During the last few weeks I have been involved as a lead ESA Architect in a development
project that integrates MDM5.5 , Enterprise Portal 6.0 and SOA. In this Weblog I would
like to share my experience of using MDM5.5 from the application point of view.
Short description of the project:
Before we start, lets understand what was the
requirments of the project. The solution should integrate the current SAP systems and own systems now in use,
exploiting the capabilities of the Enterprise Portal/Netweaver technology, and MDM 5.5
The Solution in a nutshell
MDM5.5 contains catalog data , a composite application is built on top of MDM5.5 in order to
expose via services the data. The Enterprise Portal 6.0 serves as a client to the composite
application via a new UI. The following diagram describes the high level architecture
How can application connect to MDM 5.5?
MDM5.5 has an out of the box Connector which is a middleware component that enables the
integration between SAP Web AS (Java) and MDM Server.
Introducing the MDM5.5 connector
The connector architecture defines a standard architecture for connecting the Application
Server (J2EE) platform to heterogeneous Enterprise Information Systems (EIS). MDM Connector
will provide connectivity between SAP Web AS (Java) Server and MDM Server.
The MDM connector enables a developer to:
- Open a connection to a repository running on MDM Server.
- Enable connection pooling.
- Support a native interface.
- Enable managing MDM Connection in Enterprise Portal via Portal System Landscape Service.
The MDM Connector is based on the SAP Connector Framework of JCA J2EE Architecture version 1.0.
It uses the MDME4J library to maintain the connection and it supports connection pooling.
The MDM Connector also supports a native interface for retrieval of the physical connection
(repository data) to a repository, thus it gives you the MDME4J library full capabilities.
Using the connector
From the application side of the code using MDM5.5 connector is very similar to suing JDBC
to RDBMS The connector is used for both data and images retrieval and supports data from
different languages. The necessary steps are:
- Open a connection to a repository – in order to open a connections there is a need to
perform a JNDI lookup, get a connection from the factory & invoke getConnectEx method.
- Get the physical connection via the native interface
- Get data from a repository – CatalogData object is used by various methods to collect
data from MDM5.5
- Close the connection
Installing the connector is rather easy task to perform. The connector can be installed either
on the WAS6.40 (for building applications on top of the WAS) or deployed to the Enterprise Portal 6.0.
For the WAS6.40 the following SDA files are requires
MDM5.5 as part of the NetWeaver stack can be fully integrated into costume composite application by
exposing data via the MDM5.5 connector. The configuration , installation and retrieval of data
is very straight forward and by this allowing the development team to focus on developing the
interfaces and not lose precious time on complex issues.