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SAP NETWEAVER PI 7.1(EHP1) AND PO 7.3(EHP1) IN RETROSPECT

Often times SAP NetWeaver PI releases and Enhancement packages come so fast that while some organizations are still sitting in a particular release or enhancement package or exploring its features for their business requirements, the next version is available in the market already. This is also true for developers as well, who might not be able to explore all the features of a particular SAP PI release or enhancement package before moving to the next. Nevertheless, there isn’t much to worry about, because the features in the old versions are not lost but only enhanced. So, you can still explore the functionalities in the earlier versions while still leveraging it on the knowledge of the latest versions. To support your decision making in deploying SAP NetWeaver infrastructure in order to achieve your integration scenarios, this blog gives developers, consultants and organizations a good insight into features of PI 7.1 (EHP1) and PI 7.3 (EHP1).

Process Integration (PI 7.1 EHP1) versus Process Orchestration (PI 7.3 EHP1)

SAP PI – Process Integration offers the capabilities of mediated communication on the SAP NetWeaver platform serving as the integrated broker or the middleware. In this type of communication, a central instance that serves as the communication hub connects different applications in A2A (Application to Application) scenarios or different businesses in B2B (Business to Business) scenarios. The focus of this blog is on Process Integration 7.1 (EHP1) and 7.3 (EHP1) Process Orchestration. Process Orchestration describes choreography of data exchange, coordination and management of services, middleware, and applications within an automated set-up. SAP PI 7.31 offers process orchestration by combining the functional capabilities, the power, flexibility, strength and agility of three similar technologies; SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management (SAP NetWeaver BPM), SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management (SAP NetWeaver BRM), and SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI) in a way that allows organizations achieve different business process integration and orchestration scenarios. In the following sections, an overview of the migration journey from dual stack to single stack, the similarities and differences between PI 7.1 (EHP1) and PI 7.3 (EHP1) are presented.

From Dual Stack to Single Stack 

The message processing capabilities of SAP PI started off with the use of dual stack functionalities of the ABAP and Java installations. An attempt towards single stack (Java only) integration was first made with the NetWeaver release of 7.1. This was in an attempt to reduce the hardware resources needed, the internal communication as well as the DB access points and increase message processing performance by by-passing the integration engine on the ABAP stack to aid local message processing on the adapter engine. These new capabilities could only support specific scenarios that do not need any capabilities that purely reside on the ABAP stack such as certain adapters (i.e. IDOc- and HTTP-adapter) and ccBPM. This changed the name of the Adapter Engine in the earlier releases to Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE), and now to Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX). With the introduction of the AEX, almost all the capabilities that could not be supported initially when the single stack initiative began are now supported or have been enhanced. This has also paved the way towards process orchestration, in which the single stack of PI NetWeaver AEX can be co-installed with BPM/BRM. This invariably supports all the features of dual stack installation in a more flexible and agile way. Nevertheless, SAP affirmed that further releases of PI NetWeaver will continue to support the dual stack until 2020 when there will be an extended maintenance of NetWeaver 7.3.

Features and Capabilities of PI 7.1 (EHP1) and PI 7.3 (EHP1) Compared

A)    Similar Features of PI 7.1 and 7.3

     i) Repository Objects and Additional Features: In terms of the earlier enhanced features and naming of repository objects in previous releases from 7.1 to PI 7.31, there are      no differences. All the objects still maintain their names; Enterprise Service Repository (ESR), Service Interface (SI). Service Registry (SR) to support publishing,      classifying, discovering services. Service Interfaces (SI) has the capabilities to hold several operations where each operation describes one communications (Synchronous,      Asynchronous). Service interfaces have the following  attributes;

  • Category (Inbound, Outbound, Abstract),
  • Mode (Synchronous, Asynchronous),
  • Interface and Operation Patterns establishes type of message – communication (Stateless, Stateless XI3.0 Compatible, TU&C, C and Stateful). Operation Patterns depends on Interface patterns (Normal, Commit, Rollback , Confirm, Tentative Update, Compensate)
  • Global Data type (GDT) available for Service-Oriented Architecture,
  • Operation Mapping replaced interface mapping
  • Folders are also available to organize projects and interfaces which have access authorizations
  • XML toolkit, JDK 1.5 toolkit for JAVA and XSLT Mapping is also available

      ii) Supported Mapping Features Enhancements; Different mapping features with Standard and User Defined Functions are supported.

