SAP PI Interview Questions


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Dear readers, these SAP PI Interview Questions have been designed specially to get you acquainted with the nature of questions you may encounter during your interview for the subject of SAP PI. As per my experience good interviewers hardly plan to ask any particular question during your interview, normally questions start with some basic concept of the subject and later they continue based on further discussion and what you answer −

SAP Process Integration is part of SAP NetWeaver platform and in NetWeaver 7.0 ehp2 and older versions it is called SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure XI. SAP NetWeaver Process Integration is part of NetWeaver software component and is used for exchange of information in company’s internal system or with external parties.

SAP PI/XI enables you to set up cross system communication and integration and allows you to connect SAP and non-SAP systems based on different programming language like Java and SAP ABAP. It provides an open source environment that are necessary in complex system landscape for integration of systems and for communication.

SAP Process Integration is a middleware to allow seamless integration between SAP and non-SAP application in a company or with systems outside the company.

An application run on different systems that are part of different business units in a company or implemented in a distributed environment between different companies that has a business relationship with each other. In this environment, there is a need for seamless integration and transfer of information between different systems. SAP PI provides a middleware platform that doesn’t deal with how application components are implemented with a business logic and focuses more on data exchange between the different components.

In an organization, SAP ERP doesn’t contain a single system but consists of number of integrated systems like SAP CRM, FICO, EWM, etc. SAP PI provides a platform as single point of integration for all systems without touching complex legacy system for all data and information exchange.

These are the key capabilities that are provided by SAP Process Integration −

Connectivity

Using SAP PI, you can connect different applications and systems that has different technical way of communication. It provides you with variety of adapters that allows you to connect applications based on different protocols like HTTPS or Remote Function call RFC.

Routing

Routing define the rules for flow of messages between different systems at run time.

Mapping

As SAP PI is used to connect different applications or systems in a distributed environment that can be set up between different companies so there is a possibility that structure of data exchange between two components differs from each other.

When you run a scenario in SAP PI, the communication and processing capabilities depends on runtime engines that are installed with installation of SAP PI. You can install one or more run time engines on a host system. SAP PI provides following two installation options −

Type 1 Dual Usage Type

This installation is based on ABAP and Java and provide tools for designing and configuring integration content and also these run time engines −

  • Integration Engine
  • Business Process Engine
  • Advanced Adapter Engine

Type 2 Advance Adapter Engine Extended AEX

This installation is based on Java and provide tools for designing and configuring integration content and contain Advance adapter engine as run time engine.

SAP PI architecture consists of multiple components which are used at design time, configuration time and run time. In SAP PI, sender system is known as source and receiver is called as target system and architecture is known as Hub and Spoke structure. The Spoke is used to connect with external systems and hub is used to exchange messages.

SAP PI system is divided into following components

  • Integration Server
  • Integration Builder
  • System Landscape Directory SLD
  • Configuration and Monitoring

This is a tool used to provide central monitoring of PI components and messages.

This is one of the key component of SAP PI system and is used for processing of messages. It consists of three engines −

  • Business Process Engine
  • Integration Engine
  • Central Advanced Adapter Engine AAE

Synchronous message is defined as message contains both the request-response part.

Asynchronous message is defined as message contains either request or the response part only.

As Integration engine handles messages in XML and SOAP protocol so if business system doesn’t contain data in specific format, Adapters are used to convert the messages specific protocol and message format required by integration engine.

Java Stack Adapters

RFC adapter, SAP Business Connector adapter, file/FTP adapter, JDBC adapter, JMS adapter, SOAP adapter, Marketplace Adapter, Mail adapter, RNIF adapter, CIDX adapter

ABAP Stack Adapters

IDOC and HTTP adapter

In latest releases when SAP PI moved to single stack system, these two ABAP adapters are also moved to Java stack adapters and new engine is known as Advanced Adapter Engine AAE.

This is used to store design time repository objects like mapping, interfaces and process definitions in PI system.

This directory contains the information about landscape and software component versions. A SAP system can be configured to register under SLD.

You can use different SAP PI user interface tools to access different components of SAP PI system architecture. Most common UI tools are −

ES Builder

This tool provides Java user interface for working in Enterprise Service Repository ESR.

SAP NW Developer Studio

This is Java Eclipsed based tool to view and edit some object types in Enterprise Service Repository.

Integration Builder

This tool provides Java based user interface to work in Integration directory.

