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Dear SCN users,

Some of my friends who recently joined SAP world frequently get confuse over the roles and responsiblity of SAP PI consultant.Even in past,I faced some issue where customer directed some incidents to us just beacuse it was mentioned as PI issue.I hope some of you have also faced this simillar issues in your sap career where you received or asked to work on some of the key issues which are not directly related to you but due to lack of  information,you are not sure whom to direct those issue at RIGHT TIME and to RIGHT GROUP.If you are aware whom to contact for which issue,you will not only help yourself but also you will help your customers.And a closed co-ordination among team will save the time and will help you to give your deliverables  within timeframe.

In this blog,I will try to highlights some of the key Roles and Responsibility of SAP consultant whether he is admin or infra or PI developer.

I will divide the Environment into 4 Parts.

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Basis Team:-

  • This team is first point of contact for all PI system architecture design.
  • They are responsibile for Deployment  for PI components such as ESR and SR.
  • Maintain and keep the database updated.
  • They will create the business and technical system which developer will use while developing interface.
  • Responsible for PI system maintainence and upgration.
  • Responsible for SLD maintainence and configuration.
  • Responsible for providing system access to right person with right access.Ex-testing team doesnt require all the Tcode access.They just require system monitoring access for their testing.
  • Responsible for tranports.ex CTS+ as per the business need from development envirnoment to quality to production.

Skills:-

  • Architecture knowledge of SAP PI.

Some of the Key Issues related to Basis team:-

  • Make sure that PI system is always accessible.If not than message will start failing.Sever should not be down.
  • If SLD,IR or ID is accessible but very slow in opening than they should refresh the cache and take neccesary actions.
  • Developer should not have the access of admin part of the PI system.
  • Responsible for Disaster Recovery of the system.Disaster Recovery means incase if server is located in Singapore and some disaster such as earthquake or flood occur than they should quickly switch to backup system.
  • Responsible for all the Internal error category type such as :-message failed due to password expired.

Infrasturcture Team:-

  • Responsible for the proper network connectivity.
  • They must make sure than network connectivity between PI system,3rd Party system and all the connected systems are proper and up to date.
  • They must keep a track on logs on network distrubance even if you are accessing the system through VPN.
  • Any message which fail such as with HTTP 403 type in which the request is valid but server is not able to process those message.You can see this type of error in Communication channel.

Skills:-

  • Network and Server Knowlegde.
  • VPN and Cisco Knowlegde for remote connection.

Some of the Key Issues related to Infrastructure team:-

  • Connectivity between systems should be proper and up to date otherwise message will start failling in communication channel and moni.
  • They should have a proper backup and recovery program incase if any unexpected issue occur.

PI Development Team:-

  • Responsible for understanding and co-ordinating with functional consultant before developing any interface.
  • Responsible for writing the technical specification of all the interfaces.
  • Development in Enterprise Services Repository.
  • Configuration in Integration Builder.
  • Having Knowledge of all the node functions.
  • Responsible for co-ordinating when SIT and UAT is going on.
  • Responsible for makning any changes in interface only if there is proper CR for this.
  • Responsible for error or alert handling.

  • Should have a proper and clear understanding incase of any issue.

Skills:-

  • PI development knowledge for both part design as well as  configuration.
  • Java Knowledge will add advantage.
  • Basic ABAP knowlegde.
  • If SLD knowledge is there than it will be an added advantages.

Some of the Key Issues related to PI Development team:-

  • Mapping not correct.
  • Adapter Level configuration not correct.
  • Node Functions,boolean or other functions not used properly as the result output is not correct.
  • Close Co-ordination between ABAP,testing and functional team incase if the issue occured frequently.
  • Responsible for doing proper transportation from devlopment–>quality–>production system.
  • Business and Technical System error.
  • Message may fail with network issue.
  • Monitoring of full load and delta load data trigger.

PI Support Team:-

  • Primary responsibility of PI support team to make sure Production system is up and running.
  • They are responsible for any issue occured in Production system raised by customer to be solved within the SLA.
  • If it is data issue they should try to check and process the message as per the requirement.
  • Responsible for handling incidents and tickets causing service disruption in the PI landscape
  • They should not change the mapping if any message failed with mapping error.They should highlight it and take help from development team to fix the issue.
  • Any changes should not be carried out directly in production.
  • They should keep monitoring the system and if they see any issue or alerts or message failed,they should take the neccesary actions.
  • Responsible to maintaing the monitoring report of PI message flow includes successful as well as failed.
  • Co-ordinate with other teams if issue require multiple team involvement.

Skills:-

  • Having deep knowledge of SAP PI.
  • Java Knowledge will add advatange to his skills.
  • Most important:-should have proper soft skills such as having proper knowledge and correct information before writing any mail to customer because these are the consultants  who are the first contact point for the customer.Any wrong information in the mail will lead to escalation and will keep the issue in pending status only.
  • Should have clear Project landscape Knowledge.

Some of the Key Issues related to PI Support team:-

  • Incident raised due to data issue or mapping issue.
  • Responsible for processing the message if any message failed or stuck in queue.
  • Error which occur frequently should be combined and problem ticket should be raised to fix the problem.
  • Warehouse or Orders or high priority message should be processed quickly,if it stuck.
  • Improper Monitoring will lead to disruption of system.

I thought to summarize all in one blog having roles,responsibility,skills and issue related to PI landscape.Please share your views,opinion and suggestions so that I will keep updating this blog and it will help all those who are new in SAP world or already in this world but dont have clear idea whom to contact or who is responsible for which issue.

