Introduction

Integration Developers build their integration flows using the SAP Cloud Platform Integration tools on  their development systems and once the development is complete, they move them to the test and production systems. During this development phase, they realize that the same integration flow may not work as is, across different systems and would require changes in the configurations of adapters or flow steps. To overcome this situation, they use the externalization feature offered by SAP Cloud Platform Integration tools.

Externalization feature enables an integration developer to define parameters for certain configurations of adapters or flow steps of an integration flow, whose values can be provided at a later point in time, without editing the integration flow.

Till now externalization was available only from Eclipse tooling, but now this has been offered also via the Web Application (with the 24th June 2017 release (2.29*)). In this blog, I will be sharing information on how this feature can be used and what is covered with the first increment of externalization feature in the Web.

 

Externalization Editor

Open an existing integration flow and select either adapters or flow steps from the Web editor to load the respective configuration in the bottom pane. If externalization is supported for that component, you will find a new “Externalize” button on the right corner.

 

Image 1: SOAP adapter’s configuration with “Externalize” button

 

On clicking the “Externalize” button, the Externalization Editor is launched which has all the configurations of the selected component that can be externalized. This view is divided into 3 columns – field name, parameter and value.

 

Image 2: Externalization Editor for SOAP adapter

 

Creating New Parameter

To externalize a field, you can create a new parameter in the parameter column using the format {{<parameter_name>}}.

 

Image 3: Creating a new parameter for Address field

 

Once you tab out of the parameter column, a token is created in the value column corresponding to the new parameter.

 

Image 4: New parameter and its token with empty value

 

Click on token in the value column, which opens a “Define Value” dialog, to provide a value for this newly created parameter.

 

Image 5: Providing a value to the newly created parameter

 

Image 6: Parameter and its associated value

 

Reusing Existing Parameter

It is also possible to reuse existing parameters across adapters or flow steps within the same integration flow. As soon as you start typing two curly braces (“{{“) in the parameter column, the auto-suggest kicks in and provides you with a list of all existing parameters and its associated values, which can be selected and reused.

 

Image 7: Reusing an existing parameter using auto-suggest

 

You can update the value of an existing parameter by clicking on the token in the value column, but be careful as this will also change in all the other places the same parameter is used within the integration flow.

 

Image 8: Parameters and its associated values

 

Using Multiple Parameters

Many times, integration developers combine multiple parameters to form a single value within a field. This is possible by creating or reusing more than one parameter in the parameter column and use the combination of tokens in the value column.

You can also add text before and after the token, which will not be externalized, but will be concatenated along with the values of the parameter during runtime.

 

Image 9: Multiple parameters and its associated tokens

 

Image 10: Additional text before and after the tokens

 

Removing Externalization

You can also remove externalization of a field by deleting the parameter from the parameter column. On tab, the value of the parameter is retained in the value column, but since there is no parameter available, the field will not be externalized.

Removing externalization of a field doesn’t delete the parameter as it is possible that the same parameter is used somewhere else within the integration flow.

 

Visualization of Externalized Fields in the Configuration

The fields that are externalized will be disabled in the configuration view of the component and you can see the token with its value there. To change the value of the parameter or to remove externalization of the field, you must click on “Externalize” button and perform these changes from the Externalization Editor.

 

Image 11: Externalized fields in the configuration view

 

Configuring Externalized Parameters

After you have externalized all the required fields of the components and saved the integration flow, it is now ready to be moved across systems. You can provide values to these externalized fields, without editing the integration flow, using the “Configure” option and then deploy the integration flow on the required system.

Image 12: Configuring the externalized parameters

 

Conclusion

In the first increment of providing externalization in the Web, only a few adapters and flow steps are supported and that too only for string fields. In the next increment, we plan to support integer fields, timer flow step and additional types.

I hope this blog is useful and helps you to consume externalization feature offered in the Web.

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