new IRT feature: Compare SAP PI/PO messages as JSON or Binary/Hex values

This video describes the new feature with the SAP PI/PO testing tool.

IRT Integration Regression Tool allows you to fetch messages from your SAP PI/PO productive system and compare how they work on your Test system. IRT allows you to compare XML, EDIFACT, X12, Text files and now also Binary/HEX and JSON files.
You can get a free trial at
http://figaf.com/irt

Tool to get BPM context data from a SAP PO BPM

One of the benefits to having a team of developers at your disposal like I do to create my SAP PI/PO test tool is, the ability to create cool applications to solve problems. So I’m really happy that I can give a free tool away to the people that have the same challenge as I ran into.

I have a client where we were using BPM to have some user actions in. Sometimes they wanted to restart the BPM process with the same data or minor changes. I could see the payload in the BPM monitor as on below.

This did not give any information about how I could download the message. I know if the process is failed I’m able to edit the payload of a message, but this is obvious, not true if the process is completed.

There was no API for getting the data from my research at the point.

So we had to create our own tool to handle the queries.

We found the table in the database that housed the Context Data and then started understanding how it worked. The context data was encoded in an XML structure with base64. Then it was just to build a simple user interface on top of it.

It should be easy to find the correct document and so we added a function to make xpath in the data to get the correct data. So we ended up with the following UI.

 

If you want to get it. You can get it for free at http://figaf.com/tools/figaf-bpm-extractor/.

The build includes sources so you can optimize it your self.

 

 

 

 

SAP Cloud Platform Integration Day 2017 (aka third annual HCI Day )

I attended the SAP Cloud Platform Integration(HCI) day this week.

I created a video around the topic where I’m going deeper into the content that I can describe here.

 

There is a problem with the name of the product. There is no official abbreviation of it so during the presentation it was mentioned as HCI, SCP Integration and CPI. CPI is the most logical but is used by another product. The lack will mean it becomes more difficult to find people with the correct skillsets because there is so many different solutions. So until somebody find an official abbreviation I’ll be using HCI.

There was a section with the news highlights of HCI where Udo Paltzer was presenting some new.

·        Self service key store

·        JMS Queues internally to decouple async message. It is on the enterprise version.

·        99.99% uptime on a monthly basis. Somebody was mentioning that contract giving SAP access to hours of service window if it was planned.

·        Web UI was the way forward, Eclipse would be depreciated.

·        A customer regression testing solution. Since it is something I’m quite interested in with my tool for doing the same on SAP PI/PO. Check out http://figaf.com/irt to learn about the generic solution to test SAP PI/PO.

Customer regression testing is a service SAP provides where a customer can submit an iFlow together with in and out test messages. SAP would then make a test mock of the service and run the tests on it.

SAP will then run those mock iFlows in their own system before the code is released for customers and if there are any errors they would ensure that they do not break any functionality. This is a service you need to buy at SAP and will only cover your most critical or complex scenarios. And if your iFlow changes you will need to submit new tests. It will be a service you will see on the price list.

SAP was also presenting some of their services that used the HCI. There was a Ariba Connector hub something which enabled you to onboard vendors or suppliers fairly easy. Here the user was guided thru a wizard about the integration. There was some confusion where it fitted in but they were just creating iflow based on the configuration. There was also a Farma net demo where they also created iFlows in the background using some internal APIs for HCI. The API will be public this fall.

I was at a workshop last summer in Waldorf where we were looking for better ways to improve the integration experience. One of the ideas was this one click or wizard approach to create integrations.

There was also a Successfactor and eDocuments presentations. From them it was clear to see that these services gave companies an approach to SAP HCI and then they would get to know the product. And hopefully start moving more integrations to it. The hot example is the Spanish SII document that will start 1 july 2017. Last weeks there was 80 productive instances running now there was 280. So it was a big driver for getting HCI to customers.

There was 9 partner presentations of different levels of depth and relevance to HCI.

Some of the takeways I got from Morten Wittrock from KMD was that it would be beneficial to learn about the Camel framework and groovy scripts because it enabled you to leverage the full platform.

