I remember the first time I went for a TechEd. It was in 2005 and it was the Bangalore TechEd. At that point being an eager integration consultant, I found myself surrounded with buzzing acronyms such as SOA, new products that were in the plans from SAP to enable a SOA integration and such and such. Boy, they said it was the future and I wanted a piece of it right away.
Fast forward to 2013 and when I reflect back on the technical journey I had embarked, I find today so different from yesterday. Today from the early days of XI and PI, we have found ourselves amidst the new paradigm of integration, Process Orchestration. Gone are the dual stack days. Welcome to single stack baby! And its here to stay (at least as of today!). It is not about SOA anymore. Today it is about process, agility and robust business process with seamless integration, on the fly UI, amazing user experiences, may it be on your desktop or on your mobile. Apparently, technology is on cloud 9!
So in this blog, I will try to highlight and summarize some of the key aspects related to Integration showcased this TechEd at Vegas.
1. Process Orchestration
To those who are late to the party, SAP Process Orchestration is a java only PI along with BPM and BRM that can run on a single instance. From an integration point of view, this means that you wouldn’t have an ABAP stack anymore on PI. There is no more ccBPM. From BPEL, we find ourselves learning the new BPMN standard. The BRM component isolated business rules from the implementation which can be managed outside and deployed on the fly to runtime.
B2B find itself in focus with SAP providing it’s own add on. I learnt that Integration visibility is an aspect that SAP seems to have invested some amount of money. This feature will provide end to end visibility of a running process, and along with Solution manager help centrally administer, detect and fix errors along with features such as ticketing and reporting.
For those who are still on the dual stack and looking to move to PO should make themselves aware of the migration tool. The migration tool provides an easy and automated way of moving Integration directory content to PO from XI 3.0 and above dual stack PI systems.
We will also soon find SAP PO on HANA (I am eager to understand what benefit that might offer).
There was also a session on moving ccBPM developments to Netweaver BPM. The message was clear. BPEL and BPMN are different standards so the way things are done in both are very different from each other. Personally, I think SAP needs to invest more time and money into NW BPM to make sure that all patterns supported by ccBPM gets a place or a workaround in BPM. This I don’t think is the case today. And SAP seemed to be admitting it (which is nice cos we know they are working on it thus).
There were some nice hand on workshops for consultants to get a feel of SAP PO via the Eclipse based IDE (Yes, Swing is dead!). iFlows are becoming very much centric to the approach of integration and will continue to evolve.
And while all this On-Premise talk was going on someone mentioned On-Demand. So we will look at that next,
2. HANA Cloud Integration
A good introduction would be to compare this to the sibling of SAP PI on the Cloud. So in the near future it is anticipated that a heterogeneous landscape will involve numerous application talking to each other residing itself On-Premise or on the cloud. Thus with a landscape of On-Demand and On-Premise applications needed to be integrated in an enterprise, emerges the need of an On-Demand integration tool aka HANA Cloud Integration.
I wouldnt want to talk much about HCI here since we already have a great intro blog – Click here for more details on HCI
3. SOAP and REST Who? OData is in the house!
If you haven’t noticed, there is a new wave and its called Mobility. So you might be wondering that what the heck is this guy trying to achieve by mentioning mobility in an integration space. Well, the reason I do that is because doesn’t matter what, you need integration.
Today when we talk mobility in the context of SAP, I want to highlight first OData. As consultants working in SAP technologies, I strongly advise you to get familiarized with this particular protocol. You can read this blog to help you get upto speed on OData (yeah.. thank me later).
Once you understand OData, there are two tools you must know;
a. Netweaver Gateway – This has been in the market for a while now and in short it is an ABAP Add on, that enables the back end SAP data as OData service.
Read more here
b. The question that was going on for a while then was how to OData enable Non SAP application. This TechEd, that got answered by the introduction of a new tool named Gateway Java. You can read about that too here (the things I do for you guys eh)
Now why I believe this is important for this particular space (i.e Integration) is that I strongly believe there will be a consolidation of integration technology and you will soon find OData like standards being supported by the Process Orchestration platform. Do consider this a heads up.
And so if you find yourself attending TechEd this year, I hope you wouldn’t miss the following sessions;
POP262 : Migration Tool from Double Stack to Single Stack Integration Scenarios
POP100 : Integration and Orchestration – Overview and Outlook
POP201 : What’s New in SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration
POP300 : How to Redesign ccBPM Processes Using SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration
Happy learning. And hey, “Live long and Prosper!“
I would like to thank SAP for inviting us Mentors to events like TechEd and bearing our conference fee. This is much appreciated. Thank you from the deepest of my heart! Also thanks to Wipro management for helping out with the logistics of travel that get me to make the best of these opportunities.
Thank you so very much!