SAP PI/PO Governance made easy

One of the biggest challenges with SAP PI/PO has been the lack of governance models for users. Documentation part has really been lacking making it and it has required a lot of manual work to get it done.

The process for handling governance for SAP PI/PO is just the same as with SAP XI for 15 years ago. The tooling has not changed much. There have just been a few changes that could say to improve the area. Ever since I started with XI/PI i have been working on different ways to improve the process of documentation but we have not made the dream solution yet.

Last year we added the option to use the ticket and thereby log changes to any object in SAP PI and PO, so all versions between them would be remembered. This was the first step in making documentation easier with Figaf IRT.

Now we are ready with the next big thing liking the full development together. So all documentation of your development is linked to CTS transports. That way you will know why something was changed and can see what is being transported much more transparent.

We have also added a central configuration of your channels. So there is just one place where you need to configure the information. IRT will then apply the configuration once the transport has been imported.

You can then make exports of your Integration scenarios documentation, and then show a changelog of this. And also show what was performed as a result of a ticket that you can add to your Jira, Solman to prove what you have done.

Here you can find the recording of the webniar that I did on 1 May 2019, where we showed this information to the public.

We are soon adding this to the release, so signup to check out the current version, and be the first to know once we have released the new iteration. If you have ideas on how to improve the tool and be a part of the beta program reach out to support@figaf.com.

Run Figaf IRT in your own Cloud

We have added the Figaf Cloud. as a way to allow users to run our tool to manage the SAP CPI and API management. It is a great way to scale and deploy your application.

We have it hosted in Google Cloud Platform in a Kubernetes cluster. It i pretty easy to do in GCP and it allow scaling of the application pretty easy. It did take some time to understand how to build the app and secure the application.

For customers, it is a really good way to get started using Figaf IRT because they don’t even need to install anything. And all their partners can get access to the network and run applications. So a customer can run all the application to perform DevOps on the SAP CPI and API management systems. The DevOps include

  • Monitoring and alerting
  • Change Tracking or Versioning, so you can link business requirement with a change
  • Documentation
  • Testing
  • Transport of CPI/API flows

With all the focus on data protection, it may prove to be difficult to control all your data that exists in the Figaf IRT solution. You want to have control of where it is located.

We have an ompremish installation of the Figaf IRT tool and it contains the same features as the cloud, though there can be a bit of delay with it because of the release cycles of the applications. One problem that we often hear is so where should we install the IRT application. It can sometime be deficult to find a database and a Virtual server where the Java application can run.

Cloud

For some customers it is much easier to go buy/start a server in the cloud from GCP, AWS or Azure. You can have a direct connection from the cloud enviorment to your on-premish system and thereby get access. The integration department can then get the server self and run it there.

Our installation is pretty simple you can basicly just start the application with the click of a button. It does require a bit more effort if you want to run it with specific databases and setup SSL. It take 30 minutes to install IRT if you have installed the database. The good thing about the cloud enviorments is they all have the PostgreSQL server that we use as a managed. It will then eliminate some of the Normal DB operations that you are doing and just handle it with a few click in the web configuration.

It will also be possible to provide upgrades fairly simple. We have made a docker image that you can use.

We have added a Docker image to DockerHub, so you can run IRT pretty simple to get started with using it. You will need to make a few configurations to get it running. We have a guide on running it on Azure with the hosted database.

The container for running IRT on a Docker image in one of the places starts at 200 USD a month, depending on how you want to scale and have it to perform.

Try it

You can also try Figaf IRT out on your own laptop fast.

Comparing Figaf IRT with SAP PIT

SAP has recently published SAP PIT, which is a testing tool for SAP PI/PO. Costumers have asked me about the difference between SAP PIT and Figaf IRT. Does it actually matter which tool you use? The answer is: Yes, it does matter. In this blog post, I will give you an overview to help you to understand the differences.

The Figaf tool is a lot faster to use for creating and running test cases on. It also have a lot better integration with a DevOps/Continues Delivery process so you can deliver your integrations lot faster.

