[SAP BTP Onboarding Series] SAP BTP Cockpit – Global Account Technical Overview

If you are following the Business Technology Platform topic, our Onboarding team has a series of blogs that are listed to help get started for new customers. In case you have missed them, you can refer to –

  1. Introducing the SAP BTP Onboarding Blog Series – Basic Concepts

Additionally, The SAP BTP Onboarding team delivers live webinars every month covering global time zones, if you’re interested, please register to join us Upcoming Live Sessions – Register Now.

In this blog, I am going to focus on a Technical Overview of the features and functionality provided for Global Account Administrators in the SAP Business Technology Platform (in short BTP) cockpit.

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I have split the screen into seven sections to keep things simple and to understand each one of them in detail.

  1. Personal Information
  2. Global Account
  3. Create (Subaccounts or Directories), and Switch Global Account
  4. Search Subaccount with Filter Options
  5. View/Edit Directories and Subaccounts
  6. Sidebar services on Global Account
  7. Support Options, Useful Links, and Legal Information

1. Personal Information

We all have preferences and SAP BTP provides a few options for you to give your global account view a personal touch.

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  • The Settings option allows you to change your cockpit color to default (white) or High Contrast Black and select your preferred language settings. As of today, the BTP cockpit supports 4 languages, English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

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  • User Information displays your full name along with your email address which is used to sign into this account. These details are defined for all users when added to the BTP Account and can be changed in the Security section by a global account admin.
  • Contact Us offers 3 different options to reach SAP
    • Technical Assistance – provides an option to report any bugs in BTP Cockpit
    • Non-Technical Assistance – options to ask questions on SAP Products with SAP Exports or interact with CIC (Customer Interaction Center) which is available 24/7. One of the best options for technical issues, I recommend checking this option
    • Give Feedback – Every service needs user/customer feedback to improve. This option helps to directly share your feed with the product teams
  • About shows your account information such as Account Name, Cloud Management Tools, Host Region, UI Component version, User-Agent, etc… Information on the Cockpit version and BTP cockpit host region can be found here apart from the URL that you access BTP. In case of any issues with your account, you can specify the version and hosting region to the support team to speed up the resolution time.

Settings (gear icon)  button/icon provides detailed information about your Global Account and Subaccount such as

The General tab shows the information about Global Account.

  • Account Type – Customer, Partner
  • Contract Status – Active, Inactive, Suspended, Terminated
  • Global Account Subdomain – It is the subdomain technical identifier of the global account
  • Geographic Access – Some of the customers would like to host their solution restricted to a country, such account will be restricted. E.g. EU
  • Created On – Account creation date

The Subaccount Defaults lets you define default values for all future subaccounts created. These can be changed, but by default will show what you’ve defined.

  • Supported Providers – SAP, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform
  • Default Provider – Based on the above selection of Supported Providers, one provider can be selected
  • Default Region – One region can be selected based on the Default Provider selected. It is a good practice to select them as Administrator so that the sub-admin or users do not spread the sub-accounts and be a part of the governance model

Note:

  • Based on your selection as an Administrator, you can restrict your admins/users from creating sub-accounts using other providers and their regions based on your selection you have set
  • These restrictions are only applicable to BTP Cockpit. In case you use REST APIs and CLI they are not affected

2. Global Account

Identifies your organization name assigned and displays a summary of the Directories and Subaccounts that have been created. As well as, the technical name of your global account is referred to as a subdomain which will come in handy when logging in from the CLI. In case you want to edit/change the global account name you do, follow the steps here.

The cockpit also provides you an option to switch between Global Accounts if more than one is available in your organization. You can achieve this in two ways, either selecting the drop-down button as shown in Image 1 option 2, or with the Switch Global Account button in option 3. Both display the available global accounts and global admins switch as required.  Note: you will only see additional global accounts if you are assigned or have been added as a Global Account Admin.

3. Create (Subaccounts or Directories)

One of the most important topics for an administrator and architects is establishing your company account model by creating Subaccounts and Directories. While it is another topic of discussion, on the selection of the region, service providers, and governance model, etc. I recommend reading the blog – Setting up your Account Model before creating any subaccounts. In this blog, I’m focusing on describing the services and the options provided.

First, let us understand what details are required to create a Subaccount and like any creation we need the basic details, the following information should be filled in to create your subaccount.

