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SAP Cloud Platform Integration and the Rise of Hybrid

XI…..PI…..PO…..CPI…. it can be difficult to keep up with SAP’s acronym soup sometimes – so I didn’t feel too guilty when I was pulled up by a colleague recently for incorrectly referring to SAP CPI as “SAP Cloud PI”.

But one thing that I am more certain of is that SAP Cloud Platform Integration is gaining increasing traction in the market, as SAP customers start to look beyond SAP PI 7.5 and its 2027 end-of-life maintenance.

Over the past few months growing numbers of Basis Technologies customers and prospects have been asking us if they can manage SAP CPI changes via ActiveControl. And of course, the answer is yes. As we have added support for SAP CPI as part of our new Hybrid Support capability introduced with our latest ActiveControl 9.0 release.

What is Hybrid Support?

Over the past 10-15 years, more and more SAP-run organizations have been increasing their move to the cloud. This can be for many reasons, most notably to help companies react more quickly and flexibly to business requirements, to increase productivity and to reduce infrastructure costs. In some cases, the move to cloud is determined simply because certain applications (both SAP and non-SAP) are only available in the cloud as SAAS (software as a service) solutions.

But at the same time, it is also clear that many organisations do not want to move everything to the cloud. For those SAP customers, they want to use a mixture of cloud and the more traditional on-premise systems to run their business. That is where SAP BTP aims to help.

SAP Business Technology Platform

SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) has actually been around for over a decade. It was previously called SAP Cloud Platform (SAP SCP) and before that, SAP HANA Cloud Platform. A couple of rebrands and some more acronym soup later, BTP has definitely been growing in popularity as Hybrid landscapes become more prevalent.

In essence, SAP BTP takes SAP’s products, services, and solutions, and puts them under a single roof – in terms of providing one unified platform by which SAP customers can integrate across their SAP and non-SAP applications.

SAP Cloud Platform Integration is clearly a key part of enabling that integration. And since SAP customers need to make changes within SAP CPI, they want to be able to manage and deploy those changes. That is where ActiveControl will help!

How does ActiveControl 9.0 support Hybrid?

There are currently four options for deploying SAP CPI content:

  1. Manual Export and Import
  2. CTS+ (Content Transport Service)
  3. MTAR Download
  4. SAP Cloud Transport Management Service

Of those deployment options, SAP Cloud Transport Management (cloudTMS) is the SAP-recommended solution for deploying SAP CPI changes in BTP.

So, as of ActiveControl 9.0 – it is now possible to deploy change using cloudTMS, rather than the more traditional CTS+ method of deploying non-ABAP change which ActiveControl has supported for many years.

In essence, ActiveControl 9.0’s support of BTP change extends many of the core benefits of ActiveControl that our existing customers are long-familiar with whilst delivering change to ABAP/Java systems:

  1. Deliver change through a consistent approvals workflow, ensuring full governance, visibility and auditability.
  2. Automated deployments (using cloud TMS).
  3. Ensure any cross-application sequencing dependencies are met.
  4. Ensures any manual interventions are performed at the correct time.
AC9.00 allows customers using BTP to deploy MTARs and ZIPs via cTMS.

As any eagle-eyed existing customer amongst you might have already noticed from the screenshot above, ActiveControl 9.0 also introduces the first release of our exciting new single-UI web platform.

Building on the established core ActiveControl framework that our customers have been using to deliver SAP change safely, quickly and efficiently for more than 25 years – ActiveControl’s new UI5-based web interface allows us to deliver newer innovation that our customers have been asking for, including:

  • Mobile Access to ActiveControl – perform Emergency Approvals and other AC activity from your phone.
  • Approval Orchestration – enables easier cross-application Approvals to speed up the approvals process.
  • Enhanced Administration – ‘Feature Deactivation’ allows customer Administrators to create a more tailored UI for their end-users, based on the features that they do/not use. ‘Control Point Labelling’ allows customers to tailor ActiveControl standard terminology to their own individual processes, and see that propagated through the product screens.
  • A huge suite of RESTful APIs – to allow SAP customers to perform even more advanced integrations between ActiveControl and ITSM, DevOps and automated testing tools.
  • Export to CSV – easily export key information such as Analyzer results and Transport contents for offline analysis and collaboration.
  • Many new and improved analyzers – including the new ‘ShiftLeft: Transport Deployment Analysis’ that provides insight of when is the best day/time to move changes to Production based on their object contents usage.
ActiveControl 9.00 allows users to now access key ActiveControl functionalities ‘on-the-go’.

It’s been almost a decade since I worked as an SAP Change and Release Manager before joining Basis Technologies – but I still remember the abject misery of having to sit waiting in front of my PC to approve an urgent change – or to see if an important deployment had gone successfully through to Production – before I could leave the office. Fortunately, those days of being tied to a desk / PC / laptop are well and truly over with ActiveControl 9.0.

Knowing a lot of the common challenges that SAP customers face in delivering change in complex SAP estates with geographically dispersed teams – I am really excited about the problems that ActiveControl 9.0 will solve.

And it would appear that I am not the only one, judging by some of the early feedback from the first Basis Technologies customer to go-live with ActiveControl 9.0 less than 3 weeks after it was made available.

Interested in hearing more about how ActiveControl 9.0’s automation can help you spend less time chained to your PC, and more time focused on value-add activities?

Contact Basis Technologies today to learn more or schedule a demo.

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