One of the things I have been woldering about and getting asked about for a couple lately is the migration to SAP PI 7.3.1
With Results of the global NetWeaver PI Survey 2011 there was lot of clients still using XI 3.0. PI 7.3.1 gives a great intention to upgrade to the new platform.
My current clients are on PI 7.1 and PI 7.1.1 which is much the same. Thought those platforms are really close to XI 3.0 from a JAVA only treatment of messages. Thought the advanced adapter has been created, but there is not a lot of other things that has been done in that perspective.
I don’t believe in 7.3 Java only mode. For limited scenarios it may be possible and only for new installations. The lack of adapters for all scenarios and BPM is a killer for many ideas. And As I recall it there is also a limit to the things you can do in the Integrated Configuration/Advanced adapter engine.
Regarding upgrading to 7.30 from other releases is in my opinion a good thing if it is not too difficult. The platform is a lot more stable and you are able to use the integrated configuration to 70-80% of the scenarios, so it will make it much easier next you need to upgrade. It also looks like the mapping engine is the same (the background data of the mappings is still the same).
From XI 3.0 and PI 7.0 there has been a change to the adapter engine, this means that adapters and modules has to be changed to run on newer releases. It is not a major change, but it is something that you need to consider if you have a lot of custom development.
I’m no basis person, and have not been involved with a lot of upgrade projects, so I quite don’t know how difficult this kind of migration is. What I have seen at some clients is a new installation of 7.3 to be able to do it smoothly. If you have to do a new installation to be able to install 7.3 then I will imagine that it is too much work. 7.3.1 will also require a new installation to make use of the java only.
The thing is that when you are migrating to 7.3.1, which is the first platform where you can make a java only installation. You need to reconfigure everything to use the java only/Integrated configurations. This is going to be a major development challenge to do and it will only make sense to do new installation and then migrate to it.
It is possible to have both ABAP and JAVA on 7.3.1 but from what I heard it is not possible to uninstall the ABAP stack. So it will require a new installation. Hence it would be a really good idea if it is possible to use the java only approach when installing 7.3.1.
I have still not been able to get my hands on a 7.3.1 outside Teched so I don’t know how it really performs. Most importantly is the java only possible.