Enterprise Integration is a bit challenging and the field is moving to fast that nobody is able to follow on what is going on. That is what Integration Podcast will cover.

We will be focusing on the SAP Integration platforms from SAP PI/PO,  Cloud Integration, API Management, Gateway and Cloud Platform. There are so many different tools that you must be looking at to understand what is relevant.

We will also be covering the other techniques going on to make sure that your Enterprise works.

Daniel Graversen has worked with SAP Integration for 10+ years. Over the years there have been some frustrations about how to get different software and tool working optimally for clients.

Daniel is an SAP Mentor and a part of the community around SAP.

Daniel is both developing integrations, sharing information about integration, trained people in using the tools and advised companies about best leverage their investments in integration.

Subscribe now

Episodes

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/

Today we're going to return to the subject of testing and look at another case study. This time we're joined by Peter Atling who recently worked on the PI/PO and webMethods upgrade at AkzoNobel As the test manager Peter executed several kinds of testing including regression testing. At the beginning of the project Peter was asked to find a tool that could handle some automated testing. At AkzoNobel testing middleware is not that easy. Over the last couple of years many interfaces have been implemented. The company uses PI mainly for application to application interfaces. 500 interfaces are being run over the system. The company needed to implement automated testing in order to better improve the system. Peter downloaded one of the earliest versions of Figaf's IRT to implement regression testing. There was a serious discussion about the use of an automated tool for this kind of work. They tend to want to do some tests for themselves. It was the mapping function that won the day because it removes the need to check all the fields. Their users want see that the interface is running. But Peter thinks as the use of this tool becomes more commonplace there will be more confidence in it's use. Peter feels the tool is really useful for fast growing companies who depend on PI for their delivery process. Without a good regression testing tool problems with PI can become a bottleneck. Convincing the development team to use the IRT was fairly easy because of it's ease of use.

008 Testing SAP PI/PO at AkzoNobel

Today we’re going to return to the subject of testing and look at another case study. This time we’re joined by Pieter Atling who recently worked on the SAP PI/PO and webMethods upgrade at AkzoNobel As the test manager Pieter executed several kinds of testing including regression testing. At the beginning of the project, Pieter was asked to find a tool that could handle some automated testing.

Pieter Atling

SAP expert Pieter Atling

At AkzoNobel testing middleware is a huge task as this is for most of the companies. Over the last couple of years many interfaces have been implemented. The company uses SAP PI mainly for application to application A2A interfaces. 500 interfaces are being run over the system. The company needed to implement automated testing in order to better improve the system. Pieter downloaded one of the earliest versions of Figaf’s IRT to implement regression testing.

Besides regression testing with the IRT tooling also end-to-end testing is done to make sure the interface is working as it should work. The expectation is that with the help of the tool upgrades could be done more frequently so that only regression tests have to be done combined with some manual testing done by the technical teams and that the user is not involved  or just limited involved. But Pieter thinks as the use of this tool becomes more commonplace there will be more confident in it’s use.

The approach how regression testing is done with IRT, is more or less the same as the approach followed for regression the webMethods platform that is also used by AkzoNobel.

Pieter feels the tool is really useful for fast growing companies who depend on SAP PI for their delivery process. Without a good regression testing tool problems with SAP PI can become a bottleneck. Convincing the development team to use the IRT was fairly easy because of it’s ease of use.

007 – Choosing between Boomi, Mulesoft and PI with Kishore Nanda

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.