Your SAP PI/PO Proxy Setup

You need to have a proxy to handle your set-up.


1. It will enable switching to a new PI server.

a. SAP PO migration: You want to be able to move to a new server. You cannot move everything at once, so you have to do it one interface at a time.

b.  High reliability system: You want to be able to quickly switch the SOAP server to point to the other server. You may have multiple instances of a PI/PO system; and may be wanting to decide which of the instances to use now.


2. You want flexibility to change the endpoint


3. Use a different port from the one you normally would (http://50000)


4. Create a separate DNS (Domain Name System) name


5. Use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)


6. Update the endpoint – see SAP


7. Use a web dispatcher, Apache reverse proxy or hardware box to dispatch calls to PI
SOAP Proxy setup
If you already have a standard set-up where you are using the PI’s http port for SOAP traffic, then you have to do some workarounds. You will still have to use that port. You can change the ICM/Web Dispatcher script to forward some of the SOAP calls to the new server you have. It may not be the best way of doing it, but it is feasible. When everything has been moved to the new server, you will be able to create a new proxy server on the old PI server domain name. After this step, you will be able to use that domain name for the new system.

By having a reverse proxy in front of your SAP PI/PO system, you will be able to handle requests. It will always be possible to change the requests to point to the newer server, based on some rules defined by you.





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Forcing the Use of SAP PI/PO

notebook against colour background with images

One of my colleagues has recently approached me with a question: what happens if the customer doesn’t want the use of the PI system for certain scenarios? We usually stick to the idea that communication needs to be done directly through the PI system – but should consultants force the use of PI for every scenario?


In a PI scenario there is a pass-through (no mapping) interface at work. One of its requirements is that all connections go through the SAP system. The main advantage of this comes from the fact that monitoring becomes easier. You are able to see what RFC (Remote Function Call) calls are made and what load processes are taking place. If you know everything that is happening, working on the architecture also becomes easier. You also have the ability to execute the reprocessing of failed messages (asynchronous messages).


The PI system also makes it easier for clients to execute a call. They can use an SOAP service to call the system and there is no need to use other protocols. Load balancing is also allowed by the PI system, limiting the number of concurrent calls to the back end. In the case of long duration calls, this can make the ERP system less loaded. If several systems are used, it is easiest to use PI and move the processes from this system to multiple other systems.


Now let’s discuss the possible drawbacks of the exclusive use of PI. Obviously, a major drawback is the single point of failure. If the PI system is down, nothing works. This can cause some organizational problems. On the flip side, there is only one system that needs to be maintained.


Extra development work is also needed – you need to find solutions for various issues and develop new scenarios (this is good news for consultants, who are kept busy). Needless to say, performance RFC threads will put some extra load on the system and costs will rise if all requests are sent through the PI system. You might also have a problem with too many threads running at the same time. If that’s the case, you will need to do some performance tuning. If you need to do some changes in the area of RFC calls, you will find that changing the endpoint is a rather easy task to complete.

When developing, you should be able to tell whether in some cases the same architecture should be used. As a professional, you have to figure out the ideal solution for every situation. You also need to allow businesses to say ‘no’ to use the PI system for some scenarios.

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SAP PI/PO Developers Have a Lot of Experience

I’m currently doing a survey on how SAP XI/PI/PO developers started. The survey is still in progress, but I would like to share one interesting result with you.

There are currently 89 responses, collected in one week. I will evaluate the survey next week, so please help out by responding to the questions. I can see most people spend around 5 minutes completing the survey.skill on dartboard showing expertise

One question that I have asked is how many years of experience you have with  SAP XI/PI/PO. And the responses were diverse, as shown below.

This question received 59 responses. Of those 59 responses 7 or 11.9% indicated less than one year of experience. Most respondents had between four and eight years of experience.

This means that the product is quite mature, and the developers have a lot of experience with these tools.

Years of SAP PI/XI/PO Experiance

Obviously, there might be some issues regarding those who had completed the survey. Most of the people on the server are persons from one of my email lists or followers of their community. It is possible that the responses were not given only by new followers of the SCN community.

I do find it interesting that people stick with their SAP PI/PO skill. Normally for a developer a few years is enough before moving on to other areas. But for SAP PI we have a lot of people with more than five years of experience. This is great because customers can expect to receive the services of experienced consultants and developers.
For us developers it’s also interesting that it makes sense to stay in the community, because we can still learn. Obviously, there are jobs for us as well – this must mean that the tool is good and it’s being widely used by customers.


To all those working with SAP PI/PO: I hope you could help me out with the survey. That way we can get even more responses on how people learn SAP PI/PO.

