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With the success of SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI), the shortage of knowledgeable professionals becomes critical. This happens not only at customers, but also at consulting firms. So what credentials should a successful consultant or power user possess, or what should you look for when you plan to hire a person to take on this challenge?

This person can no longer be categorized as a traditional ABAPer (ABAP programming) or System guy (system installation and tuning) or Application gal (MM, SD, HR) as we saw in R/3 world. He or she should be a hybrid person with a strong desire to learn new things. From my observation, the following knowledge is a must in no particular order:

  • Internet standards, such as XML, Web Services, HTTP, EDIINT, etc.
  • SAP application basics, such as RFC, Idoc, Web AS, etc.
  • Basic knowledge of the systems you intend to integrate
  • Business processes
  • Adapter framework
  • Openness to new technologies

In addition, the following knowledge is helpful in no particular order:

  • Java programming
  • ABAP programming
  • XML editing
  • System/basis knowledge of SAP products, such as J2EE Engine, Java software deployment
  • Business process management
  • Dare to ask questions at SDN or ASUG discussion groups

In many cases, you need to build your knowledge base through training and hands-on practice. SAP Education is delivering a strong curriculum to help you building this expertise, with a combination of both self-study and classroom lecture. Also, shadowing under an experienced SAP XI consultant can really speed up this process. Last, getting a SAP XI certification is a golden key to open the door of SAP XI World.

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7 Comments

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    1. Anonymous
      Definitely it is not for new graduates. I think integration is the next big thing after creating individual apps, like ERP, CRM, etc. Putting things together is more difficult than manufacturing components.
      George
      (0) 
      1. Sriram Vasudevan
        George

        I feel that the person’s understanding of EAI and ESB architectures will also help in appreciating how SAPXi is positioned in the integration world.

        This could come by studying more EAI patterns and how they can be implemented in a integration scenario using Xi,to expose the complete capabilities of the product.

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          1. Ramesh Veeraraghavan
            Yeap, All all above points in weblog counts. but.. right at this point.. there is no long term projects out there, which affords to “PAY” such Super Skilled XI consultants.
            (0) 
  1. Pankaj Kumar
    Months back I did the same thing for portals consultant and someone mentioned superman in the comments. Check this

    /people/pankaj.kumar32/blog/2003/12/19/all-those-lids

    (0) 
  2. Bernd Eckenfels
    Hello,

    I have to agree with the skills profile. This is more or less typical for an Integration Solution.

    Working all the way from XI 1.0 to 3.0 with SAP, I also want to add, that besides the strong technical background which really helps you to understand the principles behind the solution one does also need a lot of specific  hands on experiences with the lates XI versions and service packs, sind it is a moving target.

    Personally I can only recommend everybody to go early and often to lab. Especially if you also have to work with Adapters from Partners. This however makes it interesting for solution providers, and I think thats the way for customers to start a bigger Integration Project – with somebody who helps you to get into it.

    Greetings
    Bernd
    Chief Architect, SEEBURGER AG

    (0) 

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