So you want to get started with SAP Cloud Integration (CPI)? Great! But where should you start? Let us show you.
Why you should learn SAP Cloud Integration (CPI)?
Integration is one of the main requirements in SAP projects. Moreover, there are a lot of applications to integrate and thus creating a need to understand the different business processes.
What is the SAP Integration Suite?
The SAP Integration Suite is a suite of cloud applications offered by SAP (you can see an overview in the image below). Some of the main applications are SAP API Management, Open Connectors and of course to SAP Cloud Integration (CPI) which is the most used and the application we are talking about in this post.
How you can learn it?
There are plenty of resources available to help you learn SAP Cloud Integration and we will explain them below.
What is beneficial to know?
If you understand the following, it will speed up your learning curve:
- Business terminology and processes
- Technical formats like XML and JSON
- Programming in Java or better programming in Groovy
- Knowledge of XSLT also helps with learning
- Knowledge of HTTP and SSL
- Other SAP areas
How to get started?
You can get a free trial of Cloud Integration
I think the best way to learn is to use the tool itself. In my opinion, this is one of the better changes with SAP in the last few years. You can signup for a free trial of the system and then see how the tool performs. This really simplifies the learning process. I highly suggest that you get a trial installation of the Integration Suite that includes SAP Cloud Integration. I have created a video below to show how you can set it up.
You got the trial version but what should I do next?
SAP has Open SAP courses which is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to help customers understand their tooling. You can see it here. It is currently open for registrations and is a good way to get a broad understanding of the SAP Integration Suite platform and how you can work with it.
I have focused on how to create IFlows and the different components that exists in and out of an IFlow. The idea is to give you the best options to running integrations and understand how you can build real integrations.
We have a free course at cpicourse.com that gives you a lot of information about building integrations into CPI. The course is about 4 hours and have some real life integration examples I have created to show how to work in the tool.
I will recommend the course to give you a better understanding of how the platform works.
There a a lot of free resources for learning and becoming better at developing SAP CPI. There are a lot of sample code or blogs on the content. It is beneficial to wait until you have the foundation working before you start with new development.
There is a lot of content on Groovy Scripting, XSLT and different scenarios.
After the training
After you have completed the training you are ready to start working on some real scenarios. If you work at a place where you have access to good tasks go work on them. Do get input from experienced developers as you move along and this will greatly accelerate the learning.
If you don’t have any projects, pick some that could be useful. Find you favorite application and see if you can integrate between it and something else.
The point of this is to get challenged and see some different ways of integrating with real systems. Some ideas can be:
- Nordwind database has good Odata services that will enable you search different data https://services.odata.org/Northwind/Northwind.svc/
- SAP API Hub (Api.sap.com) has a lot of API related to the SAP ecosystem and a lot of the API has some trial API calls you can use
- Your sports tracker or other apps you use that have an API. (just ensure the security before you expose all your locations somewhere)
- You can create some interesting mashups with the applications to get a better understanding of what is going on.
- Connect to some cloud service like AWS S3 or another service where you can run some code. You should be able find some free services.
- A CRM system like ACT that also is supported by Open Connectors could be a good way also to learn.
Another important point is to challenge yourself and come up with something unique you can learn about.
Write a blog post on blogs.sap.com and share your lessons and progress. It gives you an opportunity to communicate what you have been up to and hopefully you get some feedback on things that can be improved. There is always room for improvement there is a great community among the SAP professionals online.
It is not only about the development
Learning to develop in SAP CPI is much different than working with a real system. There are concepts that you need to understand like talking with the business and understanding what they are up to. There is also the part about the operations, transport and testing that you should be paying attention to as well. Here at Figaf, we have a good tool that you should be trying out once you get to that part of your learning journey. To develop and debug Groovy for CPI in a real IDE like IntelliJ, you should check out our blog post about it.