How do you improve your SAP PI/PO or SAP CPI processes?

I hosted two webinars on the topic of SAP PI/PO and SAP CPI process improvement. The challenge that most companies face they spend too much time on governance and that it is quite inefficient. We want to make it possible for you to improve your delivery model and automate all the parts that make sense. 

Most companies follow some ITSM methodology like ITIL or agile methods like Scrum/SAFe. They are different ways of delivering features. They have a lot in common like how to register the changes and make sure to limit impacts. No matter what you call it you can improve your processes for SAP Integration to deliver it faster. 

You can see the webinar replays at the end of the blog. 

View the full presentation from the event

Here you can see the presentation from the event.

If you want to try the tool there is a free trial and it is pretty simple to get running. See the Figaf DevOps Tool for more information

What is a change

A change is anything you will use to make changes to your landscape it can be

  • A Project to develop new integrations 
  • New Integrations
  • A change of an interface
  • A bug fix for an interface
  • A configuration change like hostname or passwords

The change be created started because of either

  • The business request the change via the Ticket system 
  • Or there is a failure that needs to be fixed. 

Number of systems in your organization

When I talk to people about their SAP PI/CPI change processes it amazes me how many systems are involved in the process. It is much more than just the SAP PI/CPI system

  • Ticket system like Service Now/Jira/Solman/Azure DevOps
  • Transport system CTS+/Charm 
  • Git or NWDS for java code
  • Excel/Word for templates
  • Sharepoint or other document sharing places
  • SAP Integration  Dev (SAP PI/PO or SAP CPI)
  • SAP Integration QA (Apply configuration)
  • SAP Integration Prod (Apply configuration)
  • SAP PIT or other testing tools

Did I forget a system type that is required? 

You probably have one or two extra systems to add to the list. 

And users probably need to be given access to all the systems to onboard them. 

And how do you make sure all the data is synchronized. 

How many steps are in your delivery process

You need to consider the steps that you have as a part of your delivery process. What is adding value and what is just legacy that somebody added around the time when you got your mainframes. That may not be adding any value in the perspective of SAP PI/CPI be could be because of some other application. 

The way I handed my releases was something in the line of: 

  • Develop my changes
  • Test that it works
  • Document in Excel what the change was about to upload it somewhere
  • Create documentation for import with file paths
  • Then request an approved transport (External)
  • Then request the transport to be created (External)
  • Then place my object into transport
  • Update documentation with transport
  • Ask the architect to approve the changes in the transport was correct (External)
  • Ask Basis to import to QA (External)
  • Ask PI basis to configure channels based on my example (External)
  • Ask the business to test the change(External)
  • Ask to import to Prod (External)
  • Ask PI Basis to configure channels (External)
  • Update documentation

It is a lot of steps, and each time you have a step it takes a longer time because you need to ask to interrupt somebody’s workflow. And they are always in meetings. That means it a change becomes a lot of extra work to understand what is going on.

If the people that need to perform the appovals cannot really see what needs to be changed then it becomes quite deficult for them to perform a good job at the approval.

I have been on multiply projects where the requirement to make all the documentation and governance removed all joy from making the fixes. It took may 10 minutes to fix the mapping and then 4 hours to get it into production. 

The too simple approach

I have also been on projects where the transport process was:

  • Develop my changes
  • Move to production
  • Ask the business to see if it works as expected

It would not really recommend this approach either because nobody knows what is going on in the systems and there are no links between the different systems. And though I’m an expert it is really difficult to hand it over to somebody else.

How can you simplify the process with Figaf

When using the Figaf Tool as a part of the process it could be simplified to

  • Develop my changes
  • Add them to a ticket in the Figaf Tool
  • Perform regression tests with the Figaf tool
  • Apply all configuration in the landscape
  • Send transport to approval to architect (External)
  • Import to QA self
  • Ask the business to test and approve (External)
  • Import to Prod self or let someone else do it
  • Let Figaf Tool create all documentation needed

The benefit of the last model is that the developer can perform most steps in the Figaf Tool himself and then only invoke the Architect and the business to perform their steps. I only need to interrupt people two times one to get my transport approved and once to get it tested approved. 

It will save time for all involved and let you run the integration much faster. 

Systems with Figaf

The number of systems you need is also much smaller because you only have the following systems where you need 

  • Ticket system like Service Now/Jira/Solman/Azure DevOps
  • Git or NWDS for java code (Optional)
  • SAP Integration  Dev (SAP PI/PO or SAP CPI)
  • Figaf DevOps Tool

It becomes much easier to train and onboard people to the platform. 

But CTS+ works for ABAP development

Yes, the tools work for ABAP development. Well, there is a lot of good tools to simplify the way you are delivering ABAP. There are also 3rd party providers that make some of the processes even easier. 

In general would say ABAP transports works a lot closer with the CTS+ transport, where SAP CPI/PI in general just is seen as some blob that is used for the transport. 

Our focus is to give you an in-depth visualization of what is happening in the transports. That way you get the full version of the differences. 

What is the business case

There is no innovation if you don’t have a business for it. I do think there is a pretty solid business case.

There is a few factors:

  • What is the level of governance that you should have in place. Do you document enough and perform the testing
  • How much time do you spend on it now and what is the potential time-saving. It is not only the developer but also all the other people in the process

If you can save 2-4 hour for each change then it becomes pretty simple to calculate. Just multiply by number of changes and your rate.

We start at 600 EUR/month for our DevOps solution, so it will soon be able to pay for it self.

SAP CPI Process improvement 

Most of the videos are the same, thought the demo parts is a little different because it is different systems.

SAP PI/PO Process improvement

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