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Integration Advisor – Integration game changer!

Introduction

Integration Advisor is a new paradigm shift in the way Integrations are implemented. Aim of this blog is to compare B2B Integrations implementation approach thru different stages of the build cycle before and after Integration Advisor.

The above diagram illustrates the key design-time building blocks of an Integration.

Comparison of approach in building an interface before and after Integration Advisor:

Let’s take below business scenario with sequence of actions required in building a EDI interface and visualize one of the perspectives in how Integration Advisor can change the game.

Assume yourself part of ‘My Company’ and task is to build an EDI Interface to send outbound Purchase Orders to Suppliers/vendors referred as Business Partners.

The above diagram illustrates the scenario to be built with source as SAP IDoc (ORDERS.ORDERS05) and target as ASC X12 (850-4010).

Steps
General Integration Approach (some of the tasks could happen in parallel)
Approach with Integration Advisor
1 On-board the Business Partner On-board the Business Partner
2

Middleware Preparation Task:  To Import the libraries of source and target into the EDI Middleware system.

In this business case – Source: SAP IDOC ORDERS.ORDERS05 and Target: ASC X12 – 850 (4010)

Building Block ‘Type Systems‘ – This is a central repository of all the standard B2B, B2G or A2A Libraries.
3

Negotiate the Business requirements, define specifications for the B2B/EDI document in free text formats like excel, word, pdf,..

Deliver – ‘Message Implementation Guideline’. (Also referred as ‘Specifications Document’).

This is the most time consuming task in most of the EDI Business cases.

Building Block ‘MIG‘ – Directly work on the Message Implementation Guideline (MIG) Viewer with Intelligent Proposals and apply specifications on the respective EDI transaction.

This generates 2 deliverables –

MIG document – With specifications applied in multiple formats

Powerful Schema Artifacts – Powerful schema based on specifications (for validation and proxy generation)

4 Dev team to build the schema instance of the EDI library for a particular transaction type with all the specifications as per the Message Implementation Guideline / specifications document provided by the B2B/EDI manager in the previous step. No action required.
5 Customize the Source structure – SAP IDOC – ORDERS.ORDERS05(optional). Building Block ‘MIG‘ – Create an instance of the source schema SAP IDOC – ORDERS.ORDERS05 as MIG and flexible to customize with the expected Segments & different qualifiers.

 

6

Map the source and target structures using the schema’s defined in steps 4 & 5.

Implement multiple custom logics in mapping like

# if-else maps

# Code value Maps

# Complex functions

Building Block ‘MAG‘ – Map the Source and Target MIG’s generated in steps 3 & 5 with Intelligent Proposals.

No need to build custom Logic for cases specified in previous column, because most of the logic will be automatically derived, if the MIG already has all customizations and different qualifiers.

For more customizations – use XSLT functions and Code Value mapping features.

7

Build the runtime artifacts – by using the Mapping generated in previous step.

Exclusively handle syntax conversions, Pre- and post-processing scripts to handle Interchange Envelope details.

Building Block ‘Runtime Artifacts‘ – Simply export the runtime artifacts automatically generated from previous step.
8 To implement the same logic in different products, have to re-build the artifacts matching the product specific semantics. Building Block ‘Runtime Support‘ – Automatically generates  runtime artifacts for SAP CPI (pre-defined i-flows with artifacts) and SAP Process Orchestration (Message Mappings).

How is this simplified?

Steps
Benefits with Integration Advisor
Notes
1 Trading Partner Management – Planned in future release # Example tasks: Agree on Communication protocols (AS2,SFTP,HTTPS,..), Authentication, Encryption/Decryption keys, Signing & sign verification keys, Sender & receiver qualifiers & ID’s, delimiters, envelope parameters such as number ranges of interchange numbers, groups & transactions in each EDI Document, Encoding & character set, and especially what kind of MIGs and MAGs as well as quality of services are used for each business transaction scenario…
2 No action required as the repository of ‘Type Systems‘ is already having the libraries.
3

Utilize the Integration Advisor proposal feature to get suggestions & speed-up the MIG creation from the classification defined.

Generates ready to share ‘Message Implementation Guideline‘ document with the Business Partners.

Automatically builds the powerful schema artifacts.  This is not just a schema. It includes the custom code lists, qualified nodes, notes,.. which can be used for precise validation and reduces/eliminates the custom mapping effort while mapping the source and target structures

#Examples of negotiated business requirements with Business Partners:

Scope – A2A/B2B, Procure-to-pay, E-Invoicing,..

Business Context – Industries

Message Identification – Invoice, Orders, Delivery Notifications

EDI Type Selection – ASC X12, UN/EDIFACT,…

#Defining specification include – Choosing the list of Segments, nodes, elements from the standard exhaustive list of elements in a standard EDI library, change length/occurrence,  add custom notes, allowed qualifiers, filter from standard Code list /add custom Code Lists appropriate for My Company.

# More the precise MIG’s are specified at semantics level, less the effort in MAG.

4 No build effort required as the powerful schema artifacts are already  generated from MIG task.(step 3)
5 All the benefits from step 3 apply here as well
6

Benefit from the crowd sourced & AI approached SAP Knowledge Graph Auto-mapping suggestions. (Integration Advisor is an ever growing Knowledge graph with crowd sourced contributions)

Effort to map qualified nodes with functions is eliminated.

# Value Mapping Lookup & RFC Lookup’s are not yet supported
7 Powerful in built tools generates Intelligent & Powerful Schema‘s and documentation automatically.
8 Automatically generates product specific artifacts avoiding re-doing the same steps for different run time environments. Supported for SAP Cloud Platform Integration and SAP Process Integration. (as of Oct’2019)

Summary

The above diagram illustrates the effort required in realizing an interface and the effort saved by Integration Advisor.

SAP Cloud Platform Integration Advisor drives a new and effective approach in realizing Integrations. Simplifies and reduces the effort to a greater extent. No need to have add-on tools to document the specifications, no worry about mismatch of specifications document versus artifacts, no separate tools for mapping and built-in ever growing AI based knowledge graph. B2B implementation on SAP Cloud Platform Integration and Process Integration is empowered with Integration Advisor. The whole process is simplified and SAP Cloud Platform Integration Advisor is definitely an Integration game changer!

For more details, please visit the SAP Community.

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