CI/CD For SAP Environments

CI/CD For SAP Environments

by Gilad David Maayan — 5 months ago in Review 6 min. read
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What is CI/CD?

CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery. It is a software engineering practice that aims to minimize the time taken between writing code and deploying it in production by automatically building, testing, and releasing software updates.

In a CI/CD workflow, developers commit their code changes to a version control repository such as Git. These changes are then automatically built and tested by a CI/CD pipeline, which includes a series of build, test, and deployment tools. If the tests pass, the code changes are automatically deployed to a production environment. If the tests fail, the pipeline stops, and the development team is notified so that they can fix the issues.

The goal of CI/CD is to reduce the time and effort required to develop and deploy software, and to increase the reliability and quality of the software being released. It is a key practice in the DevOps movement, which aims to bring development and operations teams closer together and improve collaboration between them.

What are The Challenges of CI/CD?

CI/CD can bring many benefits to an organization, such as increased efficiency, faster time to market, and improved software quality. However, implementing a CI/CD process can also present some challenges, including:

  • Complexity: Setting up a CI/CD pipeline can be complex, especially for organizations that have large, complex software systems. It may be necessary to integrate multiple tools and technologies and to configure and manage the pipeline properly in order to achieve the desired results.
  • Resource constraints: Implementing a CI/CD process can require significant time and resources, including personnel, hardware, and software. Organizations may need to invest in these resources in order to set up and maintain the pipeline effectively.
  • Integration issues: Integrating a CI/CD pipeline with existing systems and processes can be challenging, especially if there are legacy systems or processes that are not well suited to a continuous delivery model. It may be necessary to modify or replace these systems in order to fully realize the benefits of CI/CD.
  • Application dependencies: If an application has dependencies on specific versions of libraries or other software components, it may be difficult to ensure that these dependencies are compatible with the application during the continuous delivery process. For example, if the application is upgraded to a new version that requires a newer version of a dependency, it may be necessary to update the dependency as well. If this is not done properly, it could lead to compatibility issues that impact the functionality of the application.
  • Security concerns: CI/CD pipelines can introduce new security vulnerabilities if not implemented and managed properly. It is important to put in place appropriate security controls to protect the pipeline and the software being delivered.
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How to Apply CI/CD in SAP

SAP Continuous Integration and Delivery

SAP Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) is a set of tools and services that support the development and deployment of SAP applications. It provides a range of features to help developers automate the build, test, and deployment process for their SAP applications.

Some of the features of SAP CI/CD include:

  • Configure predefined CI/CD pipelines: SAP CI/CD provides predefined pipelines that can be used to build, test, and deploy SAP applications. These pipelines can be customized to meet the specific needs of an organization.
  • Connect your repository: SAP CI/CD can be connected to a version control repository such as Git, allowing developers to commit their code changes and trigger the CI/CD pipeline.
  • Create and store credentials: SAP CI/CD provides a secure way to store and manage credentials such as usernames and passwords that are needed to access SAP systems and other resources.
  • Run predefined CI/CD pipelines: Developers can use SAP CI/CD to automatically build, test, and deploy their SAP applications by running predefined CI/CD pipelines.
  • Monitor the build status: SAP CI/CD provides real-time visibility into the status of builds and deployments, allowing developers to monitor the progress of their application updates.

SAP Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) supports a range of use cases for developing and deploying SAP applications, including:

  • SAP Cloud Application Programming Model: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy applications that are developed using the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model, a set of tools and libraries for building cloud-native applications on the SAP Cloud Platform.
  • SAP Fiori in the Cloud Foundry Environment: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy SAP Fiori applications that are running in the Cloud Foundry environment on the SAP Cloud Platform.
  • SAP Fiori in the Neo Environment: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy SAP Fiori applications that are running in the Neo environment on the SAP Cloud Platform.
  • SAP Fiori for the ABAP Platform: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy SAP Fiori applications that are running on the ABAP platform, including on-premises and cloud-based deployments.
  • SAP Integration Suite Artifacts: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy integration artifacts such as integration flows and mappings that are developed using SAP Integration Suite.
  • Container-Based Applications: SAP CI/CD can be used to build and deploy container-based applications, including applications that are developed using Docker and Kubernetes.




