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SAP on Azure

SAP Cloud Platform: Developing Apps with HANA On Demand

January 26, 2021

Topics: Azure NetApp Files Elementary5 minute read

What is SAP Cloud Platform?

SAP Cloud Platform (previously called HANA Cloud Platform) makes it possible to develop and run SAP HANA applications in the cloud. With this platform as a service (PaaS) product, companies can not only create their own HANA applications, but also integrate existing applications, both on-premises and in the cloud, with other SAP or third-party environments.

The SAP Cloud Platform was initially developed as Project River, which allowed developers to access the HANA database on demand without a large initial investment.

This is part of our series of articles about SAP on Azure.

In this article, you will learn:

SAP Cloud Platform Capabilities

SAP Cloud Platform can be useful for improving communication between different departments of a company and making use of new data streams. For example, in the manufacturing industry, the platform can connect IoT sensors to the rest of the ERP to make better use of data and improve service quality and performance.

SAP Cloud Platform can also be used to develop new mobile applications and enable mobile integration of existing applications. Apple developers can use the platform’s iOS SDK, and leverage the ongoing partnership between SAP and Apple, to develop business applications for Apple devices based on SAP technology.

SAP Cloud Platform also provides a convenient user interface for business analysts, allowing them to create advanced workflows, manage projects, use machine learning algorithms, and analyze big data using Hadoop.

Related content: read our guide to SAP HANA architecture

SAP Cloud Platform Use Cases

Here are three common business use cases for the SAP Cloud Platform.

Identity Authentication

The SAP Cloud Platform authentication service supports end-to-end security for business applications. It supports authentication methods such as SAML, client certificates, username and password, and OAuth.

This lets you build applications with complete identity lifecycle management both on-premises and in the cloud, or create dedicated services for authentication, single sign-on (SSO), registration, or password reset.

Build Resilient Microservices Applications

Microservices applications can deal with application errors without interrupting service to users, and without requiring intensive manual maintenance. SAP Cloud Platform can help you build secure, flexible cloud applications, reducing frequency of errors and maintenance overhead. 

Examples of applications you can build are enterprise messaging systems, applications using multiple languages or technology platforms, hybrid applications integrating cloud and local systems, and trust/authorization systems.

Automate Product Identification with Computer Vision

SAP Cloud Platform provides built-in computer vision capabilities, allowing you to analyze image or video data without needing to train models or integrate third-party platforms. Common uses of this capability include:

  • Identifying defective parts to speed up service and repair processes, and encourage customers to replace parts faster and more accurately.
  • Optimize searches for products or items in online stores or product catalogs containing thousands of items.

SAP Cloud Platform Integration Services

SAP Cloud Platform provides two services that enable integration and customization of SAP HANA applications.

SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite

The Integration Suite lets you connect SAP Cloud Platform applications to processes, systems and data across the enterprise. Key features include:

  • API-first integration with pre-configured integration packs
  • Complete catalog of connectors for third-party applications
  • Enables publishing API endpoints for testing and sandboxing
  • Intuitive web-based tools and AI-based support
  • Governance, security and scalability

SAP Cloud Platform Extension Suite

The Extension Suite lets you create application extensions, which extend existing applications, automate routine repetitive tasks, and leverage ready-made business services developed internally by SAP. All this without disrupting workflows of core business applications.

You can also apply agile development techniques to manage the entire lifecycle of an application from development to deployment. Use low-code tools to simplify development, and provide professional developers with the ability to use familiar tools and frameworks.

SAP Cloud Platform Best Practices

Here are best practices you can use when starting a development project with SAP Cloud Platform.

Related content: 5 Ways Cloud Teams Can Ensure Successful SAP Migration and Management

Initial Setup Checklist

Before you start developing applications, make sure you have taken care of the following:

  • Governance—define how your organization will work with SAP Cloud Platform and develop an appropriate governance model.
  • Account model—create a hierarchy of accounts, directories, and sub-accounts to organize development activity.
  • Security and compliance—by default, SAP Cloud Platform applications are accessible via the Internet, so you must put in place appropriate security controls.
  • Failover—SAP Cloud Platform lets you deploy applications across multiple data centers, with high availability and automated failover, even in the event of a complete data center failure.

Leverage SAP Development Tools

The SAP Cloud Platform provides powerful development tools you can use to build your applications:

  • Cockpit—lets you manage resources, monitor applications and control your applications.
  • Cloud Connector—lets you integrate applications with on-premise resources, allowing applications to run in the local data center.
  • Cloud Foundry CLI—lets you deploy applications in the SAP cloud environment, and automate deployment and management via scripting.
  • SAP Cloud SDK—provides services like logging, networking and multi-tenancy, and lets you set up new projects based on predefined templates.

Application Monitoring

Once you develop and deploy an application using the SAP Cloud Platform, you need to ensure it is running correctly. The platform provides several ways to monitor application uptime and performance, including monitoring tools built into the SAP Cloud Platform, integrations with third-party monitoring services, and SAP operations management tools like SAP Solution Manager and Focused Run.

SAP Cloud Platform with Azure NetApp Files

Azure NetApp Files is a Microsoft Azure file storage service built on NetApp technology, giving you the file capabilities in Azure even your core business applications require.

Get enterprise-grade data management and storage to Azure so you can manage your workloads and applications with ease, and move all of your file-based applications to the cloud.

Azure NetApp Files is certified to work with SAP HANA and solves availability and performance challenges for your production landscapes.

With built-in enterprise data management capabilities, Azure NetApp Files lowers your business risk profile and reduces the time to backup and recover your database in the case of data center disruptions or disaster. Azure NetApp Files can accelerate SAP HANA deployments, reduce costs and development/testing projects, and provide increased agility for your business processes.

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