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Customer requirements and Anti-patterns - your thoughts...

Hi Guys,

this is more of a technical-architecture-philosophical type of post but is based on real-world scenarios.

I would appreciate very much your insights as a supportive community.

In some organizations I visit (mostly technology oriented ones) the Integration concepts of ESB and SAP PI are found

somewhat strange to the management and development teams.

As SAP PI and SOA concepts are "cast in concrete" facts, and are well known to us - integration consultants,

It always seems like the available Integration patterns + SAP PI Framework don't "deliver the goods" the customer wants.

It don't matter , how many times the patterns and SAP PI framework solutions are pitched,

its always drawn back to the old "Taylor made" solutions that some development manager is familiar with since the 80's.

In such cases , the SAP PI offcours -lacks and fails to deliver.

A subject in monitoring solution example :

An inbound FTP  file to IDoc Scenario. basic!.

Our monitoring solution is :

   on the Technical monitoring level

   Partner -> FTP. - monitoring responsibility of the partner placing the FTP callcommunciation monitoring on the FTP protocol level .

   FTP -> IDoc. - SAP PI technicalmonitoring responsibility. - Validation,mapping,routing,Quality of service,call adapter,ALEAUDIT (if needed)

now,

some IT organizations demands for a message back to be send by SAP PI to the partner during failure in each one of the processing steps mentioned above instead of referring them as internal technical issues aimed for the SAP PI 1st level support or development team.

in some steps ,like validation, SAP PI can support a Send-back validation error message out-of-the-box by the AE.

but again, this according to documentation relevant for sync. scenarios based on SOAP or 2 async scenarios for Industry standards like CIDEX and RNIF.

another supporting process is inbound EDIs like EDIFACT and X12 the in some tools can provide a 997.

Open quesitons are :

1.as we are dealing with an inbound flat file how can a message back to the partner can be generated during validation ?

2.is it a good practice at all in an inbound file scenario?

3.if validations failed, what data can be provided in the send-back message as it failed validation...

these quesions are also relevant for error message back during mapping,routing,queue stuck etc.

If you got to this point, I assume you experience similar issues in your projects. what is your stand\opinion\insights?

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2 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Feb 10, 2014 at 09:02 AM

    Hello Nimrod

    I experience similar problems in my projects, but I don't have a good answer for you.

    Customers (and my managers) often expect PI to do more, to be more like an Enterprise Service Bus (I use 7.1 and it looks like 7.3 offers more).

    I have tried using BAPI's instead of Idocs to import finance data. The validation is great, because I can call a BAPI to check the data and get detailed validation messages out. But i found BAPI's don't fit so well with the PI approach as Idocs.

    And you can't return a list of validation errors on an FTP interface. I sent the validation output using email.

    Using a web application to import a file could allow the validation errors to be displayed to the user before submitting the file.

    Kind regards

    Steve

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  • Feb 10, 2014 at 09:34 AM

    Hello,

    Which version of PI u are using?

      >>some IT organizations demands for a message back to be send by SAP PI to the partner during failure in each one of the processing steps

     

    U can create a generic custom job which will read alerts generated in PI and send the same to ur sender (non sap) system, but below solution is applicable for PI7.31 (not sure if there is any such API available for pi7.1 or not but if it’s there then the same solution can be implemented in
    lower versions also

    Customize Alerts Using Job in PI 7.31/PO

    1.as we are dealing with an inbound flat file how can
    a message back
    to the partner can be generated during validation ?

    >>The standard way in which PI behaves (for sender file adapter) in case of any schema validation error is to transfer the file to some dedicated error folder (possible in PI7.31/PI7.3) and generate alerts in PI, but that can be certainly be customized either using a custom java
    code (which can send schema errors to ur sender system – I think there is a
    blog on the same) or u can write a job in PI (as stated above)

    2.is it a good practice at all in an inbound file scenario?

    >> If I were u then I would avoid doing such kind of reporting to external system in case of each and every async scenarios and IMO it's the responsibility of a PI support person to take care of any errors generated in PI and inform th sender about the same - using a regular health check of PI system + proper SLAs + configuring alert mechanism.

    But having said so, i understand client some time urges to send errors generated in PI to their external event/error monitoring system so that they can also track the end state of a given message.

    Thanks

    Amit Srivastava

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    • Amit Srivastava wrote:

      Hello,

      Which version of PI u are using?

        >>But having said so, i understand client some time urges to send errors generated in PI to their external event/error monitoring system so that they can also track the end state of a given message.

      Thanks

      Amit Srivastava

      For this we can connect the AlertFramwork and solution manager to any control system.

      I was refering to a message back (with data,and detailed information on the error creating a flat file in the end).

      offocurse, my believes is this is all Anti-patterns.

      these requirements are coming from a place of ego rather then true integration needs.