  • There exists the Possibility of setting Failure Behavior in FIX values and value mapping (Return initial value, Default, Exception)
  • It is now possible to use the output of fields and functions for Multiple target fields for Reusable, Better Runtime Performance
  • Tool support to adjust the mappings after the structure changes to avoid structural inconsistencies.
  • Making a complete copy of XML sub trees is possible
  • Parameterized mapping is useful for Channel Lookup and Reuse of multiple mapping in Interface Determinations and to transfer content of Container in UDF.
  • Function Libraries is available for Reuse of UDF and enhanced portability of UDF.
  • Graphical Support of RFC Lookup and JDBC Lookup is also available in the list of standard functions.
  • Also, there is the possibility of Importing SQL Tables Meta Data

     iii) ccBPM Enhanced Features: Available features in Cross Component Business Process Management

  • Step Groups- It offers the capabilities of a set of steps that can be reused by embedding them in the Integration Process across SWCV. There is also the possibility of using step parameters within step groups.
  • Configurable Parameters- This can be defined in an Integration Process and the values can be assigned in Integration Directory. It supports the use of Agents, Communication channel and simple data type as parameters.
  • User Interaction – User Decision Step in IP with an agent configured in ID is used to get the workflow message to make a decision

     iv) Additional Configuration Object Features

  • Web Service Reliable Messaging WS-RM for Asynchronous messaging is configured in Sender Agreement and Communication Channel for a considerable level of reliability and security.
  • Principal Propagation based on Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML 1.1) can be configured in WS adapter. It means user is securely propagated from a sender system to receiver systems. An authorization check in receiving system based on original user.
  • Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE) is used to increase the performance of message processing by eliminating the need for ABAP stack during the process.
  • Reusable Receiver Rules for logical routing can be used in different Receiver Determination.
  • Cache Notification function is enhanced to analyze the possible error.
  • XML Payload validation is possible in sender and Receiver agreement.
  • Publish the sender agreement in Service Registry (SR) for WS Client and Provider connected to IS.
  • Centralized administration and monitoring is done by SAP NetWeaver Administrator.
    • Message Packing enables processing bulk messages in one service call and reduce context switches

     B) Enhanced Features of PI 7.3(EHP1) over 7.1(EHP1)

     Capabilities of PI 7.3(EHP1) Single Stack Java Installation:

  • Process Orchestration is available; It handles a types of scenarios with the capabilities of AEX of PI installed with the BPM/BRM similar to the Composition Environment (CE)
  • Reduced overhead cost in message processing
  • Message processing performance is increase by a factor of 4
  • Single stack installation reduces requirements for hardware resources by half
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is reduced coupled with ease of maintenance
  • Energy consumption requirement for powering the set-up is reduced to less than half of what is needed for a dual stack installation
  • Large messages and scenarios involving processing of message volume can be handled with better efficiency
  • Common deployment of AEX and BPM/BRM on one single System ID.
  • Reliable connectivity (QoS EO) between messaging and process layer via proven Java Proxy Runtime.
  • Preserve your investments by calling PI mappings (Java, XSLT) from within a BPM process.
  • Model-driven development environment based on BPMN standard
  • Leverage SAP NetWeaver BRM for business rules.
  • Reduce TCO with single System ID installation.
  • Reliable connectivity between BPM and PI/AEX at lower costs (as an alternative to WS-RM).
  • Enhance mapping capabilities within a BPM process by calling PI mappings (e.g., calling XSLT).

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Figure 1: The set up for the dual stack domain of PI 7.1(EHP1) and 7.3(EHP1) compared

          

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Figure 2: Java single stack of PI 7.1(EHP1) and 7.31(EHP1) compared; Process Integration versus Orchestration


Capabilities of Central ES Repository for Multiple PI Domains:

Since the concept of SOA-is important than ever before, scalability and interoperability in centralizing services have become more important as well. In PI 7.31, there exists the possibility of using a single ES Repository for multiple PI domains. It leverages the power of re-usability, central control, access and governance design objects across multiple PI domains. These capabilities provide the platform for flexibility and scalability in landscape setup. Additionally, this means that the ESR from any PI domain can be used for other PI domains irrespective of the installation step, whether it is single stack or dual or whether it is central adapter engine or non-central adapter engine. Nevertheless, not all the ESR in the other PI domains will be used simultaneously, the local ones will have to be disabled within the SLD group model to prevent conflicts. Also, Central SLD configuration is required; and this can be done via CTC template and also manually

Settings Options for Logging of Synchronous Messages:

  • Synchronous messages can be logged optionally on Java Only PI.
  • Logging can be configured via global parameter (default) and scenario specific (also for asynchronous scenarios).
  • Support also in user defined message search to search for payload values.

