Today, with cloud computing becoming the basis for driving digital transformation and present in most organisations, the natural next step is to integrate corporate business processes as natively as possible with cloud services to get the most out of the union of both environments.
Many applications already have their own native integration, and others can make use of the different SDKs (Software Development Kits) available on the market for a wide range of languages (GO, Node.js, Python, C++, etc.), and thus adapt their functionality to access cloud resources.
Others, however, due to their peculiarities and casuistry, do not allow easy integration with the cloud, as is the case with SAP. Although it is true that it allows integration with many of the cloud services through SAP Cloud Platform, this can add a new element to the already possible complexity of our IT environment, as well as a necessary learning curve to learn how the platform works.
Aware of the potential of enabling this type of integration, we at Linke have dedicated R&D to develop the AWS SDK for ABAP language. The result is AWS Connector for SAP, a solution that allows our customers' on-premise SAP systems to connect directly with AWS services and thus better exploit the possibilities of both environments and customise them to their specific needs.
This solution provides companies with the set of tools they need to natively connect to various AWS services by developing their own applications on an SAP system: Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) for document storage or feeding Data Lakes; real-time data processing with Amazon Kinesis; interaction with different non-relational databases such as Amazon DynamoDB or virtual ones such as Amazon Athena; integration with notification services such as Amazon Notification Service (SNS) or message queuing services such as Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), or execution of external functions with AWS Lambda.
AWS Connector, certified by SAP, makes it possible to extend business processes and take them to a new level of productivity and efficiency.
AWS Connector for SAP: use cases
One of the possible uses is to implement Amazon S3 as a content repository for the SAP system. By means of a module, included with the Add-on itself, certified by SAP and therefore 100% compatible with Archivelink we can, transparently for the end user, use Amazon S3 buckets to host all those business documents, attachments (GOS) or any type of file (DMS), which until now could be hosted in any external content server (MaxDB, Box, Documentum...) or in SAP's own **SOFFCONT1** chart. The main advantage of this use is to take advantage of the functionality of this AWS service: its storage capacity, 99.99999999999% durability, availability of 99.99%, replication between regions, etc.
Other advantages are the reduction of costs and maintenance by not using neither servers nor intermediate storage (NAS, database, EBS, etc.) and a very high level of data security whether we decide to encrypt the objects once they are stored, by using the KMS or HSM encryption protocols offered by AWS, or if we want to encrypt on the client, as it allows encryption before the data leaves the SAP server itself, through the Secure Store and Forward Mechanism.
A second module available in the AWS Connector can also be used to perform the same procedure with archiving sessions generated from standard SAP **SARA** or **DART** transactions.
Another possibility is to extract data from the SAP system and host it in Data Lakes on Amazon S3 for further processing with Data Mining, Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence tools. Using the S3 ABAP API, data extracted from BAPIs, DSOs, BADIs could be hosted in an SAP SLT or even from tables or extractors, if the necessary licences are available (please check SAP NetWeaver Foundation License). The same data can be processed with the appropriate tools and the result can be retrieved by the SAP system by invoking lambdas or querying one of the AWS databases mentioned above.
These are just some of the scenarios in which AWS Connector for SAP helps to extend or simplify our business processes. This solution is part of Linke's commitment to a new generation of tools that enable SAP users to redesign and rebuild corporate business processes to make the most of their cloud investments.