Test EDIFACT/X12 on SAP PI/PO

Yesterday I had a demostration with a client of the Seeburger Migration tool, that was doing a migration of their EDIFACT/X12 from Message mappings from Seeburger to B2B Add-on on the format. I wanted to show how it was possible to make it possible to test that the mappings were correctly migrated and converted.

I do think that this also could be useful for other SAP PI/PO customers, that are either considering a migration project or just want better control of what is happening to their EDI messages.

It is crucial to test all your EDI documents because of the volume of the business going that way. Some of the customers I have worked the EDI part was 20-50% of their turnover, so it is the part that is too big to fail. It is pretty difficult to test it normally because you need to have a good understanding of what can change in your mappings. Both when it comes to upgrades and also when it comes to changes done by developers.

As you can see of the video it is pretty simple to setup a test case based on data from your productive system. Because it is where you have the most reliable amount of data and variance. It is just to complex to test everything based manual test case creation, that is why we believe it should be automated.

We will set up both EDI document in both directions so you can see validation of EDI document and also that it works with the EDISeperator. We only show EDIFACT but X12 and EANCOM works the same way.

We do not currently have an integration with dual stack systems. We did implement it in the old release of IRT, so it will be possible to update it to the current version. We currently do no have access to a dual stack system, so if this is something you want. We hope you will help working with us to make it possible.

How about change management

So Figaf IRT is a lot more than just a testing application. We started doing testing of SAP PI/PO but have since expanded the service to handle the full change management. Just link the CTS transport with the Business request and you are able to do document all changes. And also test the changes that you make. It reuses all your EDI test cases for the process.

Try IRT

You can try out Figaf IRT tool. It just takes 15 minutes to set up on your laptop to see how easy it is and what it can do for your SAP PI/PO and CPI development. The solution can scale to run for your full enterprise.

Virtual SAP CPI landscapes

Some SAP CPI customers do not have a full 3 tier system landscape for their SAP CPI. But you may want to experience having all the systems connected and be able to test the flow. You can do it manually, with using the copy functionality, but it requires a lot of governance to keep the QA updated.

We did originally create the virtual landscape just to test, how our transport system worked because we did only have one CPI system. Now we have improved the functionality because it enables customers to take advance of our transport and leverage using one CPI system. We did earlier change Sender system to match with having a prefix with the system name.

We have now improved the functionality so the system is added to the Process Direct adapter. Here we are adding the prefix in the URL to both sender and receiver channels. You will thereby have the option to run it in a “QA environment”.

You can see a demonstration of how this works in the video.

Updated: If you import a package it will be auto deployed.

The transportation system also provide option to create Iflow documentation, and you can test the impact of a change. You can also make modification of Externalize Parameters across the landscape, so you can specify that the target URL on QA is this. Then IRT will handle the configuration once it deploys.

Try it out the Figaf IRT tool as an onpremish or use our cloud for it.

Testing SAP CPI with Mock data service

If you start making any changes to your SAP CPI system you will end up with problems where you need to be able to test your integration flows, if you make modifications to your scripts. In most cases, it will require that you have access to the same backed system and create the same requests.

Figaf have been supporting testing of SAP CPI for about 1 year. We was able to do it in the following way.

  1. Switch the integration flow into trace mode.
  2. Let the user send some messages
  3. Figaf IRT could then pick up all the trace data and use it as a baseline.

To test an integration flow it did the following.

  1. Switch the integration flow into trace mode.
  2. Figaf would send the input data
  3. Figaf IRT could then pick up all the trace data
  4. Compare the data with the original data.

It did provide an easy way to test your iflows with and enabled users to compare the data. To see if anything had changed.

Why we needed a new way of testing

The old way is good if the flows you don’t have many backed services you are connecting with and they are able to reply the same data. If you have SuccessFactors it may be difficult to create or fire the same employ multiply times. Or if your interface is expecting a delta of data, then you will not without making modification be able to fetch the correct data.

