Freelance Business model for SAP profesionals

When I say that I’m a freelancer or contractor, a lot of people do find the idea interesting. I always say it is a super way to work, if you can live with lots of uncertainty. In general people outside the IT world does not really know what a freelancer is. It is a somewhat undefined concept. How can you just as an individual run a business that helps mega corporations as it is the case for SAP customers.

 

The uncertainty is that you do not know who you clients will be in a month or half a year and if you will have a job/project. If you can live with that then it is the most ideal form to live with.

You get paid what you are worth and you don’t have to pay for the boss and other staff resources. So it is much more interesting to work an extra hour, since you are getting paid for it.

 

I was working on creating a talk around being a freelancer. It gave a lot of idea on I need to create a model that describes the freelancing business with a focus on the IT world with my knowledge from the SAP world. Freelancers are used in many areas of the business world, but I think there is something that makes the IT world stand out.

 

So there are only 6 things that you need to focus on when you are a freelancer. All areas are important and you need to focus one or more areas at the time.

 

Watch the video to get more information on what the model is about and which key steps that you must take.

 

If you want to have the Freelance Check List that I refer to then go to http://figaf.com/products/freelancers.html

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IN MESSAGE MAPPING in SAP PI/PO

One of the things that really can get me up the red field is when I get an <null> element when working with a SAP PI mapping. Or I would say rather debugging, because of some strange incoming data. Why not give me something that I can us in way mapping to check for. The <null> gives a lot of issues for figuring out if the values work.

I’m not sure what causes this to be like it is. It may be a null string or something like it.

The build in function “isNil” delivered this result. I guess it checks if the values is XSI:Nil. I would have guess that this delivered a false value for this input.

 

 

So I had to create my own function to check for this.

The isNull function that I created looks like this

for(int i=0;i<var1.length;i++){

if (var1[i]==null){

result.addValue(“true”);

}else{

result.addValue(“false”);

}

}

 

If I then want to do an OR function after this, where on input can be null then it does not solve my problem. false or <null> does give <null>. Dam. So I cannot use the function that I wanted.

So I just have to build in the length check into my null function, so it does support the extra function. I could also build an OR function to support this extra features, but that will not add a lot of extra value. I’m only using this

 

 

So the new function looks like this.

for(int i=0;i<var1.length;i++){

 String tmp  = var1[i]; 

if (tmp == null){

   result.addValue(“false”);

}else{

 

  result.addValue(tmp.length()>0);

 
 

}

}

 

 

I do hope that you find this helpful and it solve some of your problems. I’m working on creating a course around how to use SAP PI/PO. I have created some free videos around creating your first scenario that you can get on http://picourse.com

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SAP PI 7.31 Message mapping from Development studio

Finally, I have the Developer Studio going and working for PI 7.31 and I was testing the message mapping of it. This experience had given me an edge in learning the message mapping. In the video, I look into message mapping definition. I explored the mapping as I go on. The layout of the mappings seems easy and organize with the help of Eclipse based mapping tool.


I was exploring the context of mapping but having a hard time in looking for it. I must admit that the tool you see on the video can be optimized for mapping documents. Its hard to determine and learn each functionality of a mapping especially if the context is not present. It hinders you from doing testing.

Check out the video and see how it looks like.

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SAP Teched 2012 from a SAP PI perspective

SAP Teched is always one of the things that I always look forward to. Meeting with the other SAP Mentors and hear what is coming. It is a good place to learn about new features.

I wanted to share a wrap of what my experience in Las Vegas with a special focus on how SAP PI will change.

SAP PI news
Compared to previous years, where it was possible to show a lot of new features, it was not the case this year. I learned that SP5 will be coming, but it will mostly be a bug fixing. In the spring SP6 will come with more focus on the some new things.
I was not able to see anything concrete on this just something about this was the planned innovation. I think the main take way was a tool to make a migration form a dual stack to a single stack easier.

BPMN Process.
I was able to play some around with the BPMN. It did work really nicely and it seems like it was possible to design the user interface on some of the process. This could help support master data like customers. This was SAP consulting that had made some easy way to implement the features. I do look forward to be able to use this tool for PI processes compared to ccBPM.

Mappings
It is possible to perform mappings in Netweaver Developer Studio using the mapping plugin. This mapping tool is also used for mapping in BPMs, it is nice that you only need to use one tool for mapping. One thing that I did notice was that the mapping tool did not have any way of making contexts.
I know that contexts always cause problems. It is though necessary when working with most mappings. Without control of the contexts it is going to be really difficult to make sure values are collected correct.
I did not think that this tool was ready to make B2B mappings yet. With the expression structure you are doing mappings in, it easy becomes impossible to see which elements to use. Also it is not possible to test each node, only the full mapping.
I do hope that the swing based GUI is not going to be deprecated anytime soon.

B2B add-on
The B2B add-on is the place where I see the most innovation and change. It was interesting to play around with it. It is an elegant solution and there a nice support for different features when dealing with EDI. Compared to Seeburger, it is nice that all data formats and versions are delivered. The format is much like Seeburger, but some nodes have changes. I think it will be fairly easy to make the small changes.

It sounded like in the future there will be a B2B addon monitor in Solution manager. This add-on will allow users to monitor how long time it takes from an order is sent to the order response is received. It will make it really easy to use the tool. This solution is probably a feature to start using SAPs B2B add-on.

Cloud integration
Cloud Integration seems to be the place where a lot of the PI work is focused. From my understanding it will be possible for partners to develop integrations using the platform. I understood around Q1 2013, It would be nice to be able to make a cloud based solution and then use it with multiply partners.
The mappings seems to be possible to reuse so you don’t need to remap all the different objects. This may mean that it is possible to migrate to and from the cloud.
I don’t know fully how the ERP on premise system will connect to the cloud based system.

Other
HANA and mobile still seems to be the place there focus was. HANA seems to be growing into a more mature database that is going to take over all uses of databases with SAP and other types of applications. I’m looking forward to see how this is going to work and how it will affect SAP PI. It is probably more on the process orchestration that we get benefits from using HANA, if we need real time reporting on the status.

SAP Teched was a nice experience for me to explore. I did have a nice time networking and getting to talk about what was going on with SAP PI.

There was a workshop on Empathy which was really nice. We got to share some stories and reflect on where we wanted to go our self.

I did not win anything in the Las Vegas, on the good side not loses either. Guess it would be different if I was playing.

 

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