Regards,

Abhinav Verma

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44 Comments

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        1. Abhinav verma Post author

          Susleen,It would be great if you also add some more points,your views,your experience,your expectation and suggestion in this blogs which you think I have missed it. It will definitely help new SCN users.

           

          Regards,

          Abhinav

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          1. Suseelan Hari

            Hi Abhinav,

             

            You can take some repeated errors that we face daily in PI and add some more points related to PI errors.

             

            If you give some examples, so that every one will come to whenever there is any error in PI. Is it related to PI developer, support team, Basis or Infrastructure team.

             

            You can give few examples. Thats more than enough.

             

            Regards,

            Hari Suseelan

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            1. Abhinav verma Post author

              Thanks Suseelan for sharing this valuable information with me.I will definitely keep this in my mind while writing any new blog in future. Definitely,your suggestion will help me to write better blog with more information.

               

              Regards,

              Abhinav

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  1. M. Dijsselbloem

    Hi Abhinav,

     

    Good blog, but I’m missing – in my opinion – the most important one; collaboration between PI development and Basis consultants.

    I  have seen it so many times in the past. People start shouting that the performance of the PI system is slow, so that has to be an Basis issue. After analysis, it seemed to be that there is a bad mapping, wrong timeout parameters, etc.

     

    There should be on both sides (Basis & Development) a good understanding of the architecture of a PI system. What is the integration engine doing, what are the pipeline steps, how do communication channels work, etc.

     

    Especially within PI systems there is a large grey area where collaboration between departments is required to do proper analysis in case of issues.

     

    Kind regards,

     

    Mark

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    1. Abhinav verma Post author

      Thanks Dijsselbloem for highlighting this point. Definitely,sometimes the performance of PI goes down with PI issue also but I would like to highlight one point here that PI performance will goes down only when the load is too high,multiple complex mapping involved,udf are used extensively used otherwise,PI is suitable for handling the complex mapping,multiple UDFs etc.

       

      Definitely,there is a need to to have a close collaboration between PI development team and Basis Consultants.I totally agree with you.Thanks for sharing your views and opinion,definitely people like you will create more interest in mind of freshers who have recently joined SAP world.

       

      Thanks Again!!!

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  2. barry neaves

    i don’t think it is so black and white.

     

    why have four people to do potentially one job?

     

    in my experience and personal opinion i think you need well rounded consultants/developers that have some knowledge of business, programming, technical/infrastructure and administration skills to be able to provide a robust and scalable solution that is fully supportable!  i believe we need to break down the demarcation lines around this which will in turn provide well round consultants providing value for money for businesses.

     

    More and more projects i work on, the integration team is leading the functional teams towards the solution design and not just supporting them, whilst covering the above mentioned areas to ensure what is required is actually feasible! .   For this you need to know that there are standard bapis available that can be enhanced, you need to know that your infrastructure only supports SFTP and HTTPS between certain applications or need to know how the DMZ connects using reverse proxies to the outside world, you need to know how to set up auto reaction methods/PI Monitoring in SolMan to trigger emails to the correct team to support failures, should they occur.

     

    Also, there is talk of UDF’s and complex Mapping.  i am of the feeling that no business rules should be held within SAP PI.  these should be handled in the back end systems where logic is better placed to be amended and supported as normally there are experienced analysts/engineers/programmers supporting these applications.

     

    Anyway, that is my $0.02…

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    1. Abhinav verma Post author

      Hi Barry,

       

      Thanks for you feedback.

       

      I would like to share few points with you here:-

       

      —->Yes,you are right that every consultant should have basis knowledge about   Developement,support,Infrastructure and Basis.

      • But do you think,PI consultant will do the transport.No,he cant because he will not have the access to do the transport.
      • Any New user comes in project and his Id will be created by basis team or respective team.So,we cant avoid multiple team involvment in any project.
      • Support Activities are usually in 24*7 activities and it require dedicated team to work 24*7 to support.So,we cant avoid this team also once the project in golive phase.Yes,develop can support post go live activities but not full.
      • Network team is very critical to maitain the network connectivity among system,whether it is development ECC box or PI or any other box.
      • PI Developer are responsible for the developement activities and change request so they will be occupied with their stuff.

       

       

      Basic knowledge of all things  will always give you an edge but you cant avoid multiple team involvement as it is business involved in it.

       

      I hope I have cleared your doubts.

       

      Thanks,

      Abhi 

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  3. Sruthi A

    Good work Abhinav…its very useful. is there any blog which covers more critical PI development issues?

     

    Regards,

    Neelima.

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    1. Abhinav verma Post author

      Thanks Neelima  for your feedback.As of now we   dont have any blog which carry all the critical issue list as far as I know.But it is wonderful idea.

       

      Regards,

      Abhi

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  4. Sunil Mavachee

    Get this one on presentation slides and explore it to everyone on board before the start of any fresh implementation.! (# including Project Manager)

     

    Everyone can add few more stuff to these points but overall approach is going to be the same.

     

    Keep writing.!

     

    Regards,

    Sunil

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    1. Abhinav verma Post author

      HI Sunil,

       

      Thanks a lot for your feedback.It would be great if you can add some points in this blog would be helpful for all.

       

       

      You can share your experince also which you have faced.

       

      Regards,

      Abhi

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  5. hema ponnam

    Hi Abhinav,

          You have done a grt work. It will be helpful to all the SAP PI freshers.

          I’ll be waiting for your next blog with “critical issues faced in SAP PI” if possible.

           Thanks a lot..

           Keep writing.!


    Regards,

    Hema

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