eCommerce has never been so vital to brands’ strategies. The rules for customer engagement are changing rapidly, and brands need to be adaptable to get ahead of their competition to win the loyalty battle for customers. Staying up-to-date and aligned with the SAP CX product roadmap ensures optimization of the value derived for your brand, taking advantage of SAP’s continual investments into the platform functionality.
There are plenty of benefits of moving SAP Commerce to the cloud, such as reducing your operational costs and boosting the customer experience. And the good news is the process can be more straightforward than you think.
In this article, we’ll provide a high level, step-by-step guide to migrating to SAP Commerce Cloud V2, or CCv2, including:
- Building a business case for migration,
- Choosing a migration strategy,
- Steps for a successful migration,
- Technical considerations,
- Navigating the Cloud environment,
- The MOVE process – Data/Media migration,
- Next steps to get started.
Building a Business Case for Migrating to the Cloud
As you build your business case for migrating to the cloud, consider your current challenges and the potential benefits of the CCv2 solution.
First, there are various challenges related to operations and maintenance in a self-hosted or on-premise SAP Commerce or legacy hybris solution. Some top challenges include:
- Inability to scale new servers to handle traffic spikes,
- Geographical distribution challenges,
- Disaster recovery,
- High costs to provision and manage hardware and software stacks,
- Inefficient processes,
- Security and compliance issues,
- Operational support strain.
Operational strain is a significant issue for many companies. Consider the impact on the following cloud-compute service models:
- On-premise: In the self-hosting model, the client is responsible for the entire hardware and software stack. This includes the physical hardware, VM Hypervisor, the guest OS, all the security and network configuration, the SAP Commerce core infrastructure, the business data, and all the custom business extensions.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): In a managed hosting model, referred to as IaaS, the burden of responsibility is lower but still requires the client to manage everything above the guest OS layer. Managing these layers — and keeping the entire software stack secure and compliant with security and licensing requirements — is a heavy burden for most customers.
With the SAP CCv2 solution, you’ll benefit from a true Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model. SAP provides the full infrastructure and runtime Commerce environment, while the client only manages the business data and custom extensions. Disaster recovery, high availability, performance, regional deployments, security, and regulatory compliance are all handled by SAP. This model drastically reduces the operational costs, greatly improves the customer experience, and allows the client to focus on their core business.
What other benefits can I expect from SAP Commerce Cloud V2?
Along with operational benefits, migrating to the cloud also helps manage costs. You’ll no longer need to manually provision new servers in anticipation of traffic spikes or overpay for under-utilized hardware. Customers are only charged based on a measurable business metric directly tied to the bottom line with the elasticity built into the SAP Commerce Cloud platform.
Migrating to the cloud also provides significant business benefits by unlocking a slew of cloud-only features to take your business to the next level. These features include:
Cloud Automation: A built-in cloud automation engine using the proven cloud technologies Docker, Kubernetes, and Microsoft Azure.
Kyma: A platform for extending applications with custom business logic using serverless functions and microservices.
Migrating to SAP Commerce Cloud will make it easier to integrate with the SAP CX Suite fully. Built-in integrations are available for the following set of SAP licensed products:
SAP Context-Driven Services (CDS): SaaS integration to SAP Commerce enables a range of features providing customers with a more personalized experience and improved conversion.
SAP Marketing Cloud: The cloud version of SAP Marketing provides extensive personalization, dynamic segmentation in real-time, and campaign automation.
SAP Customer Data Cloud: A customer repository used to build a 360-degree view of the customer, manage consent, and meet legal residency requirements.
SAP Integrations (SCPI): A cloud-based integration platform that integrates seamlessly with SAP CRM, ERP, and S/4HANA using OData RESTful APIs.
Choosing a Migration Strategy
The biggest driver for existing SAP Commerce clients to consider upgrading is the end of mainstream maintenance for the platform. When SAP Commerce Cloud V2 was first released, the minimum version required for migration was 6.7. That version is no longer supported, so the minimum version is currently 1808. However, given the timeframes for a potential migration project, migrating to a more recent release is recommended.
|Release Version||General Availability||End of Mainstream Maintenance|
|2105||May 2021 **|
|2011||November 11, 2020||February 11, 2023|
|2005||May 13, 2020||August 13, 2022|
|1905||May 29, 2019||August 29, 2021|
|1811||December 12, 2018||August 29, 2021|
|1808||August 8, 2018||August 29, 2021|
|6.7||April 11, 2018||August 8, 2020|
What are the primary strategies for migrating to SAP Commerce Cloud V2?
