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I would like to comment on a paper that was available under the popular documents in the XI developer area in SDN dealing with scheduling of the XI file adapter (see Scheduling File Adapter – Part I, Scheduling File Adapter – Part II).

In the author’s specific scenario, a file should be scheduled at a specific point of time, say 12pm. The author proposed to use a BPM process that compares the actual time with the time the file should be sent to a final recipient. The file is re-read, and sent to the Integration Server and the BPM process, respectively, at a specific frequency, say every 30 minutes, until it is 12pm. If the time requirement is not met, the file will be sent back to the file directory where it will be picked up 30 minutes later.

In my opinion, although the proposed solution is technically correct it is of poor design, especially from a performance point of view. Assuming, the file is put on the file share shortly after 12pm. That means that the file is sent to XI and then rejected 47 times before it is sent to its final recipient leading to a much higher and obviously unneccessary load on the XI server.

I wouldn’t recommend any customer to implement it. Moreover, there is already a standard functionality available in SAP XI in order to schedule messages. To do so, in the Integration Engine Administration (transaction code SXMB_ADM), you can configure event-driven message processing. In the following, the configuration steps are briefly described.

First of all, you have to create sender/receiver IDs:

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Using the sender/receiver IDs created beforehand, define a message filter, and maintain the appropriate filter criteria:

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Finally, schedule a job that runs a check of the filter criteria:

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For more details, please refer to the SAP Online Help, and navigate to SAP Exchange Infrastructure -> Runtime -> Integration Engine -> Event-Driven Message Processing.

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14 Comments

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  1. Rajeshwarrao Chivukula
    Hello I am a newbee to XI … The process u suggested seems intresting and turns out to be less ovehead from architectural point of view (cannot confirm that but on the face value it makes sense).

    Well my question is can we use this scheduling based on conditions i.e. say I have certain specific material ariving which directly goes to Inventory system. But I need to also send a mail message / some description of the material to Production. Can I use this scheduling? (again I am new to XI I am just learning it.)

    Regards

    Rajesh

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  2. Jesse Wolff
    We should maybe call this “Scheduling message delivery in SAP XI” because it only solves part of the scheduling issue.

    The remaining part of the issue is that XI is still missing a scheduler to initiate sender adapters and integration processes. This continues to introduce complexity into otherwise simple integrations and is a standard feature of competing products.

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  3. Dwi Soegiharto
    Dear All,

    This is my very first time joining in this SDN Weblog Discussion Forum.
    I read comments with interests on the SAP XI so-called Scheduler ; since I am a newcomer to this forum,  I would like to invite comments on this subject.
    In the development phase of our SAP ERP system, we still hardly argue on the performance issue of SAP XI compared to the competing product; in my particular case, we develop the interfaces both with XI and WebMethod
    As posted by some colleagues, I indicate that there are still some performance issue on the Scheduler, as also indicated during the POC between those two products.
    This situation cause a lot of concerns, while we allocated 4 Itanium processors dedicated for XI with SAP number exceeding 5.000 ; WebMethod would only require max. 2 processors on our configuration of 16 processors clustered servers.
    Does anybody have any experience on such situation … would WebMethod with its efficient Message Queueing methodology could by far exceed the XI’s Scheduler, as I can feel from this list, it become the serious concerns among many of us.
    This performance seems to degrade even further in the environment as described in the previous SAP XI Scheduler subject; here we call the scheduled / delayed execution as synchronous transactions or a batch-job scheduled to run later on the third shift during low CPU usage.
    I do hope somebody could enlighten me on this issue, I apologize to jump in like this with such a very short description on the issue.
    Thanks a bunch !

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    1. Jesse Wolff
      1) webMethods has a fully functional scheduler. XI only allows you to schedule message delivery. It doesn’t easily allow you to start integration processes and adapters at specific times.

      2) XI requires much more CPU and memory than webMethods. This is because XI requires both a Java stack and an ABAP stack. webMethods runs completely in Java. A typical XI installation will require 2-3X more memory than a webMethods installation.

      Keep in mind that although webMethods is currently easier to install, configure, maintain, learn, develop, and is more fully featured, it’s also been around a lot longer. XI is the future of SAP integration, is very rapidly evolving, and offers excellent features (like ABAP proxies) that the competition doesn’t have.

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  4. Yann L'Hénoret
    During the migration process problems have been reported for this blog. The blog content may look corrupt due to not supported HTML code on this platform. Please adjust the blog content manually before moving it to an official community.
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  5. Yann L'Hénoret
    Hi,

    After reading the document Scheduling File Adapter, I figured out that this worked fine with xml files. Unfortunately, I have flat files on the outbound, and so re-creating the files when it is not time will create xml files and not the original flat files, no? Is there any means to adapt the describe process to handle flat files?

    I understand the document was just aiming to present sipmly as possible a process to schedule adpters. But having the scheduled hour in the java program seems hard to maintain. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to keep the hour in a value mapping that each java program could access?

    regards
    Yann

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    1. Alexander Bundschuh Post author
      Hi Yann,

      maybe you misunderstood the intention of my blog. I do not recommend to implement the approach that is described in the document I’m referring to. Frankly speaking, it’s totally crap.
      Anyway, there are plans to provide an adapter scheduler in XI with SPS19. It will be part of the new communication channel monitor.
      Regards
      Alex

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      1. Yann L'Hénoret
        Hi Alex,

        I apologize if i wrongly posted, but this blog was pointed by the document to be the place where one could post its remarks regarding the document. That is why I did so.

        Anyway, what I just learned reading your reply overwhelmed me with joy : something is planned in a future XI release. Have you any guess about the release date? 😀

        I seeked the blogs for a solution but I only found proxy based processes that can not suit our organization and I read about BPM but I’m newbie on this technology hence I don’t see exactly how to proceed. 🙁

        Thanks
        Yann

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      2. Yann L'Hénoret
        Hi Alex,

        I apologize if i wrongly posted, but this blog was pointed by the document to be the place where one could post its remarks regarding the document. That is why I did so.

        Anyway, what I just learned reading your reply overwhelmed me with joy : something is planned in a future XI release. Have you any guess about the release date? 😀

        I seeked the blogs for a solution but I only found proxy based processes that can not suit our organization and I read about BPM but I’m newbie on this technology hence I don’t see exactly how to proceed. 🙁

        Thanks
        Yann

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        1. Alexander Bundschuh Post author
          Hi Yann,

          you did not post wrongly, I just like to make sure that I do not agree at all with the approach in the document.

          Wrt scheduler, so far it is planned for SPS19, but not confirmed yet. SPS19 is due in calendar week 47, i.e. end of November. Sorry, but you have to wait another couple of months.

          Regards
          Alex

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          1. Yann L'Hénoret
            Hi Alex,

            In my previous reply, I just forgot to tell you about your proposal : it is what we use today, and it works fine for what you describe in this blog.

            Our trouble with that process comes from the fact that each arriving file is put in a queue waiting for the triggering hour. If two files with the same name are dropped in the same directory, instead of having the new file erasing the older one, both are put into the queue and then processed.
            In our case, the file contents are finally inserted in a sort of database, hence it creates trouble when the same data is inserted two times.

            regards
            Yann

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            1. Alexander Bundschuh Post author
              Hi Dennis,
              what exactly do you mean with starting a scenario? XI is message driven, every scenario/process is triggered by a message. So, by using the communication channel scheduler you should be able to start a scenario.
              Regards
              Alex
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