SAP TechEd From an Integration Perspective

I want to share the insight I have gained into the ever-changing world of SAP integration while participating at SAP TechEd 2015. SAP integration has changed a lot over the last couple of years, and it is constantly evolving. As someone who has been working with SAP for over a decade, I was able to see trends that will definitely change the way we do integration for our clients.

I want to give you not just a recap of what I’ve seen and heard at TechEd, but also more information on how to deal with these new trends, and how to implement the changes.

In this video, I tried to summarize the most important topics of TechEd 2015. New technologies, and thus new challenges, are on their way. Integration specialists need to stay updated and focused in order to implement the SAP integration strategies that are best for their companies.


Without further ado, here are the things that I have considered of greatest value at this year’s conference — from the perspective of an integration consultant. There are 3 important changes that will transform the way we do integration:

Cloud strategy

A lot more integration will be going on inside the cloud. If the business decides they want some specific integration, we will build cloud applications. Companies will still have their on-premises SAP systems, so there won’t be any need for changing those systems just yet, but you will need to interact with a hybrid strategy.

Different speeds of innovation

This issue gets interesting especially when we talk about API management, where interacting with our consumers (and the different methods of interaction) becomes the focal point.

Companies want to interact more with their customers. In order to do that, they need new methods of interaction, and new tasks may be completed to achieve this, such as pulling center data or other relevant endeavors.

Big Data

This is probably a more extensive topic for those who work in data analytics and related fields. From an integration perspective, the Internet of Things is of great importance. We need to integrate, to find out how to put data from multiple devices into our HANA, Hadoop or Spark systems, so that someone else can analyze it — this is our job, as integration consultants. It’s not our job to figure out what should be done with the data, but we need to make sure that the data is available to the right people.

We’ll also get a higher volume of frequency and number of concurrent connections, precisely because of these trends. A lot more interaction with the data is necessary.

On the mobile front, we’ll have more integration with people in our network who might want to do business with us, so this will lead to more users and integrations, because we need to expose the data that we have in our SAP ECC or S/4HANA systems to all the potential customers.


These are the main trends I have used to create this round-up. SAP is betting quite a lot on OData. Partners are allowed to create OData services, which could happen through mobile apps, browser-based apps, enterprise software, or cloud and social software.

MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport), which is an Internet of Things protocol, is a lot like MQ (Messaging Queuing) or JMS, but the handling functionalities have been removed, so it is a much leaner protocol, which is going to make interaction easier for companies. It is best for edge devices; smart media will communicate with them. It could be Wind River, which will collect all of the data before data is posted to SAP.

REST (Representational State Transfer), a protocol that works on sets of data, is important when doing integration with the outside, because it’s easier for mobile apps and third parties to use — it seems to become the standard we are moving towards.

SAP Process Orchestration

Regarding Process Orchestration, we have a few functionalities to discuss. The REST-based adapter has already been delivered, and they have also been developing the OData adapter.

There has been some improvement on the BPMN (Business process Model and Notation) front as well: you can create a task and task APIs. You can also generate and use the SAPUI5 interface with the click of a button, which makes it easier to create online apps. The current version does not support Fiori and line items, but it is a nice way to start.

PowerDesigner, an SAP tool that is able to describe the processes that are happening in your organization, should be easier to use. It may be used for developing and documenting processes. Data can be exported in BPMN format, then the needed processes can be enhanced and curated in Developer Studio.

I think Integration Advisor has been a much-discussed topic for a while now. It is relevant because it provides users an easier way of interacting with multiple suppliers. Usually, the process of onboarding B2B suppliers can be tedious, especially if you lack a predefined format that you wish to use. With this B2B add-on you might get some more instances that are relevant to your development.

Some improvements have been made to the B2B add-on, but since I haven’t been using it, I’m not that familiar with what needed to be improved. The Integration Advisor should be mentioned here, because it may enable you to deploy and develop applications faster, while also allowing you to integrate with B2B integrations more efficiently.

I think we will see more of ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) tools, especially when dealing with edge device integration.

