006 – How to automate SAP PI/PO testing with Mark Oshifeso from Anadarko Petrolium

In this episode, we will talk about SAP PI/PO testing and how to automate it with Figaf IRT.

I’m very happy to have Mark Oshifeso on the show. Mark was one of the first people to use Figaf’s new Integration Regression Tool for SAP PI/PO. Mark works for a mid-size oil and gas producer based in Texas. He and his team upgrade the systems on a regular basis and have found the IRT especially useful on their PI systems.

Mark wanted to make it a lot easier to do upgrades of the SAP PI/PO system. The big challenge was that he used to upgrade the SAP PI/PO system only every 2-3 years because the testing requirement was really big. So the cost was too high it too a long time between upgrades.

“Fully automated testing in the SAP world is pretty rare.” He says.

Mark compares the IRT to other testing options on the market very favorably.

“It’s crazy easy to use.” He added.

The IRT doesn’t require you to learn a programming language and can be taught to someone in as little as an hour. Mark and his team decided to introduce the tool and create a test catalog by upgrading their PI system from one service tech level to a more recent version. They were able to complete their work quite quickly.

One of the big things that I’m grateful Mark helped with is the business side and share how the business could react to automated testing. And then give me the good difference between the normal workflow testing tools and the Record Replay tool.

With the help of Figaf IRT Mark and Anadarko was able to setup a testing of all 300 interfaces in 4 weeks, part of this was the 3 weeks to create the test catalog. Once this is there the overall testing time should go down to 1 week including manual tests. And at the time Figaf where also doing development to enable the recording of the scenarios Mark was using.

You can see the slides here

In the podcast Mark also cover one of the big aspects which are to get business buying of the project. In Anadarko’s case, the business and accounting is responsible for making sure that there is sign off on all interfaces being tested. So each business owner needs to approve the testing result.

The business really enjoyed the testing framework and a lot of their questions was regarding how automated testing worked.

We also cover the two different approaches for testing.

Workflow based in which you define a scenario for testing a message. So you program to place a file here, and then SAP PI will map the file. Next step is then to query the receiving system if everything is correct. Mark estimated that it takes up to 4 hours (when special data etc is required). An interface which doesn’t require any special things can be done in 30min.

The other approach that Figaf IRT user’s is the Record/Replay. Here you simply copy some message from production and run them on your test system. If messages are different then you must evaluate if it is okay or you need to do something with it. Here you don’t have any coding options, but just simple configuration. All of this was enough for Mark and Anadarko to setup the testing.

Mark was using the Rest API of IRT to integrate it with HP ALM which is used to track all testing performed.

If you are looking to do setup any testing of your SAP PI/PO system then have a look at figaf.com/irt. We do have a free plan that will allow you to test 10 interface.

 

I'm really happy to welcome Igor Mitrovic on to this week's episode. Igor is the Managing Director of Proxellence Netherlands and is also the company's SAP Integration Specialist. He has more than eight years working with customers on SAP integration. His focus has been all about integration and innovation. When a customer first approaches Igor and his team the first conversation is about cost-savings and the benefits of moving there systems onto the cloud. After that they begin a process of cataloguing the customers back-end systems to determine if they are going to be exposed to the cloud. Igor then determines what applications need to be exposed outside of the internal network. “That's the most important thing that you have to figure out preemptively.” He says. Proxellence then divides the different connections between those that require encryption and those that do not. One question that is often asked is whether there are latency issues when adopting HCI. Igor says that the system runs very smooth except in cases where there is a lot of logging. PO is a much more developed product but it is much more difficult to maintain. Deciding which to use very much depends on what the end goal is. The biggest change coming to the world of cloud integration is the increasing number of customers for this solution. It's not just big companies anymore. CPI is a simple and easy to understand tool that is great to begin building on. “From my point of view it's a really strong tool and they're really fast at developing it.” He says. The fact that the product started only four years ago and is already being used in a production environment speaks volumes, according to Igor. There are gaps and flaws but he has, nevertheless, had a really good experience.

