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Integration at #Impuls18 and IFG for Integration, you missed out

I’m on my way home from IFG for Integration/Impuls18 in Stockholm. IFG is the international focus group for Integration and consists of users in a lot of the European countries, I’m member. I think it was one of the more exciting conferences regarding SAP Integration that I have been to in a long time.

So SAPSA the Swedish SAP user group wanted to host us for the event and gave two rooms that we could use for presentations. So for most of the 2 days, there were two parallel sessions on SAP Integration. Most of the time it was stuff that people was implementing.

One big topic was about the Integration architecture, from design concept and implementation.

We did get some roadmap presentations of the SAP PI/PO and cloud integration products from SAP. Users and consultants were also contributing to what they have been doing for integration.
One of the big areas that are challenging at the moment is the hybrid integration that everybody is going thru to understand what to take away. In XI 3.0 days we had one tool that could solve all the challenges at that point in time.
How it is a lot different you have the option to use PI and then new iPaaS solution from SAP Cloud Integration Suite. One of the presentations cited Gartner, that the hybrid platform was that it is a toolbox and you should use the ones that make the most sense.

It does make a lot of sense to understand the architecture part beccause otherwise you will be focusing on the wrong thing, and probably ending up with something less optimal.
On a big QA session, we got talking around how rogue IT is causing challenges in the landscape. I created a video on it here

I did share a presentation on Open Connectors, which i believe is a pretty cool tool for integration. It takes a lot of effort away for doing integration and understanding what is going on in the landscape. I hope to get some time to record a video of it, because I don’t think my slides makes a lot of sense.

The other presentation was about how you can speed up your integration development on SAP PI/PO or CPI with the Figaf IRT tool. I got some good feedback on it after the presentation and interest.

I did make the mistake of going into the wrong room for a presentation and was stuck on one of the first rows in the middle. So I missed one of the Integration keynotes.

The only problem with the event was the vine at the party was 100 SEK (10 EUR), and it did not even taste good.

I do think that I need to update my guidelines for the SAP Integration webinar that I’m doing next week. You can signup for free to learn how you can implement a better integration .

Support for you SAP PI/PO development process

I’m pretty thrilled about our latest development of the Figaf IRT tool for SAP Integration.

When I started doing XI 3.0 work I was really frustrated with the way things were documented. It was a really manual process that users needed to follow. The documentation was never updated. Now 14 years later I can see that we got a tool that can help in the cases. We can now help you really document what has changed automatically.

So a month ago I found that we could leverage the tools we had created for the IRT tool to support the full development lifecycle. Today we are releasing the first version of it. It is not perfect and there are some holes but it clearly shows which direction we can do with it. Hopefully, you will also be able to see the benefit of it.

The different steps in the process are the following:

  • Alerts are raised from a PI Message using standard alerting.
    • Create rules for how to handle alerts
  • Perform your development in Repository/NWDS
  • Create a ticket to with a link to the incident
    • Assign the changes to the ticket
    • You can see the differences I the mappings
  • The test is performed to ensure it works
    • Base on the Figaf IRT test tool that allows users to create test case fast based on i.e. production data

I have created a video to show what we are able to do with the tool.

We still have a few things to work with to with making it better and cover more of the development cycle, but it is always better with customer feedback. So if you have any things that would help in your process do let us know.

You can download the tool for free at https://figaf.com/irt

 

 

Latest Figaf IRT tool and Roadmap

Updated 2018-06-03

With the newest release of Figaf IRT tool, we have been adding a lot of new functionality.

In this presentation, you will see how to test SAP PI/PO and SAP Cloud Integration.

  • The testing of SAP PI/PO is stable for collecting and getting test messages. It is fast to record messages for testing and running them is also fast.
  • Testing SAP Cloud Platform Integration is possible
  • Development Supporting is now in the system that allows you to create tickets and assign any object version to it.
  • Change Tracking now have a deep comparison of Repository Objects so you can see what is changed with a message mapping and contains a link so you can see the affected ICO, that should be tested.
  • Support tool to monitor errors in the SAP PI CMBA and setup triggers for it.

In the current roadmap, we have the ability to fetch test data on SAP PI/PO without installing a module. And to perform object change and the support on Cloud Integration.

Everything has been build into one application that allows users to develop faster and have better tracking of what will happen.

You can start a free trial of the IRT tool by going to https://figaf.com/irt

If you have any questions please reach out to us.

 

 

Migrate from Seeburger to SAP PI B2B Addon webinar

Yesterday I hosted a webinar where we covered how to migrate from Seeburger on SAP PI to B2B Addon on SAP PO.

In the webinar, I covered some of the biggest challenges with migration.

  • How to create a business case for it. This is one of the challenges that I cannot help that much with, the main reason would be to the Seeburger Licensing. I’m unclear what it would mean.
  • How to convert the mappings. The message structures have changed, so you will need to update the schemas. It is not much but you need to do it correctly to ensure nothing is changed.
  • How to get rid of the seeburger User-Defined functions. The B2B Add-on have some different approaches to variables and counters, you probably need to upgrade the mappings to ensure that it works smoothly.
  • How to ensure everything is tested correctly. You don’t want to coordinate a migration with your partners more than necessary. So you just want to move the mappings and then ensure you have tested enough in the process.

I have two products that work to improve such a migration

Seeburger Migration Tool to migrate your mappings from the old format to the new. https://figaf.com/SMT

Figaf SAP PI testing tool IRT  https://figaf.com/IRT

To learn more have a look at the webinar replay.

Or have a look at the slides from the presentation

 

Which Enterprise software is easy to learn but also has the complexity?

For my tool to SAP PI/PO testing system, I was asked how much training you need. My thought was one hour, a client said 4 hours. That is a big difference than learning SAP PI/PO that will take days/months.

With all tools, there is the trade-off to make something simple that can do one thing VS something that can do everything. The simple is a Stopwatch app. A complex is a Java framework like Spring that allows you to do everything. And then you have everything in between.

But it got me thinking about how we learn software. You can view the video here

Please share below if you have found any good tools that we can learn from. 

So a good example of a software that is good to use from the gaming world is the simulation games. Here you get information that now clicks this icon, then do this and now you can build a farm. It is a bit frustrating because you cannot explore the application. If they do not have this guide it will be difficult to have users figuring out how to use the system.

I have not seen that strong guides for anything in the Enterprise world. Our installation is taking longer than installing an App from your favorite app store. And probably there are too many steps involved to just discard a project the moment you first run into a problem.

In the SAP world it is also difficult you have SAP ERP and creating a Purchase Order takes some time to learn. I know there are Screen Personas ( or what current name may be) and Fiori that may simplify some of the normal POs created. But it still a different approach and will allow a limited functionality. If users should do something more or create a more complicated PO it cannot be done without a lot of custom development.

Our current approaches to simplify the user experience is:

  • Add a free video course that covers the different scenarios that you would have. So a way to get the user started.
  • We are also working on embedding the documentation tighter into the application.
  • We have tried to make it as simple as possible to set up the test case with the tool.

I’m not sure if we could make some guides that helped people selecting a good interface to start testing with. But there could be some pointers what people should be looking at and for.

Please share if any good ideas to look for ways to get people using complex enterprise software.