SAP BTP – Business Technology Platform – An overview

SAP BTP – Business Technology Platform – An overview

Abstract

Today, one of the most important things for management is to react quickly and flexibly. SAP Business Technology Platform is the foundation for the Intelligent Enterprise. Customers should be able to build, integrate & extend business applications with development agility & speed. SAP BTP envisions to serve as the unified, business-centric, and open data and development platform for the entire SAP ecosystem.

SAP BTP

SAP BTP brings together intelligent enterprise applications with database and data management, analytics, integration and extension capabilities, and intelligent technologies into one platform for both cloud and hybrid environments. SAP BTP empowers SAP developers, customers and partners to integrate, create value from data, and extend in SAP landscapes.

Introduction

SAP Business Technology Platform (popularly called SAP BTP) is the unified, business-centric open data and development platform for the entire SAP ecosystem. With utmost development efficiency and built on a stable multi-cloud foundation, SAP BTP empowers SAP developers and customers to integrate and create value from data, and extend within and outside SAP landscapes. SAP BTP enables SAP developers, customers, and partners to integrate and extend their SAP landscape as well as create value from data from SAP and third-party applications. This ensures long-term success through agility and continual innovation. SAP customers will be able to consume a constantly growing repository of new, innovative product features. This enhances the value for  customers. SAP BTP provides tooling for different developer personas.

SAP BTP offers a multi-cloud foundation that provides modern, flexible, and cloud-native developer tooling. It also enables best-in-class data and process integration based on events and harmonised data models. SAP BTP now delivers a unified experience for integration, value from data and extensibility for all end-to-end processes. This manifests in a harmonised user experience across applications and technologies. SAP BTP capabilities are really focused on the business outcomes in and around SAP landscapes. BTP offers tooling that is specific to the processes and data, and built-in security and compliance will make sure the business critical information is safeguarded. BTP capabilities simplify development and accelerate integration in an open cloud platform. Customers can use SAP BTP services to easily extend and integrate with any SAP or third-party solution using pre-built integrations.

Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement Credits

Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement Credits can be used as a pre-paid debit card for different services on the SAP Business Technology Platform. You can extend and integrate with any other solution. There are a variety of different services on the SAP Business Technology Platform that can be consumed with CPEA credits.

The SAP Integration Suite running on the SAP BTP can always be used to deploy integration packages. It flows from SAP API Business Hub, or creates unique integration packages and flows.

Customers can leverage the SAP BTP to develop and host cloud-native integrations and applications to connect their solutions. SAP BTP enables a unified user experience, security, workflow inboxes, data semantics, analytics, lifecycle management and process architectures. AI, ML, IoT, advanced analytics and new applications seamlessly integrate with your landscape.

SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is an open platform as a service (PaaS)

SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) is an open platform as a service (PaaS) that delivers in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique microservices for building and extending intelligent, mobile-enabled cloud applications. This is designed to accelerate digital transformation by helping you quickly, easily, and economically develop the exact application you need – without investing in on-premises infrastructure.

Please refer to the below link for more information.
https://www.sap.com/products/business-technology-platform.html

This consists mainly of three pillars:

1. Integration
2. Data to Value
3. Extensibility

SAP BTP consumes cloud infrastructure services in order to leverage hyperscale economies of scale. BTP offers many services and applications under four main functions:
1. Database and Data Management
Refer : https://www.sap.com/datamanagement
2. Analytics
Refer : https://www.sap.com/analytics
3. Application Development and Integration
Refer : https://www.sap.com/products/application-development-integration.html
4. Intelligent Technologies


Customer Flexibility in Pricing Options

Customers who are planning to use SAP BTP must choose the right licensing for their needs. There are three options and you may contact an SAP sales representative for real-time information:
1. Pay-As-You-Go
2. SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA)
3. Subscription

Pay-As-You-Go

This option lets the customer sign up to start using cloud services in their production environment with no upfront cost, no minimum usage requirements and no financial commitments. Pay-As-You-Go for SAP BTP helps to grow without any constraints. This option allows customer to build applications in their production environment and they pay based on their use. We can respond based on business need and can also avoid low or maximum provisioning with this option.

Register for an account and get started in your production environment quickly and easily.

• Use eligible services at no upfront cost, and there are no minimum usage requirements
• No financial obligation for unused services
• The contract is automatically renewed every three months (separate contracts)
• Monthly bills only for services used

SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA)

This option allows for the consumption of cloud credits based on actual usage. I believe this option gives more flexibility. Customer can access all services available under CPEA and configure them in their global account. Even though SAP includes new features that also can be accessed.

Configure and scale cloud services with agility by accessing qualified servers immediately.

• With SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA), purchase and use cloud credits for eligible services
• Prepaid consumption of services with cloud credits
• Pay upfront when using cloud credits
• Add credits to your account multiple times during the redemption period
• User Rating Tool

Subscription

This option lets the customer choose a fixed set of services for a fixed rate, regardless of actual consumption. The entitled services can be used up to the limit of your purchased subscription. If you know what you really use, then this option would be better.

Get a fixed price and duration of access to subscribed services to use as your business requires.

• Modify your contract to access more services
• Pay a fixed cost regardless of consumption
• Pay in advance at the start of the contract period
• Renew the subscription at the end of the period

Free tier services

Customers may be able to use free tier services in a productive global SAP BTP account. These free tier services work like the paid ones but with capped usage. Based on need, customers may change a free tier service to a paid plan. Please contact an SAP salesperson regarding this.

