The future of SAP Integration PI, CPI and how to prepare your self

So yesterday, Tuesday, November 13. 2018, I just hosted a webinar about the key takeaways from SAP Teched and how to implement things based on it. It thinks it was one of my own webinars with most viewers (40). So it is an important topic. I think I missed the Gartner quote that 50% of the development budget will be about integration or something in that line.

When we were starting to see some cloud applications I did not see so many integrations. Lately, I have seen quite a number of a project involving some cloud application. I had seen that SAP would be able to provide some of the content as pre-delivered, but there are going to be so much more than you will need to develop. I just got an email from an SAP customer that they got a tsunami of cloud integration, so it is other areas as well.

Understand where you are going

On the webinar, I do cover how you can understand your own integrations and try to plan what integration you should be doing. I recommend that you take a look at the Integration Solution Advisor – Methodology. It has been updated and I have talked with quite a few architects using it and it gave them a good understanding of what they should be doing.

Roadmap

Then I cover the current state of the SAP PI roadmap, which will affect your existing integration. I do see the CPI on your SAP PI system as a good option to run some of your content. You probably want to start a migration if you are on a dual stack system, I have some resources on how you can do an SAP PI migration project. If you have Seeburger and want to migrate to B2B Add-on I created a webinar on how you can automate the migration. I also recorded a podcast on how a customer did a migration of Seeburger to B2B Add-on.

After you have been going thru your ISA-M you will have some integration patterns that you need new tools for. I’m covering SAP Cloud offerings for integration and their full iPaaS product. I think it would be wise to use the SAP tools first to see if they suit your needs and if not then you can find a better vendor for the solution. SAP will be adding new functions to the Cloud Offering to address the customers needs.

Operations

There is a need to make more integration at a faster pace. And you are probably not able to get more people on your team. So it is about making them as effective as possible. At Figaf we have created solutions to enable the development process to be a little easier from development, documentation, testing and supporting. You can check our tool Figaf IRT that can support the full lifecycle. I think it will help you improve your development of new features, so you will be more flexible and develop things faster.

Next week I’m hosting a webinar where I’ll cover how you can use the Figaf IRT tool to optimize your SAP PI and CPI development process.

 

You can watch the full video here.

 

 

Integration at #Impuls18 and IFG for Integration, you missed out

I’m on my way home from IFG for Integration/Impuls18 in Stockholm. IFG is the international focus group for Integration and consists of users in a lot of the European countries, I’m member. I think it was one of the more exciting conferences regarding SAP Integration that I have been to in a long time.

So SAPSA the Swedish SAP user group wanted to host us for the event and gave two rooms that we could use for presentations. So for most of the 2 days, there were two parallel sessions on SAP Integration. Most of the time it was stuff that people was implementing.

One big topic was about the Integration architecture, from design concept and implementation.

We did get some roadmap presentations of the SAP PI/PO and cloud integration products from SAP. Users and consultants were also contributing to what they have been doing for integration.
One of the big areas that are challenging at the moment is the hybrid integration that everybody is going thru to understand what to take away. In XI 3.0 days we had one tool that could solve all the challenges at that point in time.
How it is a lot different you have the option to use PI and then new iPaaS solution from SAP Cloud Integration Suite. One of the presentations cited Gartner, that the hybrid platform was that it is a toolbox and you should use the ones that make the most sense.

It does make a lot of sense to understand the architecture part beccause otherwise you will be focusing on the wrong thing, and probably ending up with something less optimal.
On a big QA session, we got talking around how rogue IT is causing challenges in the landscape. I created a video on it here

I did share a presentation on Open Connectors, which i believe is a pretty cool tool for integration. It takes a lot of effort away for doing integration and understanding what is going on in the landscape. I hope to get some time to record a video of it, because I don’t think my slides makes a lot of sense.

The other presentation was about how you can speed up your integration development on SAP PI/PO or CPI with the Figaf IRT tool. I got some good feedback on it after the presentation and interest.

I did make the mistake of going into the wrong room for a presentation and was stuck on one of the first rows in the middle. So I missed one of the Integration keynotes.

The only problem with the event was the vine at the party was 100 SEK (10 EUR), and it did not even taste good.

I do think that I need to update my guidelines for the SAP Integration webinar that I’m doing next week. You can signup for free to learn how you can implement a better integration .

Test your SAP PI/PO transports

SAP PI/PO development is not just about creating interfaces, map the documents and configure the interface. There is the full change management part about ensuring you know what is transported and ensuring it is tested correctly. This is something that normally requires a lot of paperwork and manual steps. It is one of the critical things about the process, to ensure that nothing else is broken.

