Kishore Nanda is an integration expert who has worked with SAP for many years. In this edition of the podcast, we discuss his experience with SAP PI and Cloud Integrationas well as Dell Boomi and Mulesoft. He has been working on various integration solutions using a variety of platforms. Too often professionals develop myopic focus on SAP without paying attention to other solutions like Boomi and Mulesoft. As a person coming from the SAP ecosystem, it is interesting to hear what is going on in the world outside.
Dell Boomi offers a cloud application that includes interfaces that can be deployed throughout the cloud. The can have instances running on servers that can use in multiple deployment options. Atom Cloud, for example, allows for the same instances running in multiple places which allows for load balancing and offers very high reliability. Boomi also offers predefined content very similar to SAP. My interpretation is that it depends on the supplied APIs and how they work.
Mulesoft have a full integration suite that supports the same things as SAP PI/PO with ESB, API management, and Workflow/BPM. It design approach is different for the integrations.
Kishore says the best reason that an SAP PI user should consider using Boomi or Mulesoft is licensing and how they integrate with a specific system. The key point is that Boomi allows you to deploy an optimized solution for those customers who don’t want to move all of their systems onto the cloud. On the downside, Boomi and Mule have a greater learning curve because of their reliance on more programmatic language.
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 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.