022 – SAP Teched Barcelona prep for integration

In this episode, I’ll be sharing some of the most interesting sessions from the SAP Teched Agenda. There are two learning journeys of interest. Learning journeys is a grouping of the session that is relevant for a user. It makes it a lot easier than searching for the product names as I did earlier. The two main ones are.

Learn how to configure, deploy, and monitor end-to-end integration scenarios across SAP and non-SAP applications in a hybrid system landscape.

INT2 – Master Integration Technologies

Become an expert in our integration technology portfolio, spanning cloud-based integration supporting A2A and B2B integration scenarios, hybrid integration, and scenario-driven API design, and discover prepackaged integration content.

My Agenda

On my agenda, I have the following

There is quite a lot of session of interest for SAP Integration since it is a big topic for customers. I guess SAP have also been adding a lot some more tools to the Cloud Integration offering to support customers. I recommend checking out the Cloud Platform Suite sessions.

  • INT102 Integration Architectures for Hybrid System Landscapes
  • INT101 Our Integration Platform-as-a-Service Offering on SAP Cloud Platform
  • CS100  Becoming an Influencer (just because I speaking)
  • AIN304  Craft and Execute Your Digital Strategy with APIs using SAP Cloud Platform
  • INT360  Extending Cloud Solutions with Workflow and Integration
  • INT366 Integration of Business Partners (B2B) Leveraging Integration as a Service

Also be sure to check out my blog on what is happening on SAP Integration at Teched. I shared my biggest takeaways from the Las Vegas event in this blog on SAP Integration.

 

You can also watch the Youtube live session I did on the topic.

Looking forward to meeting you in Barcelona, remember to say hi. 

 

021 – IFG Integration day with program

A few months ago I shared a little about the IFG survey and the big event that we have planned for SAP Integration. A two day about what is happening with all SAP Integration. It is arranged by the Swedish SAP user group SAPSA taking place 5 to 6 November in Stockholm. In this episode I’m talking with Pontus Borgstrom Integration Architect at SKF and board member of SAPSA.

One of the reasons that I think it will be cool is there is quite a number of presentations from partners and SAP customers about their projects. I think this is where you will learn what is going on in the market and your pears is doing. SAP will also be presenting a lot of what they have been doing and their roadmaps. There will also be plenty of time for networking get to talk with fellow integration developer or architects to hear what they are doing.

There will also be some hands-on sessions (with some cloud systems) or demos that show something of what is going on with the integration.

It is an event focused on SAP Integration, so if you are interested in integration this is the event to go to.

You can register at the link below. If you are a part of your user group the price is just 100 EUR per day.

 

I do hope to see you there. I’ll be presenting some sessions on how to speed up your development sessions.

020 – Status of Enterprise Integration SAPPHIRENOW 2018 recap

The cool thing about SAPPHIRENOW, which is SAP’s biggest event focusing on the business value of  SAP software. From an integration standpoint, there was a lot of interesting perspectives. So I created a webinar where I was covering some of the big change happening and what I believed people should start considering when working with SAP Integration.

Integration is going to be a lot more complicated over the next period of time, so you need to figure out how to position your SAP PI/PO system vs the Cloud Integration system.

For SAP to be successful they must enable customers integration. So there was a big focus on integration. Some of the topics covered in this podcast are S4 Integration, API management, SAP Cloud Platform, Open Connector, SAP Cloud Integration, prepackaged content.

You can also watch the slides here

Or watch the video

 

Check out our testing tool to improve your development speed at http://figaf.com/IRT

019 – IFG Integration day and survey

In this episode, I have Pontus Borgström how is Integration Architect at SKF and a part of Swedish User Group and the International Usergroup for Integration. In this episode, we will talk about the integration day and the IFG Integration survey. I think it is some interesting concepts so I’m thrilled to share them with you.  I’m also a part of the International Focus Group for Integration (IFG) and is helping out with the community.

Integration Day(s)

One of the goals is to expose integration experts and architects for different approaches for how integration is done. We normally don’t get out and get inspiration from other sources so it is seldom we try to organize everything self instead of learning from others. On the days you will be exposed to how other people approach integration and how to deal with it. There will be two days 5 and 6 of November 2018.

