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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.

Documenting your SAP PI/PO scenarios

Documentation is a part of all IT practices. It is there to ensure we document what has been created. This is to ensure that some people later will be able to help support the process. This is also true for SAP PI/PO projects. Documentation is something that does cost a lot to produce, so you need to get value from it and automate it.

I have a problem with the way we normally are documenting your scenarios. In many cases, the requirement for documentation have been small adjusted based on what some people from other departments wished and the types of the object used. It has been a manual process to update all of this documentation. Since I started with XI 3.0 in 2004 one of the things that I have always considered and worked with was how to make the documentation process much better. It has resulted in a host of tools that can create the documentation.

One of the big problems have always been it was almost impossible to create and maintain some documentation so you could keep your previous history. This is the same if you autocreate the documentation or if you make it manually. The Word document will be placed in some repository and then never be touched. I recond that you have seen some thing like the following change history, that will never changed.

The change history of only an inital entry

I wanted to keep the histroy and link it with a business requirmeent for the change. We have added the Ticket concept in Figaf IRT, here you can create a object that look like a Service Request, Request for Change or what jira ticket. The function allow you to handle all your processing in just one application and assign changes to the objects that is affected by a changed. We are working to make this even more connected with your CTS+ transport system, so you can registere all objects in the ticket easier.

When you then generate the documentation after some time you will see what was changed on the ICO, or any linked objects. So if somebody has changed a message mapping used by the ICO then you will it in the list. That way you know when it was changed. If you then later want to drill into what object you can open the link and see the full ticket information. All information in the document will only reflect what is the current values for it.

What is changed for an Integration Sceanrio

An example of what the full file will look like:

We still have some way to go with it. We can go into all Repository Objects, fetching and show the most interesting values from the channels, and get documentation from the different objects. We are looking for customer requierments and feedback to see what should make sense in the process.

You can try this out on your own system with the Free part of the Figaf IRT tool, though it will not create the full documentation for you. Then you will need to have a licensed version.

News for Figaf IRT – January 2019 Improving SAP CPI and PI development and monitoring

Enhanced SAP CPI Monitor, Web integration and PI create test form error

So, lately I have been working with development of Figafs Integration Regression Tool, and I think the new stuff is pretty cool. Hopefully, it will be something that is useful for you to improve the ability to develop and run SAP CPI/PI content even faster and give you less support. If you have ideas for improvements I’ll like to hear.

Improved SAP CPI monitoring

We have improved the logging of errors. So it will download the attachments for the failed flows. Then it will be a lot easier for you to monitor and process the alerts. We have also improved the OData filter, so you can specify filters for messages that do not fail. So if you are using sender and receiver information you can setup a filter like Sender = ‘Salesforce’ and Receiver = ‘LOG’ that way you can get the payloads even if there are no errors on the CPI flow.

Support tool with webhooks

The IRT Support desktop is not the only one in your organization. This way you can setup integration with Jira, Paparduty or Solution manager. We configure to receive Jira notifications in about 1 hour with the information we got from the rules using zapier.com but you can use SAP PI/CPI for it.

 

Used Mappings report

Understand what is used on your SAP PI system of mappings, we have now added an option to show also Java Mappings, XSLT and also Message Mappings. Just use the Excel export of your configuration scenario.

In December 2018 I published a blog about this topic: SAP PI/PO Used message mapping.

Create a test case from a failed message

If your message fails because of a message mapping, you can set up a new test case to cover that case. This way it becomes a lot faster to validate that you have fixed the mapping once you have fixed the problem.

 

Want to ease your work?

I do believe that these improvements will make your work a lot easier. If you want to learn more please watch this video:

 

The last details

I also cover my newest insight about IRT in this slideshow:

 

You can try the features now on your own SAP PI/CPI system.

The future of SAP Integration PI, CPI and how to prepare your self

So yesterday, Tuesday, November 13. 2018, I just hosted a webinar about the key takeaways from SAP Teched and how to implement things based on it. It thinks it was one of my own webinars with most viewers (40). So it is an important topic. I think I missed the Gartner quote that 50% of the development budget will be about integration or something in that line.

When we were starting to see some cloud applications I did not see so many integrations. Lately, I have seen quite a number of a project involving some cloud application. I had seen that SAP would be able to provide some of the content as pre-delivered, but there are going to be so much more than you will need to develop. I just got an email from an SAP customer that they got a tsunami of cloud integration, so it is other areas as well.

Understand where you are going

On the webinar, I do cover how you can understand your own integrations and try to plan what integration you should be doing. I recommend that you take a look at the Integration Solution Advisor – Methodology. It has been updated and I have talked with quite a few architects using it and it gave them a good understanding of what they should be doing.

Roadmap

Then I cover the current state of the SAP PI roadmap, which will affect your existing integration. I do see the CPI on your SAP PI system as a good option to run some of your content. You probably want to start a migration if you are on a dual stack system, I have some resources on how you can do an SAP PI migration project. If you have Seeburger and want to migrate to B2B Add-on I created a webinar on how you can automate the migration. I also recorded a podcast on how a customer did a migration of Seeburger to B2B Add-on.

After you have been going thru your ISA-M you will have some integration patterns that you need new tools for. I’m covering SAP Cloud offerings for integration and their full iPaaS product. I think it would be wise to use the SAP tools first to see if they suit your needs and if not then you can find a better vendor for the solution. SAP will be adding new functions to the Cloud Offering to address the customers needs.

Operations

There is a need to make more integration at a faster pace. And you are probably not able to get more people on your team. So it is about making them as effective as possible. At Figaf we have created solutions to enable the development process to be a little easier from development, documentation, testing and supporting. You can check our tool Figaf IRT that can support the full lifecycle. I think it will help you improve your development of new features, so you will be more flexible and develop things faster.

Next week I’m hosting a webinar where I’ll cover how you can use the Figaf IRT tool to optimize your SAP PI and CPI development process.

 

You can watch the full video here.

 

 

Whitepaper of what Figaf IRT can do for your SAP PI/PO or CPI integrations

Over the last 6 months, our IRT application has expanded from just being an application that facilitates SAP PI/PO testing to deal with more of the full development process for SAP Integration.  We have added the following capabilities.

  • Filter your SAP PI/PO alerts so you can see new errors and document how old errors can be resolved
  • Enable you to test SAP Cloud Platform Integration(CPI)
  • That you don’t need to install anything at the PI system to use the tool
  • Enable you to track all development objects on SAP PI/PO and CPI so you can see the difference on each one
  • Create Ticket to log which objects you have changed for any specific use cases, so you can document what you have done to solve a ticket.

    Download the Figaf IRT white paper now

    • Test all the ICOs where an object is used like a message mapping

We have had some challenging trying to communicate all of the functions that we are supporting in the process and how it worked. So now I finally was able to create a document that tries to explain all the capabilities we have in an easy to read manner.

We have tried to make it as appealing to the business but also explain what we are doing to make the life easier for integration developers.

You can download it here

If you have any idea on how to improve it, please share.

Get FIGAF IRT and start using it for free here