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Catch 22 for testing now fixed. Supporting test on all SAP PI/PO systems 7.31+

We got trapped in a Catch 22

We need a feature released 1½ year ago to be able to test SAP PI/PO system, without installing our modules. To upgrade customers need to test their system, but they will have to do the test manually. It would save them a lot of time to use our tool.

We can test the systems if they install one of our components, but it is not something all customers that can install non-SAP components on their PI system. That was the reason we were looking for alternatives. And to make it a lot easier to get to use our tool.

We found the web service was able to give us the payloads of the logs. We got the solution working on our development. When we tried to test it on the older PI system the web service method we wanted was not there. After some digging, we found the solution was released with a patch 1½ years ago. So we could not assist in upgrading without them having to install our component. 

I want to help the customers to use our tool, especially if they have not patched for 1½ year, so they can test better. Then it makes even more sense to test.

This is the screen we web scraping to get message payload

So now we have made an option to use a WebDynpro agent that is able to connect to the screen users are seen and downloading the messages. It will use this if the web service method for downloading content is not available. It is by no means the best solution but it is a way to solve a pressing issue.

The way we did it was to use the Chrome Developer tool to see the different request required to select the correct line, switch the tabs to the payload page and then download the message. Then find the output message and download it. There is a number of requests to view each different page, and we even had to scroll table of payload to view it all.

Check out the video on the topic.

 

If you want to try it out on your own system check http://figaf.com/irt . We even have free version so you can use it to test your systems from your laptop.

Other features added

We have been moving some functionality making the application run faster when you activate new recordings of test cases. So it should start a lot faster.

We have also been improving the functionality to recording/testing or bridges async/sync and sync/async for the Figaf IRT modules. We are also adding the function later to use the SAP logging module.

How to get paid more for your SAP PI/PO/Cloud Integration Projects

I started my IT profession in one of the big five accounting companies in 2001. One of the things I got really impressed by was how they were able to create nice looking models of how to approach all kinds of challenges.  It is a lot easier to sell something to a customer if you had a model then you had a superior product. If you have the matching powerpoint that you can show it becomes even easier. The model did have some good ways of approaching the situation from a business perspective, but it relied heavily on the experience of the consultants.

Example of a model, probably not the best. It does have nice colors

I was writing my master thises around one of the models for security testing. My focus was on how we could improve the testing with an automated tool. This way we would be able to test more with the same resources. The tool we build worked ok thought it was not the easiest to use. I did manage to get the project approved and got my masters degree.

I did learn that you need a good framework to show you are different and can command higher rates.

I wrote a blog on the importance of having a great quality and how difficult it is for customers to judge. Customer score price and quality as separate parameters, and score them in some way. If you are able to prove your score in quality you may be able to command a higher price. The way you can document your quality is with:

  • ISO, ITIL or other certifications
  • Have customer references
  • Having a model that shows what you will do
  • Have a tool that automates the processor model

How are using Models or Frameworks

SAP Activate (credit: SAP)

SAP has SAP Activate which assists companies to implement S/4 HANA faster. It is using a methodology, a set of templates for best practices and the solution manager tool. It should all be making it a lot faster to implement S/4 for customers and enable them to faster take the leap of faith and start the implementation. Earlier they also had the ASAP (Accelerated SAP) implementation method. They have updated the model to be more agile focused suitable to newer approaches. 

In some cases, you may have your own methodology for delivery. Either a project management or from a service delivery point of view. You can present in a slide deck of about 105 slides. That covers all the situations and explain how the business will get all the benefits and no risk for the implementation project.

For SAP PI/PO projects you can follow any form of a waterfall or agile methods. From what I have seen there is a lot of exploration in the process to get users to understand what is going on. There has not been that many tools allow you to increase your performance and reduce the risk.

At Figaf we are working to improve the development process making it a lot faster to do developments. This will support your projects making it a lot faster for you to do the implementation and will lower the risk for you. The same thing is true for SAP PI/PO project the better framework you have for prove that you will deliver quality the better.

And if you can show this is not just paperwork but something that has an IT system behind will improve the quality even more. Enabling you to get bigger projects. 

What tools will help SAP PI/PO or Cloud Integration

We have the following offer things that could be in your next bid, to ensure that you can prove your work and what you are doing.

  • SAP PI/PO/Cloud Integration lifecycle tool. This will allow tracking of what objects are changed, show you the difference between each version and show and test the objects in question for any project.
  • SAP PI Support tool that will allow you to handle errors faster and ensure you document how to solve the issues.
  • SAP PI Test tool that allows you to set up test cases for all scenarios fast and runs them. You can use it for
    • Migration project to ensure there is no impact on the output messages
    • Upgrade project where you just want to upgrade the SAP PI/PO system to latest support pack and do not want to test too much
    • Everyday development of interface where you want to be able to do regression testing.
  • Seebuger to B2B Add-on Migration tool that allows you to speed up the conversion of the old mappings to use the new formats for X12 and EDIFACT. In this we would also recommend the test tool, so you can ensure that everything is covered and there are no surprises. 

(The first 3 tools is grouped into just one application that you can run standalone making it easy to deploy and use on projects)

You can try out the products for free on the website or simply just register below.

Why will a tool help your projects

As a consultancy, you are often billing for a number of hours so the more hours you work the better. If you can lower the number of hours you work and get a higher rate for your works it will give you bigger revenue. Some of the reasons are: 

  • A lower number of hours worked, so you can command higher rates for the hours or have fixed price projects
  • Reduce the risk of your project
  • Improve the quality of your documentation
  • Better employee satisfaction because they are not going to spend as much time on the creation of boooring documents
  • Better business satisfaction with your services, so you will be able to work long-term with the customer

At the moment I don’t have any SAP service partners at the moment, but some are looking at it.

We can also get a price for your project that accounts for project duration and number of developers, so it can match your project scope.

Update to testing on SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI)

We just released IRT 2.3. That had two big additions. One was our ability to monitor your full SAP PI/PO/CPI development process. In this post, I’ll share the other which is much better support for cloud integration.

In 2.2 we add the first option to run cloud integration tests. We were able to use the new trace functionality for cloud integration to get messages at all stages. This made our test easy to perform without any changes to the setup.

In this, we have added some more functionality

  • We can run regression test for both HTTP and now SOAP adapter. This means that it will use your existing iflow to process the test message in.
  • If you use other adapters or scheduled tasks IRT is able to create a new flow that looks like the original one, except it starts with an HTTP adapter. IRT can record the message from the existing flow.

We have an oss note with SAP that the latest release meant we were getting some problem when setting an iflow into Trace mode.

You can watch the demo video here.

It is pretty simple to setup. Just signup at http://figaf.com/irt then login with the password you will get. Here you can also find the manual. Download the jar file, start it. In the configuration enter your host url, Suser and password, then you can synchronize the list of iflows and start setting up test cases.

 

 

Featured in SAP BPX!

Daniel Graversen, CEO of FigAf, will be featured in the SAP BPX newsletter!

Daniel’s blog will tackle a lot about SAP community network (SDN) and on how Integration Expert in the Process Teams is managed.

This blog focuses on the importance of being a part of a system team and to get more knowledge from the whole process team itself. This is much in line with the vision of FigAf, to be much closer to what the process of integration solutions are being developed for.

And, as the CEO of FigAf, Daniel Graversen takes pride in developing user-friendly integration solutions which offer better and bolder application features that others do not have.

BPX Community Newsletter will be on August 24, 2010.