Interface Objects − Service Interface, Data type and message type

Mapping Objects − Mapping of messages as per sender and receiver data structure

SAP PI system

Operation Mapping is used for converting source structure to target structure if data structure is different. Complex operation mapping can be simplified using message mapping.

Message Mapping can be implemented in these ways −

  • Graphical Mapping
  • Java Mapping
  • XSLT Mapping
  • ABAP Mapping

In Web based interface, you can perform these tasks −

Search

Search for service interfaces, data types, and so on

Subscribe

Subscribe for Notifications.

Manage

Manage lifecycle status of service interfaces, data types, and so on.

Integration directory is used for the configuration of objects that are created in Enterprise Service Repository and configuration is executed by integration engine at run time. To configure ESR objects, you need to import object - Service and Communication channel.

In Integration directory, you can make four types of configuration −

  • Sender Agreement to determine how the message is transformed by Integration server.

  • Receiver Determination is used to determine information of receiver to whom message to be sent.

  • Interface Determination is used to determine inbound interface to which message to be sent and interface mapping for processing the message.

  • Receiver agreement define how message is transformed and to be processed by receiver.

Under SLD, Software Catalog −

  • Products − To view products in SAP software catalog.

  • Software components − To view software components in SAP Software catalog.

Configuration and Monitoring option on SAP PI tools home page allows you to monitor the functions of integration engine, CCMS integration and process monitoring infrastructure in SAP system.

Using Configuration and Monitoring, you can monitor these functions −

Component Monitoring

To monitor different SAP PI Java and ABAP components.

Message Monitoring

To monitor the status of message processing in a SAP PI component.

Performance Monitoring

Using runtime workbench you can monitor different performance measures in a SAP PI system. You can create various aggregation reports.

End to End Monitoring

To monitor end to end lifecycle in SAP PI system for a scenario.

Message Index Search

You can perform Index based message search in message monitoring and you can also search based on adapter specific selection, etc.

Alert Inbox

Alert inbox is as per role assigned to a business user and is used for viewing all the alerts in SAP PI system as per configuration.

Alert Configuration

Alert framework in C&M allows you to report all the errors during message processing in ABAP and Java. Using alert configuration, you can define policy if an alert has to be reported for error and to perform analysis or not.

Monitoring of runtime cache

This is used to view objects in runtime cache.

Send Test Message

To simulate a message flow and verify that the SAP NetWeaver Process Integration runtime is functioning correctly by sending a test message to the Integration Engine or the Advanced Adapter Engine.

Cache Connectivity Test

This is used to inspect the cache connectivity status of the infrastructure components of SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and test their connectivity with the runtime caches.

In a Synchronous communication, it is invoked by request and response operation and process output is returned immediately after the operation. In general terms, you can say that a synchronous scenario when a sender process sends a request to receiver and waits for a response. If an error occurs at receiver side, sender application is responsible for sending the message again.

In this approach, there is a possibility that sender might resend message after time out and duplicate message may exists. This approach in PI is known as BE Best Effort.

Application Error

There is an error at receiver end while processing a message and sender is not aware about this error and keeps waiting for the reply.

Network level Error

In this error, there is an error in communication network between sender and receiver. Sender is not aware about this and message stuck in between and sender waits till the operation timeout.

Error is response message

In this scenario, an error occurs and response message gets stuck in between and sender keeps on waiting.

There is no need to configure response message routing.

There is no need to correlate response to a request.

In this communication, response is received immediately.

This is suitable for operations that involve read operations.

Example − viewing a purchase order.

In case of a failure, sender needs to send a message again.

Receiving system should be configure to check duplicate messages.

In this scenario, sender application is blocked till a response is received or a time out error occurs.

You can’t configure multiple receivers.

In an Asynchronous communication, you add an intermediate system or a middleware between two systems. When a Sender application sends a request, it does not wait for the Receiving application to send the response. If there is a failure due to some reason, the middleware is responsible for re-sending the message. If required, the receiving system can send a response back to Sender as a separate asynchronous call.

This is recommended for modify operations like creating a purchase order or modify a purchase order.

In case of failure, SAP PI system ensures the guaranteed delivery and will resend the message.

No configure required for duplicate checks.

You can configure multiple receivers in this scenario.

Both sender system and receiver system need not be online at same time.

PI logs all the messages send via asynchronous communication.

No time out as intermediate system keeps the message and response request.

