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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GSIG for SAP PI Survey for 2012

As a member of the Global Special Interest Groups (GSIG) for SAP PI. We are now working on new SAP products that will help you on your SAP PI Landscape. We are now conducting two surveys. The first one is almost completed and the other survey is on the process of completion. The purpose of two surveys is to gather information to help us build better products for SAP PI.

General survey: http://svy.mk/LYLOmA with focus on near Zero Downtime (Closing End of June). This survey is about what the current status about SAP PI.

PI Requirements Prioritization: http://bit.ly/JpUbBc (Closing soon). This survey is about a prioritization of a large list of requirements. Hopefully you will be able to get your ideas for improvement in the release.

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SAP PI How To Gather Requirements For SAP PI

There are certain situations where a client and contractor may encounter a failed work. As a SAP freelancer, thorough communication and gathering important details for a SAP Project is very crucial so that the end result would be a win-win for both parties. I just remembered a story wherein I was working a project for a client and I misunderstood the requirements that they wanted to achieved.

And so I had to go back to my work and discuss details to them and I found it is not what they are looking. I began to clarify and asked them what they really wanted for their site. It was a search functionality that they were after and the more I probe. They had additional specifications.

Now I learned that working for a SAP client, you need to ask every question you need to ask for you and the client to be on the same page. Normally, asking the nature of their business and processes what they want to implement. Like for example if they want search capability for their site. I could have easily looked on my site at piarchitecture.com for what they have needed since I created some templates and documentations.

Again it is very important to gather and understand information. Critical thinking is a must when it comes to SAP PI projects. As I go along the way of my journey, I will carry this experience and improve my approach in terms of working to client’s specification for future SAP projects.

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A System Landscape Directory Overview: SAP PI Architecture

When we talked about SAP PI architecture, there is a lot of different areas to be confused about. You need to take note that the SAP PI contains multiple component which only means, those components worked together as a group for various integration instances. The components are usually applied in design time, configuration time and during run time.

In this video, you will get the full explanation about SAP PI,

On the video I discuss into detail about System Landscape Directory (SLD) by showing three different models which means 2 systems working together on one SLD. In every Process integration there can be one or two SLD systems to which information are in stored.  In every SLD, there is are components installed to which every person can view on your landscape.

When you are working on SLD, you will go through a process which means a   number of actions. First thing that you would do is to provide brief information about yourself as the owner of the system which will recognize you as the administrator. This is commonly done in systems like the “RZ70” which allows you to disseminate information from one system to the other like for instance, you want to transfer a file from a client, or assign in to a specific data base or allow access to a client to your system.

Actions can be replicated every 10 hours. You can actually duplicate all kind of systems in the “SLD Production” this contains a number of business systems. It is advisable that if you want to replicate your systems on “SLD Production” you can do it through the “SLD Production” right away to update it but you can also transport information coming from SLD through SLD Production.

Now we moved on to development in PI and how do we keep our systems organized. First thing we need to do is update our system and integrate incremental export functionality. Basically we need to back up information in the QA area then transport and import the data and systems.

But before you take this process, make sure you test them; this suits best when you are making changes in quality or production. When the changes you made in the QA, then you can transfer it production. But if you’re doing a configuration it can really be difficult. Hence when it comes to SI bridge building and other set ups make sure you to replicate your information and have a back up.

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