In this blog post I want to share with you some backgrounds behind that specific announcement and how it fits into SAP’s strategy for the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
But before digging into the details around SAP’s involvement in Cloud Foundry and OpenStack let me start with some basics around SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
Use cases & business value for SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)
The SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) is SAP’s Platform-as-a-Service offering that supports three main use cases:
- HCP can be used to extend applications running in the cloud or on-premise. So if you already use other SAP cloud solutions like SuccessFactors, Ariba, or S/4 HANA you can leverage HCP to develop extensions for those solutions and create your specific extensions on top of the SAP cloud solution.
The same is true for on-premise solutions like SAP Business Suite, SAP Business Warehouse, S/4 HANA or other on-premise solutions.
- Integrating applications and data is key to avoid data silos. You get the necessary functionality and toolset to run tasks around data and process integration on HCP.
- Last but not least you can also build brand new cloud applications on HCP. The platform provides you with all the proper services to develop, deploy and manage enterprise-grade applications in the cloud.
On top of the supported use cases you get additional business value from the capabilities the platform provides to you.
- You can deliver a modern user experience to any user on every device using e.g. SAP Splash and Build, or “SAP Fiori, cloud service”.
- Leveraging the power of SAP HANA the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud enables you to analyze and visualize your data for planning and decision processes.
- Connect your physical devices like sensors and machines to the cloud with the Internet-of-Things capabilities of HCP and connect that data to your existing data from on-premise or cloud systems.
- Allow the users of your applications to better collaborate in their day-to-day work and use the corresponding collaboration capabilities that e.g. SAP Jam or the SAP Document Center provide. You can even integrate gamification mechanisms into your applications with the “SAP HANA Cloud Platform, gamification service”.
The whole platform is using open source and open standards quite extensively and allows a quick on-boarding of developers. The developers can re-use their know how in best-of-breed software and can concentrate on creating value-adding services and applications instead of learning proprietary technologies.
The feature set that SAP HANA Cloud Platform provides is big and you can get more details around all the capabilities on the hcp capabilities page.
So we have an open and powerful Platform-as-a-Service offering from SAP allowing you to develop, deploy and manage applications in the cloud.
So what is missing?
Value add of Cloud Foundry and OpenStack
Following the driving principle of HCP to provide easy adoption by leveraging and using open standards and established open source components SAP decided to be a founding member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation and also announced its platinum membership in the Cloud Foundry Foundation.
To become also more open on the underlying Infrastructure-as-a-Service layer SAP joined the OpenStack foundation and can already showcase how it is using Cloud Foundry and OpenStack to support industry specific scenarios.
So by leveraging Cloud Foundry and OpenStack the platform:
- will add additional deployment models
- will add additional programming languages/models to the platform
So these engagements emphasize SAP’s commitment to provide an open and standards-based PaaS offering to it’s customers and partners.
So what are the additional benefits that customers and partners will get along with the integration of Cloud Foundry services into HCP?
HCP will be able to not only run inside SAP data centers, but also in customer and partner data centers. With that it’ll be possible to have HCP also available in countries where by law you are not allowed to put data in data centers outside the country. Or it’ll allow to comply to industry/company specific requirements around data privacy and data security. HCP will be multi-cloud enabled.
Developers will become even more productive as they’ll get additional choice around runtimes for their applications. So besides Java, HANA XS/JS and HTML5 they’ll also be able to run applications written in PHP, NodeJS, Ruby, Python or other languages available as Cloud Foundry buildpacks.
With the platform it’ll be possible to provide pay-per-use capabilities to your applications, too.
The additional big data and IoT capabilities will enable customers and partners to drive their digital transformation even faster with SAP. Established open source components in that area will be usable in the platform.
Finally the platform will help customers and partners to reduce their vendor lock-in by using Cloud Foundry as the industry standard for PaaS offerings. At the same time the integration of Cloud Foundry into SAP HANA Cloud Platform will provide customers and partners with enterprise-grade service level agreements for Cloud Foundry services.
The road ahead for Cloud Foundry Services on HCP
So how does SAP deliver the target state of a Cloud Foundry enabled SAP HANA Cloud Platform?
In the image below you can get a rough idea what is already delivered with the beta offering. It’s mainly the functionality inside the boxes marked in orange.
In the future SAP will deliver additional steps and continuously evolve the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to provide customers and partners with a modern PaaS offering for enterprise-grade applications in the cloud.
You can access the official roadmap of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform on the corresponding slideshare account of HCP.