There are two main strategies to consider for your migration to the cloud:
#1: Lift & Shift: This strategy helps businesses migrate an application and associated data to the cloud without major redesigns to the app. Some minor changes are still required for the migration to make the application cloud compatible. The focus is on maintaining existing features applied to the newer target version. This is best illustrated as follows.
All features from the source version (e.g., 1905) are upgraded, including custom features; however, customers can also take advantage of the latest features provided out of the box with the proposed upgrade. This option is suitable for clients on a recent release that can easily upgrade.
#2: Re-architecting: This strategy helps you migrate an application and associated data to the cloud by making architectural changes that take full advantage of the cloud platform. Customers on a very old version (e.g. 5. x) may want to consider this migration strategy, as it enables you to take advantage of cloud benefits right away. It also allows clients to consider migrating their user interface (UI) to Spartacus and porting their custom business logic as extensions or to Kyma via Micro Services.
Steps for a Successful SAP Commerce Cloud Migration
Several steps are required to ensure a successful migration to the cloud, delivered by SAP and your expert integration partner like Pivotree. Take a look at the chart below to see how responsibilities stack up.
|Assessment||Subscription license. Schedule baseline workshop.||SAP|
|Analysis||Functional review, code analysis, technical assessment, benchmarking of the current site.||Pivotree|
|Proposal||Project plan – timeline, resources.||Pivotree|
|Code Migration||Deploy and test Cloud Readiness Audit Checks 1 & 2.||Pivotree / SAP|
|Data Migration||Media and Database migration from your On-Premise server.||Pivotree|
|Deploy and Monitor||Deploy to Cloud. Review performance and adjust as needed.||Pivotree / SAP|
What is the timeframe for a migration project?
The timeframe for a migration project can be anywhere between 10-16 weeks. The exact timing will depend on the migration strategy selected, the number of versions needing an upgrade, the amount of custom code that must be refactored, and the size and complexity of the data for migration.
Technical Considerations for Migrating to SAP Commerce Cloud V2
Several technical considerations should be evaluated and implemented during migration to SAP Commerce Cloud.
Benchmarking: You must institute benchmarking to size your cloud infrastructure properly. Each node comes within a DTU service tier, which factors in the CPU, Memory, Read throughput, and Write throughput. Identifying the correct DTU for each node is critical in ensuring that the site performs as expected. For example, a B2C retailer may need a high DTU on the Storefront/API layer, while a B2B enterprise may require the opposite and shift their DTUs to their background processing tasks.
Code refactoring: You must consider code refactoring to make the deployment compatible with SAP Commerce Cloud V2. This includes modifying the directory structure, refactoring any custom build steps, packaging third-party libraries and services (e.g., email server), and perhaps breaking apart services that perform long-running processes that negatively impact memory and CPU.
Java Compatibility: Starting with version 1905, the supported Java platform is Java 11. As such any third-party libraries used as part of custom extensions will need to be revisited and perhaps upgraded to ensure full compatibility.
Integrations: Implementation using DataHub or an Enterprise Service Bus will likely need to be updated. SAP Commerce Cloud V2 does provide a cloud-based version of DataHub to accommodate legacy customers. However, new customers are encouraged to take advantage of the cloud-based SCPI solution for integrations as it has broader integration support.
Manifest file: A manifest file is used for configuring which properties and extensions are deployed to the cloud. This file also breaks down the application into multiple aspects used to automate the deployment process.
Storage: Implementations that use local storage or an NFS share will need to be updated to use Azure Blob Storage. This is required because all Kubernetes pods are ephemeral and cannot support local storage. The consideration is of primary importance for customers using Hot-Folders for importing data into SAP Commerce.
Legacy modules: Some legacy modules, such as Subscription Billing and Synchronous Order Management, are no longer supported. Consider alternative approaches to provide similar functionality.
