Hi all,

This is just a warning to all fans of the standard SAP enterprise services. I am beginning to suspect that there are not that many of us 🙁 , but I will keep hope alive. One of these days, I hope to see a statistic for how many standard SAP enterprise services that are used in a large pool of productive PI/PO landscapes. How high do you think the percentage will be in average? From my own experience, I am beginning to suspect the number is concerning low.

How many do you use the productive environment you work with? Actual raw untouched SAP standard enterprise services? When I take a look myself, I see 31 out of 259 unique Integrated Configuration interactions. Close to 12%. Is that a high or low percentage!? Either way, I hope SAP will not make it harder to push the number upwards by removing features and options supporting SAP standard.

However, that hope got yet another setback (see my blog about the lack of modelling option in the PO single stack) when I saw that the enhancement feature is not part of the NWDS ESR workbench.

Enhancement defined in Spring ESR:

enhancement def.jpg

Added to Enterprise Service:

Bank ES.jpg

Mapping in Spring ESR:

graphicalMapping.jpg

Mapping in NWDS ESR (note: no context menu for enhancements exist):

messageMaapingINWDS.jpg

This means that not only do we have no way of creating enhancements to existing data types directly in the NWDS ESR. Additionally, if we want to work in NWDS ESR then we also have to live with the following:

1) we cannot see existing enhancement definitions in NWDS ESR

2) existing enhancement mappings disappear when opening the message mapping in NWDS ESR

3) existing enhancements used in message mappings are not included in the output of the new feature “Export to spreadsheet”. (A feature I, otherwise, am a big fan of)

On a related topic: I have also found that enhancements disappear when you import operation mappings with enhanced data types into BPM.

BPM_MM_afterIMport.jpg

The good news is, that BPM can support imported services with enhancements. I have tried updating the service definition after importing the operation mapping in BPM, which does update the data type definition, so you can see the enhancement in the BPM Output Mapping configuration, but the mapping steps fails to be deployed correctly after doing this. So I suspect that operation mappings which include enhancements to the data types within BPM is also a no-no.

My overall concern is, that SAP is making it impossible to (convince business/clients to) use SAP standard enterprise services if we (developers) are not given the possibility of enhancing these. I have found that most customers still have a few custom developed stuff, that they want included in their integrations.

I also mention this because I am now begining to meet the first “generation” of PI developers who have exclusively developed PI in NWDS only. How can SAP expect these new developers to embrace SAP standard enterprise services with the limitation described above?

Of course I should consider the very likely possibility, that I got it all wrong, and that it is or will become SAP’s recommendation that we start building all/any service from scratch? Always. Hmmm, I can still feel that hope-thingy.

I have currently working on Netweaver PO 7.4 SP9 single stack.

Have a good one, Emil

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6 Comments

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  1. Eng Swee Yeoh

    Hi Emil

    Interesting blog you have here 🙂

    I must agree that the uptake of SAP standard enterprise services have been rather low, considering that is has been around since at least 2008 when I started playing around with them.

    Maybe it is a chicken and egg thing – unless customers start using more of them, SAP won’t invest too much into it, but at the same time if the suite of Enterprise services cannot fully replace existing functionality (IDoc, RFCs), then customers won’t be keen on using them. I’m not really sure.

    These days it’s all about Hana, cloud and mobile, but on the integration end, a lot of customers are still hanging on to their IDocs, RFCs (don’t get me started on that one), BDCs and file-to-file transfers.

    Regarding the ESR features, I’ve also blogged about the severe limitation on NWDS compared to Swing below.

    From Swing to Eclipse: My two months experience on NWDS 7.31

    If you look at the comment sections, most of the experienced developers are also falling back on Swing for ESR related tasks. On this part, I think it’s just a case of the NWDS ESR perspective being not mature yet, instead of SAP dropping those features. However this is just my guess and the only thing we can do is just wait and hope.

    Rgds

    Eng Swee

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    1. Emil Jessen Post author

      Hi Eng Swee,

      Thanks for your comments. I liked your blog about nwds vs string tools. I must also admit, that I most times start up the good ol’ spring tools.

      I share your view that SAP leaves us with the impression that it is all about cloud and Hana these days. I have also tested the HCI, because I guess that where we will be doing all our work soon. Or maybe not. Being from denmark, I sometimes think of an old tale by H.C. Andersen about an emperor who wore little clothes – some clever hustlers had him convinced that the most beatiful [and of course non-existing] clothes they sold him, could not be seen by stupid people. So the emperor ended up walked around naked in the street. 🙂

      But seriously, I can see the great potential of cloud and all, but that wont change that we will still need service definitions – something that we still cannot develop in the HCI, where you import from the PI ESR. And my main question is, whether SAP best practice will be to utilize packaged SAP standard out-of-the-box consumabled/enhanceable enterprise services OR whether us PI developers are expected to build those from scratch (perhaps using global data types) every time. Like you mentioned, the enterprise services were introduced back in 2008, but I don’t see many new releases. Another worrying indicator has been my experience with bugs in the SAP standard services. I have been arguing to clients that using SAP standard enterprise services had the advantage, that bugs were immediately fixed by SAP. However, after finding a bug in an enterprise service (EmployeeERPByElementsResponse_Out – which return invalid xml when initiating query result in null records), I raised an OSS, which was pushed a bit around and finally automatically closed after three months stand-by without any resolution?!? Kind of killing my argument from above.

      Anyways like you say, we will always have idocs and rfc. You will actually find quite a lot of idocs in the “new” iflows delivered with HCI. Perhaps it is indeed the times of comebacks.

      Regards, Emil

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      1. Eng Swee Yeoh

        Hi Emil

        Nice comparison with Hans Christian Andersen’s story 🙂 I did hear that story growing up too so I’m familiar with that.

        About DTE, you must be glad to hear from Alex’s reply on my blog that it is part of the roadplan.

        As for enterprise services, we will just have to wait and see what happens. Even the ES Workplace is scheduled to be closed down… maybe like you said, it will be IDocs making a comeback (although it never really went away)!

        Rgds

        Eng Swee

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  2. Alexander Bundschuh

    Hi Emil,

    we already have replied to Eng Swee’s blog entry wrt ESR in Eclipse roadmap, we actually work on closing the gaps starting with full search capabilities, display queue in mapping, and transport via file, the missing DTE support is on the roadmap as well

    Alex

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    1. Jan Schreckenbach

      We never used SAP Enterprise Services and we probably will not do so in future.

      Data type enhancements are nevertheless one important building block in our strategy for using PO as a plattform for implementing applications (as CE was in the past) and services (replacing the dual stack PI in future). Being able to work on DTEs in NWDS is one of our major requirement (beside the import of XSD datatypes in BPM). So I am glad to hear you already have it on your roadmap.

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  3. Che Eky

    Yes use the ESR.

    I have not seen any support for generation of iFLows from standard ESR Models. ESR Models can only be used to generate Configuration Scenarios.

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