NetWeaver 7.5

It’s a shame that TechEd takes place during the fall instead of the spring. I think there will be a lot more changes. I’m really looking forward to SAP NetWeaver 7.5. Some of its highlights are the following:

One of the most important topics is Java 8.  This is really great because there have been enhancements in Java, and it will enable the use of the newest JDBC/JMS adapter. There could be issues with backward compatibility, with customer functions and adapters.

With Eclipse Luna 4.4 you don’t have to install and run the NetWeaver Developer Studio zip file, you can use the standard Eclipse, and update the plugins. This is the same as you do with HCI at the moment.

The UI5 generator should also be better now, they should be able to support lower-level items, and the generated tasks should be fully Fiori-compliant.

A great feature is that you should be able to run HANA Cloud Integration content locally. You wouldn’t be able to work with HCI flows because they are structured in a slightly different way, but you could take the existing SAP content from HCI, download it, create a zip file or an executable compiler file, upload it to your on-premises PO system, and then use the content locally. Because it is currently somewhat limited, I believe it will be enhanced with other features as well.

HCI adapters and Camel — you would be able to use the Camel adapters on the logon system, and that means you would be able to download these adapters, and run them locally. Right now, after downloading an adapter, you have to start from scratch. With the Camel add-on, you get a lot of these predefined adapters, so you can easily select the ones you want, and enhance them, if needed.

While Operational Process Intelligence (OPINT) is not an important product just yet, it will probably become more significant in the future. Now it shows the real-time status of the existing data. It will be enhanced with more intelligence; the creators want to enable you to view the real-time status of the process, while also increasing the amount of interaction with the processes in an intelligent way. They also talk about smarter processes — you would be able to interact with HANA Cloud Platform services, which need certain requirements to be met for different scenarios. This could offer more insight into what is currently happening inside the processes, and show whether there are any delays.


We also talked about API Management, and thus, about the Apigee Edge platform, which enables you to create APIs and expose them to users. It provides a way of entering the digital economy; you can create APIs, expose them, then create internal and external applications. From what I understood, it is mostly based on REST and SOAP; these are the protocols that are mostly used, although REST will be used most.

From a Process Orchestration developer’s perspective, the design approach is a bit different when developing in API Management. In PI/PRO new interfaces and all the data elements in them are defined, then a mapping is created. In API Management, you only have to define the documentation of what the interface should do using a tool called Swagger; then, based on this, you decide what you want to have in the interface, but if someone sends another data element, they can modify it according to their wishes, and you can return all the data. Some of the features offered by API Management is the caching of data, so you can create higher volume loads of product data on a specific product (a lot of customers request this); you could just cache the product, instead of requesting it from your SAP system. There’s the option of using REST or other functionalities, so, for example, you can allow only a limited number of calls per minute, e.g. 100 calls/minute — if someone calls over 100 times per minute, those requests will be ignored. It basically gives you the flexibility of not interacting with (and not destroying) your system.

There’s one topic that was discussed in reference to both SAP and Apigee. There’s the system of records, in which changes can take a lot of time; then there’s API Management, which enables you to interact with the customers in an easier way, as you can create changes in data and services a lot faster if you are only using these APIs for handling communication.

Gateway is a functionality that allows users to create OData and REST services directly from the SAP back-end. It is a great way of exposing data and letting other users gain access to it. They added some new functionalities, which look like Spring Hibernate functionalities, in which you define the data models you would be using. The benefit? With the annotation you put into the document, you could actually make objects easily searchable and sortable, instead of having to code everything. This would be delivered using Core Data Services. I believe this will also sort the data that the newer releases (such as the HANA database) have been developing on. There’s the ability of mapping data, if you want to call the banking service, you can map it using some of these tools, just as you would do in Process Orchestration. The mapping might be simpler, but at least you get the option to do it.