Currently there are 85 responses, in just one week. The responses are anonymous and I will only be posting general information and feedback from the survey, therefore I will not disclose your level of engagement with SAP PI. 

The full table is here:

Question Options Number of answers Percent
Summary: 59  
1 7 11.9%
2 2 3.4%
3 5 8.5%
4 6 10.2%
5 10 16.9%
6 5 8.5%
7 9 15.3%
8 8 13.6%
9 4 6.8%
10+ 3 5.1%

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How Did You Learn SAP Integration?


I was talking to my little brother yesterday. He is a medical doctor and he is currently finishing his higher education. In this phase, he is working as a general practitioner – but he has supervision. So every day he has 30 minutes to talk about some of the experiences he is going through in this important period. This is quite a privilege when trying to master a craft. I don’t think that I had that option when I started learning SAP XI, 10 years ago.

survey on clipboard shows very good 

I also went through a learning process. There were two standard SAP XI courses and some e-learning. I had to become an expert in my own field. That was a bit challenging. I was supposed to know how everything would work, and how to design and solve issues. I really learned a lot during that phase. One of my advantages was that I had a few colleagues I could call to discuss my strange questions. I had many questions, I did not know anything about design back then. Those conversations really helped me get started.


We all have our different learning paths that help us become who we want to be. There are a lot of things we must do to fully understand the concepts of SAP Integration.


I’m getting quite a lot of requests regarding new SAP PI/PO roles at the moment, from all over the globe. It must mean that there is a requirement for SAP Customers to get new PI developers. I can tell that customers aren’t keen on having novice SAP PI developers working for them. There are some concepts that you must understand before you can become an expert PI developer.


I’m looking into effective methods of improving various people’s skills in the area of PI/PO development, so they can get started faster. I would like to hear about your learning journey. What was important for you? What is the best path to follow in order to become an expert developer? By ensuring that new developers can receive this crucial information, we can make sure they speed up their learning process.


Another part of the survey is focused on how you currently work. Even though you have been working with SAP XI/PI/PO for many years, there are still new use cases and different ways to solve new issues. It is also possible that a new, improved feature has been introduced. Sharing your objectives with your colleagues and receiving feedback on your projects is always a good idea. I have also put some of this into the survey.


So if you have some free time, please spend a few minutes filling out this survey:


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First impressions of HANA Cloud Integration (HCI)

I participated in a Swedish SAP user group meeting for Integration today in Gothenburg, where participants received hands-on experience with SAP.

The PI Roadmap was intensely discussed, so was PO and predictions about what was going to be delivered, as well as other future innovations. Contrary to my expectations, a very interesting – and I dare say mind-blowing – area was the HANA Cloud Integration (HCI). The big challenge ahead with HCI was the discussion regarding the purpose of this extra integration layer’s existence. Many questions were raised. Why do we need it? What is the purpose of acquiring it? Aren’t people already using other systems? What are its limitations, considering that you only have the iFlows to allow the occurrence of communication?

There was an introduction on the PI Roadmap – its characteristics, capabilities, and its future; the attributes of its core customers and multiple possibilities. The usage of the Cloud platform with the purpose of integration was also discussed.

We also discussed use cases, where companies expressed their intent of actually outsourcing some of their integration work, mentioning some examples of invoices to illustrate the amount of time required for the completion of the integration process. We talked about methods of sending the invoice to the customer and other involved partners – figuring out how to send this information is an enormous task. It only makes sense that some customers prefer on-premises PI/PO installation, followed by a Cloud installation.

skitchThe other area we focused on was hands-on experience with HCI, involving actual exercises. While you cannot learn everything regarding the platform in a one-hour session, you can see some of the things that lie in store for you. The platform seemed to work flawlessly with the web front end, and it had plenty of functionalities. The web front end deals with most of the development, but there are also Eclipse-based tools that can be used for more advanced purposes, like developing, adapters, more advanced mapping or user-defined functions. This could give you some extra developing power when needed.

There is also a large array of Flow options in the messaging, which allows you to put scripts and other functionalities into the system. Getting much more information is a powerful tool. Pre-populated content that you can use and share as a partner is also available. At one point, this content will be available for purchase, reasonably priced for both developers and companies. Customers can save time and effort with pre-populated content – they can copy the solutions and make the changes and corrections they see fit.


I am interested in the future of this platform. I am eager to see where we’re headed and what’s in store for developers who will be using the platform. Obviously, I am also interested in the reactions of the customers. Since more and more people are moving to the Cloud, it only makes sense that we’re dealing with things there.

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