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Understanding the importance of Exchange Infrastructure
XI is an
Integration technology and Platform
understand XI let us see the following topics
definition is that middleware is the "glue" between software
components or between software and the network or it is the slash in
This is about
those forms of middleware that are used to connect applications to other
applications. We generally refer to the use of this type of middleware as
Enterprise Application Integration or EAI. EAI middleware mediates between
applications in a number of ways, but most commonly we think in terms of the
transformation and routing of data and the orchestration of business process
There is the
implication here that these applications reside in a heterogeneous
world--different operating platforms, disparate data models and data stores, and
heterogeneous network and communications protocols.
of XI over Other Commercial EAI tools:
maintenance costs: As the client replaced multiple integration technologies with
SAP XI, it gained immediate cost savings by reducing associated maintenance
costs. Additionally, the client gained the capability to utilize its manpower
monitoring functionality: As SAP XI provides auto handling of persistence of
messages, it has enabled the client to monitor and restart failed messages. This
has also eliminated the possibility of redundant/duplicate data into the system
along with related efforts to identify the same. As all messaging is routed
through one system, the client needs to monitor only SAP XI instead of having to
monitor four systems: (Web Application system, XML parser application, VB based
application) in the existing set up
flexibility: The ability to modify applications and add new functionalities
without impacting other systems and businesses gave the client tremendous
flexibility in reacting to dynamic changes in the market.
the technology integration layer that would be used for connectivity between all
Eliminate the need
for “point-to-point” connectivity between systems
Achieve a central
monitoring of message flow, instead of having to monitor several systems
Most conventional or
traditional enterprise applications were custom built to address a specific
The present advanced
enterprise application’s addresses multiple business tasks, with each
landscape having a higher degree of heterogeneous complexity.
Difference in picture : Middleware/EAI
Integration solutions enable
many applications/companies to create a ‘single view’ of all their
enterprise data and an infrastructure ensuring that applications can exchange
and update business central data, no matter where it resides.
first a single database integration in a single centralized data model: In one
system with several applications one database, (e.g. an R/3 system with MM, SD,
CO, FI, HR, …) with the applications having access to the data structures
across the components. Integration in this case is and was fairly easy.
and 3rd party vendors provided other solutions as e.g. CRM. SRM,..
These solutions and their respective systems needed to be integrated to the ERP
environment (e.g. an R/3 backend system). This brought added complexity and the
beginning of many individual point-to-point connections.
SAP Exchange Infrastructure and collaborative business, SAP approaches the
integration challenge from a different angle. The basic idea is to provided a
runtime infrastructure which allows heterogeneous systems to be tied together
with fewer connections and at the same time, in order to connect those
applications and let message flow from one application to the other, have a
centralized storage of the integration knowledge.
drivers of Integration Projects:
of Integration Solutions:
Mainly deals with transactional data
Business Process Management/Orchestration
Mainly focuses on modeling and orchestrating the workflow between
individual functions and applications.
Business Activity Monitoring
Goal is to provide management with
immediate awareness of changing business events across the enterprise.
Composite Application Development
Combines the data and functionality of
an enterprise’s existing ones with new business process logic, custom code and
user -facing front ends.
view of XI
XI is not
a single component, but rather a collection of components that work together
flexibly to implement integration scenarios.
Integration Builder: A client-server framework
for accessing and editing two stores of Shared Collaboration knowledge. It has
two parts, which are fat clients to SLD where we can import the objects and use
them locally. The basic reason for separating Integration Repository from
Integration Directory is because by separating design time activities from
configuration time activities, SAP can ship content from the Integration
Repository, which each customer can implement for their specific landscape in
the Integration Directory.
Integration Repository: It is used for the
design and development of interface, Process and Mapping objects that are used
to implement Integration Scenarios. Usually they contain static objects, which
can be used for different landscapes by defining the routing rules in
Integration Directory: They contain dynamic
objects where in we configure scenarios using the objects from Integration
Repository and route the messages between systems.
Integration Server: This component provides run
time for XI. This is central processing engine of XI.
Business Process Engine: Business Process Engine
enables SAP Netweaver with BPM capability by processing integration processes at
runtime. BPE uses functions of the workflow engine and generates workflow from
integration process at runtime.
Engine: Integration engine enables processing of XML messages that are
exchanged between applications in heterogeneous system landscapes. Using
adapters such as IDoc, http, it can process IDocs(Intermediate documents), http
requests and Remote Function Calls. It is runtime environment of SAP Exchange
Infrastructure, which has the task of receiving, processing and forwarding XML
messages. Processing is done with the evaluation of Collaboration agreements, by
determination of receivers and execution of mapping programs.
Adapter Engine: Adapter engine is used to
connect Integration Engine to SAP systems and external systems. Various types of
adapters are provided to convert XML and HTTP based messages to the specific
message protocol and format required by the partner systems and vice-versa. It
is based on adapter framework, in turn based on SAP J2EE Engine (as part of the
SAP Web Application Server) and J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA).
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