  1. Day one is a focus on hands-on sessions. Here you will be able to get an a little deeper understanding of some of the technologies. For some session, it will be possible to try it on your own system if you bring your laptop.
  2. Day two is a focus on more concepts a is the day where you will get some ideas about all the things happening in the world of SAP Integration. So a lot of Roadmap sessions.

We know that it is close to SAP Teched but the focus is more on what users are currently doing instead of the focus at Teched on the future products.

Figaf is a sponsor of the event because I think it is a good way to get people to learn from each other.

The price is from 100 EUR per day so it is really cheap.

You can view more about the agenda at the SAPSA site, and resister for it.

Integration Survey

One of IFGs other projects is the Survey on what users are doing. IT is used heavily by SAP to understand users and accept their decisions.

This year, the 10th annual survey contains 36 questions. It takes about 10 minutes to fill in.

 

016 – Building a reliable SAP PI landscape

In this episode, I’ll share some of the different ideas and techniques that I have seen at customers locations.

Integration services are so important to the business that you must find a way to run SAP PI/PO all the time. It is one of the key things to consider how you can make a good distribution of your system and the workloads. And also be able to support the upgrades/patches as well as configuration as easy as possible.

In the podcast, I mention some different setups they can be combined with a different setup to suit what you want to achieve and how it is best for your organization.

  • One installation on multiple instances or server nodes. This is SAPs way of scaling the system. They are all linked but allow you to restart single servers or instances and distribute among the servers. You cannot specify where an integration should run.
  • Multi productive PI systems to handle the different flow. Then you can patch one while the others are running. It requires some extra maintenance
  • Decentral Adapter Engine. Where all systems are connected to one central system that allows you to distribute workload and just have one place for configuration.
  • Preprod failover. Where you are using your reproductive system as a way to have a hot-hot failover. It does require some extra configuration of the scenarios on the PreProd system but gives you some benefits if you want to switch to it.

If you have another idea please post a comment below then others can learn from it.

 

13 – The how-to guide to SAP Cloud Connector with Morten Wittrock

I’m really pleased to welcome, for the first time, one of my old colleagues in the SAP world onto the show. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last 12 episodes but today I want to discuss the SAP Cloud Connector. To that end I’m joined by Morten Wittrock an SAP technologist based from KMD in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Morten and I started working together back in 2005. His focus has gradually shifted towards SAP Cloud Platform so he is the perfect person to talk about the Cloud Connector.

Morten is one of the top experts on the Cloud Connector. He’s literally written the book on the subject titled Cloud Connector for SAP Cloud Platform: How-to Guide. Cloud Connector exists to solve a problem created when a company combines their on-site SAP system with the Cloud Platform. Accessing the Cloud Platform from the on-site system is not a problem. But the reverse is more difficult. The on-site system sits behind several firewalls and is not supposed to be accessible from the internet.

You can win Morten’s book, share the podcast with Hashtag #Integrationpodcast on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, then I’ll draw two winners of the limited edition of the Cloud Connector book in paper format.  

The benefit of Cloud Connector is that you don’t have to allow any incoming traffic. The software is installed in the DMZ between your innermost and outermost firewalls. Cloud connector will open a TLS encrypted tunnel to the SAP Cloud Platform. From that point on whenever the Cloud Platform needs to access the on-site system, it will utilize that tunnel.

Cloud Platform continues to add new features. The most recent 2.11 has increased the number of APIs dramatically. There is also created a proof-of-concept command line tool for Cloud Connector which uses some of the functionality of the APIs.

Morten will be hosting an SAP Inside Track event Saturday May 5th, 2018. The event is full of cutting edge presentations on all things SAP. Tickets are still available

Morten really likes Cloud Connector. It’s a very useful tool despite being only a small part of the SAP system.

012 – Navigating the SAP community with Gayathri Narayana

Today on the show I’m happy to welcome Gayathri Narayana onto the show.  Gayathri Narayana is a product manager for SAP Cloud Platform Integration and IoT. She focuses on digital engagement, partner ecosystem, product roll out, cloud integration community and product definition. She has 10 years of experience in SAP integration technology and has led customer engagement initiatives, moderated MOOC courses like openSAP and is a regular speaker at conferences such as SAP TechEd.

On the show, we cover the following things.

