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Links to your SAP Cloud Landscape

As a developer one of the things that I often struggle with is to understand what system I need to login to to develop. With PI your learn to remember that PIT is the test system. But with CPI you just have some seemingly random numbers and it can be difficult to remember. I have received my fair share of emails with links in that I often go search for. I need to create a long series of bookmarks. And all new developers need to do that. Now we have made it easier for you to access the different pages.

I also normally added new tab names for each system so I can remember which system I’m currently have open in my tab.

With the new release of Figaf IRT 2.8 we are adding a function to allow you to configure your full landscape so you from the Figaf home page can go to all the relevant systems. Since we support transport and monitoring in your landscape you will anyway need to configure all your systems in Figaf IRT. You can also register all instances to a landscape so you will get links to all the entries in your environment.

The new homepace of Figaf IRT now look like this.

New Figaf IRT homepage with links to all your SAP Integration tenants or systems.

From each landscape you can then go to the relavant tennant and links. You can have multiply landscapes of each.

  • For API management it is both the developer portal and the API portal.
  • For PI it is /dir, Netweaver Administrator, PI monitor and B2B Add-on homepage
  • For CPI it is design, monitoring and IRT monitoring page.

If you have ideas to more then let me know.

We may add links to SAP sites like status pages or Cloud Platfrom links.

This feature will be rolled out to Figaf IRT Cloud and Figaf IRT around 14 May. You can get free access on either link. We also have some other cool features making your development process a lot easier.

Figaf IRT now supports API management

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been making transports easier for SAP CPI. Now the turn has come to SAP API management. As I understand from APIGEE the normal way is to have a build server that allows you to transport and test scripts. It does require some time and skill in setting up such a server. From the last roadmap session SAP was planing to relase some CTS+ integration in Q3 if I recall correct.

We are using the same approach to document changes of APIProxies. So you can see which Proxy part has been updated, or which script was changed. This makes it a lot easier to document what is going on and why something was changed. You will therefore know what is changed in each release.

We also allows users to make transports based on the business requirements. It is therefore easier to document changes made to the proxy, and link all changes to a business reason.

You can try it out your self at Figaf IRTCloud and see how it performs in your landscape.

With Figaf IRT you have one enviorment that allow you to document all your SAP Integrations in just one application.

We are going to add other functions to monitor your API management, so you can get some more detailed alerts about what is going on in your landscape.

SAP Integration Landscape and Emerging Complexity

The field of process integration is changing quickly, setting new challenges for Integration professionals, and I think a good understanding of the available tools is key.

When we talk about paradigms in process integration, there have been 3 major phases:

  • Mainframes: Back in the day, most companies had one mainframe or two. The good thing about the mainframe was that it was fairly simple to integrate what were essentially internal programs – even if you had to work across mainframe platforms.
  • Client-server: With the emergence of client-servers and SAP R/3, the number of application servers was growing quickly. Suddenly, as an Integration Department, you had to figure out how to integrate the applications in your landscape so that you could create a new interface. In SAP terms, it may have been a Business Connector or eXchange Infrastructure (XI). You only had one tool to use.
  • The Cloud: Today, cloud integration is the norm, and the goal is to be able to quickly and easily leverage new cloud capabilities from existing development. A couple of examples of existing cloud capabilities are Hybris Cloud for Customer (e-commerce solutions) and SuccessFactor (human capital management).  There are also a number of non-SAP cloud applications. In fact, you most likely have some of them in your landscape already. As the integration expert, your job requires you to make them all play together seamlessly. Some come with prebuild content others you have to create for yourself.

As I said earlier, it used to be that you had integration consolidation that mostly worked in XI/PI. Now, Integration departments are faced with a very different landscape, driven by the need for new integration capabilities, and need to be looking outside of their space at the tools that are already available in other areas of process development. If we understand what’s out there, we can choose the right tool for the job.

I’m talking about tools like the HANA Cloud Platform – integration services (HCP-IS)/HCI, Process Orchestration (PRO), API Management, and Data Services to do bigger data ETL. We’ve also got the Application Integration Framework Overview (AIF), for when you want to do any integration with backend services. There are also SAP Gateway solutions available for exposing OData. Those are the SAP integration technologies that I can think of off the top of my head, other vendors have similar offerings that may be relevant.

I did this exercise with a customer and we spend 6 hours on the different topics and when it did fit into their architecture.

The big problem for the integration manager/architect is that you need to know the tools, and know when it makes sense to use one and how to select one over another. You also need to be able to train your team to use them. As you learn more, you’ll find a lot of overlap between the capabilities of the various tools, and knowing what each one can do will allow you to streamline your process when you have complex situations.

The challenge with all these tools is that it is both labor-intensive and potentially expensive to try them out. Say you have a situation where you want to expose some data to the user. First, you will have to figure out the logic and the capabilities of the various tools to find the best one to combine the elements so your API management will call  PRO or Gateway — to get or expose some data. Then you’ll need to acquire the tools and start using them, in order to really understand where they fit and what you can do with them. Once you get that down, you will need to work out how to leverage the technology internally. So, a lot of work is involved whenever you introduce new technology like this. You also have to keep in mind that you will be paying for licensing to use the tool, even if you don’t end up implementing it.

So as integration experts and enterprise architects, working in a rapidly changing field, we want to do our homework and really understand any tool and how we can leverage it before we place it in our systems.

What is your strategy for landscape integration? How do you cope with training problems?