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BP operate a very large and diverse system landscape.  Many of our business processes cross system boundaries and, in order to bridge these boundaries, we implement interfaces.  During interface design & build, we faced the challenge of enabling our SAP system(s) to speak to all of our non-SAP systems when each system has an own way of recognizing data keys (i.e.customer, product, location, vehicle ID’s etc.).   BP’s solution was to implement a data translation mechanism.  We’ve created a custom data translation solution that combines the power of SAP’s Enterprise Portal and Exchange Infrastructure (XI).  Our front-end is designed in SAP’s Visual Composer and deployed in Adobe Flash.  The back-end sits on XI and was created by enhancing SAP’s standard Unified Key Mapping Service (UKMS) with extensive Java and ABAP development.  This composite application delivers a powerful data translation solution that supports our large interface run environment. 

Part of our solution includes custom tables within XI that ensure the integrity of the data that we allow into the mapping tables.  We’ve created several transactions that allow our administrators and end-users to easily configure and load our mapping data.  All of these transactions and our key mapping functionality is exposed & accessible via our portal front-end. 


How we use our data translation is quite simple.  First we load the systems (agencies) and data objects (schemes) for which we require translations.  We link our data objects to the systems in which they are recognized.  We further link source system & object combinations to target system & object combinations.  Again, we do this to ensure the integrity of the mapping entries before we actually write them into UKMS.  Next we load all of our key mappings.  All of this ‘setup’ work is easily delivered via our custom utility programs accessible through our user-friendly web front-end. 


Once our custom data translation solution has been configured and the mapping values loaded, we insert our modular user-defined Java function into the XI interface maps.  This function is performed at interface run-time.  As an interface message enters XI, the required data translation parameters are passed to the function and the translation is performed automatically and in real-time.  Now each time our interfaces run, our data translation solution automatically translates the disparate system keys, writes the translated values into the XI message payload and passes the message into the receiving system with key values that are recognizable to that system. A major benefit of our solution is the web portal which exposes the mapping data to our end users in a user-friendly and logical manner.  End users don’t need any XI experience to be able to map and view disparate system key pairings!  Being coupled with our integration layer (XI), this data translation solution is very efficient and powerful.

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  1. Sascha Kuhlmann
    Hi Dan,

    i like UKMS ad think this is a great concept to move forward. Couple of questions in regards the UI:
    – can you post some Screenshots?
    – How is authorization handled ?

    1. Dan Smith Post author
      Hi Sascha,

      w/r/t security – we have 3 profiles: View, Maintain and Administer.  We utilize single sign-on so our ID’s & associated permissions automatically pass through to XI back-end.  Viewers can only retrieve/view key mappings via our Portal.  Maintainers can view, add, update & delete key mappings via our Portal.  Administrators can do all this + have access to all of the configuration functions that we developed. 

      w/r/t screen shots, I’m embarassed to say that I can’t figure out how to upload these to my blog.  i will send directly to your e-mail.

      Thanks, Dan


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