When to use SAP PI/PO vs SAP Cloud Integration (CPI)

A common question is do you recommend the SAP Cloud Integration (CPI) tool over SAP PI/PO. I was asked why when to select what and why.

There is no right or wrong in the selection of the platforms. For some, the opposite can be a good solution. It all depends on the situation, your future roadmap, investments, and regulations. I have just tried to select the scenarios and cases where it makes sense.

Creating new integrations

I know most new integrations should be created in SAP Cloud Integration (CPI). SAP PI/PO may be better if it is simple integration where you can process a message and deliver it to one or more receivers without having to do anything other than map it. And the mapping can be achieved in the standard SAP PI way, without creating modules.

If this is updated in 1 year, then I would believe that all integrations should be created in SAP Cloud Integration.

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SAP PI/PO strong side

SAP PI/PO has been around for 15+ year and is a really solid platform for creating integration. There are about 10.000+ installations of the platform.

  • It is really good for point to point(s) connection, where it is asynchronous or synchronous.
  • It gives good monitoring and error handling tools, where you can reprocess messages really simple.
  • It has a really good governance model to encourage the reuse of objects and create generic interfaces.
  • It has a large developer community that is quite creative with adding new functionality.
  • Strong B2B solutions
  • It is supported to 2027 and extended support to 2030.

SAP Cloud Integration (CPI) strong side

SAP Cloud Integration is a platform that started out as a native cloud solution about 7 years ago. It is inevitable that you need to use SAP Cloud Integration if you are using or planning to use, any of SAPs line of business cloud applications.

  • It comes with a lot of pre-delivered content, making it a lot easier to start on your integration. They can be used as templates.
  • New customers, you need to get the SAP Integration Suite license with start at 4000 EUR/Month. There may be an option via your ISV to get a cheaper option.
  • It is a really flexible platform where you can make integration much simpler. It makes it much easier to integrate with the cloud platforms out there.
  • It has the longest feature roadmap, it is where SAP is putting most development.
  • Integration Content Adviser (ICA) should make it easier to create B2B Integration by automating much of the mapping process.
  • It can run what most cloud providers and it will be possible to run it on your own hardware (2021).
  • If you need a “special” adapter, with OAuth, JWT, or check after calling, you can create it in a CPI iflow and use it for all scenarios.
  • Update Jan 2022: Integration Suite now has a Trading Management Platform that can help you with your B2B Integrations.

Different scenarios

Which options is better for your depend on your use case.

A lot of on-premise communication

If you have a large amount of integration traffic internally in your landscape. Then it does not make sense to transfer it to the cloud and back again. Then you should probably go with the PI/PO at the moment.

There will be a SAP Cloud Integration version of the Integration Cell that can be run in your own network in 2022. The Integration Cell is running on Kybernetes so you will need such a cluster for running it. For now, you can also run your CPI iflows on a local installed SAP PO system.

Starting developing new Integration

If you don’t have any SAP PI/PO legacy it is a simple choice. The SAP Cloud Integration is the newest platform to create your integration in.

If you already have something that looks like the same integration it could save some time to just reuse that on the SAP PI/PO system and then continue with using that content.

Migration from older SAP PI

If you have to perform a migration from 7.1 – 7.4 to keep the support you have the option to

  • Migrate to 7.5
  • Migrate from SAP PI/PO to SAP CPI

If you have less than 50 interfaces, I would go with a migration to SAP Cloud Integration. An SAP CPI migration will likely cost more than a PI, but you will save in not having to install a new landscape and perform the migration. In the long run you would not need to upgrade multiply times.

I wrote a guide on how you can migrate from SAP PI to SAP Cloud Integration and we have a tool to manage the migration.

If you have more than 100 interfaces you may want to migrate/upgrade to SAP PI/PO 7.5. Then later perform a migration to SAP Cloud Integration, once a migration tool is there you can upgrade.

If you have BPMN/ccBPM consider if you can converting them to CPI iFlows or the Cloud BPMN.

Already on PI/PO 7.5

If you already have SAP PI/PO 7.5 and a similar integration that look like the new, go ahead and create in PI.

If the PI framework is best suited for the pattern then use SAP PI.

If you need to implement some cloud integration or integration that is more than just a point to point connection. It could be needing to create a lookup or create a token. Then SAP Cloud Integration is the way to go. It will simplify your integration much because the tool is easier to use.

If there is some pre-delivered SAP CPI content, it is probably the best route to take, instead of spending many hours understanding how to integrate with it.

If you think this is something that i need to be created in a BPMN for technician reasons, you must consider SAP CPI or CPI on PO first. Then you save a migration later and have a more modern tool.

Want to make it easier to run SAP Cloud Integration

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See how you can run SAP Cloud Integration better.

We do have the same capabilities for SAP PI.

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