HANA Cloud Integration

HANA Cloud Integration is one of the key areas SAP is focusing on, with improvements done frequently. One recent improvement has been the adapter development kit, so you can develop your own adapters. A lot of adapters have been created by Camel, so you can take these adapters and deploy them almost immediately. One of the exercises we did was as follows: Sharepoint is using a protocol through CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Services) for its content management system; then you can take the standard Camel adapter, deploy it on your HCI system, and use it. This is important, because you won’t be able to use the same adapter on the 7.5 system. The challenge with these standard adapters is that they might not be Enterprise-ready yet, so you might want to do some changes at times. But at least you get 90% of the code developed, so you only need to do changes that are relevant to you. The B2B adapters are still not on the platform, but they should be coming soon, so that you can use the B2B adapters that are currently available for on-premises use.

There is some pre-delivered content; if you have cloud integration scenarios or an SAP app, such as SuccessFactors, there are many integrations you can simply use to connect to connect these systems to the on-premises system. For partners, there will probably be a huge area where you can start developing this type of content, then incorporate it into HCI.

Keynote – Putting It All Together

There was a really good demo on the HANA Cloud Platform in Barcelona. You can find Björn Goerke’s keynote on SAP’s website. He did a really good job going through all the different functionalities of HCP. One of them is Web IDE, which is a web-based user interface for developing SAPUI5 applications. You can create an OData service in your banking system using Gateway, and then you can easily use a Fiori-based interface. BPMN development might also be available for use in SAPUI5; I’m not sure of this, but it would make sense. One of the advantages of Web IDE was the use of Smart Templates, which allowed SAP to change some of the connecting frameworks, so if they figure out how Fiori should be used with the templates that have already been developed, these templates would allow you to update to Smart Templates.

Internet of Things

On HANA Cloud Platform there is a service for the Internet of Things. For integration, this is quite relevant. When you get this up and running, you are able to deploy a service to HANA Cloud Platform. This web application has two objects: it has a WebSocket interface you can call on REST API to upload all the data you have from your centers, so this would be great if you had a lot of data services that you wanted to expose. It is an easy method of collecting various measurements, of designing the different sentences you have, a way of establishing which are the different types of data centers and what kind of messages to expect; then, all of these can be collected in just one scenario, and some interfaces you can interact with are also provided. When receiving the IoT data, the method of exposing it to users is very important — it needs to be easy to understand. There are mobile services, which enable you to create mobile applications easily — you can create OData services, expose them through Fiori Web IDE, then you can just compile them to a native app.

Solace Systems’ appliances can be used on HANA Cloud Platform for high-volume data transactions. Solace appliances are also used internally in HCP for messaging. Other services are also available on HANA Cloud Platform.

I believe the Internet of Things to be one of the most discussed topics of the year. It would be important to use the Edge platform that is placed between the SAP system and HCP, collects all the data, and sends a collective payload of all the changes that need to be done. You do not have to manage all the devices on HCP, but you can do it there if smart media, like Wind River, or apps are used, which may be easier to use for collecting all of the data. You get the HANA database for the prediction and storage of data; live-streaming data and real-time insight into the activity of the enterprise become easier. If you get all these measurements, the only other important aspect is prediction — being able to figure out when bad situations might occur. Because of the real-time insight you receive, you can see harmful patterns before the negative situation occurs, e.g. if temperatures are rising, you can interact with your devices in an effort to reduce the temperature by doing something in a different way. Operational Process Intelligence will allow you to do intelligent handling on top of the development.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences at SAP TechEd 2015. As integration developers, we need to figure out how to deal with new topics, enhancements, and improvements. The success of the companies we work with is in our hands. Gaining new knowledge is great, but at the end of the day, what matters is how you implement new strategies in your company, how you design your integration strategy and make use of all the available components.

If there was anything I have left out, or if there was a topic you’d like to discuss more thoroughly, do not hesitate to post a comment. Let me know if you have any questions related to SAP TechEd, the discussed technologies, platforms, apps, add-ons, or anything SAP-related.
You can find my contact details below the video or on if you want to have a longer conversation with me. I’m looking forward to talking with you. I want to hear your thoughts and opinions, and I’m always available to offer advice on SAP integration strategies.

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