The Credentials of an SAP Exchange Infrastructure Consultant or Power User
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.