Open PI Initiative (OPI2) – A view “behind the scenes”
Lately I came across the following blog about code sharing and spotted a reference to the OPI2 project. I found the subject of the blog appealing since the motives are quite similar to what let to creation of OPI2. There are often requirements which you cannot solve with the standard means and you have to start to design and develop an extension or own solution to tackle the challenges at work. A lot of material can be found in the SCN or on other websites such as Stack Overflow. However, they usually give good tips to start but are sometimes not mature enough to be used without much tinkering.
With the Open PI Initiative we want to deliver some ready-to-use solutions for special integration needs that are not in the PI standard distribution. I don’t know if all of you are aware of our section in the PI wiki space, but with this blog I wanted to show some of our recent activities.
State of Play
As with most open source projects most of the work is done by the projects core team. A lot of this work is maintenance work such as guaranteeing that the solutions are working with the available SAP NetWeaver PI releases. We are usually testing and enhancing for lots of releases in parallel. Also for the 7.31 AEX Java-only installations we had to enhance the offerings so that they now run perfectly fine on “classic” configuration scenarios on double-stack installations as well as in an Integrated Configuration on a single-stack installation.
We are also building new features into our offerings. The AS2 adapter for example got extended with new features such as Dynamic Configuration of the connection parameters or certificate-based authentication for the Receiver Communication Channel. We are also providing customer-specific versions that are not released in the standard distribution because they are tailored for a very specific purpose.
Nevertheless, we are getting lots of questions regarding the usage of the offerings. Let me answer that question with the following statement: Yes, this software runs in production environments of lots of companies. Furthermore, the contribution part from the community regarding bug finding and solution suggestions works very well. It’s also interesting and surprising which companies use the OPI2 solutions. Since the start of the OPI2 project there have been over 4500 downloads. But usually we get the information about productive users only by chance. Normally, the user contacts us only if there is an issue with the solutions and luckily this is not often the case. Also from our experience we could identify the trend that Scandinavian countries seem to be avid open source users and contributors (or they just like to interact with the project team).
In the end, one of the main advantages despite the community-based evolution of open source is the learning aspects for all parties involved. This leads to mature and well-tested software. We are encouraging everyone to submit code extension or feature requests, but want to especially highlight that we always welcome new contributors. And last but not least …keep hacking!