It was wonderful three days at TechEd 2011 (Bangalore) which provided lots of valuable insights into the roadmap and the change in SAP product line. What stood out was the Process Orchestration Platform, into which SAP PI is now nicely integrated. Though the coalescence has been in the coming for several years, it is only now that it looks complete.
From my perspective the following are the major areas of change:
Runtime: PI 7.3.1 allows you to create Integration Flows (point to point, recipient list etc) that are modelled using BPMN 2.0. This means your BPM modelling can integrate with these flows. What’s more, I can have a human activity interrupting an integration flow! Thus the key take away is PI now can seamlessly interact with other “containers” in the SAP JEE server and the same can be modelled in design time.
Design Time: All PI flows that is point to point or BPM based can be developed from the same developer studio. It would also allow PI developers to tap the power of eclipse to build their mapping logic. And in the future all transports can be routed via CTS+.
Consultant: Interesting times for consultants now. A hard core JEE expert can handle Portal, BPM, BRM and PI with ease. As a manager I would not buy in to the idea of different experts for each area of concern as I see several roles merging in the future.
With a standalone Java stack one can expect better performance in comparison to a dual stack. The UME issues, Java – Abap requests can all be avoided. Having said this, what lies to be seen is how the whole engine deals with huge volumes and how it scales up when needed. The roadmap seems to be finally in the right direction though!