Posts

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Retiring the SAP PIDocumenter and Diff tools

I have retired my documentation tools.

The reason is that they used an old form for documentation and SAP PI/PO did no longer support the use of XIM files. It was therefore not as much the tool was used anymore.

I have created a short guide to how you can export your mappings to an Excel sheet with NWDS. I’m not to found of the layout of it but it does support standard and also export UDFs. So it is an easier way to make the documentation.

How to document SAP PI/PO Mappings using NWDS

SAP PRO Support tool update

I know that for a lot of you the support of the SAP PO systems can be a difficult task. If you are a developer, it can become something you dread talking about —  you would prefer spending your time creating new integrations. If you are an integration manager, you probably see that your developers are spending too much time on support and not enough on creating new developments.

The integration landscape is becoming more complex, more difficult to manage, and it also plays a more critical role. What happens if your interfaces are not running for 30 minutes? Will you be able to deliver the products to your customers? What will the impact be?

As a developer, I focused on creating a tool that would allow me spend time on the most critical support issues, and be able to get back to creating new integrations. It can sometimes be daunting to go through all the old issues to find what is going on.

I have created a short video on what Figaf POSupport is about.

I want to give my customers as good an experience as possible, so I am making an introductory offer that will last until December 31.

The price will be just 2500$ per productive system, a 500$ discount.

I’m introducing a Founders club for all the initial users of POSupport. We will have monthly web meetings where we will talk about support, and what best practices are. It will be a way for all members to learn how to make a better support setup.

For the first 5 that purchases, I’ll provide a 1-hour setting up session, where we will go through all the setup steps on your system.

I want to be able to support all new clients, so the deal will be limited to 20 participants only.

What Figaf POSupport can help with:

  • Automate error handling, like cancel, resend or notify business or the ERP system

  • Document error handling, so all developers/supporter workers can help solve issues

  • Give insight into what errors have occurred on your SAP PI/PO system
There is a free 30-day trial that you can install, and see for yourself what the tool can do.

To get started click here.