Figaf starts developing android application

Today is a great day (it was yesterday night, but I had to solve some problems first) that we published our first application in the Android market place. I have for a long time seen that it would be quite interesting to move into the android space and start creating apps. Now it was was able to make an application work and test if it is an area that I can work with.

The app is called Forbrugsforeningen and allows you as a user to search for stores in your current postal code that accepts the union’s membership discounts. For more info on the union see It is pretty easy to use (I hope).

The app is still in a really early stage, and it would be nice to have some more hours to spend on creating a better App. But it is a start and now we can test if there is a market for an Android app for this sort. The market is still young but with the number of android based phones exploding, there will be a lot of extra functionality to use this.

SAP PI documentation kit

It may not have been something that we have promoted a lot from this page.

We have created the SAP PIArchitecture page where we will deliver different products relating to how organizations use SAP PI. We plan to make more products availed in that space.

The current project that we are promoting is the SAP PI Documentation Template a package that allows you easy to get started with documenting your SAP PI documents. The price of the product is only 97$, which is probably the cheapest prices product in the SAP space. I’m considering raising the price soon, I have gotten so much great feedback on the post that I can justify a higher price.

This package will improve your documentation of SAP PI/XI scenarios. The bonus is that it is much easier to create the documents and to keep them updated.

The goal is to make the most actionable document and only write the content that really makes a lot of sense.

Use SAP PI to work around legacy integration issues

When working with integration with some systems you end up having to adopt the systems approach to integration. It often happens that you should code something that allows you to send a file a one point or work on some other integration issues.

The good thing is that SAP PI can do all kinds of work to make the legacy system interact as it always has been. It is possible to do different coding or saving files locally on the PI system or write a unix script to upload the file using SSH. There are all different kinds of ways this can be done, all depending on how the systems work.

The bad thing about this flexibility is that the integration becomes difficult to understand and change for other developers. You would normally not look at a file adapter to see which scripts it has been running. This is the kind of information that needs to be documented in the support guide.

The reasons for not changing the legacy system interface are:

  • That you don’t want to invest more money in the continuously development of the legacy system.
  • It is a third party application that you don’t have the code for or can change
  • It is a service provided to your organization, and you don’t have the buying power to make them change their integration policy

For those reasons it is really nice that SAP PI is able to work to become better at the integration. It is often cheaper in development to make the change in SAP PI. The only reason where I have seen this is not true is if the receiver has created a .NET webservice without creating a proper WSDL. They cannot be consumed to use with SAP PI.

What the ROI on this kind of adaptation are is a bit uncertain.

If you need help to figure out how do make changed in your SAP PI system then contact Figaf for consulting advise on how you can change your interface to match the legacy system.

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Why SAP PI is ideal for business integration

At Figaf we use most of the time developing interfaces using SAP PI (Previous Exchange Infrastructure XI). The biggest reason to use SAP Process Integration (PI) anywhere is that it is rather quick to develop and get an interface up and run. This makes it quite ideal for prototyping. Within a day it is possible to have an interface running and start to test the flow. Sure it may take longer time to get everything up and running but overall it is quite easy to make it work for the first iteration. It is possible to get to try out some of the interface soon and you will then be able to test your ideas.

Another great advantage of SAP PI is designed for business integration. All the different components necessary for integrations is there, and there is not a need for a high level developer education. The focus is on the business process and not on how to create code. The mapping is the only place where you need to write code, but most of the mappings is can be done using the drag and drop mappings. Then the focus is on which business values is mapped between the two systems, and it can be done by business process experts (BPX).

In some cases you will need to work on areas where you will have to write code. If it is something you only need to do it some time you can outsource this code development or get some coaching on how to write the specific code.

The focus for the whole development process is therefore on how to get most business value added in the shortest amount of time.

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New Gartner report on SAP Process Integration

Last year Gartner did not believe that SAP Process Integration, was a product to use. There was not enough use case and focus on PI as an Enterprise Service Bus. There was a lot of talk from SAP stating that the conclusion of from Gartner was wrong. There was no way to change the rapport.

Now according to there is good news from Gartner. They do like the new 7.3 version of SAP PI and that their concerns has been minimize.

One of the big differences it the total cost of ownership is much smaller because of the easier architecture, as a part of the Java stack only (Singlestack) and other improvements.

The other things are that SAP has a roadmap for where PI will develop in the coming years.

It is nice to be focusing on a product, which is seen as a product with a future. It will make it much easier for organizations to continue to invest time and money into SAP PI.