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Free SAP PI Training Material

What is SAP PI:

SAP PI is middleware that helps integrate multiple systems with SAP. PI facilitates integration of interfaces from SAP and non SAP sources. This document provides a high level overview of Prosoft’s SAP PI experience. It also lists down features and enhancement in PI 7.3 in terms of design practices concentrating on the use of objects within Enterprise Services Repository (ESR), Integration with SAP based systems, Transports and System Landscape Directory (SLD).

New features in SAP PI 7.3:

 Option for single stack (Java-only) installation:

 

SAP PI 7.3 installation comes in 2 flavors; Dual Stack (ABAP + Java) or Single Stack (Java only). In the Dual Stack installation, adapters reside on Java Stack, pipeline steps are performed on ABAP stack and ccBPM is done via Business Process Engine (BPE). In Java only installation, both adapter configurations and pipeline steps are performed on Java stack.

Below are some of the advantages of Java only installation:

  • All adapters (except WS-RM) are available in Java only installation.
  • Since messages stay on Java stack (rather than jumping between ABAP and Java engines), message performance and throughput is considerably better.
  • Installation of PI7.3 (JAVA only) can be done within 1 hour as opposed to several Hrs it can take for a Dual stack (ABAP+Java). System restart and installation of add-ons/enhancements packages takes considerably less time thereby reducing system downtime.
  • Reduction in the total costs of operations and maintenance.

 

Below are some features missing in Java only installation:

  • No native support for ccBPM, Interfaces need to rely on SAP NW BPM (which is delivered as part of Composition Environment) to achieve BPM capabilities.
  • No support for ABAP Mapping or ABAP based message processing.

 

Improvements in Adapter specific capabilities:

In SAP PI 7.3, several enhancements have been made in Adapters capabilities.

Below are some of the enhancements:

  • File Adapter supports transfer of very large (unlimited file size) binary files.
  • Sender HTTP Adapter supports HTTP GET.
  • Publish and Subscribe is now possible via JMS Adapter.
  • In addition to FTP and FTPS; now File adapter supports SFTP as well.
  • SAP provided B2B Adapters like AS2, OFTP, X.400 and support for EDIFACT, ANSI X.12, VDA, TRADACOMS and ODETTE.
  • Inbuilt support for PGP Encryption and Decryption.
  • Ability to ping adapters, to check their status (Active/Inactive/Stopped).
  • Blacklisting of error messages; if a messages run into error several times it can be flagged and moved to another queue. This will prevent messages from getting stuck in queues and avoid blocking other messages.
  • Enhanced message search capabilities based upon values from payload and adapter-specific message attributes. For e.g. searching an IDOC based upon “Customer Name” or “Customer Number” etc.

Improved message monitoring via Solution Manger:

 

SAP Solution Manager 7.1 is tightly integrated with SAP PI7.3; we now have the ability to centrally monitor multiple PI domains. This reduce the TCO by simplifying  the operations processes by providing one central entry point combining monitors for PI overall status with drill-down options up to message level. Solution Manager 7.1 provides a “Good Morning” screen which provides an overview of the complete PI 7.3 system landscape; we have an option to drill down into failed messages/errors and raise incident tickets for them.

Option of using Eclipse based editors:

SAP PI 7.3 comes with an in built Eclipse based editor; this editor can be used to develop PI interfaces instead of the swing based ESR/ID tools.

Below are some of its features:

  • Compared to swing based ESR/ID tools (thick client), eclipse based editors provide industry standard interfaces which are easier to use and load in less time.
  • These editors can be used for creating and editing service interfaces and data types.
  • Support to use Eclipse based standard editors for viewing ES Repository contents,
  • Subscribe to object changes via ES browser in NWDS.

 

SAP PI 7.3 Roadmap and Product Release Timelines:

SAP is positioning PI as a “Process Orchestration” tool rather than a simple EAI component. In future releases of PI, we will see a move towards Java only installation. SAP will slowly fade out ABAP stack and ccBPM. PI will be a Java only installation which will leverage Composition Environment (CE) BPMN. Keeping this is mind; SAP is advising customers to limit usage of ABAP Mapping and ccBPM and making as much use of Java components as possible.

Below are some of the timelines for SAP PI:

  • SAP PI 7.30 is in general now.
  • SAP PI 7.31 is currently in ramp-up phase, it will be in general release in Q2 2012.
  • Support for XI 3.0 ended in March 2010 (+3 years extended maintenance).
  • Support for PI 7.0 and 7.1x ends in Dec 2015 (+2 years extended maintenance).
  • Support for PI 7.3 ends in Dec 2017 (+2 years extended maintenance).

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