Choosing Between SAP PO and SAP Integration Suite on BTP: Key Decision Factors Explained

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SAP Integration – Primary Options

SAP primarily offers 2 solutions in the Application Integration space:

  • SAP Process Orchestration 7.5 (SAP PO)
  • SAP Cloud Integration (SAP CI), offered as part of Integration Suite (SAP IS)

SAP PO is a solid on-premise middleware that has been around for 20+ years and used by more than 12,500 customers. SAP will be providing extended maintenance for PO 7.5 until 2030.

SAP IS is an Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) solution. It is a logical successor  of SAP PO for companies that are looking to move their applications and integrations to the cloud.

SAP PO – Highlights

  • Formerly knows as SAP XI (Exchange Infrastructure), SAP PI (Process Integration)
  • A reliable and stable integration platform for Application-to-application integration (Synchronous & Asynchronous)
  • Supports Integration between cloud and on-premise/ground applications
  • Includes rich set of adapters & user-friendly GUI
  • Unmatched Monitoring tool where you can reprocess error messages
  • Repository to Build, Store & Reuse Structures, Mappings etc.
  • A Large & helpful developer community
  • Strong B2B solutions using the optional Add-on

SAP PO – Deployment Options

SAP Integration Suite – Highlights

  • Formerly knows as SAP HCI (HANA Cloud Integration), SAP CPI (Cloud Platform Integration). Presently knows as SAP CI, part of the SAP IS (iPaaS) which in-turn is part of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), a cloud-based Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Best suited for Integration between cloud-cloud and cloud-ground solutions
  • Supports seamless integration with other SAP cloud solutions like S/4HANA, C/4HANA, Success Factors, Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass etc. through pre-packaged content.
  • A complete Integration solution supported by capabilities like SAP Open Connectors, API Management, Integration Advisor.
  • Uses Apache Camel open-source framework.

SAP Integration Suite – components

SAP PO versus SAP Integration Suite - Architecture






Fixed pipeline: Connectivity->Routing->Mapping->Connectivity

Flexible Pipeline

Stateful Message Processing

Mainly part of BPM

Integrated in iFlow. In addition, there is a powerful Data Store to persist data.

Separation of Design & Configuration

ESR for design time artifacts, DIR for configuration.

Mainly managed in the iFlow. Configurable Elements can be externalized, Users are managed also outside of iFlows.

Interface Modeling

Interfaces can be modeled with data type editors 

No modeling environment available. Interface definitions must be imported.  Import of ESR Objects possible.

Content Organization & Reuse

Strong governance enables reuse of integration content globally.

Each iFlow is autonomous, lean & independent. Using the ProcessDirect Adapter, certain functionality can be centralized. Credentials, Scripts & Mappings can be reused.

Re-process Error Messages (Asynchronous)

Inbuilt functionality to reprocess error messages

No inbuilt functionality available. Can be achieved with the help of data store and custom-built iFlow.


Single Tenant solution, no built-in virtualization capabilities. Failover to be configured by customer

Multi-tenancy, data isolation, virtualization is possible. Automated failover and rolling software updates

SAP PO vs SAP IS – Use Cases

Use Case


Ground <-> Ground Integrations


Cloud <-> Ground Integrations

SAP IS recommended. However, SAP PO can also be used

Cloud <-> Cloud Integrations


Integrating SAP Cloud Solutions


Brand new SAP Implementation (No SAP PI/PO in the current landscape)


Have older SAP PI in the landscape

You can either Migrate to SAP IS (If you have <50 interfaces)


Migrate to SAP PO 7.5 (>50 interfaces) (You can migrate to SAP IS slowly)

Already on SAP PO 7.5?

Continue to develop new interfaces with existing systems on SAP PO

If you are implementing new cloud solutions involving SAP systems, go with SAP IS as you can benefit from the pre-delivered content.

SAP PO vs SAP IS – Key Differences





On-premise installation in customer landscape. Responsibility lies with customer

Cloud based service hosted by SAP. Can also be deployed on AWS, Azure, Alibaba Cloud. Responsibility lies with SAP

License Model

Core-based Product License and Annual Fee

Monthly Subscription Fee (see: Licensing)

Pre-packaged content


2500+ pre-built integrations

Software updates

Needs to be installed by your Basis team

SAP automatically pushes new updates every month

B2B Support

Supported via B2B add-on

Supported via Trade Partner Management


Additional nodes/servers can be added

Highly scalable as it is cloud-based

Asynchronous Messaging

Guaranteed delivery in Exactly Once (EO) / Exactly Once In Order (EOIO) mode

Transient Cloud messaging by default. EOIO is not available and EO must be modelled manually using Data store or via JMS

Number of Adapters/Connectors


190+ (30+ Standard connectors and 160+ connectors to non-SAP Cloud applications supported by SAP Open Connectors)

SAP PO vs SAP IS - Key Decision Criteria

1.Do you already have an existing SAP PI/PO System?

  If your answer is No, then we recommend you invest in SAP IS and create all your future integrations using SAP IS. SAP IS (aka Cloud Platform Integration – CPI) supports integrations between cloud <-> cloud, cloud <-> on-premise and on-premise <-> on-premise systems. Else, SAP PO can stay as a central Integration platform until your business needs change.

2.Do you have significant integrations between on-premise Systems?

  If yes, then you can go with Hybrid approach where you can continue using SAP PO for your existing ground to ground integrations and slowly move your cloud integrations to SAP IS.

3.Does your Integration team have the right skills?

  Another factor to consider is if your integration team has the right skills and are ready to learn the ever-evolving skillet required to get onboard with SAP IS.

4.Are you planning to move most of your critical business applications to the cloud?

  SAP IS should be the choice in this case. You can gradually move your existing integrations from SAP PO to SAP IS.

5.Your company’s long-term vision and SAP’s future roadmap

  If you plan to move all your business processes to the cloud, SAP IS is the right choice. It also aligns with SAP’s roadmap. All of SAP’s main solutions have adopted cloud and will soon provide services via a single data model: SAP BTP powered by SAP HANA.

6.Do you have the budget for the Technology upgrade?

  This is not only a decision based on current state licensing, but also current and future maintenance costs and development time for future integrations to SAP and non SAP applications.

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