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SAP PI/PO B2B Add-on alternative

We will in the next period of time see a large number of users that will be performing migrations of their SAP PI/PO platfrom to 7.5. I have created a number of resources on SAP PI/PO Migration. One of the big thing in this migration is the migration from Seeburger to B2B Add-on. We do have a tool that allow you to automate the migration from Seeburger to B2B Add-on message mappings.

B2B Add-on from SAP does work and can give you a way to manage your EDI messages. There are still some gaps in the B2B Add-on solution that could be greatly improved and where i see that an alterntaive solution could be better. It is in the area of:

  • Logging and archiving of messages sent.
  • Partner management and settings usability
  • Configuration of partner connections via AS2, VANS or SFTP.

I had a webinar with Paw Pedersen from BizBrains that created a product called Link. Link is a tool build to manage your EDI solution. It is currently being used to manage B2B for Biztalk, but the same system can be used also for SAP PI/PO. They have been running it for a number of customers from small companies wanting to run EDI to big banks. You will learn about what the solution can help with. You can see the replay here.

They have a number of different configuration options and security settings that are required for banks. They also have large customers with many partners, so they know how to make the application scale.

One of the reasons I think it could be useful for you is that you can switch to their platform and then there is no need to upgrade to the PO license and can stay on the PI License. It can save you a great deal of money and speed up your migration process.

There is a number of different ways the Link solution can tie into your SAP PI/PO solution from

  • Just as an Archive of messages
  • Partner configuration
  • Partner configuration that updates your mappings
  • Using it also for SAP CPI.

If you find the product interesting write to psp@bizbrains.com, and get a trial of what the solution can do.

I will be a part of designing a good solution that will make your migration as simple as possible.

Figaf now improves your SAP PI/PO CTS transports

SAP PI/PO Change management and documentation have not developed much. And the full cycle of development is the same. It is really a manual process that requires people are spending a lot of time on documentation.

Is your Integration Important. Do you want to minimize the downtime and failures? Then the documentation and QA important.

If you are doing spending too much time on documentation, and if you are not you don’t have enough documentation of the changes made.

We have automated the full process from start to end designed to optimize SAP PI/PO. So you can get the transport documented with all integration objects have been changed.

This means that all your SAP PI/PO transports will be

  • Documented all your development objects
  • Changed link to a business reason, so you know how have approved the change and why.
  • Tested and validated in the QA system with same set of test cases, so you know that everything works as expected.
  • Configured in once place so developers do not need access to configure production system
  • Linking with the incident system so you can get information about what is wrong with your system faster

Check out the video

Because of the above reason, you will be able to:

  • Deliver integrations faster because of an automated delivery process with less time consumption
  • Happier employees because they do not need to perform documentation manually
  • Your QA process will be a lot faster because you don’t have everything delivered automatically
  • Higher quality with fewer errors because you are able to test all integrations fast
  • Fewer differences in the productive system because people are not doing modifications in other systems

Try IRT

We also support the same change management process for SAP CPI

SAP PI/PO Migration

There many companies working on migration or planning a migration of their SAP XI/PI to SAP PI/PO 7.5 systems. Over the years I have created a number of resources that make a lot of sense if you are in the process of considering a migration. Here is one place that you can find all my favorite resources on the topic.

Timeline

One of the drivers for migration is that the support of everything but 7.5 will end in December 2020. That is currently in 20 months time. Not a long time if you need to plan a project, get funding and running the upgrade. I would assume that the minimum time for a migration is 6 months once you got people working on the project. If you need to get the funding you know your companies budget process, so you better get started.

As I read the note 1648480 extended support will not be possible for the Java stack.

Options for upgrading

There are a number of options that you can use when upgrading your landscape. Product manager of PI/PO Alexander Bundschuh has written a list of the different options (13) that you have depending on where you are at the moment. What options for Upgrading SAP PI/PO

My recommendation is to go for a single stack system because the dual stack is not developed anymore. It will also improve your next upgrade because of a simpler architecture. You will have to covert your ABAP Mappings.

Your different options

There is also the option to migrate to SAP CPI, which is the cloud based tool for Process Integration. It have some areas where it can replace a PI and BPM solution, but there are patterns that are not fully optimal yet. It will no doubt be the place where SAP is focusing their development, so you will se a number of improvments there.

If you are not planning to use PO functions like B2B Add-on, BPM/BRM then it is probably best to keep at current license but move to an AEX, Java only version of your system. The only reason they would be to run CPI content on your PO system. If you have a few ccBPM probably consider moving them to CPI or Cloud Workflow.

If you are using B2B Add-on or want to run CPI content locally the PO is the way to go.

There is the concept Stack split that I have heard some customers use. The idea is to upgrade your 7.31 dual stack system to 7.5 with dual stack. In 7.5 they cannot share a system ID so one of the systems will get a new System ID. You will then be able to delete the ABAP system. So you only have a single stack system. It does require that you are using ICO’s for all your integration. I’m not sure if this is a supported process and how it works. Maybe your consultants know how it works.