Figaf  IRTSAP PIT
Test the followingSender Modules, Routing, Mappings, Receiver ModuleRouting, Mappings
Test case creationAutomatic process multiple recordings at one timeSetup one recording of time
System requirement recordingAll 7.31, 7.4 and 7.5 add a FigafModule or use SAP logging no patches required7.31, 7.4,7.5 patched after February 2019.Fetch data from dual-stack systems.
PI version to run test onAll7.5 SP14
Location of testing application or dataSeparate java server and databaseSAP PI system
Can test your upgrade to sp14YesNo
Running test casesRun full test suites automatedRun one interface at the time
ComparisonXML, JSON, Text, Edifact, X12, BinaryXML, Text
Patterns supportedAsync, Sync, EDISeperator, Bridges: sync-async, async-syncAsync, Sync
Visual display of differenceYesYes (with SP15)
Data anonymizationYes No
Export of test data to PITYesNo
Integrated with Release management and change management toolYesNo
Mapping of business systemsAutomaticManual
Add test cases from failed messagesYesNo
Manual test case creationYesNo
Releases per year123-4 per year
Price10.000+ EUR/year Included in your license

This is based on the 7.5 SP15. SAP has a roadmap to improve the tool but I do not know it.

The Figaf tool we are adding options to also work with creating Documentation of your scenarios, your changes and the test your are running. It also has a component that allows you to monitor the system for anomalies and report custom errors to users. Next release will also feature integration with CTS+ enabling you to run test and configuration on the objects that are changed. So it is much more than just a test suite.

Do you want to know more about Figaf IRT? Then visit www.figaf.com/irt.

Lessons learned while implementing SAP CPI and API management: Webinar

I held a webinar, where I talked about my experiences with SAP CPI and API management projects. And what you should remember when implementing it.

I cover some of the lessons that I had to have on the project. Like the flexibility of the platform allow you to be more agile with creating development. You can always add new paths to the processing to send results to other areas. We also touch on the use of the ProcessDirect adapter that allows you to refactor your integration for reuse. I cover my latest blog where I have talked about Calculating Fibonacci number in CPI, by the way not recommend by gives some lessons.

I have a SAP CPI course that you can take to get you started with CPI learn more

There are also some lessons for API management. It is really great for exposing Odata from your SAP Gateway and securing it pretty easy. There is some challenge with calling other scripts in javascript, so it is somewhat limited what you can do in it. API Management also has some problems with regards to transportation and documentation of changes.

With the Figaf tool you can:

  • Get a better understanding of what is developed and changed
  • Transport and documenting individual iflows
  • Monitor your CPI and set up integration with Slack, Jira
  • I will speed up your development because you will have the option to run
  • Manage your SAP PI/PO, CPI and API Management

Try the Figaf IRT tool here.

Here you can watch the replay:

As you can see, Figaf IRT can help you to optimize your workflow. If you have any questions, please contact me.

You can view the presentation here.


Documenting your SAP PI/PO scenarios

Documentation is a part of all IT practices. It is there to ensure we document what has been created. This is to ensure that some people later will be able to help support the process. This is also true for SAP PI/PO projects. Documentation is something that does cost a lot to produce, so you need to get value from it and automate it.

I have a problem with the way we normally are documenting your scenarios. In many cases, the requirement for documentation have been small adjusted based on what some people from other departments wished and the types of the object used. It has been a manual process to update all of this documentation. Since I started with XI 3.0 in 2004 one of the things that I have always considered and worked with was how to make the documentation process much better. It has resulted in a host of tools that can create the documentation.

One of the big problems have always been it was almost impossible to create and maintain some documentation so you could keep your previous history. This is the same if you autocreate the documentation or if you make it manually. The Word document will be placed in some repository and then never be touched. I recond that you have seen some thing like the following change history, that will never changed.

The change history of only an inital entry

I wanted to keep the histroy and link it with a business requirmeent for the change. We have added the Ticket concept in Figaf IRT, here you can create a object that look like a Service Request, Request for Change or what jira ticket. The function allow you to handle all your processing in just one application and assign changes to the objects that is affected by a changed. We are working to make this even more connected with your CTS+ transport system, so you can registere all objects in the ticket easier.

When you then generate the documentation after some time you will see what was changed on the ICO, or any linked objects. So if somebody has changed a message mapping used by the ICO then you will it in the list. That way you know when it was changed. If you then later want to drill into what object you can open the link and see the full ticket information. All information in the document will only reflect what is the current values for it.

What is changed for an Integration Sceanrio

An example of what the full file will look like:

We still have some way to go with it. We can go into all Repository Objects, fetching and show the most interesting values from the channels, and get documentation from the different objects. We are looking for customer requierments and feedback to see what should make sense in the process.

You can try this out on your own system with the Free part of the Figaf IRT tool, though it will not create the full documentation for you. Then you will need to have a licensed version.