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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.

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.

 

015 – Workflow in SAP Cloud Platform with DJ Adams

I’m excited to welcome DJ Adams to The Integration Podcast this week.  DJ has been working with SAP software for more than 30 years.  He was an SAP Mentor for many years but has since retired to become an SAP Mentor alumnus.  DJ has shared a lot on the SAP Cloud Platform Workflow.  He has also written a series of blog posts on the subject where he is using the platform to find which beers he needs to drink next.  With my background on the SAP PI systems and BPMs there now is a gradually transitioning to the cloud so DJ’s experience is hugely valuable for my work.

DJ first started working on R/2 on IBM mainframes in the 1980’s and has been working with SAP software ever since.  He has been fascinated by the cloud platform and has worked with systems outside of the SAP world including Google App Engine.  He never worked much with PI but the workflow service is very closely related to SAP BPM.

Getting started with Workflow is really easy.  It’s available as a trial account on the Cloud Platform.  Users can easily enable it along with the Portal Service and the full stack Web IDE.  You need to define your workflow definitions.  You need nothing other than a web browser to access those services.

The workflow service is about orchestrating services and tasks across applications but also across systems, organizations, and individuals.  There is a service task building block that effectively gives you the ability to make HTTP calls.  You also have script tasks that will let you mess around with the context of the data of the workflow instance.  There is also a mail task.  Then there is the most important step type in a workflow definition which is the user task.  Those let you send tasks to a user to let them be able to interact with that workflow instance.

You don’t need to code very much in the UI when you’re first getting started.  But if you are going to do any meaningful workflows you will need to do some coding to create user task interfaces for the SAP Fiori My Inbox app, which is a master-detail style app. The user task components you build are injected into the component container in the My Inbox app when tasks are selected for processing.  You need to know some SAPUI5 in order to do that, but the team plans to release a forms-based facility to create user task interfaces in the future.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.