I have been in the SAP Integration work for a long time. I started out doing SAP XI back in 2004. At that point, there was a lot of integration work going on with integration 3rd party application. It was the primary focus because SAP ERP R/3 had all the business applications internally. All integration work was therefore just to ensure that the Internal SAP is talking together correctly.
In the current cloud age, there is a large difference.
“Many applications area different application for specific domains.”
It means a fully new way of organizing your application. SAP has now purchase Ariba, Field Glass, SuccessFactors which has different ways of operating. They have all been build on different platforms to ensure they run optimal in their setting.
If they need to be useful to modern business then you must ensure that you have integrated them with your existing system. It is not an option not to integrate them, otherwise, users cannot interact with them and ensure that data is in the correct thru out the systems.
I’m running a one-person business Figaf, where we are making SAP PI/PO testing applications. Even it is only me with a limited number of customers I still need to integrate my CRM systems and Billing system to make the progress a lot faster for any sales process. I can manage it because I’m the only person and it is fairly easy to do with the number of customers coming.
If you have a large organization it becomes really crucial to be able to understand what is going on.
I have been sharing a post on the topic of current SAP Integration and what is happening there. It is both master data and transaction data that needs to be improved. SAP has announced some tools to speed up the process but we will see more on them at SAP Teched.
Surely, I can click on a webshop and purchase a photo book in just 5 minutes but then I also need to select pictures and maybe even add some text to the pictures. This is not a 5 minutes task that’s for sure. Depending how much effort you want to put into this it can take several hours, at the moment I have spent 5 hours on my photo calendar.
So why am I raising this topic? Well, I must come clean and admit that I’m kinda doing the same thing – and it bugs me.
At Figaf we have our SAP PI/PO testing tool IRT and I can set up a test in our own system in just around 5 minutes maybe even shorter. But this is not a real-life scenario when you apply our test tool it will take you a lot longer than 5 minutes.
It can be challenging not to go down the road where you make advertises that states you can make complex testing in just 5 minutes. I have tried to be more realistic and made a backpack where it says “test your full SAP PI/PRO system in days, not months”.
I do believe that this a valid assumption and at Figaf we want to be on the same side and make sure the testing is set-up correctly. But I’m also aware that in some cases it will take longer it could be some weeks and not days.
So how do you see this marketing vs. real life?
Is it okay to say, “set-up a test in 5-minutes” because I can actually show you it can be done or is that a no-go in your opinion?
I have seen many developers who were trying to start using the tool, but many did not know where to start. Others couldn’t afford a PI training that could guide them through SAP PI/PO. In other cases, the developer simply missed the course – if your timing is bad, you might have to wait for months in order to enroll in another course.
If you are a new employee, it is quite difficult to wait for the start of a new course. Until then, your role at the company is on par with that of a paperweight. If you are a new developer just waiting around for a new course, you are unable to use your skills to their fullest extent, and you are basically unable to complete the tasks you were hired to do.
This course offers new developers a good foundation. They will be able to understand what components are there in the PI landscape, they will progress in their ability to develop scenarios, and they will be able to understand the projects created by others working at their company, so they can leverage their accumulated knowledge. Furthermore, understanding the work done by others will also lead them to new enhancement ideas.
As I’ve been working as an SAP consultant for approximately 11 years now, I have seen many scenarios. A lot of them were created after I taught people how to use the tool. Whenever I was leaving, I had to be sure that there was someone in the organization who could manage the scenarios and handle whatever was going on.
My consulting experience has provided me with a lot of insight and inspiration for this course. I created the course in order to help people learn and improve their skills quickly. That is my main goal.
If you want to join my SAP PI Training you can join it at the SAP PI/PO training site. On the site you can also find free tutorials that guides you to how to get started and create an end to end scenario.
I have been working on creating a course for PI developers so they could learn how to useProcess Orchestration/BPMN. I was missing a good tutorial to get started with BPMN so I could help my customers move to the single stack.
So I decided to create a course on the topic of BPMN and PI. One of the things I learned most from was on interview with some of the people how have been suing BPMN for some time. In this blog I’ll share some of the information that I got from the interviews.
BPMN is a beautiful tool that, we as PI developers, must understand how to use. Yes it was the word beautiful on a SAP product. Really nice. The reason is that it enables developers to draw the processes much better and is easier to understand. There is also the concept that there is the Business Rules Management (BRM) which makes some actions easier.
BPM is easy to get started with. It was not so difficult to use if you had the background on ccBPM. The basic building blocks are much the same and then it can do a bit more. Most experts agreed that it was a good idea to start small and with a simple process. Then you could enhance it to make sure that you covered the business. If you stared with designing the full process you would have a hard time validating it.
Performance is improvement is much better. So there is not the requirement to try to avoid using BPMN for all cost. With ccBPM the goal was to avoid using it because of the negative performance that it had. The people that I interview did not share this concern and thought that BPMN was a much better performing tool and the PO was a good solid platform.
BPMN can be eliminated in many patterns in the migration. In a lot of instances we want can avoid using BPMN when migrating. A lot of ccBPM is from old releases of XI where we often had to create collect patterns and async/sync bridges. Well this mean that you will not end up having the same number of ccBPMs and BPMN if you do a migration. In some scenarios you may also end up creating new processes, to make the business process better supported.
Data structures/message types is being validated much more. In ccBPM you could put whatever message into the process. BPMN requires you to have the exact data structure, so you will have to define the data as it are. This is giving some issues if you want to have idoc data into the process. One workaround is to use CDATA structures for the data you don’t want to define.
Versioning can cause some challenges. The best is to use NWDI to handle the projects. NWDI did make all of the change management and version control much better. The challenge is that not all clients have NWDI. So there is the option to export the software components
I’m leaving from home in a few hours for SAPPHIRE, and really looking forward to meet all the really cool people there. But you mostly meet people at random, some will help get your objectives. But you have to be lucky.
So I thought that it could be interesting to see how was at the event that could make a difference. The ideal people for me to meet would be people working with SAP Process Integration (PI). It is difficult to find them and you have to meet a lot of people, which is nice though.
I decided to make a video saying how I wanted to meet. It would though probably be nicer if other people did the same. So if you are up for the challenge. Create a youtube video about how you want to meet. The format can be whatever you can make. If it is with your mobile phone it is also great.
Just make a video reply to my movie and tag the video with #sapphire and #sapphiremeet.
This week I was reading Cradle to Cradle from Michael Braungart and William McDonugh. The book gave room for thought. Both on how we create more enviormental friendly products. But was triggered me most was how it also applys to the usage in SAP.
Vishal Sikka mention the timeless software. Where software can continue to run for ever, but just get a new front.
As a developer you can also apply some of this. How do you make software that is easy to get started with.