It’s official ! The word “Cloud” makes it in the dictionary in 2020. Used for the first time in 2006 by Google former CEO, Eric Schmidt, its democratization lasted a few more years.
Then, the worlds’ biggest companies have rapidly developed their Cloud technology such as SAP and its SAP NetWeaver Cloud from 2012.
The name changed a lot at the beginning. Finally, SCP (SAP Cloud Platform) gave way to BTP (Business Technology Platform) last year. Nevertheless, it is more than just a change in the name.
Indeed, it offers a widest range of Cloud offers, including all SAP technologies so that your company becomes a smart organization.
In order to better understand this new offer, we have to go back to the basics of these famous Cloud services.
The Cloud and the Cloud Service Provider
The Cloud is a virtual space in which you can store information and different kinds of databases. You have access to on-demand informatic services thanks to an extended network via the Internet.
The Cloud provider company offers informatic services such as storage services or web applications that you can use even if they don’t belong to you. Today, a lot of companies offer infrastructure, platform, storage and application services.
Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platform are the actual leaders on the market.
With AWS, Amazon has been a pioneer in the Cloud market with its first prototypes ten years ago. It’s currently the world number one in the market ahead of Microsoft Cloud and Google Cloud even if it loses ground against its main competitor.
Nevertheless, all companies don’t offer the same models. Indeed, three principal models can be distinguished with different perks and services :
- Infrastructure As A Service or IAAS : it supplies the infrastructure which are available for customers including servers, Cloud storage unit and the connections to the network according to the needs of users. Customers have to manage the installation, the configuration and the update of the applications and operating system.
- Platform As A Service or PAAS : we find the same functionalities as in the IAAS but the customer is able to develop his applications thanks to various technical components (compiler, web server, database, data storage system…)
- Software As A Service or SAAS : it includes ready-to-use applications. The service provider manages and hosts all components.
Why Would You Choose a Cloud Solution ?
Infrastructures are compulsory for those companies which don’t have any Cloud service yet in order for its backend to be operational. It implies regular maintenance while the IT employees must pay attention to the security.
It is therefore necessary to devote time and above all money to it, which could be put to good use in the real activity of the organization.
Moreover, the deployment can be very fast and you would just need little training to use it.
Finally, we could say that the Cloud paves the way to innovations. Indeed, the updates are common and new functionalities are created in order to be useful in all your branches and for all your business processes. All that remains is to choose your work environment on which to operate SAP BTP.
SAP BTP Environment in Detail
SAP BTP is multi-Cloud based with multiple services and Cloud environments with specific characteristics adapted to your needs. We are going to try to resume the existing technologies in order to help you to choose the environment adapted.
Neo, an SAP property, is an easy-to-use environment full of functionalities. This environment allows you to develop applications in various computer languages such as Java, HTML…
However, it won’t be possible to implement its own language. In addition, it is possible to use SAP UI5 for your commercial web applications.
Finally, it gives you the opportunity to install a virtual machine for setting up applications in scenarios that would not be covered by the environment. We will tend to choose Neo for integration scenarios and complex extensions in language supported by SAP.
Cloud Foundry, la Plateforme Open Source
Launched in 2011, Cloud Foundry is the first ever PAAS open-source. It is not an independent product but a platform that should be executed on an IAAS. It allows developers to develop and deploy business applications on the Cloud.
He takes over a few computer languages which eliminates the dependence issue with a Cloud provider. It can be opened to other platforms and private or hybrid infrastructures.
Also, you will save time as this Platform As A Service is already configured and ready to use. You only have to manage your applications and your data while Cloud Foundry takes care of the rest. Here are some advantages to use Cloud Foundry:
- An entirely secured platform
- A journal and centralized administration platform
- The application portability
- Compatible with lots of IAAS Cloud service providers
Kyma is an execution environment that you could use to create extensions based on Kubernetes Cloud. It includes :
- A Kubernetes extension supplied via the “Gardener” project on a Cloud provider of your choice.
- The open-source project Kyma
It consists of a serverless platform, a termination point to record events, external application APIs, a messaging channel or a service named Mesh for proxy and communication.
What Is New With SAP BTP ?
Technically, SAP BTP is a PAAS with the possibility to develop JAVA, HTML5 and SAP HANA XS applications. As an innovative SAP product, its integration with the ERP ECC6 and S/4Hana is simplified.
In its reference architecture, the solution is composed of different services provided by SAP (such as SAP Workflow or SAP BRF) and software which launch and manage interfaces and applications.
The solution SAP BTP could be considered as a portfolio of technologies which helps organizations to transform their assets (the data) into business value. More specifically, we have four pillars :
- The management of database and data : it is possible to store, manage or modelize data thanks to solution like SAP Data intelligence
- The analysis : SAP BTP simply allows to use tools like SAP Warehouse Cloud or SAP BusinessObjects BI
- To develop and integrate applications : the solution puts forward a suite of services and solutions which boost development and innovation of applications within the Cloud.
- Hybrid solutions : developers have the possibility to use various programming languages such as Java or Python. The integration also concerns non-SAP applications like Oracle or Salesforce. Furthermore, SAP BTP offers more than 180 connectors for the biggest applications of the market.
- The smart technologies : smart applications can be developed to automate some tasks. For example, we will be able to create a chatbot to provide a better support service.
You already have understood : SAP BTP is not a single product but a whole set of integrated solutions. It is possible to obtain each one individually.
However, they have been designed to work together and they will bring you better results. It is not focused on the product anymore.
On the contrary, the focus is no longer on the product but on providing users with an end-to-end business process in a modular architecture.
Thus, we will distinguish three major innovations that make SAP BTP an essential tool:
SAP BTP and IoT: The Internet of Things makes it possible to develop, operate and customize business applications within the Cloud. Interfaces are made available so that devices and all their data can be stored and executed securely within SAP BTP. A cockpit can be opened, facilitating interactions between users and the remote device management service (RDMS).
SAP BTP and Blockchain: it makes it possible to store and transmit values or data in complete security without an intermediary or control body. The database is therefore distributed, which means that each client or network user has a copy of it. With this service, the devices are connected to SAP BTP which can therefore store them and use them for other applications in complete safety.
SAP Integration Suite, the Cloud Component of SAP BTP
This is the middleware allowing the integration of Cloud and OnPremise applications. This service allows the connection of all systems and allows encryption, mapping, integration flows, etc.
Many connectors and integration codes are provided, giving the possibility of working with many formats such as Java, JSON, XSLT…
It is possible to choose several services since it is possible to choose between the subscription (to pay a fixed price whatever the actual consumption) or by use (without minimum use and without financial commitment).
However, there are two possible licenses:
- Standard: free access to classic connectors but also to those standardized by SAP. An adviser to help set up flows is also available
- Premium: preconfigured assistance adapted to your needs with a much higher volume of exchanges.
SAP Extension Suite
SAP BTP has extensibility to implement workflows or add-ons on top of the cloud solution that already exists. We will find:
- The automated extension for Cloud Foundry or Kyma which includes a simplified and unified configuration of SAP solutions as well as a connected central catalog where APIs, events are stored… All this can be compiled within the BTP cockpit.
- The manual extension for Cloud Foundry if automated integration isn’t possible for your scenario. It will be possible to extend S4/Hana or even SAP Cloud for the customer.
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