I’m on my way home from SAP Teched Las Vegas, and is stuck in Chicago because of rain and thunder closed the Airport. So I got an extra day finishing up my thoughts on the event.
I have really enjoyed the days and got to talk with a lot of integration developers and SAP Product managers and experts. It was clear that integration is a focus area from SAP and they are working in different ways to make integration as easy for customers as possible.
One thing that was clear was that you could try out most of the new things on your own systems or trial systems. That is a big difference from the good old teched days where it could take years to get a hold of a version that will allow you to run the application. On the roadmap, there were also things that made it a lot faster than in the old days. There was not the big Leonardo booth that promised you to do all in half the time and disruption everything. It was much clearer to what could be used with the current tools.
Some of the most memorable moments was talking with developers that had seen my blogs here, or on my SAP PI/PO courses that I have created. It was great for my ego to hear that I had helped people getting along.
Or the live interview that I made with Sindhu Gangadharan on the what is happening with SAP Integration. It was a much bigger setup in my normal videos that I create but it was so much fun to engage with them. It was an interesting 7-minute interview, you can watch it below.
There was a large interest in the integration sessions and some of the session was repeated multiply times.
Now all the integration products have been put into a product name called SAP Cloud Integration Suite which is a collection of 8-10 different services. You will find most but not all in the Enterprise license for Cloud Integration, but it is a good place to start because you will get many of the products and be able to use them. You will then need to figure which of the other services you need.
From a product strategy, there were some interesting things. The cloud Integration has a really big focus with both the API management, API hub, and the Open connectors.
The Open Connectors is a way to connect with many different systems, without having to care about the authentication method, formats, and different protocols. You just have a generic interface you can use for all integration. It allows you to do some integration in the application and then have different flows in internally in it. In some aspects, it is an integration broker.
API management and the API hub seems to be areas where you need to focus to figure out how to leverage the newest integration technologies from SAP. I do like that there is just one place where you need to go to figure how to integrate with SAP.
Cloud Platform Integration was also some improvements making it a better solution. That is probably something different
One topic that was interesting to see what the event notifications. So some of the SAP applications will enable users to subscribe to events. This was shown in the keynote as a part of SAP Function as a service offering. In an event, you will get minimal information like Order Number and some information. You would then have to use the API to look up the new information and use it in your integration. It is a different way to make integration but does require less development on the source platform, which is good for a cloud product where you don’t have the same options.
SAP PI/PO usage is still growing in users and has now reached 12.000 customers and for most it is running mission-critical interfaces. SAP has a focus on creating a cloud product, and that means that there will not be as much focus on the SAP PI part. SAP will still be supporting the platform, but compared to previous years there is not a lot of new development going on.
On the PI /PO Roadmap, there are just two advancements based on Customer Engagement Initiatives. Some improving of the B2B Add-on and a testing tool like the Figaf IRT tool. They are scheduled for 2019. There will also be CPI updates to run your content onprem and some ESR in eclipse. Possibly based on customer feedback there will be future improvements.
There will be one other release of PI for the on-prem integration using the ICOs. It will come with the next version of Netweaver (8 or 7.6). The goal was to release in 2021-22 timeframe depending on partners releases. It will just be the PI for messages and single stack only.As of now, it could be without BPM or BRM, but it may change based on customer feedback and possibly even have to develop it for a legal reason”
I think about half of the processes that I have made was for a purely technical perspective and they could be easier made using the CPI capabilities. The others have been for a user interaction. The place where the BPM really is useful is the places where you have some customer actions together with a process for gathering or updating data in multiple systems.
I would assume that the B2B would still be available for the next release of PI. It will also be the way to run Cloud Platform Integration flows, which will enable the customer to use CPI on the PI system for the processes that previously would require a BPM to handle the flows. The User Interactions would have to reside in the Cloud Workflow.
This release will be useful for customers with a large investment in their PI landscape or requirement for on-prem installation. And it will also be able to use the Cloud Platform Integration flows for the more complicated stuff. I guess we will know more about it once the Road map for it becomes clear.
This will make some changes in the way customers are going to run their systems. I think for the “simple” message processing that PI provides it will still be preferred, as it has a lot of capabilities on Error handling and Excatly Once. For the more complicated processes that require more than just a lookup it would be better to use CPI content on the PI system.
The officially published roadmap for SAP Process Orchestration will all the detailed planned enhancements can be found on the public web site at https://www.sap.com/products/roadmaps.html#pdf-asset=8ce1a128-c37c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa&page=11.
Update: The title was not missing integration but mission. Some auto correction probably did it.
Update 2018-10-12: Based on some clarifications from Udo Paltzer. I did use the term PI is dead before, which may be a overestimation on the content. It is anyway important switch of the direction and customers need to understand where development is going.