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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.

 

Migrating Seeburger to SAP B2B Add-on the fast way

We have lately seen a large interest in the Seeburger to B2B Migration because SAP PI/PO customers are seeing as a way to bring down cost and optimize. There is a number of factors that allow users to achieve this

  • The new solution from SAP has a lot of advantages making it a lot more flexible and supports the newest schemas. It includes all EDIFACT, X12, Tradacom and EANCOM messages that you want to be using, so you don’t need to pay for each message.
  • It is also simpler to transport since they don’t require the use of the BIC to make the one to one mappings
  • It contains all the same adapters with some new features
  • The price of the solution is also included in your standard SAP PI price so you don’t need extra licenses to make sure you can communicate with EDI for your partners. So you can save money on the maintenance of the Seeburger solution.
  • You have the option to use the Trading Partner Management solution making it a lot easier to maintain many partners and the information from them.

When facing the migration there are some challenges that you must figure out how to solve.

  1. Schemas are different so everything needs to be remapped
  2. Test nothing happens with the output messages.
  3. Budget and planing

1) Schema changes update from Seeburger

One of the issues is the schema structure between the Seeburger and the SAP PI B2B Add-on is different on some different levels. The root element is different but there is also some different naming of groups and fields. In the Swing tool you have the option to remap some fields, but then you need to take manually account of all the fields in all mappings. And if it is not done consistently then you can end up with problems.

I always want to optimize as much manual labor as possible as that is what we are doing with our Seebuger Migration Tool. Simply select the message mapping and the new target XSD and it will convert it for you.

We currently have the free introduction package that contains 10 mappings for free. It is normally 100 USD pr mapping. So it is a really good way of getting started with the migration. That way you can prepare your self for the migration project and understand the complexity and what you otherwise need to move.

In the video below you can see how to get started, requesting licenses that you get to select 10 off for free. Then run the migration. Running the migration for a message mapping takes a few seconds.

 

2) Testing the migration

For any migration, it makes sense to test that nothing vital has changed. It is really crucial for EDI because the importance for the business, you cannot afford to be down for a period of time.

Even if the mappings are validated there is still a lot of components that you need to ensure is not messing up the flow. We recommend using the Figaf IRT SAP PI/PO test tool. You can use it for free for up to 10 Interfaces, so you can use it to validate the migration tool work. The Figaf Testing tool is build to make it really easy to fetch test messages from your production system, and then be able to use them on your development system for testing with. If there is any difference you know there could be something wrong. IRT has support comparing XML, EDIFACT, X12 and other formats.

If you purchase the migration tool for your full conversion we can find a good offer on the test tool.

 

3) Budget and planning

It is pretty difficult to get any budget for a migration project. In most cases, you will halt development for a period of time to perform the migration. It is more fun to spend the money o new development that helps the business. The biggest reasons for a Seeburger to B2B add-on from a financial perspective is that you can avoid the maintenance of the Seeburger application and use the license you already have. The support and maintenance of the new system may also be faster but it will not likely be something that will make it selling criteria.

I have created some blog post that covers more details on how to perform migrations in and make it easiest. They are focused on general migration but it will be the same concepts that are required for the other migration.

 

Testing SAP PI/PO without installing anything on the PI server

With Figaf IRT we have been able to test your SAP PI/PO system for two years.

One of the big concerns of customers was that they needed to install our component on their SAP PI/PO system. We have tried to ensure that it cannot break anything and they can receive the code for it. I do understand the challenge in organizations.

That is the reason that new now have added a new feature that allows users to test only their SAP PI/PO interfaces without installing any code on the server. They just download our Jar application and start it on the local laptop for testing. Then add connection information on the PI server, and in most cases, you can use your existing SAP PI user for it.

You can try it out now at https://figaf.com/irt

It is free up to 10 ICOs/100 inbound messages used for testing. You can run it as many times as you like. There is also a host of other features for testing and improving the development of interfaces.

Requirements for testing

You must have JAVA 8 on your laptop to run the IRT application. And it must be able to start up the web application that is build in to it.

You need a patched system after October where the feature to read payloads from the log messages was released. See SAP note 2437778 

You user must have access to read in the message logs and possible setup the XI30 channel for running the test with.

You will need to have the interface to save both the inbound and outbound message (BI and AM) . You can configure this global or just for the specific ICO/Iflow See this blog on the logging. It is just the logging required not the staging.

Future development on this

We still have a few improvement that will be delivered over the next weeks.

  • The ability to look in the history instead of just from you start the recording. This will make it a lot faster to setup test cases because the system could see everything you have processed.
  • Option to add the standard SAP Logging modules on the channels to allow recording of messages after module. It will cost a little on the performance and storage requirements but for some scenarios it will make it easier to run
  • Support for other patterns than just Async.

I’m looking forward to hear you feedback on how this works in the real world.

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.

 

 

IRT 2.2 Release notes Testing of SAP PI, Cloud Integration and Changemanagement

Yesterday we release the IRT 2.2 to make testing even easier. This release contains a lot of new functionality that makes it a lot easier to test your system.

One of our visions is to make an all round change management tool that allow you to find errors, fix them, document the changes, and test it. We have added the first part of this which is to support the change management, this will allow you to document what is going on in the landscape.  So now we have a link form ICO all the way to message mapping. This will allow us to ensure that you test the interfaces before you make any release.

You can see the video for a presentation here.

 

Cloud Integration. We have now added the option to start testing SAP Cloud Integration (CPI aka HCI) . It is made possible by the new option to trace information so we don’t need to make modifications to your iflows to test it. We can do a regression test with the HTTP adapter now, and hopefully will be able to add some more adapters in next release. For other messages, you need to use the baseline testing, where you will be sending the same message again. We will add more functionality to this testing to make it easier to do regression test for all adapters.

Baseline test cases. This is to make integration with Workflow tools like HPE UFT that already creates a set of number of messages to the SAP PI/PO system. So instead of IRT is sending test messages the sending system is creating the messages. The test would then compare that the same messages are sent and compare that they are processed in the same order. This is also a function we are using when testing with SAP Cloud Integration.

Change Tracking Tool. In the change tracking tool we have added the ability to see all repository objects and what is changed. So you can see where in an object it changed, we will add the option also to do a comparison in UDF and Message mapping in a future version. The cool thing is that you now can see where a message mapping is used and in which ICO/iFlows it is used. This will give users the option to run test report that covers the things that have been changed. We still have to add a few links.

 

If you are ready to start testing your SAP PI/PO/CPI solutions better then have a look at the Figaf IRT tool that allow you much better testing.