Jump to Content
SAP on Google Cloud

ABAP SDK: Powering Alphabet’s AI/ML solutions on SAP S/4HANA

February 1, 2024
Sujan Gade

Engineering Manager, Google

Richard Yang

Engineering Tech Lead, Google

Join us at Google Cloud Next

Coming to Las Vegas, April 9–11.

Register

At SAP Sapphire last year, Alphabet, Google's parent company, revealed that it leverages SAP S/4HANA systems on Google Cloud to manage its critical business operations, including Finance, Supply Chain, Logistics, Planning, and Allocations. This has allowed Alphabet to consolidate over 50 billion transactions and process multiple terabytes of data every month, and better support its global operations.

To scale its business operations, Alphabet leverages many Google Cloud products and services using the ABAP SDK. Created by Google Cloud’s SAP Engineering team, the ABAP SDK provides an accurate representation of Google Cloud APIs in ABAP, providing an integration point between SAP and Alphabet’s internal systems, powering AI/ML solutions that drive decisions, and enabling business process automation. The ABAP SDK provides in-built functionality for authentication, security, data serialization, etc., making it easier for Alphabet developers to integrate with Google Cloud products and services, and drastically decreasing time-to-value!

ABAP SDK: a story of engineering excellence

Since launching internally, ABAP SDK has been used for many Alphabet production use cases: to run mission-critical applications in finance, corporate asset management (IT, audio/video, real estate), supply chain (plan and procure to pay including forward/reverse logistics), business event notifications, exception alerting, business process monitoring, and data warehousing. Security and scalability were key requirements for Alphabet business users, which they were able to achieve quickly with the ABAP SDK. Alphabet also uses the ABAP SDK to run ML inference in the context of a SAP business transaction analytics, surfacing ML predictions.

Here are some great productionized use cases from Google Cloud for inspiration:

  • Stream information from SAP to multiple subscribers with Pub/Sub - SAP is the source of truth for many master and transaction data objects. SAP sends information to other applications to ensure data consistency across applications. Sub-second speed and highly reliable messaging is key. Alphabet uses SAP Streaming Pub/Sub messages for various use cases, including network equipment status for deriving trust management, order status tracking, stock availability, transaction posting status, order comments and changes exchanged from the commerce portal to the order processing team.
  • Use Pub/Sub for orchestration - To scale bulk data processing submitted via APIs at Alphabet, non-SAP enterprise applications use SAP OData to submit bulk updates to the SAP Application Interface Framework (AIF). SAP AIF asynchronous processing completion raises a Google Cloud CPS message to confirm processing results to the API client. ABAP SDK plays a crucial role in orchestrating many use cases like these including jobs, business events, and logs.
  • Automate translation of finance documents to multiple languages - SAP S/4 is the source of truth for statutory reporting in multiple local languages. Alphabet boundary systems send journal entry data in English, but the headers and line text of various finance documents must be maintained in the local language, as per the company’s code definition. Alphabet uses the ABAP SDK to seamlessly interact with Google Translate, helping finance documents to comply with system and legal requirements.
  • Integrate AI/ML models on Google Cloud for better decision making - Before Alphabet began using SAP to manage IT hardware orders worldwide, order routing across fulfillment channels was a time-consuming process. While a rules-based decision table can predict cost-effective order routes in some cases, the majority of orders required manual review, which was highly inefficient. To address this issue, the Alphabet engineering team developed a BigQuery Machine Learning model to predict routes based on historic manual decisions, and used the ABAP SDK to read the BigQuery Machine Learning predictions in real time. This continual learning model has helped to predict routes more accurately, reducing the need for manual review and automating the shipping process.
  • Offload attachments from expensive HANA Storage - Alphabet utilizes the ABAP SDK to streamline and simplify the management of attachments (documents) for all applications in the SAP landscape. Due to the scale of the required storage capacity, it was imperative to offload the storage of attachment documents from Hana DB in-memory to cheaper and highly secured Cloud Storage buckets. By using the ABAP SDK, we were able to seamlessly read and write attachments from SAP applications to Cloud Storage without any impact to SAP critical user journeys (CUJs). End-user access to documents is controlled strictly based on authorization given in SAP, leveraging the standard Google Cloud Security Model.

From internal to generally available

Over the years, many of our customers have asked for ways to easily integrate their SAP systems with Google Cloud services. With the launch of the ABAP SDK last year, the same ABAP SDK that has been powering Alphabet’s business operations since 2019 is now generally available for Google Cloud customers. Download the SDK for free and onboard in a few simple steps.

While our public documentation contains the latest product updates, we also invite you to collaborate and engage with us on the Google Cloud developer community forum. We also have a public repository on GitHub so that developers can clone sample programs and quickstarts into their development environment. We are excited to see and assist you in creating enterprise and business solutions using ABAP SDK.

Posted in