I recently attended the 2017 SAP Cloud Platform Integration (formerly known as HCI) info day in Walldorf, Germany. It was the fifth info day on SAP Cloud Platform Integration, with more than 150 participants joining. The day was packed with lots of information and news from SAP, presentations from seven partners and customers, with lots of good discussions. In this blog I wanted to share a few of the key points raised.
One of the most obvious changes is that SAP have changed the name of the product again to SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Currently there is no three-letter acronym for the product as CPI is already used for another SAP product. For the time being, the short hand form is simply, Cloud Integration. You’ll also notice that ‘HANA’ is no longer in the name. Earlier this year SAP dropped ‘HANA’ from the branding of their cloud platform and SAP HANA Cloud Platform is now simply called SAP Cloud Platform.
API Business Hub
The SAP API Business Hub is the central catalog of SAP and selected partner APIs for developers to search, discover, test and consume APIs to build apps, extensions or integrations with SAP. This is beneficial because application and integration developers do not always know the available APIs in various SAP systems (on-premise/cloud). This can increase the total costs of extension and development. Additionally, it can be hard to test APIs and build quick prototypes as developers may end up waiting a long time to get access to systems/tenants. SAP add more and more APIs to the Business Hub each month and a sandbox test environment allows easy testing of APIs. In the case of Cloud Integration however the API Business Hub is only used for discovery. To download or use an artifact (e.g. iFlow) this needs to be done in your own Cloud Integration tenant.
SAP now provides Chief Information Officer (CIO) guides which describe key scenarios, reference architectures and SAP products to support CIOs, IT-managers, and enterprise architects in their investment strategy. The CIO guide concerned with SAP’s long-term integration strategy is titled, “SAP's Vision for Integrating SAP Applications in Cloud and Hybrid Environments”, which can be found here. It emphasises integration scenarios in the cloud and in hybrid environments. Within these environments, special attention is given to the scenarios related to process and data-centric integration. It also looks at the outlook and future strategy including application design and integration technology.
Recently Added Features
The gap between the Eclipse IDE and Web IDE will be closed by Q3/2017. SAP are encouraging developers to move towards the Web IDE as from Q2/2018 the Integration Designer perspective will be deprecated. The Integration Operations perspective will still be available but the plan is to deprecate this also. Going forward Eclipse will only be required if developers wish to use the Adapter Development Kit.
Cloud Integration now includes a JMS adapter. By default each Cloud Integration tenant gets 4GB of JMS queue space but you can request up to 8GB in total if additional space is required. For inbound iFlows (to Cloud Integration) a queue name needs to be specified in the receiver channel to store messages. The same queue name needs to be used in the outbound iFlows (from Cloud Integration) so that messages are retrieved from the same queue. In this way the inbound and outbound iFlows are connected. When you delete or undeploy your iFlow from the tenant the corresponding JMS queue does not get deleted and neither do the queue entries. However, you can manually delete the queues from the Web IDE message queue monitor. Additional features include:
- The inbound and outbound flow cannot be modelled in the same integration process.
- The queue entries are read one-by-one.
- JMS adapter supports automatic retry.
- You cannot read from the same queue from two different iFlows.
- Transaction management is also provided by Cloud Integration for JMS transactions.
- You can have transaction management at both the main integration flow level as well as the sub-process level.
KeyStore self-service is another handy new feature added to Cloud Integration. It allows customers to manage the security artifacts of their tenant on their own. Previously if you wanted to make any change to your KeyStore you had to raise an OSS ticket with SAP cloud operations. The interface for customers is added to the Web IDE tooling only and you need to be a Tenant Admin to be able to maintain the KeyStore. To be precise, you need the role NodeManager.deploysecuritycontent. Restrictions on the KeyStore self-service include:
- Two users cannot change the tenant KeyStore at the same time. The second user will get a message that the tenant KeyStore is currently locked.
- Download of content does not require a password. You are only allowed to download public keys, not private keys.
- Currently you can only upload Java KeyStores and not individual certificates. If you want to upload a public certificate for example, you would first need to bundle this into a Java KeyStore using KeyStore Explorer.
Full details on the Cloud Integration roadmap can be found here.
The Info Day event has continued to grow in popularity each year. This is because more and more customers are adopting SAP Cloud Solutions in their landscapes and are turning to SAP Cloud Platform Integration as their strategic cloud integration platform. The pre-delivered content available in its content catalog is extremely useful, easy to use, and ultimately leads to shorter project timescales.
The slides from SAP as well as the customers and partners who presented at the SAP Cloud Platform Integration info day can be found here.
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