Your First SAP HCI Integration Flow

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • November 2, 2015
Volker Stiehl shows how to use SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) to model custom-specific integration flows. He introduces the underlying integration framework, Apache Camel, to help you understand how to work with message headers, properties, and the actual message payload.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article you will:

  • Understand the inner working of SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI), which is based on the Apache Camel integration framework
  • Know how to model a custom-built integration scenario using the web-based modeling environment of SAP HCI
  • Learn how to invoke a first simple synchronous integration scenario and how to construct a response message during message processing

Key Concept

SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) comes with predefined integration content that can be configured to particular user needs, which speeds up integration implementations significantly. However, SAP HCI can also be used for custom-developed integration scenarios. You can build integration flows using the web-based development environment. The underlying integration framework is Apache Camel.

SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) is SAP’s strategic integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for implementing all kinds of integration scenarios involving cloud applications. It is particularly useful for the integration between SAP’s cloud applications and between SAP’s on-premise and cloud applications because of the predefined integration content that SAP ships via the publicly available integration content catalog. The catalog is accessible at

The web-based tool delivered with SAP HCI allows companies to easily adjust the pre-packaged content to their specific needs by just configuring certain parameters of such a package. In most cases it is sufficient to just configure the technical connectivity parameters of the involved systems.

If, for example, you want to store a received message on a Simple File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) server, you just have to adjust the basic parameters of the SFTP adapter, such as the address of the SFTP server, the target directory where the received files should be stored, and the target filename. This approach reduces integration costs significantly and helps users to solve integration challenges in the fastest possible way.

In an earlier article titled “Leveraging SAP HANA Cloud Integration,” my colleagues Udo Paltzer and Sindhu Gangadharan explained the configuration of pre-delivered integration content in great detail. However, what if the pre-configured content doesn’t actually fit your requirements and you want to develop your own integration solution? Or what if you’re a partner and want to deliver integration content for dedicated scenarios as well? What is necessary to actually model and run custom-built integration flows? This article gives an introduction to the development and run-time environment of SAP HCI and helps you to get started if you want to pursue custom development on SAP HCI.

Dr. Volker Stiehl

Prof. Dr. Volker Stiehl studied computer science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After 12 years as a developer and senior system architect at Siemens, he joined SAP in 2004. As chief product expert, Volker was responsible for the success of the products SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Process Integration, and SAP HANA Cloud Integration (now SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service). He left SAP in 2016 and accepted a position as professor at the Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences where he is currently teaching business information systems. In September 2011, Volker received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Technology Darmstadt. His thesis was on the systematic design and implementation of applications using BPMN. Volker is also the author of Process-Driven Applications with BPMN as well as the co-author of SAP HANA Cloud Integration and a regular speaker at various national and international conferences.

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