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Integrating SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud

Integrating SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud

SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud are two products within the SAP C/4HANA suite. Each come with their own set of functionality and data. Integrating both, however, can help elevate the overall customer experience. There are many different options for integrating these two products. This article will focus on outlining the integration options, along with their pros and cons, to help you decide which option is best for you. Before starting, we recommend that you read through the article "Overview of SAP C/4HANA Integration and Extension Options".

Table of Contents

Background

When discussing the integration between SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud, it is important to understand the different interaction points. The following diagram provides an overview of the interaction points:



When trying to determine which integration option is best, there are a few considerations that need to be accounted for:

  • Data to integrate (clickstream, master data, product and offer recommendations, and more)
  • Project timeframe
  • Existing integrations
  • Level of support

Because SAP Marketing Cloud comes with a set of common Integration APIs for inbound and outbound data, the focus of this article will be mostly on the options for the integration on the SAP Commerce Cloud's side.

Integration Options

Each section below will cover an integration option, followed by a summary of all the pros and cons of each option. The options below are not in any particular order.

Option 1: Out-of-the-Box Integration with SAP Commerce Cloud, Data Hub

This section will focus on the following versions of SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud. All integration options covered here are available with these versions. Prior to these versions, some integration options might not be available.

  • SAP Commerce Cloud v6.6
  • SAP Marketing Cloud 1808


The integration between SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Commerce Cloud can be split into two types of data: clickstream and recommendations, and master data. The clickstream and recommendation data leverages the event framework of SAP Commerce Cloud to push data to SAP Marketing Cloud. For this data to be useful to SAP Marketing Cloud, master data (customer, product, order, carts and reviews), needs to be replicated first. These two integrations are shown in the diagrams below:


Clickstream Data

Master Data Replication


To replicate the master data, you can leverage the SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub solution, which is an integration and staging platform that comes with pre-built integrations for importing and exporting master data between the two solutions. With these integrations, there are cronjobs in SAP Commerce Cloud that can be triggered manually or scheduled. The cronjob will execute and leverage the delta detection of y2ysync against the SAP Commerce Cloud database to determine any changes since the last time the job was run. These changes will then be loaded, composed and published in the target SAP Marketing Cloud instance through a data adapter that was built using SAP Marketing Cloud's OData services.

We recommend this option for solutions that already have SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub. It is important to realize that SAP Marketing Cloud has deprecated the CUAN_IMPORT OData service. This means that some of the SAP Commerce Cloud extensions required for this integration have also been marked for deprecation. If you are already using this option, you will continue to receive support for the time allotted in your contract. However, the strategic way forward will be to leverage the Integration APIs (see below). We recommend that you consider in your future migration plans the Integration API option that best fits your needs.

This video will walk you through more details on the architecture and implementation for this option.

Note: The above functionality takes into account consent for various scenarios. See this page in the product documentation that details how consent for anonymous and logged-in customers is accounted for in each of the features.

Some helpful links:

Option 2: Expressway

Expressway is a non-standard (unsupported) integration solution for sending master and transactional data from SAP Commerce Cloud to SAP Marketing. It does not require an external server like SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub, so some may find it quicker and easier to set up. Expressway is an SAP Commerce Cloud extension that leverages many of the same extensions as the SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub option mentioned above. For this reason, it is possible to use it in conjunction with SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub.



Aside from being officially unsupported, another drawback for Expressway is the extensions are only available for SAP Commerce Cloud v6.5-1811, though the 6.5 version may work for some earlier versions. It may be possible to leverage these extensions for newer versions of SAP Commerce Cloud, but there is no guarantee they will work. Additionally, you should also determine if you're looking to add more SAP C/4HANA products in the future, as Expressway only works for integrating SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud. No other products would work whereas SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub and the Integration API options will. Finally, because Expressway leverages the same SAP Commerce Cloud extensions that are being deprecated (in accordance with the CUAN_IMPORT deprecation), you might determine this is not the right solution for you.

For projects that are just starting now, Expressway may be a good temporary solution until all the Integration APIs and SCPI Integration scenarios are completed. If you are starting a project with the intent to use Expressway, we recommend that you also ensure you minimize customizations and have a plan in your project's future to migrate over to the Integration APIs when they are ready.

Option 3: Build your own Integration API

With the release of SAP Commerce Cloud 1808, new Integration APIs were introduced to send data to, or receive data from, SAP Commerce Cloud more easily. Creating Integration Objects and Integration APIs to interact with them is the main integration strategy going forward, as outlined in Integration Options for SAP Commerce Cloud. Depending on which data you need to get in or out of SAP Commerce Cloud, it may be sufficient enough to leverage the existing Integration APIs in your version of SAP Commerce Cloud. Or create your own. Although you would be responsible for supporting any custom APIs you create, this may be the simplest option if you need to customize SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub or Expressway. If you require significant customizations or want to fully integrate SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud, then it's preferable to evaluate the other options in this article.

The following video covers more on the Integration API strategy:

https://enable.cx.sap.com/media/SAP+Commerce+Cloud+Integration+APIs+-+Webinars/0_c5d5tt8x

Option 4: Integration API with SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI)

This option is still in development but is intended as the strategic way forward. By leveraging the existing and new Integration APIs that exist in both products as well as the power of SCPI, you will have full power over data coming in and out of both systems in a consent-driven way. As of publication, this option is not yet available. However, we are including it here because it aligns with the strategic solution for the SAP C/4HANA suite. There is no release date but you should continue to consult both the SAP Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud roadmaps to get a better idea of when the APIs will be available. If you are starting a new project and are trying to determine if you should move forward this option, you must first consider the level of risk you are willing to take. Because there is no official release date, your project timeline would need to account for a large buffer as well as having a backup plan (likely one of the options above) along with a date to move forward with the backup plan. Alternatively, you could choose one of the other options in this article, minimize customizations and have a plan for the future to migrate to this option.

What about SAP Commerce Cloud, Context Driven Services?

The SAP Commerce Cloud, context-driven services solution provides real-time customer experience personalization for SAP Commerce Cloud. SAP Commerce Cloud, context-driven services provides context-driven merchandising, customer recovery and segmentation. Although the key features integrate with SAP Commerce Cloud, in the future when all three solutions are integrated, you will be able to better drive personalization and gain more insights. See the Roadmap for more details on when the SAP Commerce Cloud, context-driven services integration is planned.


Conclusion

There are many options when it comes to integrating SAP Marketing Cloud with SAP Commerce Cloud. The table below summarizes the pros and cons of each option as well as when to choose each option.


Options Pros Cons When to choose

Out-of-the-box integration with SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub

  • Pre-built integrations synching master data with SAP Marketing Cloud
  • Includes support
  • Requires additional servers or license
  • Not the strategic way forward
  • Existing project already using SAP Commerce Cloud, data hub
  • Starting a project requiring integration between multiple SAP C/4HANA solutions

Expressway

  • No additional middleware required
  • Syncs key data, including master-data
  • Easy to customize
  • Unsupported
  • Code only provided for specific versions of SAP Commerce
  • Don't want to have additional middleware
  • Only trying to integrate SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Marketing Cloud
Build your own API
  • Aligns with SAP's integration strategy
  • Additional development/testing time for customization is required
  • Some APIs may be duplicated by out-of-the-box features in the future
  • Confident with creating APIs and want to align with SAP strategy
Pre-built integration APIs with SCPI
  • Should work with minimal configuration
  • Strategic solution moving forward
  • Not yet available
  • Project has a long timeline
  • Able to take on the risk that the integrations might not be delivered by the time you require them.
  • Backup plan and a date to implement it exist