One of my responsibilities at SAP is to help our PI customer find solutions which are not readily apparent. Some of the solutions may involve special mapping usages or adapter user-modules or how to access non-standard external applications/systems using standard adapters delivered with PI.
However, there were times when the solution can only be met by a custom adapter which is not available with PI or from any of our partners. Developing an adapter is not a trivial task, especially for first-timers. The learning curve is quite high. Based on some customer experiences, the total cost may exceed $500K from concept to production. This is not something a customer can readily justify from the business-case perspective. Only companies who plan to resell the adapter can justify the cost and recoup that kind of investment.
Then, through various colleagues, I found that SAP consulting actually offers such a service. Yes, SAP consulting can develop custom adapters for customers. This service is now a viable option for customers to explore. Why?
- SAP consulting has been doing this for customers already. The high learning curve is no longer there. This means considerable savings.
- As an option, SAP consulting can perform the task remotely. This can mean additional savings.
- SAP consulting has access to developers and application groups when additional technical information is needed.
- SAP consulting also has deep PI experiences and knowledge. This is different from many of the companies that just develop adapters. This allows them to understand your end-to-end process within PI and may even propose features and suggestions not thought of before and how to better leverage existing PI capabilities.
One of the adapters SAP consulting has done is the EBICS adapter for banking. You can get more information on this via this blog: http://scn.sap.com/community/soa/blog/2012/03/23/pi-adapter-for-ebics
Another adapter they have done is not blogged any place. But, I was very much aware of it through a proof-of-concept project, and it has since been put into production. It is a “splitter” adapter. The adapter can process an arbitrarily large XML message, which can be in the GB range. As an example, the adapter will split an XML message, which contains one header and many detail records, into multiple detail messages each contains the same header record. This is not possible for the structure conversion of the File adapter, because the same header, which there is only one, must be repeated in all the messages.
If you have a need for a custom adapter, please do not hesitate to contact Lars Ulrich at email@example.com .