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adarsh_hegde
Advisor
Advisor

Preface:


The integration of Google Workspace in SAP S/4HANA business processes is a powerful combination that can help businesses of all sizes to improve collaboration, efficiency, and decision-making. 

In this blog, you will discover an architecture that seamlessly integrates Google Chat with SAP S/4HANA via SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), optimizing the purchase order approval process for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The use case provides a comprehensive guide, offering step-by-step instructions to help you bring this customized integration on SAP BTP to life!

 

Existing integration capabilities: 


Over the past year, significant progress has been made since SAP and Google Cloud announced their expanded partnership to enable native integration capabilities between Google Workspace and SAP S/4HANA. Some of the major integrations are:

  • Google Sheets integrated in SAP S/4HANA by leveraging the SAP Document Management service running on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), enabling effortless data export from SAP UI tables and smooth data import from Google Sheets into the SAP S/4HANA system.  

  • Through SAP Build Process Automation, customers can automate the extraction of data from various Google Workspace tools and import relevant data into the SAP S/4HANA system. 


In this blog, I will demonstrate how to go beyond the native integrations and build an SAP BTP application to streamline the purchase order approval process by leveraging the capabilities of SAP BTP and Google Chat.

 

Purchase order approval scenario:


The purchase order approval workflow starts with a buyer creating a purchase order (PO) in the SAP S/4HANA system. Subsequently, an email is dispatched to the purchase manager from SAP S/4HANA. The purchase manager then proceeds to either SAP GUI or the Fiori Launchpad to conduct the approval process. However, if the purchase manager needs to discuss details of the PO with the buyer, the purchase manager would need to contact the buyer via email or other communication channel and then wait for a response. This disconnected process may sometimes lead to delays or confusion.

Introducing the familiar Google Chat experience into such an approval process can simplify the user interactions involved in the process, leading to improved productivity. 


Illustration of Purchase Order approval process via Google Chat


 

Integrate Google Chat with SAP S/4HANA with the Bridge Framework: 


Creating an application that integrates Google Chat in SAP S/4HANA processes involves building an application that facilitates connectivity with SAP S/4HANA and utilizes Google Chat APIs to manage notifications and actions within the platform. However, to streamline the entire development process, we provide a development framework called the “Bridge Framework” deployed on SAP BTP. 

Utilizing the Bridge Framework, businesses can swiftly customize and deploy applications that integrate productivity tools in SAP ecosystem. This framework empowers users to rapidly develop a tailored application, enabling users to conveniently approve purchase orders directly within the Google Chat environment. The framework also facilitates collaboration on any configured business objects, empowering users to effortlessly share a summary of the business object into any chat or space. 

The following architecture diagram illustrates how the purchase order approval process can be integrated with Google Chat via the Bridge Framework. The framework ensures that approval notifications received through SAP Event Mesh are seamlessly delivered to the relevant approvers within Google Chat. The approval action is then effectively propagated back to SAP S/4HANA utilizing the SAP destination service.


Integration architecture


To obtain a functional sample of the purchase order approval integration in Google Chat, simply follow the steps detailed in the GitHub repository. 

 


 

Benefits: 


In addition to the native integration support between SAP S/4HANA and Google Workspace (see links below), the application development approach on SAP BTP with the Bridge Framework enables users with the flexibility to build innovative solutions and bring the features of productivity tools such as Google Workspace into SAP business processes. 

In the present iteration of this integration application, the interactions between Google Chat and the SAP S/4HANA system are managed using basic authentication (username/password). Nevertheless, in a fully enterprise-ready application, authentication follows the principal propagation approach, which further simplifies the user experience and bolsters the security. 

 

Conclusion: 


I hope that this blog has sparked inspiration for you to create a personalized integration between SAP S/4HANA and Google Workspace, utilizing SAP BTP to enhance productivity in your business. Additionally, I hope it has provided you with insights into the current native integration capabilities.

There are a lot more ongoing efforts to enhance the native integration capabilities as well as the enterprise-ready tailored integrations between SAP S/4HANA and Google workspace that aim to simplify your business processes.

I would like to thank Harutyun Ter-Minasyan for his contributions in the development of this custom integration and blog. Also, special thanks to Anirban Majumdar, Sivakumar N and Dante AIipio Jr. for their guidance and support. If you have any questions or comments, please send them below in the comments section. Or for more information please reach out to paa@sap.com.  

 

Additional information: 




 
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