When to use SAP PI/PO vs SAP CPI

Over the last week I have see multiply cases where I have recommeded the SAP 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.


I’m most new integrations should be created in SAP 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 other than map it. And the mapping can be achieved in 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 CPI.

SAP PI/PO strong side

SAP PI/PO has been around for 15+ year and is a really solid platform for creating integration. There is 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 CPI strong side

SAP CPI is a platform that started out as a native cloud solution about 6 years ago. It is inevitable that you need to use SAP CPI if you are using or planing 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.
  • Cheap to get started with and does not require a basis team. It starts at 1200 EUR/month of a two-tier landscape.
  • Update: For new customers, you need to get the CPI 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.

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 CPI version that can be run in your own network in 2021. 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 choose. The SAP CPI the newest platform to create your integration in.

If you have a lot of integration locally on your network you may consider using SAP PI or SAP CPI on your PO system.

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 CPI. 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 CPI.

If you have more than 50 interfaces you may want to migrate/upgrade to SAP PI/PO 7.5. Then later perform a migration to SAP CPI, once a migration tool is there you can upgrade.

If you have BPMN/ccBPM consider if you can migrate them to CPI on PI or in Cloud.

If you are planning migrations check out our resources on SAP PI/PO migrations.

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 CPI is the way to go. It will simplify your integration much because the tool is easier to use.

If there is some predelived 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 sis 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 CPI

With standard SAP CPI there is some challenges in how you can run and manage your Integration content. At Figaf we have developed a tool that makes it easier to run both SAP PI and also SAP CPI. We want to help you automate most of your integration processes, making it even faster for you to develop SAP CPI.

See how you can run SAP CPI better.

We do have the same capabilities for SAP PI.

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