SAP introduced a cloud-based development platform in 2013, initially known as the SAP Cloud Platform. In January 2021, SAP renamed it to SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) and included new features. Let’s take a closer look at BTP’s underlying components and capabilities.
What Happened to the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP)?
The SAP Cloud Platform offered a wide range of services, tools, APIs, and other features that allowed you to integrate and extend your applications. For Example, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) services provide actionable insights and analytics capabilities. This was accomplished by integrating SAC with a customer’s on-premise systems. With BTP, SAP wants to create a uniform technology base for all SAP applications by allowing customers to become “intelligent enterprises.” In order to avoid confusion between the SAP Cloud Platform and BTP, all the offerings from the SAP Cloud Platform have been integrated into BTP.
What is BTP?
SAP’s Business Technology Platform, or BTP, is a cloud-based PaaS (Platform as a Service). Like Solution Manager, BTP does not consist of a single system. Instead, it’s a portfolio of SAP products, services, and solutions under a common umbrella. SAP BTP allows users to build and extend SAP applications quickly. Using BTP, customer business processes can expand, integrate, and develop applications in on-premise development environments or the cloud. BTP software solutions reside in a completely different system communicating with the SAP ERP platform through approved APIs.
BTP architecture is flexible, decoupled, and open. Customers can pick and choose what they want to use from the offering and only pay for the services they use, not the entire package.
What is included in SAP BTP?
BTP is a collection of on-premise and cloud products under four technology pillars.
- Database and Data Management
- Application Development and Integration
- Intelligent Technologies
Let us dive deeper into these four pillars to understand what products and services are within them.
Database and Data Management
Data drives our world. Various technologies and applications allow organizations to collect vast amounts of data about sales, products, customer behavior, etc. Business success depends on what you do with the data you collect, how you analyze it, and what you do with the results. However, most businesses fail to optimally utilize this information to their advantage. Database and Data Management allows organizations to transform customer data into value.
SAP HANA (High-performance Analytic Appliance) uses a columnar in-memory database technology. HANA database stores data in memory instead of on a disk. Data processing is magnitudes faster than traditional RDBMS technologies and disk-based data systems, allowing for advanced, real-time analytics. SAP HANA can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid cloud system.
SAP HANA CLOUD
SAP HANA Cloud is the SAP HANA database on the cloud. It is a Database as a service offering (DBaaS). It provides the flexibility to build cloud applications in less time. It can scale to meet growing customer demands and provide deep integration with on-premise and cloud systems. Any analytics tool can consume the analyzed data.
SAP IQ is a columnar relational database management system (RDBMS) optimized for Big Data analytics. Its ability to compress raw data can significantly reduce storage costs. These days, organizations maintain huge data volumes. With SAP IQ, organizations can more effectively store and extractvalue from massive data volumes. Customers can place SAP IQ on-premise or in the cloud.
SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise
SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise is a high-performance, row-based, relational database management system (RDBMS) well-suited for mission-critical, data-intensive transactional use cases. It is capable of processing massive amounts of data. It also can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
SAP SQL Anywhere
SQL Anywhere, a traditional relational database management system (RDBMS), can be embedded inside other applications and store and process information in non-traditional ways. It has a tiny memory footprint and can run on smaller devices such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. This technology can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
Having a single trusted view of data across your organization is critical. Users can effectively analyze and act on this business-critical information when accessing a single, aggregated version. The following SAP data management solutions provide these capabilities.
Master Data Governance
In SAP Master Data Governance (SAP MDG), enterprise master data is consolidated and created, data management workflows are defined, and data quality is determined. It allows you to govern the creation, change, and distribution of master data.
SAP Data Intelligence
SAP Data Intelligence can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. In SAP Data Intelligence, artificial intelligence and machine learning are combined to use siloed data more effectively. SAP Data Hub was fully integrated into SAP Data Intelligence in Q2-2020, adding orchestration, discovery, refinement, and governance capabilities.
SAP Information Steward
Data quality can be discovered, assessed, defined, monitored, and improved with SAP Information Steward. It allows you to understand how your data’s quality impacts your business processes to enhance operational, analytical, and data governance initiatives.
SAP Data Quality Management, Microservices for Location Data (DQM)
DQM is used to ensure the contact information is accurate. Cloud-based microservices are offered by the DQM for address cleansing, geocoding, and reverse geocoding. The value of complete and accurate address data can be quickly realized by embedding address cleansing and enrichment services into any business process or application.
