You can integrate SAP Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP) systems with three different approaches. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the SAP Cloud Platform integration option.
What is SAP Cloud Platform?
SAP Cloud Platform is a comprehensive, in-memory application tool for integration, enterprise mobility, collaboration, and analytics. In this blog, we’ll focus our discussion on its integration capabilities. SAP Cloud Platform is required for automated data integration to SAP IBP from an SAP environment or from another legacy application.
Integration through SAP Cloud Platform is executed through batch jobs. The frequency of the data transfer depends on the frequency adopted for the batch job execution.
Integrating SAP IBP with SAP Cloud Platform
The necessary steps for data integration using SAP Cloud Platform are as follows:
- 1. Installation and configuration
- 2. Data store creation
- 3. Project, task, data flow, and process creation
Let’s take a look at all three steps in more depth.
1 Install and Configure SAP Cloud Platform
Installing an SAP Cloud Platform agent enables the data transfer between an on-premise data source and the cloud-based SAP IBP system. These agents help enable the secure transfer of data between on-premise data sources and SAP Cloud Platform. Agent installation and configuration can be performed by following the steps provided in the SAP Data Service Agent Guide. After a successful installation and configuration, the conduit for data movements can be used for data flow.
2 Create the Data Store
Data stores are created to connect SAP Cloud Platform with the customer’s application and database. Through a data store connection, SAP Cloud Platform can read the data from the data store and write it to the SAP IBP system as well as take the data from SAP IBP and write it back to the on-premise data system.
Data stores are created in the SAP Cloud Platform web user interface. The objects or data elements in the data stores are available for use by importing the objects via SAP Cloud Platform.
3 Create the Project, Task, Data Flow, and Process
A project created in SAP Cloud Platform is a container to hold similar processes and tasks. The next figure shows the conceptual functionalities of the project, process, task, and data flow. A task is created under a project. Data flow maps the fields with the extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) logic.
The following figure shows an example of a project, process, and task. The Edit, View, Schedule, Run Now, View History, and More Actions buttons are used for multiple operations with tasks and processes such as editing a task, executing a process chain, viewing the history of previous runs, or promoting objects to the production environment. The data flow for the task allows the mapping of source and target fields through an easy drag-and-drop functionality.
The next figure shows a typical data flow for the location master data task. A process is created by taking multiple tasks with an assigned start and end relationship. The process provides the option of executing multiple tasks in a required sequence.
The following figure shows a process with multiple master data tasks assigned with a start-to-end relationship in a linear fashion. In this example, the task for location/product master data transfer represented by DF_LOCPRD is executed after execution of the location, customer, and product tasks.
For the final step, execute the process/task. Execution of a task performs the data transfer for the data element selected for the task. A global variable is part of the execution property of a task and controls the logic for task execution for the planning area, per the nature of the update, and so on. Update nature controls whether the data transfer follows an insert/update, replace, or delete methodology.
The Insert/Update option adds the data in the target table from the source table without impacting the existing data in the target system. The Replace option removes the existing data in the target system while loading the data from the source system. The Delete option will only remove the data in the target system while using the data from the source system.
Processes and tasks can be executed manually on demand or can be scheduled through batch jobs. A batch job can be scheduled for a single execution or can be executed periodically. Success or failure of the task is displayed in the SAP Cloud Platform through a symbol and a color (green for success and red for failure). SAP Cloud Platform’s dashboard functionality also shows analytics about previously completed tasks and provides information about tasks scheduled for execution.
When it comes to integrating SAP IBP with SAP systems, choosing the SAP Cloud Platform approach is one of three options you can choose from. This blog laid out the steps necessary to integrate with SAP Cloud Platform. By following them, you’ll have an integrated SAP IBP system ready to being your business planning activities.
Editor’s note: This post has been adapted from a section of the book SAP Integrated Business Planning: Functionality and Implementation by Sandy Markin and Amit Sinha.