Community page. This is a pretty good overview of what is happening with cloud integration topic. It is a pretty good place where you can find some of the highlighted resources for SAP Cloud Integration

 https://www.sap.com/community/topic/cloud-integration.html

Blueprint is proven guide from SAP for solving real-life business problems leveraging the cloud platform and its various services. They give a pretty good overview of the components involved to do a specific objective that covers multiple services. Like the Automating Employee Onboarding Processes document, that covers SuccessFactor, S4 HANA and the SAP Cloud Platform for Integration and Workflow. There is also a number of interesting ones for the security with the cloud platform.

 https://www.sap.com/developer/blueprints.html

Learning journeys is a place to view all the service offerings that SAP has for a given area, so it collects all relevant information and resources to take into account. It is both Open SAP courses, class room training and other guides to follow, so they will be a good place to figure out what areas are interesting to understand. One journey for Cloud Integration has just been published. You can find it here https://help.sap.com/doc/0c3db190da2c4866a1f2906763d4f59a/Cloud/en-US/f4a390d6ee7147aa89ba587102702677.html 

All learning journeys: https://help.sap.com/doc/221f8f84afef43d29ad37ef2af0c4adf/HP_2.0/en-US/317030086f83418a94dfe94173b46584.html

Road map for SAP Integration. We cover the roadmap for SAP integration a little. This covers some focus on self-service of users, moving to a cloud only development and then the new Cloud Integration Content Advisor. I’m sure that we will cover the areas in more details in a future episode. You can find the SAP roadmaps at the SAP RoadMap site

 

011 – IoT integration using SAP Leonardo with Mrinal Wadhwa

The number of internet connected devices continues to grow daily. But managing that huge increase in information is no easy task. That’s why I wanted to invite Mrinal Wadhwa, the CTO of Fybr, to join me on the show this week.

Fybr has been developing a number of IoT (Internet of Things) devices that are usually wireless low power units that can be installed in remote or hard to access places. One of the first devices they created was a hockey puck sized device that can be installed in individual parking spots. That device then connects to a central server to show if a parking spot is occupied or not. The devices don’t communicate with one another in the physical world because that would take too much power. Instead Fybr has developed the idea of a “digital twin”. The twin of the device exists on the server side and that allows all of the information collected by the individual devices to be shared across the network.

Developing those digital twins allows the user to create “business rules” for each device. You can tell the device when to go to sleep and when to wake up. You can also change the amount charged for a parking space during different times of the day. Whether those rules live on the server or on the device itself is decided based on the application.

One of the biggest issues in IoT development is over the air updates. A new business rule has been created and the company wants to push that code to the device. There is a fundamental problem, though. If you are constantly updating devices with new code and you make an error you run the risk of bricking the devices. Fybr has solved this problem by creating a tiny virtual machine that lives inside FybrLyn’s. Because it’s a virtual machine that is independent of the actual hardware code it functions as a sandbox. You can push business logic to the edge on a regular basis without fear of harming communication with the remote device.

Fybr’s system specializes in low power wireless devices but that’s not the only kind of IoT device. A customer may have powered devices or large manufacturing machines as well. The SAP Leonardo IoT is very well positioned to bring all that data into one place. The IoT created some required steps that should be performed. This could be to send a service technician to perform work, this would require a work order and here SAP would be integrated and handle those actions. Or it could be the new sales order to a printer ink that needs to be purchased and sent.

As IoT continues to expand there are huge hurdles to overcome. If Fybr’s parking sensors were deployed in every parking spot in America it would require hundreds of millions of devices. The scale of that information will be incredibly challenging to manage. There are also security challenges that have to be solved. A connected machine in a manufacturing facility is very well guarded. It’s very difficult to access that machine.

But a smart city sensors are installed on streets. Someone could spend hours trying to access the sensor without anyone knowing. The sensors will have to include some kind of encryption key. Anyone could steal the device and figure out the key. If a device cannot keep a secret than how can you trust if the device is providing accurate information? That is a huge challenge that is hard to solve for many smart infrastructure applications. Fybr has tried to solve it by carefully monitoring the life cycle of each key in each device.

Mrinal says IoT is a big challenging world. There are a number of unresolved problems. And there has not yet been very large scale deployments. There is tremendous possibilities in this space by combining traditional SAP knowledge with this new class of devices.

