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Test your SAP PI/PO transports

SAP PI/PO development is not just about creating interfaces, map the documents and configure the interface. There is the full change management part about ensuring you know what is transported and ensuring it is tested correctly. This is something that normally requires a lot of paperwork and manual steps. It is one of the critical things about the process, to ensure that nothing else is broken.

We have been working on a tool for making sure that the testing works better and is a lot faster to set up. We have now implemented a functionality that allows you to run the same test on your QA environment with a click of a button. We have had the option earlier but it required some manual work, now you can just select which system to run the test on and it will happen.  You can also run the tests with the key of your transports.

Check out the video on the tool and how easy it is to run the same tests again on your Test system.

 

 

The solution is designed to work together with the SAP Transport (CHARM) you just need to implement a call once the transport has been imported to ensure that the test is called with the correct system.

We have a free version that allows you to start testing your system really fast and then it has the option to also support in your development process.

It is really fast to implement the solution and get it up and run. It will probably take 15 minutes to get it running on your system.

 

 

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.

New B2B Monitor for SAP PI/PO to handle EDI Files

EDI monitoring and archiving is an important part of your operations for EDIFACT/X12 and the corresponding XML documents. It should be fast to retrieve the documents by searching for partner, order number, and also to find all related documents. I’m looking for customers that want to help develop the product with me, so we can build it so it suits your requirements.

Many years ago I was creating a B2B Arching tool to make it easier to archive messages in a smart way. I ended up coding quite a bit of it my self, and was not able to sell it. Now it is time to try again because so much is changing in the integration world and I got a developer team that has built the Figaf IRT tool to test SAP PI/PO

I have been talking with some SAP customers and they are looking for a way to make it easier to archive their EDI (EDIFACT/X12) messages and use it as a tool to monitor what has been sent and received. The cool thing about EDI is that it is fairly simple to build a parser that allows you to parse the links and references between documents. That way you don’t need to make into a configuration for each mapping or scenario.

On the PI system the only thing you need to add is the SAP Archive Module and then the application can handle the rest. Then you can filter the documents based on partners or other information.

Short demo video of the User interface and how easy it is to browse the relations between documents.

 

Check out the full presentation of the project.

What is the best way to deploy this and where should the payload be saved. In a cloud system or some on a content server. I do have a lot of ideas on how to improve but think you will also have some ideas.

There is the part of the retention of data, how do we ensure that orders are saved 3 months in one country and invoices are saved 7 years in another country. We will need some configuration to specify how it will work and how to get data.

I’m looking for customers that would be interested in a solution and can help us with getting the correct requirements for it. We expect to be able to deliver a solution in 2-3 months depending on the requirements.

If you are interested send an email to info@figaf.com and let’s have a talk on your requirements. 

Why have a full SAP PI/PO regression test case is needed

Do you have a full set of regression test cases of your SAP PI/PO system and can run them when needed to ensure that nothing is broken.

This week I was talking with a potential customer about our testing tool and the newest feature where they did not need to install anything on the PI system. They did, unfortunately, have a too old version of one of the components to allow us to read the log messages. It was added with OSS 2437778.

It is the standard way out to add new features to patches or service packs to give customers there the features which are required. Most of all the time you want to be able to leverage the new functions in some scenarios to solve a business need.

With the way SAP is delivering the Java code is it cumulative patches. This mean that patch 3 contains updates from patch 2 plus some more changes. So you cannot just get the fix you want as you can with ABAP.

They are also linked with dependencies so if you upgrade one, some part will stop function because it is missing a dependent library. So most of the time you have to update quite a bit of component and you have no idea about how this will affect everything else. You can read the release notes, but it is difficult or close to impossible to predict how this will impact your system.

And to make matters even worse, you probably need to upgrade all components to the latest to ensure all dependencies are met.  

In a normal company it will take a long time to validate these things, so if you’re just adding a simple feature it is really a no go to do this. The business case is difficult to explain, we want this feature to do X, but it will cost a lot of testing. So you have to wait for the business to ask for a new feature and then that project would have to pay for the upgrade/patch.

That’s the reason why I want to have a full set of regression test cases that you can just run whenever there is any patch or an upgrade that you have to ensure that everything works as expected without involving people in the testing of the new features.

The price for an upgrade is a partial basis to get them to upgrade the system and then a part to test the component. The biggest cost is the tests that you need to perform to ensure that everything works as expected. It makes, therefore, sense that to be able to automate that part if it is possible.

With most test tools that take a long time to set up these the test cases and that’s why we’ve created a tool to enable you to set up these test cases fast.  We had a customer Anadarko Petroleum Corporation that could set up 300 test cases in just 3 weeks.

Since then we have optimized the process a lot making it a lot faster to set up test cases. So I would assume you will be able to set up test cases a lot faster than now.

The cost of running the test for the full system is close to zero, so you can run them daily to get information about how the system performs or if anything is broken.

So you can apply the latest support packs if you want to have an updated system with the latest features and fixes.

You can download Figaf IRT tool and use the tool for free upto 10 ICO’s to test on your own SAP PI/PO system. You can request a trial license to get more tests done. If you already have the patch mentioned then you don’t need to install anything on your system and in many cases use your own use for the testing.