005 – The future of cloud integration with Igor Mitrovic

I’m really happy to welcome Igor Mitrovic on to this week’s episode. Igor is the Managing Director of Proxcellence Netherlands and is also the company’s SAP Integration Specialist. He has more than eight years working with customers on SAP integration. His focus has been all about integration and innovation.

When a customer first approaches Igor and his team the first conversation is about cost-savings and the benefits of moving there systems onto the cloud. After that they begin a process of cataloging the customers back-end systems.  They determine if they are going to be exposed to the cloud. Igor then determines what applications need to be exposed outside of the internal network.

“That’s the most important thing that you have to figure out preemptively.” He says.

Proxellence then divides the different connections between those that require encryption and those that do not.

One question that is often asked is whether there are latency issues when adopting HCI. Igor says that the system runs very smooth except in cases where there is a lot of logging. PO is a much more developed product but it is much more difficult to maintain. Deciding which to use very much depends on what the end goal is.

The biggest change coming to the world of cloud integration is the increasing number of customers for this solution. It’s not just big companies anymore. CPI is a simple and easy to understand tool that is great to begin building on.

“From my point of view it’s a really strong tool and they’re really fast at developing it.” He says.

It speaks volumes that  the product started only four years ago and is already being used in a production environment.  There are gaps and flaws but he has, nevertheless, had a really good experience.

Connect

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitrovicigor/ 

Company website:

http://www.proxcellence.com

004 – Using ECC to create a BPM framework

I’m really excited to bring you today’s conversation. My guest is Jorge Iván Gaviria ABAP and PO Consultant working at the municipality of Medellin, Colombia.

Jorge created a framework to handle BPM requests in ECC that enabled users to access it both internally and externally.  That framework was used to create an online request form for users to fill in. The form metadata is created in the ABAP backend where users define the content of the form. The form is then processed with SAP BPM to sent it for approval at the correct users.  Jorge initially considered using the customer service model of SAP built on Java in the portal.  But he quickly discovered that it was not customizable enough.

Some sample screenshots of the application.

I hope you enjoy this conversation and learn a little about how to use the SAP PI framework to create forms in a different way.  But the audio quality is quite low on this episode.  I will try harder to make the future episodes easier to listen to.  I promise!

This is a big day for us at the Integration Podcast. We have launched our first few episodes and we're really excited to have you along for the ride! It's also a big day for my company Figaf. After a ton of work we are launching Version 2 of our Internet Regression Tool. We made many changes for this new version. It took three months of planning and two months of actual development time. It has been very costly but we did it for good reason. We could have added these new features to the old user interface but it would have created many problems. To back up a step, the IRT is testing solution for SAP PI systems. We were running two different versions of PI that used different Java versions. This created issues with libraries and mySQL databases. We had to support clustering in this new version but it added huge amounts of complexity to an already complex piece of software. That forced us back to the drawing board to craft a leaner solution. We made it much simpler to install and run on your local PC. And we've included a free version and a single user version. We wanted to offer that free version so you could get a good idea of how the tool operates and how it could help your organization. I hope you like it! To get a copy of Figaf Internet Regression Tool simply click the link. https://figaf.com/tools/integration-regression-tool/

003 – Our new Interface Regression Tool is done!

This is a big day for us at the Integration Podcast. We have launched our first few episodes and we’re really excited to have you along for the ride! It’s also a big day for my company Figaf.  That’s because after a ton of work we are launching Version 2 of our Interface Regression Tool. We made many changes for this new version. It took three months of planning and two months of actual development time. It has been very costly but we did it for good reason. We could have added these new features to the old user interface but it would have created many problems.

