PI in perspective of Composite
In an enterprise the business process spans across the organization and across the system, the business steps chains from step “a” of System A to step “b” of System B and to subsequent System. Each step of the process is usually governed by user roles. Underneath the business process, data flow also happens from system A to system B based on predefined business rule and conditions. In order to support such process flow, one needs to have a solution which addresses the Business Process Composition as well as Data Orchestration.
e.g.: In an Engineering department of Auto-Manufacturing Industry there needs a MRO part for designing a particular chassis model of car XYZ. The department would request the sets of part-X, part-Y and part-Z, which goes through the series of approval and upon approval creates “Purchase Requisition” in system A which finally flows to system B with its attribute based on pre-defined business rule in order to be Procured and Inventoried.
SAP NetWeaver offers the Composition platforms (CE 7.0 or CAF), which is an agile development platform for creating the business process by utilizing already existing function and consuming it as services within the process composition. SAP NetWeaver also offers a PI for data orchestration in realm of business process. The scenario described above can very well be achieved through marrying up the power of business composition (Composite Application) and Data Composition (PI).
High Level Process details and design( SAP NetWeaver):
The recommended solution pattern for such scenario will be, facilitating the Business Process Composition using “SAP – Guided Procedure”, which will model and control the process executions and approval steps spanning between system A and system B. And underneath data orchestration can be accomplished by using SAP PI ccBPM data-flow design.
Following diagram depicts the high level process and data orchestration of the scenario.
System A: Requisition gets created with its own persistence
System B: Responsible for procuring parts, based on the requisition created in System A.
Data Flow: Data flows from system A to system B based on certain rules.
One of the traditional ways of implementing such solution would be extend each of the application for defining the process bridge between two systems and also develop custom Adapter to maintain the data communication between these systems. Such solution can certainly address the requirement but would result following
- Strict Process Composition
- Application Code Change
- Custom Development – Adapter
- Tight Coupling
- High Effort to react to fast changing business process
Solution by unleashing the Combo Power of SAP NetWeaver – CAF and PI
Let’s look in details of solution described earlier using SAP NetWeaver CAF and PI. The two fold problem which has been identified is:
- Process Composition
- Data Orchestration
The process of requisition resides in system A and the process of procurement resides in system B. Using the Composite Application framework one can design the over-arching process which will includes the business steps performed in System A and business steps performed in system B. The process flow from step 1.2.3 of system A to step 4.5.6 of System B which needs to be contextually tied up to system A, CAF provides the way of relating the step through contextual parameter which in this case can be “vendorID” for convenience of relating all requisition directed to particular vendor for procurement.
The underlying data orchestration is required to collect all the requisition (System A) and send it to the procurement (System B) to procure items. NetWeaver PI – ccBPM can be leveraged to perform this, ccBPM can be configured to collect the message coming from system A and trigger a message to system B upon certain condition or timer set. The System B in turn will perform the procurement on requested item. The PI can also be leveraged to loosely couple any data interface within each of the system A or B by consuming the standard enterprise services (ES) through SOAP adapters. Following diagram depicts the overall process
Below are the some of the obvious benefits of following the above solution pattern.
- Standard, Robust and Proven – Data Exchange Mechanism
- Loose Coupling
- Flexible Process Control
- Fast adaptation of business process change