As IT landscapes are shifting towards the cloud, new ways of thinking about integration emerge. Companies with hybrid portfolios containing on-premise and on-demand solutions are struggling to get all their enterprise applications aligned in a simple and modern way. Within the extensive toolset of middleware applications that are available, SAP offers HANA Cloud Integration (hereafter HCI). This is a SaaS solution for integrating cloud and on-premise applications to SAP and non-SAP on-premise and cloud applications, which makes it an interesting middleware tool if your company wants to migrate to the cloud. It also supports integrating applications of customers, suppliers and 3rd party tools like Twitter and Facebook.
HCI can be used for both process –and data integration. Process integration is event-triggered and real-time messaging between systems, while data integration focuses on integrating bulk data and potentially applying complex transformations. Hereby an overview of the two types of integration that can be handled using HCI:
For rapid deployment and help to get started, SAP provides pre-packaged integration content. For instance standard packages to integrate Twitter into S/4HANA, or to integrate SuccessFactors with your SAP ERP system. Simply copy the packages into your workspace, connect them to your own source –and target system and you are ready to go.
Traditionally SAP PI, thus not HCI, is the most common used application for integration scenarios. However, there are differences between these middleware applications. Hereby an overview of the most important differences:
So, considering the differences between HCI and PI, when would you choose to use HCI? As the main difference is the integration of Cloud-2-Cloud, HCI would be the best choice if you are;
An SAP customer, want to integrate various cloud applications and you do not use any middleware application yet.
If you are already using PI and you are starting to use SAP cloud applications, the pre-packaged integration flows might be interesting.
If you are an SAP customer using a non-SAP middleware solution. HCI might be interesting as it is a SaaS solution containing pre-packaged integration content.
If you are an SAP customer but also use cloud applications from other vendors and there is no integration yet. HCI might be interesting for this scenario in the future as more and more pre-packaged integration flows are being developed.
In the face of SAPs digital core strategy with HANA Cloud Platform as its center, HCI seems an unmissable linking pin for realizing the fully connected, next-generation digital enterprise. However, it is not there yet. The Web UI is not fully functional, the monitoring and the pre-packaged integration flows are limited and it lacks an overview of the system landscape directory. It is a solution with a lot of potential, but still in its infancy. If you would like to know more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.