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Interface Documentation with SAP Solution Manager

Introduction

As you all now the area of interfaces is a complex topic. It’s very rare to find a complete source of  documentation about the interfaces which were in use for a whole landscape. And if you are happy and find such a documentation, it is often not up to date.

So what can you do to solve this problem? I would like to introduce a way in which you can bring the documentation of the interfaces to life and document them sustainably.

 

In a nutshell

Three things are important for complete and sustainable documentation of the interfaces.

 

Interface documentation

Interface documentation in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is a discipline as part of Solution Documentation.

Interfaces can be documented centrally in the interfaces library inside of a solution.

Mostly all interface technologies which today exists are supported. A big plus is, that also Non SAP technologies are supported. So you can document every interface.

If neccessary, custom-specific attributes for the interfaces can be defined in case the standard attributes are insufficient to describe the interface properly.

 

Think about the following things

  • Decide if you use the SAP Best Practice Content for building up the interface library or if you build your own interface library based on an existing inventory of interfaces
  • Define naming conventions for the interfaces
  • Defined the whole system landscape
  • Define must and optional attributes for the interfaces
  • Recommendations and process for the lifecycle of the interfaces

 

The interface library

The central interface library is the repository, where all interfaces are stored. Also specification documents for the interfaces can be added to each interface element.

Since Solution Manager 7.2 SP10 a long awaited feature “Adding test cases to the element interface” is now possible:

 

Structure and model business processes and re-use interface elements

In the process structure you can re-use the interfaces together with process steps to build up your business processes. Therefore you can select the revelant interfaces from the interface library.

 

The integrated option for graphical modelling of business processes with BPMN 2.0 diagramms is very helpful. Here you should define clear conventions how to use and model the interfaces.

 

Import interfaces from SAP Process Integration (PO) or external File

If you like to import interface data from an SAP PI / PO Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) this is possible but requires some technical configuration.

Also the import from external file is supported since SP07 of Solution Manager 7.2.
The file format is Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) which has to be converted to comma-separated format (.csv) with UTF-8 encoding before using the import application.

For more informations about import/export of interfaces I can recommed to read this SCN wiki post.

 

Conclusion

As you have learned now, the documentation of interfaces is very important because the topic is complex and often documentation is missing or outdated.

In this sense, I stronlgy recommend to include interfaces to your Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).

 

Further links

 

1 Comment
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  • Thanks Daniel, This blog gives a high level understanding. I noticed, non-SAP technology is supported.  Does it mean – IBM Sterling or WebMethods or any other can be connected to SOLMAN and import content for Interface documentation? Kindly clarify. Thank you.