By Garth Liebenberg – ERP Technical Services Consultant.
The SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) is where customers can create bespoke extensions to SAP cloud and even on-premise solutions. Customers can also purchase partner extensions to add value and functionality to their current solutions. This blog aims to provide all the information about HCP that a customer would need to know when deciding to extend their solutions.
What is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform and why do you need it?
To answer this question, lets consider a scenario where you want to create a bespoke application that extends the SuccessFactors solution. As SuccessFactors is a cloud solution, it would only make sense to have your bespoke application in the cloud as well. Where do you find this space in the cloud to create your application? The answer is the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). The HCP is SAP’s Platform and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (PaaS and Iaas) offering that allows customers and partners to create bespoke extensions. These extensions can connect to your SAP Cloud, on-premise or even third party solutions. All that is needed to start using HCP is purchasing an account from SAP. The minimum contract length is only three months, which allows customers to test out HCP without a huge commitment.
The HCP resides in the same data centre as your cloud Customer Account (SAP Solution), this being SuccessFactors, SAP Cloud for Customer, Ariba…. This allows for maximum security and minimum latency (secure and fast).
Once the customer HCP account is configured to interact with a Customer Account, it is referred to as a Customer Extension Account. This interaction usually involves using standardized destinations and identity propagation (allowing for Single-Sign-On).
There are three extension scenarios:
1. Bespoke/Custom Development. The application resides on the customer HCP account and uses the customer HCP resources.
2. Independent Software Vendor (ISV). A partner extension application is purchased and copied over to the customer HCP account and uses the customer HCP resources.
3. Embedded Platform-as-a-Service. A partner application is purchased and run as a service. This means the application resides on the partner HCP account and uses the partner HCP resources. With this type of extension scenario, the customer does not need their own HCP account. This allows for simple and fast extensions of SAP software. There are two options when it comes to Embedded-as-a-Service applications. There are single-tenant and multi-tenant applications. What this means is that either a customer has their own instance of the application running or a shared instance. Single-tenant is thus more expensive as dedicated resources are reserved for a customer. In both cases a customer’s data is isolated ensuring data privacy. To look at it another way: a single-tenant application can be seen as an Enterprise edition and can have customer specific enhancements, a multi-tenant can be seen as a Professional edition with no customer specific enhancements possible.