In this scenario, sender needs to correlated responses to request on its own.

Response message needs to be implemented and routed separately.

It doesn’t provide an immediate response.

For transferring information in form of objects from one Enterprise Service Repository to other, you can select between three mean of transports −

  • File System Based Transport
  • Change Management Service (CMS)
  • Change and Transport System (CTS)
Design Object Mandatory Function
Integration scenarios No It is used to bundle all necessary design objects
Message types Yes It is used to encapsulate data types
Data types Yes It is used to describe structure of data to be exchanged
Service Interfaces Yes It encapsulates message types and parameters
Mapping No Mapping of message
Integration processes No It defines ccBPM workflows

How to transfer software components in SLD?

When you install system landscape directory, initial catalog is installed.

From SAP Market Place, you can import more up to date catalog.

You can also import your own software components and products depending on the project and integration scenario.

In SAP PI file to file scenario, we transfer a file from source system to target system. Once the components are built in SAP PI, you can transfer a file in SAP PI system by creating objects in Enterprise Service builder.

If structure of my input file and output file is same, I can use one data type and one message type only. If structure is different, you have to create two data types and message types for inbound and outbound. In this example we are using same structure of input and output file.

You have to create two service interface here one for inbound and one for the outbound.

Right click on Namespace → New → Interface objects → Service Interface

RFC Adapter

This adapter is used to communicate with other SAP systems using RFC interface.

HTTP Adapter/HTTP AAE Adapter

It allows the exchange data using HTTP protocol, adapters are available both in the Integration engine and also in the Advanced Adapter Engine.

JDBC Adapter

It allows the access to databases using JDBC

File/FTP Adapter

This adapter is used to perform data exchange with external systems using a file interface or an FTP server.

Mail Adapter

It allows you to connect e-mail servers to the Integration Engine.

IDoc Adapter

It allows the exchange of IDocs, adapters are available both in the Integration engine and also in the Advanced Adapter Engine.

XI Adapter

This adapter allows you to communicate using proxy. This adapter does not run in the Advanced Adapter Engine and runs in the Integration Engine. it is used only for establishing the HTTP connection to the receiver.

WS Adapter

This adapter is used to provide the connectivity with WS providers and WS consumers according to the standard Web Services Reliable Messaging (WS-RM) protocol. SAP has developed the WS-RM protocol with its own inbox, which is implemented in the ABAP stack on the Integration Engine.

JMS Adapter

It enables communication with messaging systems using the JMS API.

SOAP Adapter

It allows the integration of remote clients or Web service providers using SOAP.

Business Process management deals with cross component BPM. This includes SAP workflow in SAP backend and processing of message on Integration server.

Cross component Business Process Management provides SAP NetWeaver Process Integration with functions for stateful message processing, that is, the status of an integration process is persisted on the Integration Server. This means that an integration process can, for example, wait infinitely until further messages are received or until a particular deadline is reached. Moreover, it is possible to process messages further within an integration process.

A Web service is an application function or a service and can be used through internet standard. It is an independent, modular, and self-describing application function or service.

It can be described, made available, located and transformed or called using the standard Internet protocols.

This approach in SAP PI is called exactly once EO or Exactly Once In Order EOIO.

Adapter Engine

  • Graphical Mapping
  • Java Mapping
  • XSLT Mapping
  • ABAP Mapping

BPM is executed in integration Engine.

Global Container allows you to cache the values that you want to read again when you next call any userdefined function in the same message mapping. Note that the sequence in which user-defined functions are called is predefined. It depends on the position of the target fields that the function was assigned to.

Runtime Workbench

SXMB_IFR

  • BAAN
  • Oracle
  • Seibel
  • People Soft

Web service allows programs running on different platforms, operating systems and different languages to communicate with each other.

Web Service is an application function or a service.

Web Service can be used through internet standard.

Web services can be published and traced.

Web service form a basis for Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA) which is known as SAP's enhanced version of service-oriented architecture SOA.

What is Next ?

Further you can go through your past assignments you have done with the subject and make sure you are able to speak confidently on them. If you are fresher then interviewer does not expect you will answer very complex questions, rather you have to make your basics concepts very strong.

Second it really doesn't matter much if you could not answer few questions but it matters that whatever you answered, you must have answered with confidence. So just feel confident during your interview. We at tutorialspoint wish you best luck to have a good interviewer and all the very best for your future endeavor. Cheers :-)


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