With PI 7.1 it is possible to create Aris Models within the Enterprise Service Builder. This will make it easier for the integration team to model the process and interfaces.It is possible to go from the high level business process models, all the way down to an interface implementation and configuration of integration scenarios. The use of models adds an extra layer of documentation of the business processes in conjunction with the Enterprise Services (ES). The models can be used to get an overview of how a scenario is created.
This paper will contain information about which models can be used in PI 7.1 and which meaning they will have for a PI developer.
The Sales Order model is based on the ES for sales orders. But the modeled system contains more information than it is possible to find on ES workplace. What is added to the models in the ESR is how the services can be connected in a specific scenario.
At first look at the models there are a lot of different models. It takes a little while to get used to the models, and figure out which models can be used for which purpose. There are 12 different model types, and all of them can be used for describing a business process in different ways and levels.
At the highest level different integration scenarios are grouped together. An example of this is the SAP Scenario Catalog, which is a grouping of different scenarios. This model makes it easier to understand how different scenarios belong together and to find the scenarios that have something in common.
An example of the scenario catalog is the following.
An Integration Scenario is a high level overview of what Deployment Units are used. In each Deployment Unit there is one or more Process Components which can contain a number of process steps. The connection between the Deployment Units can be linked to information about the integration scenarios.
The interaction between the Process Components can be described in a ProComp Interaction Model.
A ProComp Interaction model shows how different Process Components relate to each other, for instance the message flow between Process Components. An example of this is showed below.
The ProComp Interaction model can contain information about what Service Interfaces are used and the mappings they contain. This information can be used to configure an Integration Scenario by adding information about business systems and where the different process components are installed – and by selecting adapters. Then it works just the same way as an Integration Scenario in PI 7.0.
The ProComp model can also be used to describe how the flow is within a Process Component. This type of model seems to be more useful if the aim is to document how Enterprise Services are connected within a Process Component. An example of what the ProComp model could be used for: To describe what is going on in a BPM (Integration Process in PI) which can then later be created based on the model.
It is still possible to make use of integration scenarios from XI 3.0/PI 7.0. These scenarios do not explain the business in the same detail as some of the other model types. They do, however, provide information about which connections are used and how the messages are mapped. The integration scenarios are easier to understand for a PI developer since they give information about which connections are used in a direct fashion and because they have been used earlier versions of XI/PI.
It takes a little while to get used to working with the models in PI 7.1 and to create models which can be used and understood by developers and Business Process eXperts ( on SDN SAP has a BPX community).
The use of models does seem to create some extra overhead compared to a top-down approach which starts with an Integration Scenario and the objects are created to fit into the process. To be able to make such a scenario one would normally create a drawing to describe what is going on and to support development of the scenarios. This drawing is often a process diagram, for instance in Visio, PowerPoint or on paper. With help of the built-in model tools it is now possible to store such models within the ES Builder, thus serving the purpose of documenting the process and context to which the interface belongs.
I recommend to invest time in establishing naming conventions for modeling and guidelines for when and how modeling should be used.
A question which has to be answered is if models should be created for all integration scenarios – or only when Enterprise Services are involved? I probably need to use modeling in real projects and then evaluate if the use of modeling makes sense.