SAP Power Designer
With SAP power designer, you can visualize the impact of change before it occurs by building a blueprint of your current enterprise architecture. With data modeling and metadata management capabilities, companies can capture architecture layers links and requirements, tap into a robust metadata repository, and share discoveries with their team. It is deployed on-premise.
SAP Information Lifecycle Management (SAP ILM)
With its data retention policy and pre-configured rules, SAP Information Lifecycle Management (SAP ILM) allows SAP customers to manage the entire data lifecycle, including data deletion and archiving, in an automated and compliant manner.
SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server
SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server supports real-time replication of data loads or schedules data loads from SAP or third-party systems to SAP HANA to run applications and analyze data quickly. Organizations can monitor and troubleshoot load operations to ensure high quality.
SAP Data Services:
SAP Data Services is used to manage and work with stored information. It can integrate with SAP and non-SAP systems and offers data integration, quality, cleansing, and transformation. It is deployed on-premise.
SAP Partner Extensions:
The SAP ecosystem has several partner data management solutions that can be leveraged in BTP.
- SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management by OpenText is a content management solution that includes Document Management, Records Management, Archiving, Workflow, and Collaboration. This allows customers to manage the complete content lifecycle, from creation, sharing, approvals, publication, search archiving, retention, and destruction – all within the business process context. It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
- SAP Advanced Data Migration and Management by Syniti is a cloud application that helps extract, transform, and harmonize data.
- SAP Master Data Governance, an enterprise asset management extension by Utopia, helps unify and streamline data governance processes. It is deployed on-premise.
Products under the analytics pillar can plan, forecast, and make faster and more intelligent decisions, enabling organizations to become more insight-driven. There are several analytics-related applications within BTP that analyze data and provide insights.
Business Intelligence (BI):
BI tools help make informed decisions faster.
SAP Analytics Cloud for business intelligence
SAP Analytics Cloud is a SaaS solution that provides analytics functionalities such as Planning, Predictive, and Business Intelligence in one user interface, saving time and effort while making better decisions.
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence is an on-premise data reporting, visualization, and sharing application. It consists of reporting that allows one to discover data, perform analysis to get insights and create reports that visualize the insights.
SAP Crystal Solutions
SAP Crystal solutions is an on-premise application designed to help data visualization, data analysis, reporting, data sharing, and distribution in various formats for small and mid-size companies.
SAP data warehousing products help companies build a centralized analytics repository for their data to simplify and optimize reporting and analytics operations.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud solution provides Database, data modeling, data management, connectivity, virtualization, and access across the enterprise for analytics and planning.
SAP HANA and SAP HANA Cloud
SAP HANA and SAP HANA Cloud are in-memory offerings from SAP. They provide a single place to access, store, and process all enterprise data in real-time.
SAP BW/4HANA is SAP Business Warehouse designed to only run on SAP HANA to leverage key HANA in-memory capabilities and performance. It is deployed on-premise.
These products help enterprises collaborate and make faster real-time decisions by redefining processes and removing data silos.
SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning
Cloud-based SAP Analytics Cloud combines analytics and planning in one solution. Customer insights can be turned into actions quickly, business outcomes can be simulated, and plans can be generated automatically to drive agile decision-making. SAP Analytics Cloud for planning comes with hundreds of prebuilt best practice SAP business content packages for different lines of business, which would accelerate the planning.
SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) allows you to plan, budget, forecast, and consolidate financial data, so you can easily adjust plans and projections, speed up the budgeting and closing processes, and ensure compliance with financial reporting requirements. It can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.
Application Development and Integration:
This pillar provides customization accelerators supporting agile business process innovation. Customers can extend their current application by building customizations faster and integrating with different systems.
SAP Extension Suite
Maintaining customizations of applications can become increasingly complex as customer environments move toward modern technologies and the cloud. There is constant pressure on development teams to adapt to emerging technologies, address changing business needs, and comply with new regulations. SAP offers SAP Extension Suite to provide customers with a modern, maintainable business application. Rapidly building and enhancing enterprise processes, applications, and experiences is possible through this method.
Source: SAP Insider
Let’s take a look at what the SAP extension suite has to offer.
