One of the most interesting features in SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7. 3 (SAP NW PI 7.3) was to introduce a light-weight PI installation option called Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX). In two waves in July and September 2011, SAP Business Suite 7 and i2010 have been enabled for the usage of AEX. If you want to configure any of the Business Suite scenarios via SAP NW PI, you can do the same either via traditional PI dual stack or via the new PI Java-only installation option AEX. In this article we want to give you some background, point out the TCO improvements you can gain by using AEX and also mention the limitations valid in release 7.3.
SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.3 (SAP NW PI 7.3) was released on November 29, 2010 and is generally available since May 30, 2011. Even before end of ramp-up, in April 2011, Business Suite was released for the usage of SAP NW PI 7.3 due to dedicated requests by ramp-up customers (Note 1388258 – Version Interoperability within the SAP Business Suite). This comprises the PI adapter modules ELSTER, SWIFT and BCONS (Note 1570738 – SAP Business Suite PI Adapters for SAP NetWeaver PI 7.3). And of course it includes the release of ESR Content (aka XI Content) shipped for Business Suite 7 and i2010. Since SAP NW PI 7.3 can be installed either as PI dual stack and Java-only installation option AEX, ESR Content of the Business Suite has been released for both installation options.
At this point in time the ESR Content for Business Suite has not been touched and some manual steps were needed during configuration.
In order to facilitate the usage of the new installation option, AEX-specific communication channel templates have been created for all Business Suite 7 and i2010 process integration scenarios. After applying the ESR Content patches for the software component versions used in your scenario, there is no need to create communication channels manually in Integration Builder (Integration Directory) any more. The channels can just be generated from the templates. For the purpose of increasing the transparency, to achieve self-describing scenarios and to some degree an out-of-the-box configuration, we assigned communication channel templates to all the scenarios.
Without reading any documentation you can now receive a good impression on how a scenario works and which channels are used when navigating through the scenario objects. Furthermore, you can directly generate configuration objects in Integration Builder (Integration Directory) from the process integration scenarios in ES Repository. So although the pure shipment of additional communication channel templates won’t save directly a lot of time during configuration, the assignment of channel templates to all scenarios increases transparency and therefore facilitates the usage of the scenarios – not only for AEX, but for PI dual-stack as well.
You can refer to Note 1573180 – AEX Enablement for SAP Business Suite for further details. A list of process integration scenarios being enabled for AEX including software component versions, support package numbers and patch names on SAP Service Marketplace is available as attachment in this note. At the end of the list of AEX-enabled scenarios you can find the scenarios not running on AEX as well.
Background to AEX:
With release 7.3, SAP introduced a light-weight PI installation option called Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX). AEX is based on the Java stack only, so it doesn’t require an SAP NetWeaver dual-stack any more. Therefore it’s faster to install, easier to maintain and consumes up to 60% less memory. Although it’s based on the Java stack only, it includes all PI building blocks like Enterprise Services Repository (ES Repository), Integration Directory, System Landscape Directory (SLD), Services Registry, PIMON (monitoring) and the Java runtime Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE). AAE is already available in older PI releases, but it was enhanced with release 7.3, so that all PI adapters like IDoc, RFC, SOAP, File, HTTP etc. are supported on Java stack. The only adapter which will be supported later on is the WS adapter. The second limitation is related to the usage of integration processes (ccBPM). Integration processes are based on ABAP workflow and can therefore not be used in AEX.
In summary, and besides GRC-NFE (electronic invoicing for Brazil), 90 % of all process integration scenarios shipped by SAP with Business Suite 7 and i2010 can use AEX, since they don’t require WS adapter nor ccBPM processes.