Database: SAP CCv2 is based on Microsoft Azure SQL. This could impact the data schema if any native data types are used or if custom SQL queries were implemented in lieu of Flexible Search queries.
CI/CD: The build and deploy process will likely need to be updated to leverage SAP Commerce Cloud V2. Apart from the manual build and deployment activities provided in the SAP Cloud console, CCv2 also provides an API that can be leveraged to automate the builds and deployments via custom pipelines.
Networking: No e-commerce solution lives on an island, so VPN connectivity to a legacy ERP, CRM, or OMS system is highly likely. This also includes DNS resolution, IP whitelisting, and firewall settings to reach out to third-party partners.
Navigating the Cloud Environment
By default, SAP provides three environments in the cloud: DEV, Staging, and Production. Each cloud environment is composed of two sets of components:
- Platform: Contains centralized components which are common for all customers.
- Subscription: Contains customer project-specific components. The configuration of these is under the control of the customer.
Each environment has its own configuration, and the Kubernetes engine ensures that the custom build image is installed in the cluster and launched successfully. Note that SAP Commerce Cloud is built on a single-tenant model, so there is no sharing of database instances, commerce nodes, or data between client subscriptions.
Using the SAP Cloud v2 build automation engine, the latest codebase is extracted from a customer-managed Git repository and deployed to a DEV environment. The QA team normally uses this environment to validate and test the build for defects. After successful QA testing has occurred in the DEV environment, the build is then deployed to a Staging environment to perform integration testing and User Acceptance testing with the client.
Integrations to a back-end ERP, CRM, or OMS are done via an integration hub such as SCPI. A VPN configuration is typically configured to support a cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to-on-premise connection.
Finally, when a build has successfully passed testing in all environments, it will be deployed to the final production environment and made accessible to the end customers.
The MOVE process – Data/Media Migration
The process of transferring data from your On-Premise environment to SAP Commerce Cloud is known as data migration. This is a critical and often underestimated step in the migration process. This step consists of migrating media files such as your static content and database data.
Cleaning the Data
Before attempting to migrate the data, it’s important to clean the data. SAP Commerce generates excessive transactional and temporary data, accumulating over a long production life. This includes the following:
- ImpEx Imports/Exports jobs
- Catalog Synchronization jobs
- Solr Jobs
- Cron Job logs and histories
- Temporary Impex Media
- Backoffice Saved Values
- Stored HTTP Sessions and expired customer carts
- Expired Business Processes and workflows
It’s critical to clean this data before the migration otherwise it will be included as part of the new dataset and could have a detrimental impact on performance. Additionally, regulatory compliance in some jurisdictions requires that non-active customer accounts and/or PII data be deleted after a few years.
Luckily, most of this temporary data can be cleaned up using a variety of Impex scripts and clean-up cron jobs. Ensure this important operation is performed as data cleansing is often overlooked during the migration process.
Commerce Migration Toolkit (CMT)
Since direct access to the database is not available in the cloud environment, migration of database data to SAP Commerce Cloud used to be handled exclusively by SAP. SAP now provides clients and partners with a new tool called CMT – a self-service Commerce Migration Toolkit.
The CMT toolkit allows for a full copy of the database and the underlying schema changes and is used to configure all new cloud environments as part of a one-off data migration process. For data transfer, the toolkit utilizes a set of SAP Commerce extensions installed on the Cloud instance that use a JDBC connection to the On-Premise database via a secure VPN tunnel. This step is repeated in each environment, and after each migration, CMT will generate a report and log to track any outstanding issues.
For media migration, a Microsoft tool called AzCopy is provided with custom scripts that can securely copy on-premise media files to SAP Commerce Cloud. This is done via an optional VPN tunnel and uses a Shared Access Signature (SAS) token provided by SAP. The token is temporary and only used during the migration process. Media types are copied from the source locations on the On-Premise servers to target Azure Blob Storage containers using a set of copy scripts.
Next Steps to Start Your Migration
Is an upgrade to SAP Commerce Cloud V2 on your 2021 wish list? We have the details you need to explore your options.
Pivotree provides a professional development team that is committed to working in a flexible approach to planning, executing, testing, and deploying your upgrade and cloud migration.