We have been working on a tool for making sure that the testing works better and is a lot faster to set up. We have now implemented a functionality that allows you to run the same test on your QA environment with a click of a button. We have had the option earlier but it required some manual work, now you can just select which system to run the test on and it will happen.  You can also run the tests with the key of your transports.

Check out the video on the tool and how easy it is to run the same tests again on your Test system.

 

 

The solution is designed to work together with the SAP Transport (CHARM) you just need to implement a call once the transport has been imported to ensure that the test is called with the correct system.

We have a free version that allows you to start testing your system really fast and then it has the option to also support in your development process.

It is really fast to implement the solution and get it up and run. It will probably take 15 minutes to get it running on your system.

 

 

SAP PI/PO support, why not learn from the errors

Some of the common problems with SAP PI/PO support is the following:

If you are doing SAP PI/PO support have you been woken up in 3 am. by an SAP PI/PO interface not working. You have known there may be a document that describes possible error situation so you can either try to find it or just start to find the solution to the problem self.

Or

You have outsourced your SAP PI support and always get the same ticket back, with the information they cannot find a description of the solution.

Or

You have a full mailbox of SAP PI/PO, and don’t know which of them you need to solve.

I have been doing all the above in my time at different clients. It is something that I hate doing, but it is an important part of the delivery. 

There are two kinds of errors in an SAP PI/PO context.

  1. Errors that repeat and solvable by actions like restart the message, refresh of the cache or send a mail to the business user in charge.
  2. Errors that occur because a coding error that will be fixed and never occur again (hopefully).

If it is a common error then it should be automatic to solve it, if possible like resent or cancel if you cannot do anything with he messages anyway. Otherwise, there should be a description of how to solve the problem. It is not useful if it is saved in some word document that describes the scenario but possible not updated. 

There should be an easy way to learn from your previous errors and add the solution to them, so the next person doesn’t have to rediscover the reason.

I wanted to create a tool that could help identify the errors that were occurring and help customers solve them fast. Some years ago I created a simple support tool that works by downloading all alerts form the SAP PI/PO system, convert it to XML with the payload. This allows you to set up rules using Xpath really fast to set up new rules.

Then when new errors come it will simply find the first rule where an XPath matches and process the operation as it has set up. A rule includes an option to send a message to an email and to cancel or reprocess a message. This will make a lof the troubleshooting easier. 

So you can notify the business that there is an order missing master data, then they can fix it without involving you.

 

 

You can download the tool free on Figaf.com/SOT and start using it in your organization. You can have upto 5 rules for free. If you want more you can get it for just 5000 EUR a year.

It is really fast to implement the solution and get it up and run. It will probably take 15 minutes to get it running on your system.

And did I mention it is integrated with our SAP PI lifecycle tool to track all your development and the testing solution we have? They are all packed into the same solution.

 

Catch 22 for testing now fixed. Supporting test on all SAP PI/PO systems 7.31+

We got trapped in a Catch 22

We need a feature released 1½ year ago to be able to test SAP PI/PO system, without installing our modules. To upgrade customers need to test their system, but they will have to do the test manually. It would save them a lot of time to use our tool.

We can test the systems if they install one of our components, but it is not something all customers that can install non-SAP components on their PI system. That was the reason we were looking for alternatives. And to make it a lot easier to get to use our tool.

We found the web service was able to give us the payloads of the logs. We got the solution working on our development. When we tried to test it on the older PI system the web service method we wanted was not there. After some digging, we found the solution was released with a patch 1½ years ago. So we could not assist in upgrading without them having to install our component. 

I want to help the customers to use our tool, especially if they have not patched for 1½ year, so they can test better. Then it makes even more sense to test.

This is the screen we web scraping to get message payload

So now we have made an option to use a WebDynpro agent that is able to connect to the screen users are seen and downloading the messages. It will use this if the web service method for downloading content is not available. It is by no means the best solution but it is a way to solve a pressing issue.

The way we did it was to use the Chrome Developer tool to see the different request required to select the correct line, switch the tabs to the payload page and then download the message. Then find the output message and download it. There is a number of requests to view each different page, and we even had to scroll table of payload to view it all.

Check out the video on the topic.

 

If you want to try it out on your own system check http://figaf.com/irt . We even have free version so you can use it to test your systems from your laptop.

Other features added

We have been moving some functionality making the application run faster when you activate new recordings of test cases. So it should start a lot faster.

We have also been improving the functionality to recording/testing or bridges async/sync and sync/async for the Figaf IRT modules. We are also adding the function later to use the SAP logging module.