Capping IT Off

Capping IT Off

Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

SAP's cloud integration strategy assessed 1

Category : Architecture

SAP is working on two integration solutions for integrating on premise and on demand solutions:

  • JAVA Platform-as-a-Service (jPaaS)
  • Integration-as-a-Service (INTaaS)
In two new blog posts (of which this one is the first) I will assess both solutions, using the CORA reference architecture. With this model I determine which parts of a complete integration offering are included in the SAP solutions, which ones are not and which ones require more careful investigation.

So, let's get to it.

Java Platform-as-a-Service (jPaaS) SAP provides a development platform called jPaaS which, as the name suggests, is a platform for developing and deploying cloud based applications. SAP positions jPaaS as a complete platform for running business processes (i.e. performing orchestration) in a hybrid On Premise/On Demand landscape with a focus on 'edge' applications (with ‘edge’ applications, SAP means business applications that operate at the boundaries of an organizations traditional IT landscape. I.e., edge applications focus on interacting with the outside world).

Figure 1 shows an overview of the jPaaS architecture. Because this architecture contains a component called 'Enterprise Connectivity', I will assess its capabilities regarding the integration of on premise and on demand solutions.

jPaaS overview

Looking at the jPaaS overview, the top layer suggests a platform (possibly including a market place or app store) that can be used to run SAP provided applications, customer applications and partner provided applications. The platform that will run these applications contains an assortment of components is offered, whose names suggest that jPaaS provides both development ("Development Tools"), integration (“Enterprise Connectivity”), ready made functionality ("Functional Services") and infrastructure components ("Infrastructure as a Service" and "In Memory Computing Engine").

Now let's see what happens when the components of jPaaS are mapped onto the CORA model. As the CORA model provides an overview of components that are typically found in an IT landscape, it provides a good reference of the types of components that are required to provide business applications.

jPaaS mapped to the CORA model

From the mapping in Figure 2, I  conclude that:

  • All layers are touched;
  • Not all parts of jPaaS can be mapped onto individual elements of the CORA model, due to lack of detail in the jPaaS overview;
This means that from a high level perspective, all capabilities are available to be a platform on which business applications can be provided, only the extent is unclear.

So, due to the limited information currently available, the following area’s are unclear and could be potential risks:

  • Capabilities regarding the Presentation and Channel Access layers are unclear. Only a “Mobility” element is mentioned. What other channels will be supported? What technology is used to support the capabilities within the  presentation layer?
  • "Security" is mentioned, but does it cover all aspects of the Security layer?
  • Besides  Collaboration, no orchestration/composition elements are mentioned
  • Does “Enterprise Connectivity” cover all aspects of Integration layer?
These risk area's require further research and preferably hands-on experience.

Conclusion Although jPaaS is stated as a 'Lab preview' in SAP's presentation (see list of references at the end of the post), and information is scarce, it does touch all the CORA model layers that are required to provide a development platform, including integration. However, as an individual mapping to the more detailed elements of the CORA model hardly possible at the moment, the true potential use in enterprise scenario's cannot yet be determined. Thus, as always, the details matter. Having said this, I've become very curious about jPaaS and want to learn more about it. If you have information you can share, please don’t hesitate to do so using  the comments and stay tuned for the next blog post about SAP's other solution: Integration-as-a-Service (INTaaS).


* source: Understanding SAP's Strategy for Cloud Computing (SaaS/PaaS/IaaS), Darren Crowder – Director Global CoE – Technology Platform & Innovation

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