Adapter Enhancement Capabilities

     a) Integration with FTP Proxy Server via File / FTP Adapter:

  • File / FTP adapter supports direct integration with FTP proxy server without any work around.
  • Host name and port of FTP proxy server can be configured in FTP connection parameter settings of File / FTP communication channel with transport protocol FTP.

     b) Availability of Java IDoc Adapter for Single Stack:

  • IDOc scenarios now possible on Java stack only with functionality of ABAP IDoc adapter fully included in Java IDoc adapter.
  • IDoc packaging on receiver side to simplify IDoc processing, increase performance , simplify monitoring & error handling
  • IDoc flat file module support for IDoc packages (multiple IDocs in a single IDoc flat file of same message / IDoc types).

     c) JMS Adapter Enhancements:

  • Support of further security standards (SSL Support), simplified configuration for integration with IBM Web sphere AS, optimized connection pooling for integration with MQ version 6.
  • Support for Web sphere AS 7
  • JMS connection pool optimization-Connection pooling with MQ version 6;not required anymore for MQ version 7(default configuration setting)
  • JMS topic support –MQ set Client Id, Include Client Id and further connection settings for MQ in channel configuration (previously these were required as additional parameters).

     d) Principal Propagation for SOAP Adapter (XI Protocol):

  • Principle propagation between ABAP and Java proxies based on SAP logon / assertion ticket.
  • Supported now additionally via XI message protocol of SOAP adapter, similar to SOAP & RFC protocol as well XI message protocol in Integration Server.
  • Message execution under propagated user
  • Based on trusted relationship configured between SAP NetWeaver PI and sender as well receiver system.

     e) Full Integration of Java Proxies and SOAP Adapter:

  • All scenarios for communication between SOAP adapter and Java Proxy Runtime via XI 3.0 message protocol are supported.
  • For acknowledgements provider Java proxies and SOAP adapter can run on any Adapter Engine
  • Consumer Java proxies and SOAP adapter can run on any Adapter Engine
  • With this the limitations in SAP Net Weaver PI 7.3 for integration between Java proxies and SOAP adapter (XI protocol) are addressed in EHP1 for SAP NetWeaverPI 7.31

With the insights highlighted in this blog, PI 7.3 (EHP1) establishes a new platform for realizing process orchestration. Virtually all types of Scenarios are possible on the single stack adapter engine of PI 7.3(EHP1) in combination with BPM/BRM. The open standards upon which BPM/BRM are designed clearly marks the beginning of a new era in business process orchestration. More importantly, the following capabilities make upgrading to PI 7.3(EHP1) highly recommendable for business process integration and orchestration scenarios using the SAP NetWeaver PI technology; Reduced overhead cost in message processing, Message processing performance is increase by a factor of 4,Single stack installation reduces requirements for hardware resources by half, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is reduced coupled with ease of maintenance, Energy consumption requirement for powering the set-up is reduced to less than half of what is needed for a dual stack installation. So, when next you are upgrading, consider these capabilities for a good return on investment (ROI).

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5 Comments

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  1. Srinivas Doppalapudi

    Hello Abidemi Olatunbosun,

    Thnaks for the blog and it will be helpful.

    could you please clarify that 7.31(Ehp1) supports ABAP Proxy? as per the figure2 shown above.

    (0) 
    1. Abidemi Olatunbosun Post author

      Hi Srinivas,

      Thanks for your comment, 7.31(Ehp1) supports ABAP Proxy from an SAP Back-end because the AAE/AEX local message processing capabilities now supports the XI 3.0 message protocol via the SOAP Adapter.

      (0) 
  2. Prasad Babu Koribilli

    Hello Abidemi Olatunbosun,


    Thanks for the detailed and very informative blog. This helped me a lot with my ongoing planning for PI upgrade.


    One quick question though, we are currently planning for our PI system upgrade which is on SAP PI 7.0. What would you recommendation PI 7.3 or PI 7.31?


    Regards,

    Prasad.

    (0) 

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