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As part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Data Integration blog series, it is important to understand the difference between SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Pipeline vs. Cloud Data Integration extraction engines. Especially, that they both can be used to extract ABAP CDS Views via the communication SAP_COM_0531 and SAP_COM_0532 for different target systems like SAP Data Intelligence and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud as shown in the Architectural Overview (figure 1).

Check the following links for more information about how Virtual Data Models (VDM) and the underlying SAP S/4HANA Cloud Architecture work, as well as the SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration scenarios.

Figure1: SAP S/4HANA Data Integration - Architectural Overview

So now, let us discuss the differences between both engines.
Cloud Data Integration (CDI) engine is based on oData V4 protocol, and it is designed to be consumed only SAP target systems.

However, those tools need to properly handle ABAP CDS Views extraction, otherwise, it could lead to data inconsistencies. As for the ABAP Pipeline Engine (APE), it is mainly based on Websocket RFC, it is a SAP designed protocol and this API can only be used by SAP target systems like SAP Data Intelligence and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

The main difference between both engines is that the CDI has to perform data conversion to maintain the oData standards, while APE does not have to, as all the layers underneath are designed to be integrated with SAP systems, which leads to better performance and data throughput. The table below summarizes the main differences between SAP_COM_0531 and SAP_COM_0532:

SAP_COM_0531 (CDI)  SAP_COM_0532 (APE) 
Protocol oData v4 Websocket RFC (SAP proprietary)
Consumers SAP: SAP Data Intelligence and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud SAP only: SAP Data Intelligence and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
Performance Higher transferred volume due to oData overhead leading to slower throughput Better throughput due to optimized protocol
Formatting Public format (following oData standards) Public format (formatting done in ABAP pipeline), the slight difference to oData expected

Same handling of authorizations, authentication, and access to the ABAP CDS views

Available SAP S/4HANA data sources 

The same set of Released ABAP CDS Extraction Views available for both APIs

Recommended Usage  Recommended for clients/consumers (currently) not supporting APE Recommended whenever possible due to expected performance advantage

We would be happy to receive your feedback in the blog post comments section below and answer all your questions under the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Q&A area.

See you in our next blog posts.