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Open Microservices Architecture from SAP Ushers in the API Economy

November 8, 2016 by SAP News 138

BARCELONASAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the availability in Germany of its SAP Hybris as a Service platform for microservices (informally referred to as “YaaS”).


SAP Hybris as a Service Platform Now Available in Germany, Enabling Developers and Users to Discover and Consume Microservices in a Simple Way


The entry into the European marketplace for microservices follows the announcement of SAP Hybris as a Service for the U.S. market, which became available earlier this year. Availability will follow in other markets, including the Asia-Pacific region in 2017. The announcement was made at the SAP TechEd event being held in Barcelona, Spain, November 8–9, 2016.

SAP’s entry into the microservices market comes at a time when software development is evolving from large, enclosed systems to cloud systems that comprise many smaller, interactive components – known as microservices – that are easier to build, scale and maintain in the cloud. Connected to this trend, enterprise customers are looking to purchase individual but highly specialized services to enable rapid, agile development and streamline developments accordingly to drive differentiation and meet their unique customer experience and business process needs.

Applications that are developed in smaller, interactive components are easier to build, scale and maintain, and enable agility and innovation as a result. This puts pressure on organizations to find easy-to-use, cost-efficient, flexible solutions for building and customizing apps and managing the complexity of contracts and billing. SAP Hybris as a Service provides the answer – enabling businesses to buy key services that enable them to transform their business, such as embedding simple e-commerce checkout into media, apps or devices. It provides a framework for development, management, and billing to help businesses rapidly augment and enhance their existing solutions with microservices and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

“Businesses today need integrated, easy deployable, open and modular services that enable innovation in the cloud –making them more adaptive, more agile and easy to do business with,” said Carsten Thoma, president of SAP Hybris* at SAP. “SAP Hybris as a Service delivers on all counts, and helps our customers and partners stay ahead of the curve by enabling innovation in the cloud.”

Built for the API Economy

Businesses can rely on SAP Hybris as a Service as a one-stop shop to discover, connect, subscribe to and manage microservices. Built on top of the platform as a service from Cloud Foundry, SAP Hybris as a Service is an open, extensible platform that developers can use to develop new microservices independent of SAP applications. They can also connect to and benefit from the data and processing power of SAP applications run by customers – both in the cloud and on-premise. They can use the platform to build, develop and manage microservices through standardized APIs. This API-first services approach radically simplifies how software is developed and how services from various vendors can be “mashed” together to produce offers previously impossible because of unrealistic or expensive integrations.

What sets SAP’s microservices architecture approach apart:

  • Independence from the business domain, devices, and environments
  • Nonproprietary environment that offers freedom to choose the programming languages and underlying database technologies as well as gaining portability of services and applications between cloud infrastructures
  • Prebuilt business processes that allows organizations to develop new ways to utilize application data and services easily and flexibly, and scale to changing requirements

According to research published by Gartner, “The API economy is an enabler for turning a business or organization into a platform. A business without a platform is how most enterprises in most industries operate today. They create value from the inside-out and are challenged to meet aggressive CEO/CIO goals for digital revenue growth with their own finite level of resources. Digital revenue intrinsically is outside-in. Turning a business into a platform multiplies available resources because it enables ecosystems, inside and outside of the enterprise, to access assets and create new value.”**

More and more enterprise customers are turning to a number of independent software vendors to create mix-and-match services. The open microservices architecture provided by SAP enables service users to add ready-to-use services to accelerate road maps by innovating faster – paying only for what is used. The business portal and subscription approach means more simplicity for service consumption. Service publishers benefit from freedom of choice in programming languages, while independent software vendors and system integrators can maintain their intellectual property and full control of services operation. A user interface framework and software development kit equips them to build services faster than ever before.

Earth Observation Analysis Service Now Available on SAP Hybris as a Service

SAP also announced today that Munich RE will rely on an earth observation analysis service to gain insights into and predict potential future impact of wildfires. The Earth Observation Analysis service is a result of collaboration between SAP and the European Space Agency (ESA). For entrepreneurs, partners and businesses that are seeking to augment and build new, highly flexible solutions based on the SAP HANA platform and ESA Earth observation data, the service is available free of charge in the beta phase from the SAP Hybris as a Service platform Nov. 8 through Dec. 31, 2016.

Partnering for Retail Innovation

Arvato Systems, a global business outsourcing provider and SAP gold partner, uses SAP Hybris as a Service to help retailers save money and convert more sales. Specifically, the business enables a single, real-time view of the entire inventory while allowing ship-from-store and buy-online-pickup-in-store. Providing a single view of inventory is challenging for a solution, because the solution must be scalable and flexible to allow diverse upstream systems to feed in data that can be consumed by others.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can track the location of items in brick-and mortar stores and warehouses. Events are generated when items move into different zones – such as moving from one room to checkout. The event sends data to the Arvato inventory service on SAP Hybris as a Service, where businesses can manage all of their inventory sources in one place. The cloud service calculates availability and displays item location. The API provides endpoints for transactions enabling online stores to display availability of products and reserve quantities during checkout to avoid running out of stock.

Driving Innovation with Hybris Labs

The Munich-based Hybris Labs team relies on SAP Hybris as a Service to further its innovation. The team, specifically focused on research and development, looks for unique ways to combine technological advancements with common retail scenarios to create exciting and innovative shopping experiences. One of its latest prototypes, Bullseye, is completely based on APIs from SAP Hybris as a Service and is therefore easily configurable in the platform’s service and builder module. With the flexibility of SAP Hybris as a Service, the Bullseye prototype gives customers an easy-to-use in-store that lights up recommended products on the shelf. The retailers gain in-depth knowledge about customer needs by analyzing data from the questionnaire profile and the physical product interactions.

To learn more about SAP Hybris as a Service, see the video and read the blog post.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @saphybris.

About SAP Hybris Solutions

SAP Hybris solutions provide omnichannel customer engagement and commerce software that allows organizations to build up a contextual understanding of their customers in real time, deliver a more impactful, relevant customer experience, and sell more goods, services and digital content across every touch point, channel and device. Through customer data management, context driven marketing tools and unified commerce processes, SAP Hybris solutions have helped some of the world’s leading organizations to attract, retain and grow a profitable customer base. SAP Hybris software for customer engagement and commerce provides organizations with the foundation, framework and business tools to create a holistic customer view across channels, simplify customer engagement and solve complex business problems. For more information, visit www.hybris.com.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 335,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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*SAP Hybris is a new brand name launched in January 2016 to represent the SAP solutions for customer engagement and commerce as well as the offerings, employees, and business of acquired company hybris AG, which continues to be our legal entity until integration with SAP is complete.
**Gartner, “Industry Vision: Turning Your Business Into a Platform,” May 9, 2016
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