Project Piper

Project Piper is an open-source project that provides pre-configured Jenkins pipelines for building and deploying SAP applications. It is designed to help organizations automate and streamline their software delivery process by providing a set of reusable pipelines that can be used in their own Jenkins infrastructure.

Project Piper consists of the following components:

  • Jenkins pipelines: Project Piper provides a set of Jenkins pipelines that can be used to build, test, and deploy SAP applications. These pipelines can be customized to meet the specific needs of an organization.
  • Pipeline library: Project Piper includes a library of pipeline functions that can be used to build custom pipelines or extend the existing ones.
  • Documentation: Project Piper provides documentation on how to use and customize the Jenkins pipelines, as well as best practices for building and deploying SAP applications.

To get started with Project Piper, you will need to install and set up Jenkins on your own infrastructure. Once Jenkins is set up, you can follow the documentation provided by Project Piper to configure and run the Jenkins pipelines. You may also need to install additional plugins and configure credentials in order to connect to your SAP systems and other resources.



Integrate SAP Cloud Transport Management into Your CI/CD Pipeline

SAP Cloud Transport Management (CTM) is a tool that allows you to manage the transport of development artifacts and application-specific content between SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) accounts. It is particularly useful when working with multitarget applications (MTAs), which are modular applications that can be deployed on multiple SAP BTP environments, such as SAP Cloud Foundry, SAP HANA XS Classic, and SAP HANA XS Advanced.

To use CTM, you first need to set up a transport landscape that includes at least two SAP BTP accounts: a development account and a target account. You can then use CTM to transport your development artifacts, such as source code, configuration files, and data, from the development account to the target account.

The process flow for combining continuous integration with CTM typically involves the following steps:

  1. A developer pushes code changes to a version control system (VCS) such as Git.
  2. The VCS triggers a build process in a continuous integration (CI) system such as Jenkins or Azure DevOps.
  3. The CI system builds and tests the code changes, and creates a transport request (TR) in the development account.
  4. The release manager reviews and releases the TR, which makes it available for transport to the target account.
  5. The CTM system transports the TR to the target account, where it is imported and deployed.

You can also use CTM to trigger and schedule imports and transports. For example, you can set up a transport schedule to automatically transport TRs from the development account to the target account on a regular basis. The release manager plays a key role in this process, as they are responsible for reviewing and releasing TRs, and for managing the overall transport process.

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Apply CI/CD to SAP HANA

Implementing a CI/CD process for an SAP HANA extended application services, an advanced model application using the multitarget application (MTA) format involves the following steps:

  1. Set up a version control system (VCS) to store and manage the source code for the MTA application.
  2. Create a build pipeline in a CI/CD tool such as Jenkins or Azure DevOps. The pipeline should have build and test stages, as well as a deployment stage.
  3. Use the Cloud MTA Build Tool to build the MTA archive. The Cloud MTA Build Tool is a command-line tool that helps automate the build process for MTAs. It takes the source code for the MTA and generates a deployable MTA archive file.
  4. In the build stage of the pipeline, run unit tests and integration tests on the MTA application to ensure that it is functioning correctly.
  5. In the deployment stage of the pipeline, use the Cloud Foundry command-line interface (CLI) to deploy the MTA archive to the SAP Cloud Platform.
  6. Set up monitoring and alerting to notify the team if the deployment fails or if there are any issues with the application in production.

The types of tests that may be included in the CI build include unit tests, which test individual functions or components of the application, and integration tests, which test the application as a whole and ensure that all of its components are working together correctly.

To deploy the MTA archive to production, you can use the Cloud Foundry CLI to push the archive to the SAP Cloud Platform, where it can be run as a cloud-native application. The Cloud Foundry CLI is a command-line tool that allows you to manage and deploy applications on the SAP Cloud Platform.SAP

Conclusion

In conclusion, CI/CD is a software engineering practice that can greatly benefit SAP environments by helping organizations develop and deploy software updates more quickly and reliably. By automating the build, test, and deployment process, CI/CD can reduce the time and effort required to release software updates and increase the quality and reliability of the software being delivered.

Implementing CI/CD can be complex, but it can bring significant benefits in terms of speed, reliability, and quality of software delivery. There is a range of tools and services available, such as SAP Continuous Integration and Delivery and Project Piper, that can help organizations implement CI/CD in their SAP environments.

Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.

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