Discover the five shortfalls of HANA Cloud Integration the guide books don’t tell you!
I have recently finished a project where we delivered SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) and integrated it with an existing on premise SAP ERP system using SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). I do like that SAP have developed their own cloud based integration platform, however I discovered HCI is still very much in its infancy and needs a lot more development before it will be able to compete with existing cloud based integration platforms such as Dell Boomi. The following are five shortfalls of HCI that the guide books don’t tell you!
1. When you start a new project SAP assign you two HCI tenants, Test and Production. However they do not provide you with a username and password to these tenants. To get access to these tenants you need to have a SAP SCN user (S user) and raise an OSS ticket with SAP to assign your S user to these tenants. It is especially important that the S user you use is provided by the owner of the tenants – so customers will need to create S users for any SI or contract resources working on their implementation.
2. To connect HCI to an SFTP server you need to raise an OSS ticket with SAP with the details of your SFTP server to deploy a known hosts file to your HCI tenant. SAP’s default network settings do not allow you to connect to a third party (non-SAP) SFTP server. To get around this you need to raise an OSS ticket with SAP to get their network team to change their network settings and allow the connection to the third party SFTP server. Unfortunately this can take several working days to get sorted, so it can be a key dependency in your project
3. C4C and HCI only allow HTTPS requests to be made over port 443. Using any other port other than 443 does not work as the SAP forward proxy blocks it. To open an additional port you need to raise an OSS ticket with SAP and this can take several working days as it needs to get through their approval process and then actioned by their Network team. SAP are usually unwilling to open additional ports and suggest making a change within the customer landscape instead.
4. HCI only supports certificate based authentication and doesn’t allow self-signed certificates. To authenticate messages sent from an on-premise system (say for example SAP ECC) to HCI you need to get the client certificate of ECC signed by a Certificate Authority (CA) and import the certificate response back into ECC. Following that we complete the certificate chain by deploying the Root and Intermediate certificates of the CA onto the HCI load balancer. To get these certificates deployed to the load balancer you need to raise an OSS ticket with SAP. Again this can take several working days to get sorted as it needs to go through their approval process and then actioned by their Network team.
5. User Defined Functions (UDF) can’t be created within an HCI Message Mapping. The only way to add a UDF to your HCI Message Mapping is to create it within a SAP Process Integration (PI) system and then import it into your HCI Message Mapping by right clicking on your eclipse project and selecting “Import PI Content”. This approach assumes you can access your PI system over the internet or have VPN access to it. When you import the UDF it will work in your HCI Message Mapping however you won’t be able to view the source code. Any changes that need to be made to the UDF have to be done in the source PI system and then reimported into your HCI Message Mapping.
These sorts of technical issues demonstrate the relative immaturity of the platform when compared to other iPaaS platforms, and can add significant delay to your implementation until SAP address these shortfalls within the HCI roadmap.