ProXcellence was talking about if customers was really ready for the cloud. It was something to buy HCI but not all organizations was able to leverage it together with the changed capabilities of the cloud infrastructure. HCI was quite simple but you sometimes needed to get some more experienced developers onboard because there were limitations to what business uses knew about certificates and the integration.

Do check out video attached to this post.

 

SAPPHIRENOW 2017 from an integration perspective

SAPPHIRENOW and the ASUG annual conference is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to packing my bags and get on the way to the event. To see what is going on in the SAP ecosystem.

I normally do a short preview of the session that I’m planning to attend at the conference so you also can follow along in what is happening. So this blog is about that.

As something new I’ll try to create Facebook live videos from the conference if it possible. I guess there is a lot of things that can go wrong like wifi and location. I’ll give it a try so you can follow along.

I recorded a video on the agenda that I have put together and my thought about it. You can view it here on facebook please comment if there is a session that you think I should add to my agenda.

If you want to meet, I’m planning to see the keynotes at the remote theater DS425. I do hope it is a place where they will stream the keynotes otherwise I may go to find a different location

Here is my list of integration topics. If you are looking at IoT/SAP Leonardo and API there is also many sessions on those. I do hope to be able to attend some of them.   

session

Title

Time

BITI8502

Roundtable: Tackling Your Cloud Integration Challenges

Tue
12:30 p.m. – 01:30 p.m. 

S320 Roundtable Corridor – Roundtable #4

DP44055

Apply the Best Strategies for Cloud Integration

Tue
02:00 p.m. – 02:40 p.m.

Data, Analytics, and Cloud Platform DP532

BA49329

Become a Driving Force for Digital Business with SAP Leonardo IoT

Wed
01:00 p.m. – 01:20 p.m.
Live Business Theater

BITI6663

Best Practices to Migrate from SAP Process Integration 7.1 to SAP Process Orchestration 7.4

Best Practices to Migrate from SAP Process Integration 7.1 to SAP Process Orchestration 7.4

BITI7809

Enterprise Integration Consolidation and Business-to-Business Collaboration with SAP Process Orchestration

Thu
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
S310G (South Concourse, Level 3)

Always use PI/PRO for exposing web services

I recently had a long walk at the park trying to get my young son to sleep in his stroller. While I walked, I was thinking about a question I had this week from a potential client, and wondering about SAP integration, and whether or not we need PI/PRO, or if we might be able to use ECC for webshops instead.

The potential clients were doing web service, or a portal, and they wanted to know if they could connect with an ECC backend. I told them that’s fine; the conventional wisdom in PI communities has been that we want to make sure everything is governed through the PI, so we’ve used SOS services. This has been the mantra since I started with PI/XI, it’s been the standard approach.

Recently, however, I see that this standard has loosened up a little, and developers are exposing things in different ways. The first thing that comes to mind is Gateway, which is almost the same thing as using the PI, but enables you to access the ECC data directly using the OData and other similar operations. So Gateway is probably one of the more capable technologies.

We’ve also got solutions like API management, which usually goes through Gateway, or in some instances through PI/PRO. This is a bit of a change, which makes me think again about what the benefits are of using a PI. Obviously, you’ve got the element of governance — you know who’s calling the server – and you’ve got a way of exposing all kinds of different services to the outside world. In this case, the developers just need to worry about web services, and not about RFCs, proxies, or whatever you are calling on the back end. Other benefits include security and scalability, which allow you ensure that that the web service/front end, would not bog down the ECC system with too many requests all at one time. The PI allows you to configure that in different ways. Those are some of the good capabilities of the PI.

On the other hand, the PI is adding some latency to the web service calls, and the development process takes a little bit longer because it is more complicated to call through different layers.

So, ultimately, I guess people need to figure out what a project’s integration strategy is, and whether they have a PI or an HCI, and especially how they all fit in together. For example, if you want an HCI and are calling the ECC back-end, things can become a little complicated! With that in mind, in a lot of instances, it may even be possible to call ECC directly, and let the web guys worry about that part. Sure, as a PI developer, I would prefer to get this extra work, but if it’s not adding a lot of value for my client and it’s just me logging hours, I don’t know if I can justify using it.

What are your thoughts? Please share your input, so I can share with my clients.