Digital experience is all about delivering collaborative experiences across all business applications. Using mobile apps, conversational bots, and SAP Fiori-based web applications, these tools can help organizations build an engaging and consistent user experience. In addition to developers, end users can use these tools to create business content, collaborate, and consume information. Examples include SAP Fiori, SAP Work Zone, SAP Launchpad, and SAP Conversational AI.
The tools in this area help Developers with their daily tasks by facilitating rapid development by supplying software development kits (SDKs) and recommending application architectures.
Using low-code, graphical development tools such as SAP Business Application Studio facilitates collaboration between business users and developers on data, processes, and the user experience, helping to improve development efficiency.
Digital Process Automation:
With Digital process automation tools, businesses can automate, enhance, and adapt business processes beyond what standard software can do. Several convenient low-code tools are available for process owners to use and customize process templates about local compliance requirements or build new processes from scratch. Examples include SAP Workflow Management, SAP intelligent RPA, SAP Ruum, and more.
SAP Integration Suite:
Integration, the foundation of an intelligent enterprise, is becoming an organization’s number one strategic priority. Businesses can make the right decisions at the right time by connecting customer, product, employee, and brand experiences with business operations continuously and in real time. SAP Integration Suite enables you to integrate on-premise and cloud-based applications and processes with SAP-hosted tools and prebuilt content using this integration platform (iPaaS) service.
It supports many integration approaches with a catalog of thousands of prebuilt integrations and hundreds of connectors. Through cloud-native process integration, businesses can quickly extend their business processes with new cloud applications using a standard interface, connecting ground-to-ground, ground-to-cloud, and cloud-to-cloud applications.
This pillar helps customers take their operations to a new technical level by introducing newer innovations. Products under this pillar fall under Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT).
The Following SAP products are available in AI:
SAP Intelligent RPA
Robotic Process Automation from SAP lets you automate enterprise business processes with a single integrated solution, including:
- Automation of structured processes through workflows.
- Automated decision-making based on business rules.
- Automation of repetitive manual tasks using bots.
- Intelligent document processing using AI.
SAP Conversational AI
A low-code chatbot platform explicitly designed for enterprises, SAP Conversational AI, is an end-to-end chatbot service. Using NLP (Natural language processing) technology, world-class chatbots can be created in any language by analyzing text inputs. AI-powered chatbots can be built, trained, tested, connected, and monitored in a single interface, helping to streamline user experiences across SAP and third-party solutions. Customers can deploy chatbots quickly, securely, and efficiently.
SAP AI Business Services
SAP AI Business Services provide strategic machine learning capabilities that help you automate and optimize business processes while enriching the customer experience. It is common for customers and partners to spend a significant amount of time working on short-term, time-consuming tasks, which leaves them needing more time to focus on more long-term, strategic, and innovative tasks. SAP AI Business Services provides pre-trained, reusable AI services on business-relevant data that automate and optimize corporate processes, allowing AI to be used across the entire organization.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the network of billions of physical devices that share and collect data over the Internet. SAP has the following solutions for IoT needs.
SAP Internet of Things
When we are not physically present, IoT devices act as our eyes and ears, collecting whatever key data points to drive value and greater efficiencies. By collecting and analyzing that data, we can then inform and automate subsequent actions. Through SAP IoT business services, you can integrate sensor data into a business object’s context and leverage it in analytical and transactional applications near real-time, using query models, rules, events, and actions.
SAP Edge Services
With SAP Edge Services, business processes can be executed locally whenever there is intermittent connectivity or core processing goes offline. This improves the customer experience and results. It reduces data transmission and communication costs through data throttling and upstream channel optimization. It enables you to make real-time decisions by processing and analyzing data without latency.
Advantages of SAP Business Technology Platform
SAP BTP offers an extensive set of products and capabilities.
- Real-time insight and data-driven decisions based on a unified data view across various systems and platforms.
- Seamless data exchange between SAP, non-SAP, and third-party solutions.
- Customize existing applications or develop solutions from scratch to better meet business needs.
- Securely connect your systems and share information throughout your organization with open technology standards.
- Boost operational agility and reduce costs with real-time analytics that anticipate changes in demand, manage inventory more efficiently and reduce costs.
- Leverage data across your organization more effectively to develop new products faster.
Like a Solution Manager, SAP BTP aggregates many products and capabilities. SAP customers need to understand which specific BTP components will add value to their operations and initiatives and implement them to their advantage