Integration Validation – A Primer
Views are entirely mine, and do not represent my employer
With enterprise-grade installations growing in size and complexity, this aspect only becomes more relevant as businesses strive to meet marketplace demand and adapt to the disruptive and tectonic shifts in business practices. Businesses have come to expect their enterprise solutions ability to scale to increased transaction volumes no longer a Christmas wish list item.
SAP has long taken the view that end-to-end integration validation of mission critical business applications is necessary to run your business with minimal disruption, zero fidelity loss and zero unmanaged exceptions while providing the best experience and performance. For the past few years, SAP mavens have advocated the need for validation of cross-component business processes to ensure solutions run at peak performance with no leeway for data inconsistency, or process outliers.
As explained in the above graphic, end-to-end Integration Validation spans over multiple months and is integrated tightly into your project. Engaging early on in the lifecycle of your project allows SAP Architects and Experts assess technical supportability risks and deviations from SAP standards. Early involvement also sets the stage for common grounding on key business drivers, to lay the foundation to subsequently engage through your project. Integration Validation is initiated at a 10K level, and as SAP engages through the project, the delivery framework allows you to align between KPIs and practically achievable goals.
As you continue configuring and testing the vanilla and bespoke elements of your solution, Integration Validation serves as the platform to ensure performance, system integration, data consistency validation and exception management using proven tools and powerful enablers available within the arsenal of SAP Solution Manager.
Is the concept of Integration Validation new?
I find SAP’s approach to Integration Validation analogous to the Validation and Verification process prevalent in best-managed development projects. Some of these concepts find their origins back in software development standards set by the US Army.
The key and most critical distinction with SAP’s approach is that Integration Validation applies to highly configurable out-of-the-box business applications as well, and is not limited to the SDLC alone.
Here’s my POV- The tenets and goals are the same for the solution across key business processes and the underlying middleware:
– Zero unmanaged exceptions
– Zero data inconsistency
– Efficiency of queue processing
– Performance and Scalability
A variant of Verification and Validation in a paper written by the US Army’s LifeCycle Software engineering Center sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University on “Independent Integrated Verification and Validation” (I2V2) caught my attention. I2V2 focuses on the same goals during software development.
– Demonstrate the solution is deployable
– Ensure early detection of integration problems
– Validation of artifact quality and usefulness
– Risk reduction
SAP’s Integration Validation (IV) extends this concept beyond software development- i.e., to business application deployments. The next generation of Integration Validation expands to Mobile and Cloud. SAP has now extended the concept to Hybrid Cloud solutions. As business and play get further intertwined, I expect this trend to extend to what I call “Internet of Business Things”
Exciting developments abound in this space over the next several months. At SAPPHIRENOW 2014, SAP’s Matthias Melich also announced readiness of SAP Solution Manager for hybrid cloud solutions. Watch this space for more updates.