As many of you already know, the main purpose of the PCK (Partner Connectivity Kit) is to enable smaller partners or subsidiaries to integrate their landscape with the primary business partners SAP NetWeaver XI landscape. However, did you also know that it is a great tool and, essentially a development environment, for developing and testing modules (and adapters) and testing adapter features and configuration without the need of an XI system at all? Yes, this is the case and when leveraged properly, it can be an essential asset to enabling your adapter scenarios.
Much like the central and de-central Adapter Engine (AE), the PCK is a J2EE based application with the Adapter Framework as its core. Thus it also includes the adapters that come delivered with the AE (e.g. File, SOAP, JDBC, etc.) and, of course, communicates with XI using the native XI messaging protocol. However, because its intended use is outside the immediate XI landscape, it has its own Integration Builder-like user interface for configuration and, more useful, it can be set up in a loop configuration such that the PCK is both the sender and receiver of a message. This allows for the testing of adapters without having an Integration Server available.
As you can see, the UI has the same look and feel as the Integration Builder Tools.
As mentioned, the loop configuration is used when XI is not in the landscape or you simply want to do some local testing without XI. The most essential changes take place in the SAP XI Adapter XI service in the J2EE Visual Administrator tool. The following properties should be changed:
For completing the loop configuration and setting up a test, please refer to the following link: PCK Loop Configuration
The primary benefit of using the PCK in such a fashion is the ability to run and test adapter specific scenarios without an Integration Server. Right now, its really the next best thing to having your own portable XI. Not having a dependency to an XI system can provide many advantages in certain circumstances:
- Greater flexibility to experiment without putting main XI installation at risk
- Local environment (e.g. laptop can test XI scenarios) – can configure and test anywhere, anytime.
- Fast way to test and experiment with new adapter features and scenarios
- Since this is your own local environment, you have control and can slap on the latest SP without waiting for the latest SP to be applied to the XI system.
- Develop, deploy, and test adapter modules, and also the new SAP Conversion Agent.
Obviously without an Integration Server in the mix, there are limitations in many respects, only a few of which I’ll list:
- Not for end-to-end integration testing (e.g. no real receiver determination, routing rules, mapping, etc.)
- JPR (Java Proxy Runtime) is not supported. Although the functions of the Adapter Framework are also used by the Partner Connectivity Kit (PCK), the PCK does not support the JPR.
- Rather “heavy” environment – full SAP NetWeaver AS Java is a prerequisite for installing the PCK. Memory intensive – recommend having at least 1GB of RAM.
So that there is no misunderstanding, the PCKs main business use is to exchange messages with an Integration Server. However, that is outside the scope of this blog and thus, was not discussed in that regard.
The SAP Partner Connectivity Kit SR1 installation guide is available on SAP Service Marketplace: PCK Installation Guide – SR1