As part of SAP Cloud Platform Integration suite, SAP offers a lightweight integration software which is called SAP Cloud platform Integration for Data Services a.k.a CPI-DS (Formerly called as HCI-DS)

CPI-DS is a cloud-based data integration tool for batch & scheduled data integration between on-premise applications and the SAP cloud platform.

CPI-DS is always overlooked as its close cousin (SAP Smart Data Integration) generally gets the spotlight. This is because CPI-DS has a limited set of features as compared to SDI. However, there are specific data/process integration scenarios where CPI-DS comes handy and can enable quick, efficient integration solution which has faster time to market.

 

ARCHITECHTURE 

CPI-DS consists of two components.

SAP Data Services Agent – this is a lightweight agent that is installed on premise. This is not to be confused with SAP Data Services which is a separate product offered by SAP.

SAP HANA Cloud Integration – this is the server component which is available on the cloud to perform table virtualization and loading the data into the Cloud Platform.

The core competency that CPI-DS is designed to address is the connectivity between on-premise systems and the SAP Cloud platform.

overview-of-sap-cloud-platform-integration-for-data-services- CPI-DS
 

The SAP Data Services agent facilitates the interaction of CPI-DS on-cloud with systems in Local landscape. It must be installed and configured for enabling data movement between on-premise and cloud systems.

The on-premise agent provides the native connectivity to all systems on-premise. This agent communicates using simple HTTPS to the cloud using a web-based user interface for configurations, integration setup and monitoring.

Multiple agents can also be configured to handle specific scenarios like load balancing large volume loads or to have failover support for agents. Agent groups can be created, and tasks can be assigned to agent groups / single agent at runtime. Switching between agents can be done at will as long as required on-premise connection exists in all.

The agents can also be configured for connectivity to other applications using standards like SOAP, REST & OData.

Further information can be obtained on CPI-DS configuration from https://help.sap.com/viewer/p/SAP_CLOUD_PLATFORM_INTEGRATION_FOR_DATA_SERVICES

 

CONNECTIVITY

Users must create Datastores in CPI-DS using the web UI which makes SAP Cloud platform Integration connect with cloud, on-premise applications and databases

The SAP cloud platform integration supports data stores for the following types of application or databases,

  • SAP Business Suite applications
  • SAP BW sources
  • SAP HANA application-clouds
    • SAP Integrated Business Planning
    • SAP SuccessFactors BizX
  • Applications that have pre-packaged or user-written adapters
  • Databases
  • File format groups
  • SOAP and REST Web services

 

LIMITATIONS of CPI-DS

CPI-DS is an option to address a specific need for data integration and the following features are not available with CPI-DS

  • Real-time replication is not possible
  • Data virtualization capabilities are limited
  • Transformation capabilities are limited as compared to SDI

 

USE CASES

Following are some of the business use cases of CPI-DS,

  • CPI-DS is the packaged integration tool delivered with SAP Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP) application along with templates which could read from SAP ERP/APO and load into SAP IBP models.
  • Integration of SAP and non-SAP applications where HANA system is not involved and heavy use of SOAP/REST/OData is needed
  • When an on-premise middleware tool like SAP Process Orchestration is not the choice, cloud based CPI-DS can be adopted as a cost efficient alternative to perform individual message processing.
  • When cloud system like SuccessFactors BizX and an on-premise system needs integration for comprehensive executive reporting needs.

In a nutshell, for integrating data into on-premise targets like SAP BW, HANA or 3rd party database, CPI-DS can be used from SCP integration tools.

 

CONCLUSION

CPI-DS does deliver unique value proposition in customer environments which demands batch mode integration between cloud applications and on-premise data warehouse which runs on 3rd party database or SAP BW / HANA.

Apart from being the de facto tool for SAP-IBP, it would be interesting to stay tuned to see how SAP would strategically position this tool in data integration space in the coming days.

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