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  • Display Name a preferred name to identify your Subaccount. This should be specific and descriptive, either an internal project name, the use case, the services, etc.
  • A Description that defines the subaccount and its purpose
  • Subdomain this may be active only while you are creating your Cloud Foundry accounts (not active while neo accounts). The name is auto-populated based on the text filled in display name with unique values, in case you want to change it, you can do so. Note, this will become part of the URL for accessing applications that you subscribe to from this subaccount
  • The Region and service provider can be selected based on your account model defined
  • A Parent can either be a Global Account or a Directory which is similar to a folder structure
  • If you expand the Advanced sections, we have the options for Used for production – this can be selected when the subaccount is for production usage and importantly it also helps while you create your Support Ticket and report the account details, support teams can identify this as a production account and prioritize your tickets. Enable beta features provides you access to pre-release services from SAP BTP for trial activities on your subaccount. We recommend not to activate this for production activities until the services in Beta are generally available
  • Further, we have options for custom Labels allowing administrators to add custom metadata for accounts and directories to identify, filter, and manage multiple assets as groups based on certain criteria regardless of the parent entity

As an example, some of your subaccounts could be related to Development activities and you may want to label them as follows:

Importance   : High

Reviewed on: 20-12-2021

Managed by : DevOps, IT

Tag               : Important

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The above image Image 5 shows a small example of the available accounts without labels filters and with filters.

Directory

The directory is a new account entity, in addition to global accounts and subaccounts. Directories allow you to organize and manage your subaccounts according to your technical and business needs, think of Directories as folders. Directories can be defined based on criteria like Administration boundary, Billing Entity, Geographical, Business Scenario, Workload, etc.

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To create a Directory, you need a Display Name and to specify a Parent hierarchy to create it. Additionally, you can add descriptions related to the directory and labels, which are similar to the subaccount labels as explained previously.

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Once a Directory is created, you assign Subaccounts to them and you can work on Manage Users, Entitlements, and Monitor Usage Analytics of each subaccount assigned in a directory separately.

Check here for information on How to Determine your Account Model and Account Structure and Decision Making.

4. Search Subaccount with Filter Options

The search options help to filter the subaccounts based on Regions or based on labels that were created during your Subaccount and/or directory creation.

5. View/Edit Directories and Subaccounts, Subaccounts

This section is most helpful to an administrator and account manager who would like to understand the overall landscape/accounts deployed in the current global account. The BTP Cockpit provides a few options to manage (view/edit) your Directory and subaccounts in a list manner or a pictorial manner for ease of navigation. Image 8 shows the details of Directories and Subaccounts which belong to the Global Account and can further be filtered to a specific directory view.

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I will cover how to manage Subaccounts and Directories in my next blog.

6. Sidebar services on Global Account

By this time, you would be familiar with details on the cockpit. Now let us focus on the sidebar menus/services which are listed.

  • Account Explorer is an option to get to the main account screen to navigate within our Global Account and view the Directory/Subaccount options
  • Resource Provider allows you to connect non-SAP Cloud vendors and consume remote services within SAP BTP Applications for your projects. This could for example, be some of the pre-owned services like PostgreSQL or services on Azure or AWS which are currently supported. To do the configurations you need the resource provider details such as Application ID, secret keys, tenant ID, etc… In a future blog, I will share more details on how to configure this
  • Boosters are one of my favorites in the BTP Cockpit as they automate some of the processes and achieve a technical goal with simple guided steps. BTP offers boosters on Extension Suite (Development Efficiency, Digital Experience, and Digital Process Automation), and Integration Suite. Development is underway to continue evolving this offering. In a future blog, I will share more details on how to execute a booster
  • System Landscape – The power of SAP BTP is to give you the tools and services to obtain data to insight into your business. To do that, you need to connect your system landscape. To add SAP Cloud systems, we provide you the option to register a Systems
    • SAP S/4HANA Cloud (available for Cloud Foundry and Kyma environment)
    • SAP Marketing Cloud (available for Cloud Foundry and Kyma environment)
    • SAP SuccessFactors (available for Cloud Foundry and Kyma environment)
    • SAP Commerce Cloud (available for Kyma environment)
    • SAP Cloud for Customer (available for Kyma environment)
    • SAP Field Service Management (available for Kyma environment)

In a future blog, I’ll show you how to register a system.

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  • Entitlements

This section shows the overall entitlements and quotas of your Global Account. The number of services listed may be different on global accounts depending on your license model and the services which you have contracted from SAP.

I’ve worked with many customers who are trying to understand the difference between entitlements and quotas. To keep it simple,  remember an entitlement is the right to provision and consume a service based on your license and the quota is the quantity of service listed in your global cockpit.  Some service plans are numeric and these quotas can be distributed from your global account to subaccounts as required. Some services are metered and billed based on consumption. Numeric services can be increased or decreased and made available to subaccounts. Once the quota is assigned to your sub-account you can further manage these quotas at the subaccount level.

