Which Enterprise software is easy to learn but also has the complexity?

For my tool to SAP PI/PO testing system, I was asked how much training you need. My thought was one hour, a client said 4 hours. That is a big difference than learning SAP PI/PO that will take days/months.

With all tools, there is the trade-off to make something simple that can do one thing VS something that can do everything. The simple is a Stopwatch app. A complex is a Java framework like Spring that allows you to do everything. And then you have everything in between.

But it got me thinking about how we learn software. You can view the video here

Please share below if you have found any good tools that we can learn from. 

So a good example of a software that is good to use from the gaming world is the simulation games. Here you get information that now clicks this icon, then do this and now you can build a farm. It is a bit frustrating because you cannot explore the application. If they do not have this guide it will be difficult to have users figuring out how to use the system.

I have not seen that strong guides for anything in the Enterprise world. Our installation is taking longer than installing an App from your favorite app store. And probably there are too many steps involved to just discard a project the moment you first run into a problem.

In the SAP world it is also difficult you have SAP ERP and creating a Purchase Order takes some time to learn. I know there are Screen Personas ( or what current name may be) and Fiori that may simplify some of the normal POs created. But it still a different approach and will allow a limited functionality. If users should do something more or create a more complicated PO it cannot be done without a lot of custom development.

Our current approaches to simplify the user experience is:

  • Add a free video course that covers the different scenarios that you would have. So a way to get the user started.
  • We are also working on embedding the documentation tighter into the application.
  • We have tried to make it as simple as possible to set up the test case with the tool.

I’m not sure if we could make some guides that helped people selecting a good interface to start testing with. But there could be some pointers what people should be looking at and for.

Please share if any good ideas to look for ways to get people using complex enterprise software. 

 

Christmas release for IRT your SAP PI/PO testing solution

This month release has been a long way in the process. It is adding some really cool features that have been requested by customers. Luckily we had a headstart on some of them because we could see areas for improving the application. The focus has been on productivity to make the system faster with setting up test cases and running recordings.

Since most SAP PI/PO systems run on clustered environments it is quite important to fully utilize it and make sure that other nodes are not affecting the result. We have added some functionality to let the different nodes share workload among each other. We have split the receiving of messages and comparison to different threads making the performance even better.

We have not had clients wanting us to work with sender agreements and receiver agreements on the single stack yet. So it has not been a priority. Now we got some customers using it so we had to make it work. We found that the web service for downloading ICO has been updated because the old did not contain messages with receiver determinations.

You just select the ICO you want to test and the system would automatically add modules for all receiver channels that matched the ICO.

The last is the ability to perform mappings between system information between the system you fetch data from and where you will replay it. Now if there are any challenges with the mapping you will get a nice UI that makes it easier to perform the mapping directly from the testing result that is missing information.

It is also possible to make mappings of interface names. So if you are doing an interface/namespace renaming you will be able to set up the mapping. That way it will be easier to verify that those instances work.

We expect this to be the last release this year, though there may come a few bug fixes. Next year we have some really cool features coming up.

Then there was a bunch of different bug fixes. We started to see this when working on solving customer support cases.

You can read more about Irt at https://figaf.com/irt

Technical webinar about Figaf’s IRT test tool for SAP PI/PO

During this week I have held a couple of Webinars about our test tool IRT and since it is the end of the year, I thought it was time to geek out. Therefore, I created the webinar just to show how cool I think the solution is. But I didn’t want to exclude those of you who didn’t attend the webinars so I have decided to share a version of the webinar to everyone interested. If you did attend the webinar and just want a second look you are more than welcome.  

In the video I will be sharing some of the cool features that we have been working on this year, to make testing SAP PI/PO much easier to do.

Some of the features that we have added is an easy way to test

  • Sync/async – Async/Sync bridges
  • Test with big XML messages
  • Configuration Wizard
  • JSON and Binary comparison
  • Clone recording requests to request more of the same message
  • System mapping between systems and interfaces between systems
  • Change Tracking Tool added to system
  • Improvements for templates for test cases

I hope you will enjoy the video it is packed with content about how Figaf Integration Regression Tool enables you to test your SAP PI/PO interfaces faster. The video is rather long so get a cup of coffee while watching or see it over a couple of times.

Remember that you can request a 30 day free trial at https://figaf.com/tools/integration-regression-tool/   

Marketing vs. Real life – Five minute photobook

Surely, I can click on a webshop and purchase a photo book in just 5 minutes but then I also need to select pictures and maybe even add some text to the pictures. This is not a 5 minutes task that’s for sure. Depending how much effort you want to put into this it can take several hours, at the moment I have spent 5 hours on my photo calendar.

So why am I raising this topic? Well, I must come clean and admit that I’m kinda doing the same thing – and it bugs me.

At Figaf we have our testing tool IRT and I can set up a test in our own system in just around 5 minutes maybe even shorter. But this is not a real-life scenario when you apply our test tool it will take you a lot longer than 5 minutes.

It can be challenging not to go down the road where you make advertises that states you can make complex testing in just 5 minutes. I have tried to be more realistic and made a backpack where it says “test your full SAP PI/PRO system in days, not months”.

I do believe that this a valid assumption and at Figaf we want to be on the same side and make sure the testing is set-up correctly. But I’m also aware that in some cases it will take longer it could be some weeks and not days.

So how do you see this marketing vs. real life?

Is it okay to say, “set-up a test in 5-minutes” because I can actually show you it can be done or is that a no-go in your opinion?

SAP Teched takeaways for non developers

SAP Teched is not only for geeks, and the impact is not only for those either. I normally only make a presentation for people that already know alot about SAP Integration platform. Integration is an important topic in the future where customers will be using cloud products and mixing them with their existing systems.

I do recommend watching the video below where I’m covering all the things.

The first part is about SAP Strategy for their integration products. It is crucial to understand when working on your own strategy. They use the ISA-M method to learn from what you are doing to what platforms you should be working with in the future.

API is a big topic that is important to how we are opening our landscapes. They are like BAPI where the B is removed. So it is a common language that all developers can understand and use. You can see all the API SAP has created at http://api.sap.com

The integration product PI/PO that most people are using is not the one SAP has most focus on. The biggest focus is on SAP Cloud Platform Integration (Cloud Integration, CPI or what was HCI) the biggest benefit is that you can get pre delivered content if you want to integration with SAP Cloud Products like Ariba or SuccesFactor. Or for E-Invoicing scenarios for some locations.

SAP Leonardo is also a big topic. For Integration there are 3 important topics

  • IoT(Internet of Things) is about connecting billions of devices, manage and analyze data from them. This is one of the things that SAP is focusing on, they have a platform that allow users to handle all the devices.
  • Machine Learning is about finding algorithms for handling complex tasks and automate them. It could be finding what is on a image or how to book a payment. SAP has some pretrained models that can perform some tasks. Customers can take the models and train them on their own data so they match their requirements.
  • Blockchain is also one of the hyped technologies. SAP has a server you can run and connect with your partners. Then blockchain allow you to have one shared truth of what is happening and everybody agrees on it.

You can watch the slides below

https://www.slideshare.net/DanielGraversen/sap-integration-for-non-developers-teched-2017