Outlook

SAP PI/PO 7.5 will be in maitance until 2024. SAP have annonced there will be a new version of SAP PI/PO in 2022. The goal of this version is to support a newer Java version and latest Databases. Release will depend on when they become avabile from vendors.

There is a roadmap for the SAP PI/PO you need to search for Process Orchestration and then login to see the roadmap.

From what I can see on the roadmap it does not look like BPM and BRM function will be improved. You probably need to find another solution for BPM process. It could be the SAP Cloud Platform Workflow or CPI that will allow you to run it. The place where you will see most development is on running CPI content on SAP PO.

Process

The process for migration is pretty simple. It is just something about planning what to do. It does make a lot of sense to get an understanding of how you want to migrate so you can get started and know how it will work. I think it will give you some information to start the migration from. It can be improved and need to be adapted to your model. There are two areas that you need to focus on.

  • Planning: In this, you try to understand what you should be doing with regards to migration. This is where you need to figure out how to upgrade certain elements. This should be considered before you scale up the team. In this phase, you will also be able to see how you automate the solution.
  • Execution: In this part is about making the migration as fast as possible and keep the risk low. Here is where you make a migration of a single interface, test it and then move it to production.

You can read the full post and see all slides and the replay at the link bellow.

Automization of the process

We have been making a lot of tools for the SAP Platform and they do make a lot of sense to apply in any migration project. The more you can automate the easier the process will be. Here are some of the things you can consider for your project.

Understanding your current integration

To understand what part of your current integration and message mappings, we have created a free tool that allows you to see what is going on. It can give you information about which message mappings you have used and how many times they have been executed in the last month. It can also give you information about which modules you have and how they are used. It is a free part of the Figaf IRT application so it is just to try it out, so you can plan your migration.

Seeburger Migration

If you have Seeburger and are considering what options you have for migration then we have a path for it. We have created an automated tool that can take your Seeburger Message mapping and convert it to a B2B Add-on mapping with a few click. You can then save many hours in the migration process. You just select which mapping you want to convert and which B2B structure you want to use. Then the application will take care of the rest. It will cost you a fixed fee per mapping.

You can read more on the application at Seeburger Migration tool or at how the seeburger migration works.

Testing your migration

If you are doing any upgrade or change of your landscape it is really useful to perform test to validate that it works correct. I have in some cases seen that after an upgrade somehting on the mappings had changed behavior. It is therefore a good idea to be able to test that nothing is affected.

You have the following options to Test SAP PI.

  • Manual testing requires a lot of resources
  • SAP PIT a free tool from SAP to test from 7.5 sp14.
  • Figaf IRT a tool build to make it a lot easier to test SAP PI/PO. Is our tool designed to make upgrade testing faster
  • INT4 Iftt a ABAP tool made for testing interfaces. It is good for testing result in the ABAP tables

Comparison the two testing tools, I would recommend the Figaf tool because it makes the testing a lot faster to create and allow you to test your first upgrade. It also contains more patterns for testing and is able to test modules which is important with B2B Add-on.

Automation of the migration process

SAP have a tool that allows you to migrate channels and ICOs. It is a part of the PI system and you just link the two systems together and can then migrate scenarios or channels.

If you find that it lacks some part for processing and want a faster way to do the migration. We have a good understanding of the SAP PI Directory and Repository data model, so we will be able to create an automation for your. Reach our to info@figaf.com, to book a meeting on how we can help.

Anything missing

Is there something missing let me know.

If you any questions on your migration, sent a email to info@figaf.com.

SAP PI/PO Governance made easy

One of the biggest challenges with SAP PI/PO has been the lack of governance models for users. Documentation part has really been lacking making it and it has required a lot of manual work to get it done.

The process for handling governance for SAP PI/PO is just the same as with SAP XI for 15 years ago. The tooling has not changed much. There have just been a few changes that could say to improve the area. Ever since I started with XI/PI i have been working on different ways to improve the process of documentation but we have not made the dream solution yet.

Last year we added the option to use the ticket and thereby log changes to any object in SAP PI and PO, so all versions between them would be remembered. This was the first step in making documentation easier with Figaf IRT.

Now we are ready with the next big thing liking the full development together. So all documentation of your development is linked to CTS transports. That way you will know why something was changed and can see what is being transported much more transparent.

We have also added a central configuration of your channels. So there is just one place where you need to configure the information. IRT will then apply the configuration once the transport has been imported.

You can then make exports of your Integration scenarios documentation, and then show a changelog of this. And also show what was performed as a result of a ticket that you can add to your Jira, Solman to prove what you have done.

Here you can find the recording of the webniar that I did on 1 May 2019, where we showed this information to the public.

We are soon adding this to the release, so signup to check out the current version, and be the first to know once we have released the new iteration. If you have ideas on how to improve the tool and be a part of the beta program reach out to support@figaf.com.

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.