To have a glance at the services available you can go to Service Assignments. In the screenshot below I am accessing a subscription account, and I can see I have 30 services available to me.

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Entity Assignments allow you to configure and manage entitlements to your Directories and Subaccounts. Click on Configure Entitlements and then on Add Service Plans. Search for the service of your choosing, select the plan of your choice and Add the Service Plan.

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Be sure to save your entries.

This topic plays an important role in all aspects and it is a major role at all services including administration task, operations task, user roles, role collection, subaccount, directories, runtime environments, API security, Web Access, Authorizations, and many more. This is a huge topic on its own so to iterate, each of these topics can be explored while we go into those specific topics. Here we are trying to get familiar with the cockpit. We recommend admins first get familiar with the options.

On the global account level, BTP offers three options Users, Role Collection, and Trust Configuration. Let us take a glance at each of these services.

    • Users are the individuals who have access to BTP and have a corresponding role assigned to them. These users are by default stored in SAP BTP Identity Provider, which is dedicated to your global account. The same users can be permitted to access any subaccount and directory as per your choice.

By default, when the BTP Account is provisioned only one user from your organization will have access to it. We recommend adding additional admins immediately to avoid login issues.

    • Role Collection is a group authorization for resources and services. An administrator can create or assign such roles to platform users. These role collections may consist of a collection of individual users. They are account-specific and global roles will not be visible in subaccount vice versa. By default, BTP provides some roles collections.
      • Global Account Administrator
      • Subaccount Administrator
      • Directory Administrator
      • Cloud Connector Administrator
      • Connectivity and Destination Administrator
      • Destination Administrator
      • Subaccount Service Administrator

Along with these roles BTP provides many other roles for Viewer. More information can be found here.

Let us take a look at the default Role Collection, when you log in initially you will be able to see Global Account Administrator and a Global Account Viewer role collection.

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You can see that 4 roles are assigned to Global Account Administrator and 3 Roles are assigned to Global Account Viewer. You may click on the role collection names to add users or view the list of users assigned to the role.

    • Trust Configurations – while initial onboarding happens with one user and additional users can be created with default IDP, in a productive scenario every organization would like to re-use the central IDP with the common federation of authentication and authorization of roles for users. The Trust configurations section helps to federate with identity providers.

The most commonly used user SAML federation services and the supported list can be here. I would recommend following the BTP Cloud Identity Services for more details on this topic.

  • Usage Analytics helps in tracking your usage of cloud credits (based on your license type), the service consumption of global accounts along with directories and subaccounts. In my case, I do not have any cloud credits as it is subscription-based.

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These analytics plays a huge role when we start getting productive with BTP, so I would recommend getting familiar with all the various options from the documentation here.

7. Support Options, Useful Links, and Legal Information

These are additional support towards any documentation on

  • Help Documentation BTP overall services
  • Tutorial Navigator takes you to BTP related services at developers.sap.com with a lot of hands-on exercises
  • Discovery center where you can explore all the missions related to BTP services with a guided scenario with all the necessary guides
  • Guided answers – interactive documentation designed to troubleshoot issues related to BTP
  • Ask the community directs you to the SAP Community where you can post your questions and take support of SAP Experts across the globe to help you with any questions
  • Support options such as Technical Assistance, Non-Tech and Give feedback are provided here as described in image 3

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Useful Links navigates us to What’s New with SAP BTP that lists all the product releases, bug fixes, announcements, etc. (Important to keep track of the services updates).

Development Tools are listed on a separate link which is necessary during a development cycle, they provide options to download, install and connect to systems on BTP. Example ABAP, BW, Cloud, Cloud Integration, ML Foundation, Mobile and UI5, etc.. tools are listed on this webpage.

The community takes us to BTP Community which helps us to get familiar with the BTP Platform as a service with the other blogs and questions posted by global users.

Last, you can subscribe to the monthly newsletter by the SAP Product Team.

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Legal Information – every product needs to be covered with legal process and the details should be made available.  Configure Privacy Links provides an option for our organization to define the legal links per enterprise global account. BTP also lists the Copyright and Trademark details related to the SAP products on a webpage page.

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With this, we complete the SAP Business Technology Platform overview and you should be able to guide and navigate among the screens, create directories, subaccounts, play around with entitlements, etc.. in the cockpit.

Hope this blog was helpful to the new customers and new users who wanted to get an overview of BTP Cockpit.

Cheers,

Nagesh Caparthy

SAP BTP Onboarding Team