SAP Cloud Platform for portal sites

In this blog, I am going to introduce you to SAP Cloud Platform and the user experience-related services. SAP offers a comprehensive platform as a service called “SAP Cloud Platform”. SAP’s customers and partners use this platform and the services to design, develop, and run business applications in the cloud.

They address 3 main issues:
1) Extending SAP solutions – both in the cloud and on premise, for example, building a new user interface for an existing business process in the SAP ERP system. 

2) Building new cloud business applications, leveraging SAP HANA in-memory technology for analytics or the innovative Internet of Things services.

3) Enriching the experience by integrating data coming from various non-SAP and SAP data sources.
SAP Cloud Platform offers a variety of enterprise capabilities you need to succeed in the cloud and build better applications. In your portal project, you may benefit from additional capabilities. For example, you can connect to things such as sensors from machines or other assets.
SAP Cloud Platform offers various capabilities to support the end-to-end process of building portal sites and applications.

You can use Build for early prototyping and user feedback, and the UI theme designer for branding your portal. The actual development is done with SAP Web IDE using SAPUI5-based UI controls and templates. The final application can then be made available to your end users via a portal. If needed, you can enhance the scenarios to make use of special mobile qualities such as access to GPS, contact data, or camera for reading a barcode. You can also inject collaborative features into the business process, enabling users to share their feedback or comments.

The best way to learn more about the platform and experience the comprehensive set of functionalities is via the trial environment. If you have not registered yet, you can request a free personal developer account right away (Follow my blog on how to setup a trial account on SCP).
Most of the platform’s capabilities and services are available for testing and evaluation purposes. There are a few limitations on the number of running Java apps, storage, and, of course, productive usage. Luckily, there is a rapidly growing community that can help and share their experiences along the way.

SCP Homepage

What you see on the first screen is the general layout of the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit. You will see menu items on the left side, you have some navigation items on the top right like a settings dialog for language and visual design, and you have a news area about recent enhancements and notifications you get from SAP, and here also additional information, such as the "Log out" button.

Then we have different data centers around the world that you can choose from in case you go with the productive account. The trial account is only available in the Europe data center.

So what you see here is my personal trial account that has been created for me. Here as well, you see the limitations that come along with the trial edition.
When we open the trial account, we jump directly into the cockpit for administrating this particular account.

And on this overview page you see some high- level information about the account, including the types of application that may be created, or you are going to create over time, as well as subscriptions and services.

Applications – We can create Java applications, HTML5 applications, or maybe HANA specific applications. And in this blog series we will concentrate on portal based or ui5 based scenarios.
If you would like to understand the feature set of Cloud Platform, you get a good impression by opening the Services menu, where we see the different capabilities, such as the "Analytics" services, the "Business Services", "Collaboration" with "SAP Jam", "Data & Storage", "DevOps" is the main part where we have, for example, "SAP Web IDE" and the "Git Service", "Integration", "Mobile Services", and so on and so forth.

The "Portal" is covered in the "User Experience" section, along with, for example, "Build" and the "UI Theme Designer".

SCP also have capabilities to administer and configure topics like persistency, connectivity to other systems, security, the repositories that are connected, and so on and so forth.

Before you can build your first real portal project, you have to perform a few initial tasks to set up your SAP Cloud Platform account and the necessary infrastructure.

1) The very first steps are about adding account members and assigning them to roles, such administrator, developer, or support user. Based on your contract, certain resources and services are available in your account.
2) In most cases, you will need to set up and configure a secure tunnel to your on-premise landscape, using the SAP Cloud connector.
3) The next step is to define connectivity destinations for each system you would like to integrate – either in the cloud or on premise.
4) Afterwards, you can run the technical configurations for authentication and single sign- on, authorizations, roles, and so on.
5) And usually, you would also create additional accounts, for example for development, test, or production systems.

Once you have completed this initial setup successfully, you can focus on the portal.

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