SAP Platform Architecture


What is SAP Platform Architecture?

There are two components to any SAP Platform Architecture. The first is the platform, which is a set of solutions and components that provide the functionality that a business needs. The second is the platform architecture, which brings together the business architecture with the technology landscape in a comprehensive design. An example of a platform architecture includes business processes, or a business value chain, that is supported by different parts of the business, which rely on technology platforms or components that provide the functionality needed for those processes. Note that this is different than a data architecture which focuses exclusively on data.

What is SAP Platform Architecture?

There are two components to any SAP Platform Architecture. The first is the platform, which is a set of solutions and components that provide the functionality that a business needs. The second is the platform architecture, which brings together the business architecture with the technology landscape in a comprehensive design. An example of a platform architecture includes business processes, or a business value chain, that is supported by different parts of the business, which rely on technology platforms or components that provide the functionality needed for those processes. Note that this is different than a data architecture which focuses exclusively on data.

The advantage of taking a platform architecture approach is that clearly defines the key services that can then be used for integration with other parts of the business. It also allows business teams to take ownership of the applications and systems that they use and directly manage their technology investments. An SAP Platform Architecture allows organizations, and the various business teams within those organizations, the ability to evolve and adapt existing services while providing new services. Implementing an SAP Platform Architecture involves aligning architecture, technology, integration, and business skills.

SAP Platform Architecture Key Capabilities:

  • Integrated design architecture. Without a platform architecture you can end up with a series of data and solution silos, with each part of the business running their own solutions in a way that does not interact. SAP Platform Architecture provides an overarching design at the platform, data, and process levels.
  • Global design. Many organizations perform data modeling, or perhaps at a broader level have a data architecture which needs to be global. But SAP Platform Architecture must provide a global interaction between multiple, distributed data structures, data sets, databases, data platforms, and the business systems that utilize them.
  • Flexibility through modular design. The layers of an SAP Platform Architecture provide modularization into the platform, where the components and design remain stable, and a complementary set of services and processes that can be updated to support new and changing business needs and requirements.

SAP solutions such as SAP Business Technology Platform, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud all offer reference architectures for their system, but these must be integrated into a broader SAP Platform Architecture that includes not only the technical architecture but also the way that processes interact with data and the business value chain.

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