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Former Member

SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) is a relatively new SAP cloud product. HCI is marketed primarily as Software-as-a-service. Standard integration content is delivered by SAP to integrate SuccessFactors, Ariba, SAP Financial Services and SAP Cloud for Customer with on-premise systems such as SAP ECC and SAP CRM. Within short notice, the HCI platform will also be released for development of custom integration scenarios (expected Q1 2014). The release of the platform for developments immediately raises the comparison with SAP Process Orchestration(PO). How does HCI compare with SAP PO?


HCI is not the first product for which SAP provides standard integration content. The integration content offered by SAP for HCI can be viewed at SAP offers a lot of standard integration capabilities and content for e.g. SAP PO. For HCI however, not only standard content but also the management and monitoring of this integration content is offered by SAP. SAP is therefore responsible for the hosting, configuration and monitoring of integration scenarios. This involves a new service offering for which interaction with SAP customers is very important. It relieves the customer of hosting, configuration and monitoring of the integration environment. A huge difference with SAP PO where standard content offered must be hosted, configured, managed and monitored by the customer themselves.


The HCI platform will be released soon for custom integration developments. The HCI platform does not need to be managed and maintained. The monitoring of integration scenarios which are developed on HCI are though the responsibility of the customer. HCI offers a multi-tenant platform, making the separation between business units over separate tenants possible, a frequent struggle among customers within SAP PO because of the single-tenancy. Software updates will take place continuously, this is called a "rolling software update". The business down-time with upgrades and releases is near-zero with HCI. Within SAP PO upgrades and releases of the software means downtime for the business. With the latest releases this down-time is also reduced to near zero.

HCI currently offers a few connectivity options: SOAP, sFTP and IDOC. Authentication methods within HCI are certificate based. The capabilities are limited compared to SAP PO. HCI is a cloud product, therefore the vast majority of possible scenarios will be covered with the current capabilities of HCI. HCI is still undergoig strong developments and on short notice there will be a lot of new functionalities. HCI will become more mature and a broader integration product. The roadmap of HCI can be found here: SAP HANA Cloud Integration - Overview


There is no migration path from SAP PO to HCI. HCI is not natural growth path of an SAP PI server. HCI must be seen as a complete new product and not as the successor of SAP PO. It is though possible to reuse objects from SAP PI HCI. This concerns the java message service definitions and mappings.

Integration Scenarios

The integration capabilities of SAP PO are extensive, almost all scenarios can be supported. SAP PO supports A2A, B2B, mobile and many other scenarios and SAP PO has proven itself in these areas. As well fast user interaction as bulk processing scenarios can be implemented with ease within SAP PO. However, HCI is a new product with( still ) limited capabilities. HCI will be favourable for scenarios where volumes are not too large and no business logic or business rules are concerned. When Business Process logic is needed, SAP PO will be favourable.

With HCI implementation times of integration scenarios will be very low because of the cloud structure HCI. There are no initial installation guides and server configurations when HCI will be implemented. One just requests a server access by SAP and developments can start immediately. This is one af the advantages of a cloud product. The development of scenarios for HCI within Eclipse is very easy and is template based. This saves the developer a lot of time and will prevent a lot of common mistakes. An overview of HCI functionalities and how to develop your first scenario, take a look at SAP HANA Cloud Integration – SAP Help Portal Page.

For a quick overview of the differences between SAP PO and SAP HCI, I have taken a comparison from the roadmap slides which were presented at the TechEd by Udo Paltzer. This will give you a quick overview of the differences between SAP PO and SAP HCI.


Having made the comparison between SAP PO and SAP HCI we can try to answer the question; which product to use and when? Therefore I will try to answer the next few questions. These answers cannot be generalized or used without knowing the context of each integration scenario and must therefore be interpreted with care.

  • You are not using PO, implementing a SAP Cloud Product and want to integrate with on-premise SAP systems?
    Try to use the standard content of SAP HCI when available.
  • You are already using SAP PO, implementing a SAP Cloud Product and want to integrate with on-premise SAP systems?
    Try to use the standard content of SAP HCI when available.
  • You are using non-SAP middleware and implementing a SAP Cloud Product and want to integrate with on-premise SAP systems?
    Try to use the standard content of SAP HCI when available.
  • You need to develop custom integration scenarios?
    Consider SAP HCI. Evaluate the pros and cons of SAP HCI versus SAP PO.

What do you think of the comparison between SAP PO and SAP HCI. Please let me know by responding to this blog.

Best regards,


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