I enjoyed meeting customers face-to-face at SAP TechEd 2022 a couple of weeks ago. Being back in person in Las Vegas was great, supporting hands-on lab sessions, and promoting our SAP BTP Use Cases. One of our featured use cases, which you can try out with SAP BTP free tier service plans, is Create simple, connected experiences with API-based integration. You may have seen this recent post by my colleague, cameron.khorsandi, on the low-code aspects of the mission. In this post, I want to deep dive into the pro-code components that the team and I released, to help you monetize your company's API with the help of Stripe, a leading payment processing platform.
API monetization isn't a new subject, but it's one that SAP customers and partners frequently clamor for. At SAP we monetize our own API, for example, the AI Business Services you can find on the SAP Discovery Center. Both customers and partners look for ways to create new revenue streams by capitalizing on their software systems, to provide integration with their own customers and partners. For example, a manufacturer might offer downstream integration to their customers to provide better visibility into the supply chain, or enable customers to check available stock and request a price quote for products they want to purchase.
Let's use an example:
A company has business applications, such as SAP S/4HANA, their own homegrown systems, or non-SAP systems. They want to expose functionality, like that mentioned above, in the form of API. Some of the APIs are read-only, and others support read, write, or other bi-directional operations. Similar APIs are aggregated into API Products, made available in a developer portal, and customers can subscribe to them for a flat fee, or pay for every API call independently. Most of these functions are available with the API Management capability of the SAP Integration Suite. SAP API Management allows you to create rate plans and generate bills for usage, but how do you send the bills out to customers and collect payment? You could use SAP Subscription Billing and this sample integration available on the API Business Hub. But what if you're already using another payment provider? What if you want to evaluate the full end-to-end process with no upfront cost? That's where this use case comes into play, with the combination of SAP BTP free tier service plans and a free developer account from Stripe.
Stripe has significant global reach, supporting payments in 45 countries worldwide. They support numerous payment methods such as credit cards, bank transfers, and digital wallets, and provide a no-code payment UI to host invoices. There are also integration options already available, such as the SAP Open Connectors for Stripe. Best of all, Stripe provides a developer experience where you can try out most of their features for free!
The goal of this recent development was to socialize a new approach and reference architecture, for cloud-native extensibility of SAP API Management billing, together with a Stripe invoicing feature. The result is an automated deployment to the SAP BTP, Kyma runtime, with a schedulable invoicing component, and a type-safe framework for integrating SAP BTP with the Stripe SDK, via the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAP).
Here is the solution architecture as a reference:
Call to Action
As mentioned above, I am incredibly pleased to announce a 100% free-to-try approach, leveraging SAP BTP free tier service plans and a free Stripe developer account. I hope you'll check out our SAP Garage series session where we demo the entire mission scope:
You can also find the step-by-step walkthrough of our use case mission on the SAP Discovery Center:
Please reach out to us if you're interested in applying the sample and reference architecture to your own SAP Line of Business application or business processes. Although we show this in the context of API Management, the concept can be applied to any process you want to monetize. We'd love to discuss it with you further!
I couldn't have delivered this exciting new sample without the help and support of my SAP development colleagues kay_ and martinfrick, along with the thought leadership and partnership of Ralph Ramos from Stripe.