What is S/4 HANA?
SAP S/4 HANA (SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA) is SAP’s next generation Enterprise Management solution for business. It is fully built on the in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and designed to run ‘simple’ with a personalised user experience using SAP Fiori and a less complex data model than their previous SAP ERP solutions.S/4 HANA supports end-to-end business process integration between its core components and SAP software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud solutions such as SAP Ariba, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass, Concur, SAP Hybris, SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP Financial Services Network, and other third-party solutions. SAP offers two different deployment options, on-premise and cloud.
S/4 HANA, On-Premise Edition Integration
The integration of S/4 HANA, on-premise edition to SAP’s SaaS cloud solutions and third-party applications can be achieved using SAP Process Orchestration (PO), Web services, or SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) integration service (formerly HANA Cloud Integration). Customers can use the SAP Best Practices for S/4 HANA, on-premise edition to extend and integrate their S/4HANA system. The Best Practices make the on-premise to cloud integration simpler to implement by providing:
- Clear definition and description of the integrated E2E processes with the respective test scripts.
- Automated and preconfigured integration content like for example iFlows or automated configurations.
- Easy to use guides for the required manual steps.
The available best practice packages for S/4HANA Integration can be found here. These currently include:
- SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central
- SAP Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Integration with SAP Financial Services Network
- SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Integration with the Ariba Network
- SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition integration with SAP Cloud for Customer
- SAP Extended Warehouse Management integration with SAP S/4HANA rapid-deployment solution
S/4 HANA, Cloud Edition Integration
SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition is designed for enterprises that need standardised cloud integration offerings that cover the core business scenarios and the line-of-business cloud solutions. For the cloud edition, the main integration technologies are HCP, integration service and Web services. There are currently three versions of SAP S/4HANA, cloud edition available:
- SAP S/4HANA, cloud marketing edition – for the marketing line of business
- SAP S/4HANA, cloud project services edition – for the professional services industry
- SAP S/4HANA, cloud enterprise edition – for a full ERP scope
HCP, integration service offers a number of pre-delivered integration packages for S/4HANA, cloud edition. Below are the ones currently on offer but additional packages are made available with each new release of HCP, integration service:
Extending SAP S/4 HANA
In-app extensibility and side-by-side extensibility are the two ways an S/4HANA solution can be extended. These are complimentary approaches and intended for different use cases. In-app extensions are implemented in the same system (or software stack) as the enhanced application.
Side-by-side extensions are based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) and can be used to extend both S/4HANA cloud and on-premise. Customers and partners can extend the scope of their S/4HANA solution and integrate it with other SAP and non-SAP solutions. The diagram below illustrates how S/4HANA on-premise edition could be extended and integrated with an application running on a tablet or smartphone.
If an enterprise already has a non-SAP middleware or integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) tool in their landscape, such as Dell Boomi, then this can be used to integrate S/4HANA with their SAP and non-SAP cloud and on-premise solutions. It is not mandatory for them to use HCP, integration service or PO. A SOAP web service can be registered on S/4HANA for inbound IDocs and also S4/HANA can send IDocs out using the IDoc SOAP message protocol. Other SOAP web services can also be consumed and exposed via S4/HANA’s SOA MANAGER.
SAP offers different integration technology options based on the deployment selection of S/4HANA, PO, HCP integration service, and Web services. It is advantageous to use these when integrating S/4HANA with other SAP solutions due to the best practices, guided configuration, and pre-delivered integration content they provide. When integrating S/4HANA into a non-SAP or a mixed landscape then these advantages are less critical, and other factors such as existing architecture and skillsets should factor in deciding the best integration option.
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