If you use the businesstobusiness add-on of SAP NetWeaver Process Integration / SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration in order to connect to your business partners and networks, you may benefit from the latest enhancements that we have shipped with SP02 of the B2B add-on, see announcement in blog B2B Add-on SP2 released. Also refer to SAP note 1911897 and B2B Release Notes SP2 on help.sap.com.

This is the third and last part of a blog series about the improvements that we have introduced helping you to better monitor and track your B2B business transactions. Besides new capabilities that have been shipped within the local monitors of PI, we have introduced a new central monitor with SAP Solution Manager 1.0 SP10, the so called Message Flow Monitoring, which provides you an end-to-end insight into the correct closure of your A2A and B2B conversations.

The blog series is divided into three parts:

  1. I will introduce the new features along a typical B2B scenario. If you haven’t done already, you should start with part 1 of the blog series where I describe the underlying business scenario.
  2. In part 2 of the blog series, I will show you how to monitor the scenario by means of the local monitoring tools.
  3. In the current blog, I will show you what value the new Message Flow Monitoring of SAP Solution Manager will add.

Message Flow Monitor

The Message Flow Monitoring within SAP Solution Manager monitors the status of business-critical message-based transactions, centrally. You can check the status of B2B or A2A processes without needing to access a PI system. Furthermore, you can monitor and track the message flows from end-to-end, i.e., the message status along the runtime components the message has passed through. Here, a message flow represents a message exchange between a particular sender and receiver for a particular interface. In case of failed message flow instances, the Message Flow Monitoring helps you to identify the root cause and to resolve the issues.

As mentioned above, the Message Flow Monitor has been shipped with SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP10 or higher. It relies on the information provided by the Integration Visibility Core component of SAP NetWeaver Process Integration / SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration. Latter is supported as of release 7.31 SP07 or higher.

The Integration Visibility Core provides the technical foundation that discovers message flows in your system landscape and enables consumer applications such as the Message Flow Monitor to subscribe and consume monitoring events for a selected set of discovered message flows. Currently the monitoring of the following runtimes is supported: SAP NetWeaver PI (Advanced Adapter Engine Extended, ABAP Integration Server, Central Adapter Engine, Decentral Adapter Engines) and SAP backend system layers ABAP Proxy and ALE.

The following monitoring use cases are supported:

  • Get a status overview of all your business-critical messages
  • Get a list of the last 10 messages in error status
  • Search messages based on IDoc number, payload data, or B2B specific parameters such as interchange control number, sender identifier, receiver identifier. When using Trading Partner Management, more B2B related attributes are supported such as partner name, partner parent group, industry, region, etc. (see part 2 of the blog series)
  • Track a specific message from end-to-end
  • View status of technical and functional acknowledgement
  • View status of all related messages
  • View overall status of a business transaction
  • Root cause analysis and issue solving

I have triggered the scenario by sending an EDI 850 bulk order to PI. In my example, the interchange control number of the bulk order equals 191008023. The interchange control number is defined by the sender party to uniquely identify the transmission so that you are able to track the interchange with your partner.

Get a status overview of all your business-critical messages

You can access the Message Flow Monitor in the SAP Solution Manager Technical Monitoring work center. Once you have opened the Message Flow Monitor, it shows two panes in the Flow Overview tab, a Flow Overview pane and a Last 10 Flow instances pane.

The Flow Overview pane shows statistics about the status of the message flows grouped by so called flow groups that I am assigned to and that I am authorized to access. Besides other groups, I have configured a group for the Order to Invoice scenario comprising 3 message flows, the bulk message flow, the single order message flow, and the invoice message flow.

The Last 10 Flow instances lists the latest errors that occurred so that you can take immediate action to solve the issues.

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Figure 1: Message flow overview

Search messages based on IDoc number, payload data, or B2B specific parameters

From here I can navigate to the Flow Instances view by selecting the entries in the status overview table. Optionally, I can switch to the Flow Instances tab, and search based on an order number for instance if I am interested in a particular transaction only. In my case, I get both corresponding message instances displayed the order and the corresponding invoice.

