Category: Blog artikelen
Author: Michiel van Sebille, Service Coördinator/ SAP Consultant

SAP CE; what’s next?

In today's IT era, it seems that the future lies in the Cloud. We see companies moving entire IT landscapes to the Cloud. Other companies are tackling it step by step by implementing one or more SAAS solutions within their organization. About 10 years ago, the term SOA (Services Oriented Architecture) was very hot. I think I even heard once that SOA was even sold when it wasn't even a product or service.

SAP Composition Environment

The SAP Composition Environment is a product that is a key element, especially in a SAP oriented landscape, to help realise an SOA. SAP offers with the Composition Environment a platform on which web applications are developed with the possibility of integration with an existing SAP landscape as well as third party systems. These applications can then be accessed via the SAP Portal, which is also present on SAP CE as a component. 10 years ago Java Web Dynpro was the standard for the frontend development, which is currently evaluated to SAP UI5 and OPEN UI5.

Companies that have currently implemented SAP CE will have to upgrade to the latest version of Netweaver by the end of 2020; namely 7.5. However, such an upgrade involves a lot of work, especially when complex applications are built on it. This has to do with the upgrade of both Netweaver and Java, which rises from version 1.6 to 1.8. Moreover, an end-of-maintenance of the latest Netweaver version is already known and will be released at the end of 2024.

Alternative options for SAP CE

It is wise to think about making such an investment now or just when the time has come to change strategy and replace SAP CE. My experience is that the companies that have implemented SAP CE have the goal of being able to offer specific compiled data to the end users. Without the need to open 6 or 7 SAP screens and other applications.

If such applications have been created on SAP CE to merge the data from multiple systems and make it accessible via web applications, which cannot be overcome by a standard SAAS, a Platform As A Service (PAAS) is the solution for the replacement of SAP CE. With a PAAS, the end customer has control over which applications he can implement and there is also the possibility to further develop the applications themselves.

All maintenance of Hardware, Servers, Operating Systems and Runtime is offered as a service and the customer no longer has to worry about this. If the customer wants to have more control over Runtime, Middleware and Operating Systems, they can decide to switch to an Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS).

The most obvious step is to deploy SAP Cloud Platform (SCP). Especially if the business processes can be overcome with the standard Fiori applications. Moreover, SAP Cloud Platform allows you to perfectly develop applications for both Web and App.

SCP's Development kit already offers a wide range of services and features that allow you to use and deploy multiple components. As a replacement for the Portal, people will therefore switch to the Fiori Dashboard and can also reuse it for other applications that are not made in SAP. The functionality "Bring your own language" can also be an advantage to use SAP Cloud Platform as a replacement for SAP CE. This way the developers of SAP CE do not have to learn a new syntax.

SAP Cloud Platform as successor to SAP CE

Within Oliver IT we now have several specialists who have gained extensive experience with the SAP Cloud Platform and experience shows that we can now appoint the successor of SAP CE. Especially within an SAP landscape, this is a logical choice.

Oliver Elements; a worthy alternative

If you are looking for an alternative to the SAP Cloud Platform, then Oliver Elements is 'the platform' par excellence to replace SAP CE. Oliver Elements is a 'Cloud Platform' and includes a number of Open Source components. By means of Oliver Elements all facets of SAP CE can be covered. Things such as Usermanagement, an own Portal, Data Storage, Monitoring and Integration with multiple systems are all present.

Because the supplier Oliver IT also has multiple SAP consultants, the integration with one or more SAP Backend systems is well known territory. What's more, the consultants at Oliver IT are all familiar with the phenomenon of SOA and have taken the ideas behind SAP CE as a starting point to develop this platform.

In addition, you can now also see at Oliver Elements that the deployment of other SaaS products is making more and more possible. This is because they are already using several SaaS products. In this way, data analyses can be carried out directly on the data collected by means of the specific application. There are possibilities to run data reports.

Of course I have a slight preference for Oliver Elements, but I really believe in this product. It offers a future not only in the short term, but also in the long term. Where things like Machine Learning and IoT really come into play. This makes you independent of SAP, which of course offers a lot of freedom in the choices you make.

A future-proof platform

With a platform such as Oliver Elements or SAP Cloud Platform, I believe you can be sure for the next technological generation that the current business of SAP CE will be supported. In addition, you are also immediately ready for the future to provide the existing applications and new applications with multiple features that are possible in the future.

If a choice has to be made between Oliver Elements and SAP Cloud Platform, Oliver IT can certainly play a helping role in this. First of all, Oliver IT looks at the situation and landscape of the customer. In addition, the company's vision of the future plays a major role. From Oliver IT, our SCP consultants and OE consultants look at the best choice for the company and provide a list of advantages and disadvantages per platform.

If you have SAP CE and you think 'what's next', Oliver IT will be happy to advise you!

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Eddy Driessen Consultant
Eddy Driessen