Blogs • 9 Sep 2021

Extending SAP S/4HANA Cloud with Business Technology Platform

You are using SAP S/4HANA Cloud and you need to add a custom User Interface? Or maybe a feature related to your business case that goes beyond the built-in customization capabilities of the system?

SAP provides the capability to extend your S/4HANA Cloud system, in order to connect it to other (external) systems. This is called Side-by-Side Extensibility and can be done by integrating S/4HANA Cloud with the Business Technology Platform. BTP was formerly also called SAP Cloud Platform (SCP).

What is the Business Technology Platform (BTP)?

BTP is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offered by SAP. BTP offers the possibility to bring intelligent enterprise applications together with data management, analytics, integration and extension capabilities into one platform. In this blog, I will explain a bit more about the application development side of the business technology platform. More specific the Side-by-Side extensibility.

SAP BTP

Side-by-Side extensibility

A Side-by-Side extension is a custom-developed and operated application, running next to an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. Customers who use Side-by-Side extensibility with the Business Technology Platform can build completely custom external applications in the BTP to read or post data to an S/4HANA Cloud. Such extension applications will take advantage of the broad range of services offered by SAP BTP. This will help to keep the core clean by not disrupting and putting additional load on the system core.

Side-by-Side use cases

The extension use cases include: 

  • Building completely new Fiori-based User Interfaces that can be seamlessly integrated in the Fiori Launchpad.
  • Connecting SAP S/4HANA Cloud with other SAP solutions, such as SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP Field Service Management, SAP SuccessFactors.
  • Reacting on changes in SAP S/4HANA Cloud business objects like sales orders, business partners, and others, and apply business rules on them.
  • Enhancing core business processes with analytics and machine learning capabilities

ERP extensibility then and now

Then SAP ERP extension

  • Highly-coupled extension code
  • Breaking updates
  • Not scalable
  • Reduced time-to-value

Now SAP S4 HANA

  • Well-defined extension model
  • Loosely coupled Side-by-Side extensions
  • Stable contract of SAP S/4HANA interfaces
  • Free choice of technologies
  • Individually scalable
  • Quick time-to-value

Why the need to extend SAP S/4HANA Cloud with BTP

In this use case, the customer had the need to have a custom user interface that has the capability to view the analytics of all their sales orders of their SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. By extending SAP S/4HANA Cloud with we are able to achieve more than the built-in capabilities of the S/4HANA Cloud system and make use of the broad range of services offered by SAP BTP.

How to extend SAP S/4HANA Cloud with BTP

Registering an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system on BTP will make it so that the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system is extended/has an allowed connection with the BTP. ​

Trial system

By using the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extensibility service on BTP you can create secure API access for the BTP to use data from the SAP S/4HANA Cloud on a custom application.

S4 Cloud Extensibility

When a custom application is created you can deploy this on the Business Technology Platform. The image below shows an example of a custom application for seeing all Sales orders. An analytic donut chart displays the revenue per sold to party. This application is deployed on BTP using the sales orders from an S/4HANA Cloud system.

Sales order application

What is the result of this extension/the benefits of extending S/4HANA Cloud with BTP?

Business Perspective

Business perspective

  • The benefit for the business perspective is the adaption of the standard processes to customers’ needs to bring innovation to the table. This will give a competitive advantage with custom-specific innovations for the specific business processes.

IT perspective

IT perspective

  • The decoupling of extensions and tight integration with SAP. This makes that there will be a lower effort in software upgrades. Therefore, there can happen more upgrades thus faster innovation cycles.
  • Benefit from the automated integration
  • Ensures security for accessing the extension applications

Key takeaways

In short, extending SAP S/4HANA Cloud on the BTP has many advantages:

  • The adaption of the standard processes to customer needs to bring innovation to the table.
  • The decoupling of extensions and tight integration with SAP.
  • Benefit from the automated integration
  • Ensures security for accessing the extension applications
  • Free choice of technologies
  • Individually scalable
  • Quick time-to-value

By extending SAP S/4HANA Cloud with BTP we can go beyond the built-in capabilities of the S/4HANA Cloud system and make use of the broad range of services offered by SAP BTP. This will bring innovation to the table.

Looking for a user-friendly solution on top of your standard SAP systems? Reduce the complexity of your landscape and introduce a Fiori Launchpad into your workplace!

Contact us for more info and a live demo.