Reuse PI Operation Mapping as a service in SAP NetWeaver BPM
In today’s competitive and dynamic business environment, market has observed a clear trend to provide integrated solutions, consolidating all necessary integration and orchestration features into a single offering. As a result the focus of the integration domain shifted to end-2-end processes, i.e. processes comprising not only the technical integration at communication level, but also the user-centric integration at UI and business level.
SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration is such an integrated offering from SAP which helps IT and business professionals to model, simplify, accelerate, integrate and monitor business processes that span across applications, geographies and organizational boundaries. It introduces flexible business rules as well to make your process more agile. This is a full tool box which combines the power of SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management into one integrated offering. It saves costs by fulfilling all your integration needs on one platform and helps customers achieve differentiation and competitive advantage faster than ever before.
Where, SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management (SAP NW BPM) component enables business and IT professionals to compose processes jointly on the basis of a single, directly executable process model. This makes for fast, flexible process development and deployment – ultimately reducing costs. It can help you improve the efficiency of business processes, reduce errors in complex repetitive tasks, and lower exception-handling costs.
SAP NetWeaver Business Rules Management (SAP NW BRM) enables your organization to externalize business rules and manage them flexibly across multiple installations for greater agility, for consistent and transparent enforcement of policies across the entire enterprise.
SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI) facilitates the integration of business processes that span different departments, organizations, or companies. Think of an application component being part of the value chain of a business application or a business process. Mapping engine in Process Integration is one of its core assets as it is capable of integrating structural transformation tools implemented in XSLT, Java or built using PI’s proprietary mapping tool. It provides access to reusable mapping objects, called “Operation Mappings” which represent wrappers around these mapping technologies. Therefore, Operation Mappings can be seen as stateless web services that transform their input, using the configured mapping technologies, to a different form which they return to their caller.
Besides the usage of mappings in the core mediation capabilities of PI, Cross-component Busines Proecess (also called as ccBPM) is an important consumer of mappings in classical PI. For integration processes as implemented using ccBPM, structural transformations are often necessary to adapt interface paradigms, i.e. to transform input messages to the format expected by services called from within the process. Enabling the re-use of Operation Mappings in the Process Orchestration stack, specifically in the NW BPM component, safeguards customers’ investments in such process-related mappings and reduces their re-implementation efforts when transferring ccBPM processes to the Java-only stack. Also for BPM processes developed from scratch, access to the PI mapping engine increases the scenario coverage that can be reached with BPM. Therefore, Process Development in NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS) is enhanced with the capability to import the Operation Mapping created in Process Integration (PI). This functionality (also known as Mapping-as-a-service or MaaS) enables user to create complex mappings in PI and reuse them in BPM. It strengthens the existing BPM Mapping and establishes a bridge between NW BPM and NW PI.
For this, an action is provided on the project explorer, of Process Development Perspective in Netweaver studio, which leads to the import of operation mapping in form of WSDL. Currently user can import Graphical, XSLT, Java, IDoc, RFC and External Definition operation mappings which are modeled in Process Integration. You can see all the imported operation mappings under a tree node ‘Operation Mappings’, in Process Modeling root node. This node acts as the place holder for all the Operation Mappings imported from Enterprise Service Repository (ESR). Refer Figure 1.
Figure 1 : Option to import PI Operating Mapping in BPM
Operation Mapping is imported as Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) which could be used in Automated Activity of the BPM processes (Figure 2). The WSDL that is generated wraps the Operation Mapping content like source and target messages as input and output wsdl:message respectively. The additional information that is required would be stored as wsdl extension properties. These properties would be used during runtime for execution of operation mapping.
Figure 2 : Imported PI Operation Mapping used as an Automated Activity in NW BPM
Thus, Process Composer would be able to handle creation, deletion, modification and consumption of operation mapping in BPM.
This feature is available from SAP NetWeaver 7.3 Enhancement Package 1. For more details, refer SAP Help Portal.