And then we want to be able to run the test more often, so we can be sure nothing is impacted. It could be our new approach about adding shared resources to SAP CPI, so if you make a modification in a script it will update all the other iflows.

Or if possible be able to run it on the next release of SAP CPI to see that nothing is affected.

How testing SAP CPI with mock data work

The testing work a little different than if you have any receiver adapters. Figaf will create a copy of the iFlow, and replace all Receiver channels with a HTTP call to the Figaf IRT server. It will send information about the current test case and what part of the process it is in. The API exposed at the Figaf server will then return the HTTP headers that have been changed in the process and also the body.

As a user the only thing you need to change is how to select that the test should be performed with mock data.

If there is a change in the iflow then Figaf would automatically synchronize the testing copy, and deploy it.

You can see the demo of how the service works.

As you can see it works pretty simple to get to work. Just one tick mark on the Testing Template. The solution does work with Cloud Connector if you have CPI on your local installation of IRT, you will just need some settings to specify URL and cloud connector information when configuring the iflows.

What are the limits of mock data

With the mock data there is some limits. Some we can probably find a way to solve with more development and feedback from customers.

  • You will not be able to test your adapter.
  • You be able to test any binary objects in the headers, it is not possible to recover them.
  • It does not support Enrich scenarios at the moment.

Try it your self

You can download Figaf tool and run it in your own landscape or you can try it out in our cloud deployment.

Watch the full flow of Figaf to handle SAP CPI Change Management

We have an integrated approach for handling Change Management for SAP CPI (Cloud Platform Integration aka HCI). In this video (25 minutes) I show how the full application is connected. It is a way to have a central place to manage all your SAP Integration development.

In the video I show how you can get a good change management process for SAP CPI with

  • Full traceability for all modifications made for the development, and linking with business request
  • Ability to view differences between objects and understand how they have been changed because of a business request
  • Test the process have been developed correctly
  • Configuration of Iflows across the landscape, so there are no manual steps for the transport
  • Transport of individual iflows in the landscape
  • Document all changes in the process

There is also part of the monitoring that makes monitoring of the CPI easier and enables you to setup alerting if a message is in a specific state.

If you like it and want to see how we are able to support the change management process in SAP PI/PO.

If you want to try it out then try our cloud offering for Figaf IRTCloud

How do you Document your SAP CPI Iflows

Documentation of integration has always been a strange thing. It has been pretty difficult to make sure we documented the details correctly and had enough information with. Normally you will just get some document designed to document some other thing and then try to adapt it to your integration. That will never give a good result. You may be compliant but just a waste of time if the documentation is not useful.

For SAP PI/PO we have for ages been using a Word template for the documentation of each interface. We support that with the Figaf IRT tool, so you can generate it fast. You can see an example of the SAP PI documentation here. The inspiration was to avoid having the documentation that was never updated and always had the initial version.

SAP Best practive

I did find an example of a SAP CPI template in the best practice guide. I did not like if for a few assumptions:

  • It was focusing on the wrong things that were a bit to detailed and too generic. Like a file conversion, or mapping it just has empty tabs that users need to fill in.
  • It could not be automated every well, which ment it did require a lot of user governance to host the information
  • It was juggling 3 different adapters and not showing the required details

I wanted to improve the process and make it even easier to capture the most important part of a CPI Iflow. It ended up with the following information:

  • Overview of the iFlow header information like name and description
  • History of changes logged with business requirements
  • Connection sender and receiver together with information
  • Test cases you have created for the tool
  • Flow description which is a table representation of the iflow. It will give some overview of how the different steps are connected
  • Configuration parameters configured in the full landscape, so you got some information on what is being used and the relavant resources.
  • Resources and the lat change data for them.

You can download an example of the document here for the SF to AD iflow.

There are ways to improve the document with more information. If you have anything that you think will provide value and make it easier to understand the documentation. Do let us know.

Automated documentation does have some limits like being able to update it different places, and add the extra information that makes sense.

You can try it own on your own iflows and see how it performs in your landscape.