Welcome to my third blog in this series about SAP Cloud Platform Integration (formerly known as HCI or SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service).
Since my last blog SAP have changed the name of the product again and it is now called SAP Cloud Platform Integration or simply Cloud Integration for short. SAP have also continued with their monthly roll outs of Cloud Integration and there have been several improvements. The following are new features added or soon to be added that deal with some of the pain points and gaps in Cloud Integration I have flagged previously.
User administration and authorisation
In the past when customers received a new Cloud Integration tenant, the only way for them to gain access and start using it was by raising an OSS ticket with SAP and asking them to assign S users to the specific tenant/s. Now, customers can perform user and authorisation management tasks themselves using the SAP Cloud Cockpit (SCC). To manage authorisations for users, SCC provides a set of pre-defined roles that allow the tenant administrator to give account users permissions related to their tasks.
Currently, transport of integration content from one Cloud Integration tenant to another is done manually. In the case of the Web UI, the process of transporting an artifact from the test to production tenant involves the following:
- Log in to the test tenant and download the artifact from the test tenant
- Log into the production tenant and upload the artifact to a workspace on the Design tab
- Deploy the artifact to the production tenant
- Check the monitoring tab to see if the artifact has been successfully deployed to the production tenant
As you can see this is quite a tedious process. However, native transport management is planned to be made available in the first half of 2017. This will be provided in two ways:
- CTS+ via Solution Manager
- HTTPS push notifications from one tenant to another
Monitoring and tracing
Cloud Integration has monitoring features accessible through both the Web UI and Eclipse IDE. However, these can only be used to monitor the specific tenant you are logged into. Solution Manager 7.10 SP12 and above allows for hybrid monitoring which includes Cloud Integration. Using Solution Manager, you can monitor for exceptions and the performance of iFlows processed in Cloud Integration.
Tracing was always available with Cloud Integration. However, to get it enabled you have to raise an OSS ticket with SAP and they will only enable it for 7 days in a test tenant and 24 hours in a production tenant. After that you need to raise another OSS ticket. Now there is Trace Configuration available on Cloud Integration version 2.x tenants. This allows you to enable tracing for iFlows deployed to your tenant without having to raise an OSS ticket with SAP. However, Trace Configuration is only available through the Eclipse IDE and not the Web UI. Also, for those customers with an older Cloud Integration tenant (version 1.x), Trace Configuration is not available. OSS tickets will still need to be raised with SAP to get tracing enabled or alternatively Groovy scripts can be used at various points in iFlows to write the message payload to the Message Processing Log (MPL). After the execution of the message you will see in the MPL additional tabs with links to the payload.
Cloud Integration now has an LDAP adapter and later in the year further connectivity options such as AS2, JMS, RFC, JDBC, and additional third party adapters will also become available. Another change is that inbound authorisation can no longer be performed in the sender participant and instead it is now accomplished per adapter. For example, with SOAP-based adapters (SOAP 1.x, SAP RM and IDoc), there is an option to authorise either via Client Certificate or User Role.
Cloud Integration has continued to improve and mature. It is becoming increasingly popular among customers, particularly when they have bought an SAP cloud application and are looking to integrate it with their existing cloud and on-premise solutions.
Looking ahead at the roadmap, there are number of new features planned that I look forward to using such as the on-premise deployment option, APIs for management of integration flows, high performance messaging for Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT). SAP has entered a partnership with Solace Systems to use their message router technology in future releases of Cloud Integration. This will help by improving the speed and efficiency with which information flows between applications, connected devices, data centres and people.