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Add the Consumption of an External Service to Your CAP Application

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Add the Consumption of an External Service to Your CAP Application

Add the Consumption of an External Service to Your CAP Application

October 13, 2021
Created by
October 11, 2021
This tutorial shows you how to extend your CAP application to manage risks associated with suppliers. For that you will consume supplier information that is part of the SAP S/4HANA Business Partner to your CAP application.

You will learn

  • How to get service definition
  • How to add a service to your project
  • How to add mock data
  • How to connect to the sandbox service
  • How to delegate requests to external services
  • How to add the API key
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  • You have developed your CAP application and have prepared it for deployment using this collection of tutorials here or download the result from this branch to start.

To start with this tutorial use the result in the cp/logging branch.

Step 1: Get the Business Partner service definition

SAP publishes service definitions for its major products on SAP API Business Hub. These service definitions are required to use remote services in CAP. For example, to call a remote service, build projections upon them, and to mesh-up with them.

  1. Open SAP API Business Hub.

  2. Choose the tile S/4HANA Cloud.

  3. Navigate to tab APIs.

  4. Navigate to tab ODATA V2.

  5. Search for Business Partner (A2X).

  6. Choose Business Partner (A2X).

  7. Choose API Specification.

    API Details
  8. Choose the download button for EDMX option in the Value column. Log on to SAP API Business Hub if you have to.

    If you are using Google Chrome as a browser, you now see the downloaded EDMX file in the footer bar:


    In case you have problems downloading the file, you can also find API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.edmx within your Finder/File Explorer in the directory templates/cap/ext-service-add/srv/external.

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Step 2: Add the Business Partner service to your project

From your project’s root folder, run the cds import command with the path of your downloaded API_BUSSINESS_PARTNER.edmx file.

For example:

cds import ~/Downloads/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.edmx


[cds] - imported API to srv/external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.csn
> use it in your CDS models through the like of:

using { API_BUSINESS_PARTNER as external } from './external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER';

[cds] - updated ./package.json

The command will copy the EDMX file to the srv/external folder of your project and convert it to CAP’s format CSN, which will be placed there as well (srv/external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.csn).

Additionally, the file will be registered as service definition in the package.json file:

  "cds": {
    "requires": {
        "kind": "odata-v2",
        "model": "srv/external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER"
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Step 3: Add mock data for Business Partner

In this step, you add some mock data for the business partner service. This allows you to perform tests using the service without the need to connect to an actual remote service.

  1. Copy the folder data from templates/ext-service-add/srv/external to the srv/external folder of your app. If VS Code asks you whether to copy the folder, confirm.

    The folder contains a CSV file API_BUSINESS_PARTNER-A_BusinessPartner.csv with some business partner data.

  2. Start your CAP application, if it’s not still running:

    cds watch

    In the cds watch output, you find the information about the two services:

    > filling API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.A_BusinessPartner from ./srv/external/data/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER-A_BusinessPartner.csv
    [cds] - mocking API_BUSINESS_PARTNER { at: '/api-business-partner' }
    [cds] - serving RiskService { at: '/service/risk', impl: './srv/risk-service.js' }

    Because the external API_BUSINESS_PARTNER service isn’t connected to a real remote service, it get’s mocked with your mock data.

  3. Open the CAP application in your browser: http://localhost:4004/

    You can now see the api-business-partner service with all its entities under Service Endpoints.

  4. Choose A_BusinessPartner:

    API Business Partner service

    For this application, you need only a few fields from the A_BusinessPartner entity. To do this, you create a projection on the external service. Since in this example, you’re only interested in the business partners that are suppliers, you use the name Suppliers for your projection.

  5. Open the db/schema.cds file and add the following entity at the end of the file:

    // using an external service from
    using {  API_BUSINESS_PARTNER as bupa } from '../srv/external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER';
    entity Suppliers as projection on bupa.A_BusinessPartner {
      key BusinessPartner as ID,
      BusinessPartnerFullName as fullName,
      BusinessPartnerIsBlocked as isBlocked,

    In the projection, the fields are also given more appealing names. It is much easier to work with your own projection and by this you also avoid requesting data that you’re not interested in.

  6. Expose supplier information through your service by adding the following lines to your srv/risk-service.cds file:

    entity Suppliers @(restrict : [
                    grant : [ 'READ' ],
                    to : [ 'RiskViewer', 'RiskManager' ]
            ]) as projection on my.Suppliers;

    The service is limited to read accesses using @readonly and the read permission is given to the roles RiskViewer and RiskManager.

