Hello all,

This attempt of a blog is actually more a list of open questions regarding best practice for designing PO interactions.

But if you will bear with me, I would like you to try and imagine the following situation:

You have been using the modeling framework in a SAP PI 7.31 dual stack installation. Now you need to migrate all interaction models to a new PO 7.4 single stack AEX installation.

From help.sap.com you can read that all modeling functionality is available in ESR, but the option to choose “ProComp Interaction Models” in the

Integration Builder when creating “Configuration Scenarios” is no longer an option in the single stack. You could sort of deduce this from SAP help, since the option is only described for dual-stack.

Basics of Process Component Architecture Models – Managing Services in the Enterprise Services Repository – SAP Library

Using Configuration Scenarios – Integration Directory – SAP Library

Modeling - Dual.jpg

Modeling - Single.jpg

Now I am wondering what the plans are for the modeling framework for the PO single stack? I would also like to know if the modeling technology from a PO perspective is being decommissioned? Or whether there are plans to reintroduce the modeling framework into the Integration Builder, so we will again be able to use models in the single stacks’ Auto-Configurator – just like it is still an option in the dual stack.

Perhaps, this will only be a dual-stack option in the long run? Which on the other hand makes me wonder whether the dual/single stack option is planned as an option long-term? I might have been misguided in assuming that using single stack was and should be the long-term goal.

Of course, there are the new Integration Flows option in PO single stack, but these are generated from the “old” Integration Scenarios. Talk about making a come-back!!

So it might be the plan, that we all stick the using Integration Scenarios when designing interactions in ESR? In that case, are Models dead? Some might argue, that they were never alive.

Interesting enough neither the Integration Scenarios nor the Models are visible from the NWDS ESR perspective. So where should these be created, changed or simply displayed when working in NWDS? Where should new interaction designs be maintained when we all one day will be developing exclusively in NWDS?

Will we need to Free-styling the whole thing?

I have not been able to find any best practice recommendations. With best practice, I would like SAP to chose a side. Instead of throwing semi-complete options at us, which to me seems to leave us letting our own preferences determine what will be the “correct” method for designing interactions. Sorry to sound a bit negative, but indecisiveness makes me nervous.

I still search for models in ESR content and on esworkplace.sap.com when I approach a new interaction requirement. I have even found some interaction models that were in a newer state on esworkplace.sap.com than the models delivered in the newest ESM XI Content (the newest XI content containing models being from 2011, hmmm).

Some new models are being developed by SAP, but how are we supposed to utilize such new developments in long-term? Not easily, if these models are not an option in the single stack’s Auto-Configurator. And not likely, if the newest models are not even delivered as XI content.

I know I am asking a lot of questions. I am not expecting SAP or anyone else to deliver conclusive answers to all of them right away. But if you have some insights regarding this matter, I would be very interested in hearing from you.

Regards,

Emil

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3 Comments

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  1. Holger Himmelmann

    Hi Emil,

    you have really addressed an good topic in your blog above. In regards to the ProComp Interaction Models, the general idea in combination with the other ESR models was interesting, but the potential advantages couldn’t really outweigh its disadvantages regards to the additional maintenance effort, governance and its limited usability & functionality. Since SAP has delivered almost no new features in this area since PI 7.10 and due to the very small number of SAP customers actually using these models, my guess is that SAP won’t deliver a wizard to generate Integration Flows from ProComp Interaction Models and that the ProComp Interaction Model won’t be included in the NWDS ESR perspective.

    My recommendation in the past was to use the Process Integration Scenarios to generate  the Configuration Scenarios in the Integration Directory, since they offer a good basis for the configuration and documentation of the scenario. Although it still has some minor functional limitations, the wizard to generate Integration Flows from Process Integration Scenarios is a valid approach. But the question in regards to SAP’s official strategy in the future is definitely a significant one. One point is that the Process Integration Scenarios and Actions are currently not accessible from the NWDS ESR perspective. This functionality may come with later support packages. But the more important question is whether this will really be the recommended configuration approach in SAP’s mid-term strategy, since there definitely have to be some kind of configuration templates for complex and pre-packaged scenarios.  One interesting approach would be to have some kind of Integration Flow template in the NWDS ESR perspective as a successor for the Process Integration Scenarios to have a consistent BPMN-based view.

    Regards, Holger

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    1. Emil Jessen Post author

      Hello Holger,

      Thanks for the input. I agree that we should look with interest for the SAP recommendations regarding the configuration approach. How will future standard integration solutions be packaged? And will this future packaging method also be made available for custom developments? And will it be a tool that can also be used to illustrate integrations in differentiated levels, so such a tool could be used for communicating and documenting integrations across functional and organizational gaps?

      I still find it common to see integrations only be discussed based on powerpoints and spreadsheets – and every single spec seems to be in a company (if not interface) unique format. I am not talking data structure and mapping, but the specification of the integration process within an Enterprise solution design. If such exist, it is never technically linked to any of the actual SAP PO objects/designs.

      By the way, after raising the same question to SAP, I did get this follow-up reply:

      I can confirm that the PCIM and BPVT configuration options were removed

      in 7.31 and 7.40 Java-only/AEX PI systems, i.e. you do not see them any

      more in the Integration Directory configuration scenario editors,

      although they’re still visible in dual-stack installations.

      The reason behind this is that these models used WSRM communication,

      but this adapter type is not available in java-only PI installations.

      PCIMs were introduced in PI in order to provide a modelling means for

      very special scenarios. Though the modelling tools are visible and

      usable for customers, the actual purpose was configuration of internal

      SAP systems. Entities like Business Object, Process Agents and Process

      Components are only available in dedicated SAP systems which communicatevia the so-called Process Agent Framework. In general, this is not the

      case for customer SAP installations. These SAP systems resided only in

      the SAP Business ByDesign (ByD) cloud. ByD systems required very specialconfiguration and used the WSRM protocol heavily. Hence the Directory

      Model Configurator had special logic to translate the PCIMs to valid

      configuration objects. Please do not expect that this configuration willwork for your SOAP scenarios.

      Please consider using the “classic” Process Integration Scenario Models.The configuration in the Directory will work better and meets your

      expectations.

      To be continued,… I hope.

      Emil

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  2. Daniel Graversen

    Hi

    Great to see your blog.

    True the Iflows is missing some functionality to really describe the process, which makes you miss the overview of what you are doing.

    I hear that Iflow will be where SAP will put more effort in to be the way to configure things in the future. But they go to a deeper level in Integration scenarios, but they are just a different UI to ICO objects.

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