To back up a step, the IRT is testing solution for SAP PI systems. We were running two different versions of PI that used different Java versions. This created issues with libraries and OpenSQL databases. We had to support clustering in this new version but it added huge amounts of complexity to an already complex piece of software. That forced us back to the drawing board to craft a leaner solution.

We made it much simpler to install and run on your local PC. And we’ve included a free version and a single user version. We wanted to offer that free version so you could get a good idea of how the tool operates and how it could help your organization. I hope you like it!

To get a copy of Figaf Interface Regression Tool simply click the link.

https://figaf.com/tools/integration-regression-tool/

Today's episode is all about cloud integration. I'm joined by Marco Verhoef who has worked for the last seven years for a Netherlands utilities company. He has been pushing his company way from SAP-PI and towards cloud integration. The business case for making that transition was largely cost related. Cloud computing was a better solution for a number of reasons. First was eliminating the need for regular updates which was costing his company as much as €50 thousand per year. The hardware costs were dramatically lower as well. Just running the servers cost €6000 per month. Marco has achieved a lot in the two years since he first proposed a cloud strategy. They have installed an Azure environment. They have also implemented field class and an external worker environment. He thinks the field class setup was very similar to using SAP. He found that HCI was not that mature two years ago but by working with the product developers he was able to guide the process. One of the more frustrating issues using SAP was ccBPM. HCI uses one ID and one window to do configuration and development which is much more user friendly than SAP-PI. The entire process took Marco and his team 18 months to complete. Migrating all the interfaces was the biggest task. There have been no performance issues though at times it can be slow. Marco thinks that has more to do with bandwidth limitations rather than a processing issue. Marco says before considering cloud integration you need to know how complicated your current integrations are. Is it core business or just business support? A lot of companies don't even think about going to the cloud for their integration tool. Marco says everyone should at least think about it. It can be as little as €1500 per month. You can just start and create a proof of concept.

002 – Cloud integration stories with Marco Verhoef

Today’s episode is all about cloud integration. I’m joined by Marco Verhoef who has worked for the last seven years for a Netherlands utilities company called Eneco. He has been pushing his company way from SAP PI and towards SAP cloud Platform integration (CPI aka HCI).

The business case for making that transition was largely cost related. Cloud computing was a better solution for a number of reasons. First was eliminating the need for regular updates which was costing his company as much as €50 thousand per year. The hardware costs were dramatically lower as well. Just running the servers costs €6000 per month.

Marco has achieved a lot in the two years since he first proposed a cloud integration strategy. They have also implemented fieldglass, an external worker SAAS product. He thinks the fieldglass setup was very similar to using SAP PI. He found that CPI was not that mature two years ago but by working with the product developers he was able to guide the process.

One of the more frustrating issues using SAP PI was ccBPM. CPI uses one single integrated development environment to do configuration and development and is much more user friendly than SAP PI.

The entire process took Marco and his team 18 months to complete. Migrating all the interfaces was the biggest task. There have been no performance issues though at times it can be slow. Marco thinks that has more to do with bandwidth limitations rather than a processing issue.

Marco says before considering cloud integration you need to know how complicated your current integrations are. Is its core business or just business support? A lot of companies don’t even think about going to the cloud for their integration tool yet. Marco says everyone should at least think about it. For as little as €1500 per month you can start and create a proof of concept.

001 – Welcome to the Integration Podcast!

In this first episode on The Integration Podcast I explain why I wanted to create the show and what you can expect on future episodes.  I’ve been thinking about starting this podcast for some time.  It seemed especially important now because of the increasing complexity of integration software.  That complexity has been creating a growing number of problems for IT professionals.  There are so many tools and potential solutions it’s almost impossible to navigate.  My goal is to help you through that maze.

Each week I want to host a question and answer session along with interviews with some of the top minds in the industry.  We’re going to focus mostly on SAP tools but not exclusively.  I’m very open to hearing some of your ideas about what I should be covering on future episodes.  Please share the podcast and rate and comment on iTunes!