• Leverage your existing productive SAP BTP accounts with free service tiers
• Create instances of services with free tier plans and limited usage for each individual service
• You can easily change a service instance from the free tier to a paid plan

To use this free tier service, customers are required to have a CPEA or Pay-As-You-Go contract with SAP. Refer to the below link:
https://store.sap.com/dcp/en/product/display-9999951781_live_v1
Customers need to contact SAP for full information and updated information.

SAP BTP Account Model

Accounts in SAP Business Technology Platform are structured according to global accounts, directories, and subaccounts.
A global account represents customers’ signed contract with SAP. Billing is based on the entitlements you order to use platform resources.

Subaccounts
Subaccounts let you structure a global account according to your organisation’s and project’s requirements with regard to members, authorisations, and entitlements. A global account can contain one or more subaccounts.

Application Development

With the capabilities of Application Development, we can achieve three key values:
1. Digital Experience:
Deliver consistent, collaborative experiences for your business applications.
2. Digital Process Automation:
This can potentially results in task automations, workflow automations and more.
3. Development Efficiency:
Develop and manage your enterprise application extensions or custom developments across any landscape with effective tools.
This will increase the quality of your developments and improve the developer experience. Refer to the below link for more details:
https://www.sap.com/products/business-technology-platform/low-code.html

What is Low Code/No Code (LC/NC)?

Combined with new low-code/no-code enterprise technology, it gives power to those who don’t write code, but who have a good understanding of business needs and challenges. implement LC/NC in your company and to take on your new role as a citizen developer. Simply put, no-code development is primarily intended for those who aren’t comfortable with coding their own software – even those who have no knowledge of programming and application development.

Using low-code development is more complex than no-code. No-code development is primarily intended to help employees that are process experts to automate tasks, build applications, or otherwise optimise their own business activities. Professional developers use no-code tools to accelerate their basic development work so that they can focus on more complicated concepts. Low-code development is designed for employees with software knowledge.

The Low-Code/No-Code offering can be accessed by the Citizen Developer through the overview page. This is called the Project Studio but sometimes referred to as Lobby, as the name has not yet been finalised. A Citizen Developer can start their projects and build apps, in app-extensions, workflows and automations.

There is one access point to access the LC/NC suite, including:
Application Development with:
• AppGyver No-Code
• BAS Low-Code
Process Automation with Workflow, iRPA, ML/AI.
Digital Experience with Work Zone, Launchpad, Mobile Start

Development Tools

Below are Developer Tools:
• Business application studio
• ABAP development tools
• SAP BTP cockpit

The Business Application Studio is a modern, flexible and extensible development environment for building applications for the intelligent enterprise. The ABAP Development Tools is a collection of capabilities regarding ABAP programming based on the Eclipse IDE.
Refer to https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/#abap

Refer to the below link for Installing ABAP Development Tools
https://help.sap.com/doc/2e9cf4a457d84c7a81f33d8c3fdd9694/Cloud/en-US/inst_guide_abap_development_tools.pdf

The SAP BTP Cockpit is the tool of choice for all administration or operational tasks.

What is CI/CD Pipeline?

CI = Continuous Integration
CD = Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment
The goal of CI/CD is to automate as many steps of software development as possible in order to minimise manual effort.

Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration is the foundation, which includes several principles. Ultimately, there is always a stable build available.

Continuous Delivery
On top of Continuous Integration is Continuous Delivery. While a stable build is always available with CI, Continuous Delivery defines the software in such a way that it is ready for deployment on the production system.

Continuous Integration (CI) is one of the agile principles, while Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CD) is a combination of agile methodology techniques and a high-quality delivery process.

For more information, refer to the below link:
https://help.sap.com/viewer/8cacec64ed854b2a88e9a0973e0f97a2/Cloud/en-US/e9fa320181124fa9808d4446a1bf69dd.html

The capabilities allow developers what they need for developing extensions or custom programs. It increases development productivity with tools like SAP Business Application Studio and the CI/CD service for automated deployments. It directly or indirectly enhances user productivity.

Planning & Prediction using SAP Analytics Cloud

How good is it if business users can analyse the data themselves? With SAP Analytics Cloud a cloud-based, self-service business intelligence solution with integrated planning and predictive capabilities, end users will be able to create their own reports based on their business need. IT can also concentrate on other applications that will be useful to inform of formal reports and dashboards based on planning needs.

SAP Analytics Cloud has content. This content can be customised based on business needs & reporting needs. SAP Analytics Cloud helps in decision making. Using SAP Analytics Cloud’s planning capabilities, customers will be able to perform planning, budgets, forecasts and reports faster and can also do what-if analysis.

This is just an overview. I suggest reading the full content from the SAP links provided in this article, along with other SAP material to learn SAP BTP and to understand how it empowers customers to become intelligent enterprises.

About the Author:
Dr. Ravi Surya Subrahmanyam is a technical and Financials writer with a background in SAP Financial Accounting, Funds Management, Group Reporting, Financial Supply Chain Management, Cash Management & in-house cash, SAP S/4 HANA Finance. He has been working as a Senior Director for SAP Practice for an US based Company in Hyderabad. . He completed Master’s degree in Finance from Central University, Master of Commerce from Osmania University, Master of Commerce from Andhra University, and Ph.D.in Finance from one of the best universities in India. His research Papers have been published in National and International magazines. He has been a Visiting Instructor for SAP India Education and SAP Indonesia – Education. He has been working on Conversion and Upgradation projects. He is a Certified Solution Architect for SAP S/4 HANA and an SAP S/4HANA Certified Professional. He can be reached at sravi@answerthink.com or fico_rss@yahoo.com

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