is an application runtime that provides you a flexible and easy way to connect, extend, and customize your applications in the cloud-native world of Kubernetes.”

So our first choice was to use Fiori, however the given the volume of prospects and the users preference to access on mobile and to keep them apart from the core financial system, we have chosen to use React as a front end and communicated via Microservice Architecture.

Micro Services: Even though we could decouple the front end users but we were always depend on the Critical Data to be read and written back into SAP. So we used BTP to implement our Microservices and connect to our Postgrs Database.

Summary : The side cart approach doesn’t need to be in SAP, SAP Business Platform allows to choose your own stack and run with Confidence from SAP Technologies and seamlessly integrate and innovate instead of complicating to much inside core.


Do drop a note on how we are innovating using AI Conversation Engine, Predictive Analytics and others areas, we would be happy to address them in our next blogs.

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      Author's profile photo Krishna Kishor Kammaje
      Krishna Kishor Kammaje

      Interesting project. Curious to know why you are doing it and the vision for the product.

      Author's profile photo Srikanth B
      Srikanth B
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Krishna,

      We have in the process of developing an Industry Cloud Solution specifically for the educational sector. This decision was made after conducting numerous sales calls and analysing the 100's of RFPs and requirements from the industry. Except Oracle Student there is no comprehensive ERP Cloud Solution for Educational Customers today. We want to give the customers the choice to opt the best of the breed solutions.

      The key functions of any institution are HR, Financials, Logistics, and Students. In this case, the student system is crucial and must provide data to several other downstream systems. However, we have observed that many large implementations that try to integrate an ERP with the student system fail to meet the customer objectives due to inability to integrate. Therefore, we have decided to use FOSS tools and offer seamless integration with SAP via BTP and open architecture simplifies downstream integrations. This aligns with SAP's strategy to maintain a clean core and drive innovation outside while providing an excellent experience for stakeholders.

      In summary, educational institutions have complex IT landscapes and require a student management system that supports open architecture and allows seamless integration with various other systems such as CRM, plagiarism, Scheduling, learning management, career portal, university stores, collaboration portal, external funding agencies, library, alumni, hostel, mess, and others. It is our vision to pre-integrate all such popular systems and offers as a platform. Currently we have done the integrations with Moodle Learning Management System and Unitime Scheduling and SAP.

      More Importantly we want to help customers achieve quick ROI, simplify Digital Transformation by allowing to Integrate easily with Microservices Architecture without touching the core ERP system by millions of external facing applicants and alumni who has nothing to do with the Core ERP processes.

      In this process, we also learnt that side cart technology stack allows to innovate like never before, to quote a few examples.

      E.g: Some of the Innovations it would not have been possible without Open Source Technologies are

      1. Instead of using IBM Watson or any other Conversational AI Engine, we were able to use RASA an Open Source AI that will support enrolments from various messaging channels and that to very cost effectively. (As you know most of the these engines charge per + API+ number of calls)
      2. We were able to achieve the extensibility of the application forms in real time by the business users without any code push, They can create their numerous applications forms in any language with any custom fields in real time. ( E.g: Think of a creating an application form with personal, family, education, experience and other data with 200 fields in 2 minutes. This is the power of one of the open source library we used)
      3. Keeping the Core Clean, we were able to update the both qualified and unqualified applicant fees straight into the SAP Universal Ledger, without disrupting ERP system.
      4. We were able to provide customers the option to choose the best of the breed solutions to the customers via BTP, the student and academic Ledger in our platform and the financial, staff ledgers in SAP.

      Keen to hear your views on this !

      Author's profile photo ajay pandey
      ajay pandey

      Hi Srikanth,

      This information  is very helpful. I am planning to integrate  RASA with SAP Supply chain applications using BTP.

      Will you be able to provide more details on integration  side? Also, are you using BTP AI engine or RASA itself has its own AI?


      I will appreciate  your  help. Thanks in advance.


      Author's profile photo Srikanth B
      Srikanth B
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ajay,

      Having worked on the IBM watson in the past, I know the limitations and the costs involved. As i mentioned in my blog above my customer segment is someone who want a fixed foreseeable projections on the costs involved in any of the service. Hence i chose RASA conversation AI. Rasa is more than a bot it is a CAI. Also has an paid enterprise Version rol.

      For our Education Industry cloud side cart application, we are reading directly reading via API's however from SAP we are calling the API's via BTP.

      Now that sap has integrated Watson CAI, I didn't got a chance to read finer details. But a word of advice be cautious and understand the pricing Matrix of IBM CAI before you make any design decision.