Taking the Complexity out of Geoenablement with Esri + SAP HANA

Geoenablement brings the benefits of location information from GIS to an organization’s enterprise data sources to enhance operations, analysis, and decision making. Critigen has been a leader in geoenablement for many years, providing advisory and implementation services for organizations like Hydro One, City of San Diego, and North Carolina Department of Transportation. Investments in technology from our partners Esri and SAP have enabled new geoenablement patterns that are repeatable, architecturally flexible, and quick to implement. 

A pivotal change supporting new geoenablement patterns is the certification of SAP HANA as a database platform for Esri’s enterprise geodatabase. The enablement of the geodatabase on HANA allows an organization to store some, or even all, of their GIS data in an enterprise geodatabase on HANA. Critigen has developed a solution to easily integrate Esri and SAP data on a map by harnessing HANA capabilities that allow SAP business data on HANA to be easily accessed in GIS. Leveraging the capabilities of the HANA platform reduces the need for complex interfaces and duplicated data between Esri and SAP, providing the right data when needed with minimal overhead.  

So how is this geoenablement pattern different from other industry methods? This pattern decreases the time it takes for an organization with existing investments in both Esri and SAP HANA to: 

  • Easily initiate SAP business transactions from a map using existing Esri and SAP technologies. 
  • Enable data products that leverage both SAP and Esri data on a map for improved insights and decision-making. 
  • Facilitate the geoenablement of SAP data across the suite of SAP modules using repeatable patterns. 

The easiest use case is to display SAP data on an Esri web map. This allows you to not only see the location of your assets or other SAP data, but additional data from SAP like maintenance history or asset lifecycle costs. Combined data from Esri and SAP can also be used to create reporting tools and dashboards to share information within your organization. Where SAP and Esri really add value through, is by using maps to enable management of SAP objects and business processes. For example, you could easily deploy the repeatable pattern to allow you to select a catch basin on the map and create a Work Order for that catch basin in SAP, or capture inspection information in a Notification.  Implementing  geoenablement using this approach opens a whole world of map-enabled use cases for SAP users in an easy, repeatable way.  It is an ideal approach for organizations that already have a robust Esri footprint and want to extend the use and functionality of their existing Web Maps/Apps. 

Image depicting launch of SAP transactions directly from an Esri Web Map
Launch SAP transactions directly from an Esri Web Map

It’s important to remember that the foundation of geoenablement is establishing and maintaining relationships between data in Esri and SAP, and that requirement has not changed. What has changed is how your existing technology investments can be used to take advantage of these integration patterns to quickly implement geoenablement. If you need to establish and maintain that foundational alignment between your GIS and SAP systems, Critigen can assist by leveraging our experience in establishing business processes and synchronization approaches to unlock geoenablement.  

The Esri geodatabase on HANA enables a new order for geoenablement that leverages the best of the SAP and Esri technology stacks. In a later blog, we will share more on the performance benefits of the HANA geodatabase and how our clients are using it to enhance current workflows and imagine new use cases previously challenging to achieve with previous approaches.