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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

The latest SP of SAP Process Orchestration 7.31 / 7.4 has been shipped in March this year. So let me summarize what new features and enhancements it brought to you.

Substitution profiles

As a BPM task owner you need to assign one or more substitutes when on leave or otherwise unavailable. So far, more generic substitution rules were supported only, e.g., Anna substitutes John from 3rd of August until 11th of August for all tasks assigned to John. With the new substitution profiles you can categorize your tasks, and hence are able to define more specific task forwarding based on the kind of tasks. For instance, you may define a substitution rule for John that defines Anna as substitute for all HR related tasks during John's absence however excluding functional tasks. The substitution profiles are currently supported in the Unified Inbox and My Inbox. Furthermore, a public Java API is supported to manage substitution profiles. For more details, refer to the blog Maintaining Substitution Profiles for SAP BPM Tasks in Unified Inbox.

Further REST adapter capabilities

For provisioning and consumption of RESTful services, we have recently shipped a new so called REST adapter. With the latest SP, this adapter has been enhanced supporting the following new features:

  • Custom error handling: You can maintain rules for defining how the message processing should behave in certain error situations. For instance, you would like to ignore particular error codes, or you would like to reply with a custom message based on message content, etc.

  • Logging of raw JSON content before and after conversion: If your RESTful service supports JSON format, the original payload in JSON format is logged before converted into XML. This may be required for audit reasons.

  • Authentication with OAuth 2.0 SAML Bearer Token profile.
  • JSON to XML conversion enhancements to escape invalid XML name and XML name start characters: If the JSON request contains keys that would lead to invalid XML names, you can escape the invalid characters with the specified sequence, e.g., a blank, an ampersand, a number at the beginning, etc.

  • Setting of custom HTTP header elements in REST receiver adapter: if you like to consume a RESTful service that requires specific http header elements added to the http request, you can specify those http header elements In the REST receiver channel. By using variables you can access payload as well as adapter specific attributes when defining the same.

If you like to learn more about the REST adapter capabilities, check out the following blog series PI REST Adapter - Blog Overview. We will soon add further blogs describing the new features in more detail.

Monitoring enhancements

Some of the monitors which are provided within the Configuration and Monitoring Home page (alias pimon) were still pointing to the Runtime Workbench (RWB). The issue with the Runtime Workbench is that the technology is not accessible. Over the time we have replaced RWB monitors with monitors running in the NetWeaver Administrator (NWA) which supports the accessibility product standards. The following new NWA monitors replacing the corresponding RWB monitors have been shipped with the current SP:

  • Message status overview for the Integration Server
  • CPA cache history
  • Cache connectivity test

In the message monitor of the RWB it was possible to select a runtime component within your PI domain. Now, this is also supported in the NWA message monitor. This means that you are able to centrally monitor all messages within your PI domain including non-central adapter engines and SAP backend systems connected via ABAP proxies.

Furthermore, in the send test message UI as an alternative to the payload editor you can now upload the payload from a file which is more convenient compared to copy&paste especially when testing your scenarios with large files.

Copy and resend of successful messages from archive

In the previous SPs we have introduced a new feature that allows you to copy and re-send already successfully processed messages. The use case is to retrieve lost messages within your receiving backend system in case that a recovery is not otherwise possible. With the previous shipment, it was possible to copy messages from the data store only. However, in most cases those messages would have been archived already. With the current enhancement, copy from archive has been added. The copy from archives behaves like the copy from data store, i.e., both modes are supported copy and immediate sending and copy only.

Enhanced message flow search for rules in compound flows

As a prerequisite for using the Message Flow Monitor in SAP Solution Manager, the integration scenarios deployed on your landscape, i.e., the so called message flows, are automatically discovered. This discovery is part of the Integration Visibility core component running on your PI system. In case of integration scenarios running through two PI runtime components, e.g., a b2b scenario that connects an SAP Process Orchestration system with a non-central adapter engine running in the DMZ, two message flows are combined in a so called compound flow. In order to be able to discover such compound flows, you need to maintain rules that define which message flow is the predecessor and which is the successor message flow. So far, when defining those rules, the only information available to pick the right message flows was their flow names. Two message flows can actually have the same name and hence it was sometimes hard to find the right message flows. With the current enhancement you have five additional attributes which are displayed in the rules editor: flow id, sender component, sender interface, receiver component, and receiver interface. To be able to see those additional columns you need to switch to the Expert mode.

Large file handling for SFTP adapter

The SFTP adapter is part of the PI Secure Connectivity add-on 1.0. We have recently released a new patch for SP4 of the add-on adding content conversion and large file handling capabilities to the SFTP adapter. The content conversion capabilities are the same like in the file adapter, i.e., supporting conversion from flat file to XML and vice versa. For large file handling we do support two approaches: chunking and message file transfer bypassing the PI runtime. For former mode, the incoming large messages are divided into chunks of configurable size, and aggregated at PI outbound. For latter, the large file is moved to a target directory without entering the PI runtime. Only the metadata of the file transfer such as file location, file name, file size, etc., are put into the PI runtime. For more details, see SFTP Adapter - Handling Large File.

For more details of all new 7.31 SP15 / 7.4 SP10 features, refer to the release notes.

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