  7. Open the CAP application in your browser: http://localhost:4004/

  8. Choose Suppliers under Risks service:


    Now, you can see just the supplier information.

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Step 4: Connect to the sandbox service

Later in the tutorial Use SAP S/4HANA Cloud Service, you will learn how to connect the business partner service with a real SAP S/4HANA system. In this tutorial here, you use the sandbox system to try out your application with a real remote system.

  1. Open again the Business Partner (A2X) page on the SAP API Business Hub.

  2. Under Overview Configuration Details, you find the Sandbox URL. Keep the page open, you’ll need it later again.

  3. Add a new profile sandbox that uses the URL of the sandbox in your package.json file:

          "kind": "odata-v2",
          "model": "srv/external/API_BUSINESS_PARTNER",
          "[sandbox]": {
            "credentials": {
                "url": ""
  4. Run cds watch with the sandbox profile:

    cds watch --profile sandbox

    With the --profile parameter all settings enclosed in [sandbox] will be added to the default development settings for cds watch.

  5. Open the CAP application’s URL and try to access your Suppliers service entity again: http://localhost:4004/service/risk/Suppliers

  6. You will see an error message:

    <error xmlns="">
    <message>SQLITE_ERROR: no such table: RiskService_BusinessPartners in: SELECT ID, businessPartnerFullName, businessPartnerIsBlocked, searchTerm1 FROM RiskService_BusinessPartners ALIAS_1 ORDER BY ID COLLATE NOCASE ASC LIMIT 11</message>

    The API_BUSINESS_PARTNER service is now configured as a remote service. Service requests will not be automatically delegated to remote services. This delegation happens only for services based on database entities and mock services. For that reason, it worked in the local mocking mode before.

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Step 5: Delegate requests to external services

To solve this issue, you add some handler code to delegate the call from the Suppliers service entity to the remote API_BUSINESS_PARTNER service.

  1. Open the file srv/risk-service.js and add the following lines:

    const cds = require('@sap/cds');
    * Implementation for Risk Management service defined in ./risk-service.cds
    module.exports = cds.service.impl(async function() {
        const bupa = await'API_BUSINESS_PARTNER');
        this.on('READ', 'Suppliers', async req => {
        this.after('READ', 'Risks', risksData => {

    First, the code connects to the remote service. The new handler for Risks delegates all read requests to the remote service.

    The CAP server maps the request for the Suppliers projection to the remote service. The result is mapped back. For example, field names need to be mapped between the ID field of Suppliers and the BusinessPartner field that the remote service knows. The CAP server does this based on your defined projection. This works for multiple levels of projections as well.

  2. Run cds watch with the sandbox profile:

    cds watch --profile sandbox
  3. Open the CAP application’s URL and try to access your Suppliers service again: http://localhost:4004/service/risk/Suppliers?$top=11

  4. You will see another error message:

    <error xmlns="">
    <message>Error during request to remote service: Request failed with status code 401</message>

    The request is sent to the remote service. But it fails, because the sandbox requires an API Key for authentication.

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Step 6: Add the API key

You take an API key from SAP API Business Hub, put it in an environment variable and add it to all requests for the business partner (bupa) service.

This code is required for the sandbox only. The authentication for SAP S/4HANA systems works without custom code.

  1. Go back to your open Business Partner (A2X) API page.

  2. Choose Show API Key on the right.

  3. Choose Copy Key and Close.

    API Key
  4. Create a new file .env in your project folder and add an environment variable in the file with the copied API Key:

    cds.requires.API_BUSINESS_PARTNER.[sandbox].credentials.headers.APIKey=<Copied API Key>

    The .env file is used to add additional environment variables for local testing. By setting environment variables starting with cds. or cds_, you can add settings to your CAP configuration.

    In this example, it has the same effect as the following configuration in the package.json file:

        "cds": {
            "API_BUSINESS_PARTNER": {
                "[sandbox]": {
                    "credentials": {
                        "headers": {
                            "APIKey": "<Copied API Key>"

    But by putting it in a separate file, you can exclude it from being pushed to the git repository as described in the next step.

  5. Add the .env file to .gitignore:

  6. Run cds watch with the sandbox profile:

    cds watch --profile sandbox
  7. Open the CAP application’s URL and try to access your Suppliers service again: http://localhost:4004/service/risk/Suppliers?$top=11

  8. Now, you can see the Business Partner data from the sandbox transformed to your projection.

    Business Partner Data
What should you do to ensure that the .env file is not checked in your GitHub repository?

The result of this tutorial can be found in the ext-service-add branch.

Next Steps

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