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Figure 2: Search message flows based on order number

Track messages from end-to-end

Let’s have a closer look at the invoice message flow, and switch to the Flow Track tab. This shows you the status of the message within each runtime component that the message went through. From top to down, I see that the message was successfully sent from the backend system to PI, and then delivered to the partner. Since the partner system is not within my domain, I do not expect to get an event for the very last step. However, whether the business transaction has been completed, i.e., whether the partner has received the message can be seen from the acknowledgement exchanged between both parties.

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Figure 3: Message flow track

View status of technical and functional acknowledgement

So, let’s switch to the Acknowledgment Status tab. The information shown here is the same that is provided in the local message monitoring (see part 2 of the blog series). It shows the history of the acknowledgements with respective status, status code, and correlation ID. In our case, the MDN and the 997 are displayed.

03_04_invoice_ackA.png

Figure 4: Acknowledgement history and status

View status of all related messages

On the Related Instances tab, I see the status of the order which corresponds to the invoice. Here, the correlation is established using the same order number.

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Figure 5: Status of instances related to the message flow

View overall status of a business transaction

The General tab provides all relevant information at a glance: the invoice itself was successfully processed, all related messages were successfully delivered, and your partner has confirmed the receipt of your invoice and accepted the same.

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Figure 6: Status summary of your business transaction

Root cause analysis and issue solving

In case of errors, you can take immediate actions to solve the issue such as canceling or re-sending the erroneous message, sending an email notification, creating an incident ticket, maintaining and running guided procedures that guide you through the issue solving.

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Figure 7: Create an email notification

Outlook

We plan to provide the following further improvements and capabilities for the Message Flow Monitor in SAP Solution Manager. This is subject to changes by SAP.

  • A new B2B transaction view in the Flow Overview page combining message flow status and acknowledgement status
  • Graphical visualization of the message flow instances (chevron layout, see figure 8 below)
  • Navigation to local monitoring at the PI system
  • Integration into Central Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure of Solution Manager. This allows you to generate alerts in case of errors or KPI violations, e.g., failed message flows, negative acknowledgements received, missed acknowledgement for more than 2h, processing time of message flow and related message flows exceeds 2 days, etc.
  • Reporting dashboards and support for customer reports, e.g., top 10 message flows with high error ratio within the last week, number of message flows where end-to-end processing times have been violated grouped by partner, etc.
  • Support of end-to-end flows across multiple PI domains (so called compound end-to-end flows)
  • Support of events from SAP NetWeaver BPM processes

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Figure 8: Sample message flow track in chevron layout

Hope you enjoyed the blog series and the information revealed.

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13 Comments

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    1. Alexander Bundschuh Post author

      Hi Ronny,

      An overview of the configuration steps of MFM can be seen on help.sap.com: http://help.sap.com/saphelp_sm71_sp10/helpdata/en/83/a35e512e9f8e23e10000000a441470/content.htm?rameset=/en/69/4538518f6f6f62e10000000a44538d/frameset.htm

      However, when you run through the respective setup guided procedure in SolMan, all steps are described in detail.

      Prerequisite of using MFM is the managed system configuration. This is described in detail here: http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-3220

      A troubleshooting guide can be accessed from the technical operations wiki on SCN:

      http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/TechOps/MFMon_HOME

      Basic configuration of IV Core is described on help.sap.com: http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/3B/F3666E229C49798C5D78510D2A2FA1/content.htm?frameset=/en/ce/454cad8f0a443cac7f0b713635eee5/frameset.htm

      Hope this helps

      Alex

      (0) 
  1. Stefan Westhäußer

    Hello all,

    sounds great, but how can I access to the new very nice web screens. When I use the TA SOLMAN_WORKCENTER I get only the webdynpro screens.

    Thanks in advance!

    (0) 
  2. Saurabh Kumbhare

    Hello Alexander,

    Thanks for this excellent blog.

    I was thinking that maybe Intelligent Business Operations is better option than MFM.

    What do you suggest?

    Saurabh

    (0) 
    1. Alexander Bundschuh Post author

      Hi Saurabh,

      actually it doesn’t make sense to rate both tools against each others, the message flow monitor is used for tracking messages from end-to-end addressing rather technical administration whereas IBO is addressed to line of business users for SLA tracking, analyzing, forecasting your overall business processes.

      Alex

      (0) 
    2. Christian Loos

      Hi Saurabh,

      I believe you are refering to the product SAP Operational Process Intelligence, which is actually part of the Intelligence Business Operations solution bundle.

      Regards,

      Christian

      (0) 

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