Posts

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

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.

The risk pyramid and SAP PI/PRO projects

I took my car to the mechanic recently, and on the wall of the shop I saw a sign that said, ‘We can do two of three things!” On it, there was a graphic of a pyramid with three levels: ‘Low Price’, ‘Short Time’, and ‘Quality’. Then the message, ‘We can do two of these but not three’. Clearly, the idea was that you could have, for instance, a low price and a quick turnaround time, but not good quality.

Project perspective parameters

I think often it’s the same with Integration work. We have these same three parameters when we are working on a project, and we can adjust which parameter takes priority, depending on what our clients prefer to have. Of course, they want all three, but, like the mechanic told me they can’t have all three.

I was presenting Figaf’s integration regression testing tool (IRT) for SAP PI/PRO and one thing that came up was risk of the project.  The thing is, the mechanic’s pyramid is missing the ability to adjust for the very important element of risk. Risk is different from quality — quality is what you get after the project is complete, while risk is a factor you want to mitigate. When we are working on a project, we have risk we want to minimize. In an integration project a risk could be that our mappings will not work with the partners and we need to test more with them. Or that the new technology we try to use does not work. We ask ourselves questions like, how can we complete the project on time? Will it work when we go into production? How many variables are we testing?

I think that a lot of the time, as Integration professionals, we don’t put enough energy into minimizing risk. If you pick up any project management book, one of the big topics it covers is risk. The goal is to teach project managers to ask how they can mitigate and measure the risk they are taking with a given project. Measuring the risk gives the project manager lots of important information that will allow him to lower the risk so that it will be easier to include all the components of a project in less time, with fewer problems and higher quality.

Our SAP regression tool helps achieve all three of the factors in the pyramid by mitigating the risk. First, IRT enables you to set up a certain set of test cases. This reduces risk by ensuring that you’ve run the same test cases every time, and that they’ve passed without any problems. Second, better and more consistent testing raises the quality of the project overall, giving your client a better final product. Then of course, streamlining the testing process reduces the time spent, and allows delivery of the project to the client that much sooner. This is a big deal since most integration professionals work and bill on an hourly basis. And finally, of course, fewer billable hours means a reduced cost to the client.

So, I just wanted to remind you that whenever you are doing integration work, there is a tool that will help you mitigate the risk you’re taking with the project to help you deliver on time and within budget, while still meeting the requirements of your project.

You can check out the Figaf integration regression tool at: http://figaf.com/irt

P.s. We are now going to do a demo of the tool for the client, so they must have linked it.

Announcing Short-Term Consulting and Easy Booking Services!

I wish to announce an innovative addition to my services, which is short-term booking. This new service will allow you to book me for one or two-hour sessions, during which I will help you solve any issues.

 

The idea came to me quite recently. I was trying to book a hotel room, but I couldn’t figure out which hotels had available rooms (not unless I inquired by phone or e-mail, wasting time I didn’t have). That was the moment when it hit me: my customers cannot book me really easily, either. While I cannot change tourism practices, I can make a positive change in my own business, therefore I am determined to make it easier for customers to book me for a number of small projects.

 

The improvement to the service is pretty simple. In order to book me, you just need to follow the link provided via e-mail and select the desired package. After clicking on your preferred option (‘1 hour’, ‘2 hours’ or ‘24/7, 2 hours’), you will be able to see my calendar and choose the right time for our appointment. After selecting the time of the appointment from the available working hours listed on my calendar, you will have to pay for the services using your credit card. As soon as the payment is processed, you will receive an invitation to an online meeting. The meeting will take place at the time you selected. You will be able to share your desktop via GoToMeeting and I will help you solve the issue at hand.

The first 30 minutes of our collaboration are crucial: if you feel that I haven’t provided enough value for your money within the first 30 minutes – if you are able to objectively state that you haven’t got any closer to the right solution – you are entitled to request a refund. Bear in mind that if I am unable to deliver the help you need, your payment will be reimbursed.

 

The service can be used for problem solving, mapping, feedback or design-related issues. That being said, if you want someone to help you figure out how to do a specific integration, then this is the right service for you.

With the introduction of the new booking function comes a special offer too: I am offering a 50% discount on standard services. The offer lasts until the end of April.

http://figaf.com/products/sap-pipo-assistance/

I am also offering a 24/7 support service – you call me, and I start solving your problem within 2 hours. If I am unable to make it, you can ask for a reimbursement or a rescheduled appointment.


You can read more about my services and their comparison on this website.

Your SAP PI/PO Proxy Setup

You need to have a proxy to handle your set-up.

 

1. It will enable switching to a new PI server.

a. SAP PO migration: You want to be able to move to a new server. You cannot move everything at once, so you have to do it one interface at a time.

b.  High reliability system: You want to be able to quickly switch the SOAP server to point to the other server. You may have multiple instances of a PI/PO system; and may be wanting to decide which of the instances to use now.

 

2. You want flexibility to change the endpoint

 

3. Use a different port from the one you normally would (http://50000)

 

4. Create a separate DNS (Domain Name System) name

 

5. Use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

 

6. Update the endpoint – see SAP https://websmp230.sap-ag.de/sap/support/notes/1583506

 

7. Use a web dispatcher, Apache reverse proxy or hardware box to dispatch calls to PI
SOAP Proxy setup
If you already have a standard set-up where you are using the PI’s http port for SOAP traffic, then you have to do some workarounds. You will still have to use that port. You can change the ICM/Web Dispatcher script to forward some of the SOAP calls to the new server you have. It may not be the best way of doing it, but it is feasible. When everything has been moved to the new server, you will be able to create a new proxy server on the old PI server domain name. After this step, you will be able to use that domain name for the new system.

By having a reverse proxy in front of your SAP PI/PO system, you will be able to handle requests. It will always be possible to change the requests to point to the newer server, based on some rules defined by you.

 

 

 

 

The post Your SAP PI/PO Proxy Setup appeared first on SAP PI course.