010 – Using SAP Operational Process Intelligence (OPI)

Today on the show I’m going to do something a little different. Instead of inviting a guest to join me today I’m going to talk a little about OPI or Operational Process Intelligence. SAP OPI is a product that…

offers real-time end-to-end process monitoring combined with pattern detection, analytics, alerting, and response management. It gives business users real-time visibility into processes and the ability to respond swiftly – enabling better, faster decision-making to achieve greater agility in business operations.”

OPI is helping out with BAM(Business Activity Monitoring). I first encountered BAM back in 2006, when I was working on writing a bachelor assignment. The goal is to give better information into what is happening an organization. Which processes were taking too long time and where to improve them and give real-time monitoring if anything was failing. This is the goal of SAP OPI. So it was only in 2015 that I got a chance to work with OPI in practice at a customer site.

I also created a video on them as an alternative to the podcast. Same content just saved on youtube.

 

In this podcast I will cover the following things.

Use case

  • BPM and show how runs
  • Process phases and to identify what needs to be done

Challenges

  • Getting BPM process information – You need a Solman role in SAP PRO
  • Reporting information from BPM requires the use of data source in the BPM flow
  • Some KPI easy to use like a number of processes or duration of steps. 
  • Complex take bit more work like % of processes that worked. 
  • HANA development you will need to learn a lot of HANA to be a good developer

Future

  • No SP for 1½ year, so it does not seem like a tool that has a lot of future. 
  • It would make sense for SAP to move it to Cloud Platform in some form and then have integration tools to get data
  • Process Miner – Celonis is SAP tool to understand what is going on in a process. 
Today we are going to discuss API management with Bram Keijers who works as an SAP Integration Consultant with Proxellence. Most of the company's clients are using integration middleware and so API management is just starting to be backed up by customers. It's still a relatively new feature having only been released by SAP three years ago. Bram tries to convince clients to use the API management feature for any services exposed to an SAP gateway. Suppose a customer has an SAP backend system like ECC that is providing employee data to third parties. If another third party needs to access the same data the old method was to create an entirely different interface and another integration flow. What you can do with API management is to create a central interface and there you can govern access to all third parties. That means it's going to be a lot cheaper and easier to get your end point exposed. The price is fairly affordable. There is a cloud platform pricing calculator that you can access here. € 180 per month will cover a million calls per month. Bram really likes the new consumption based pricing. It's cheap enough that new customers can try it out for a few months and experiment with it. SAP's strategy is to allow customers to try different parts of the platform at a low price. If you have any other questions about SAP API management you can contact Bram here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bram-keijers-proxcellence/

009 – API management using SAP with Bram Keijers

Today we are going to discuss API management with Bram Keijers who works as an SAP Integration Consultant with Proxellence. Most of the company’s clients are using integration middleware and so API management is just starting to be backed up by customers. It’s still a relatively new feature having only been released by SAP three years ago.

Bram tries to convince clients to use the API management feature for any services exposed to an SAP gateway. Suppose a customer has an SAP backend system like ECC that is providing employee data to third parties. If another third party needs to access the same data the old method was to create an entirely different interface and another integration flow. What you can do with API management is to create a central interface and there you can govern access to all third parties. That means it’s going to be a lot cheaper and easier to get your end point exposed.

The price is fairly affordable. There is a cloud platform pricing calculator that you can access here. 180 per month will cover a million calls per month. Bram really likes the new consumption based pricing. It’s cheap enough that new customers can try it out for a few months and experiment with it. SAP’s strategy is to allow customers to try different parts of the platform at a low price.

Recommended places to get started with SAP API management

API management overview:
https://blogs.sap.com/2016/03/03/sap-api-management-overview-getting-started/

Deep dive blog:
https://blogs.sap.com/2016/01/08/deep-dive-on-sap-api-management-powered-by-hcp-publish-consume-and-monitor-apis-in-secure-and-scalable-manner/

Building & Consuming API’s:
part 1, configuration and API portal: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/02/24/building-consuming-apis-using-sap-api-management-part-1/

part 2, Developer portal:  https://blogs.sap.com/2016/02/25/building-consuming-apis-using-sap-api-management-part-2/

OData services discovery in API Management:
https://blogs.sap.com/2016/02/10/how-to-use-sap-api-management-on-hcp-trial/

If you have any other questions about SAP API management you can contact Bram here:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bram-keijers-proxcellence/