SAP Process Orchestration (PO) is a combo product provided by SAP and it is part of Netweaver family. The primary purpose is to serve the Integration needs. There are different sub products in SAP PO that helps to address the specific needs of Integration.
SAP Process Orchestration is a combination of three different products:
- SAP Process Integration (SAP PI)
- SAP Business Rules Management (BRM)
- SAP Business Process Management (BPM)
History of SAP Process Orchestration
SAP has released its first Integration product – SAP XI 1.0 back in 2002 to help integrate the SAP system with the external systems. This was the dual-stack installation option and backed by some awesome architecture (SOA).
After SAP PI 7.1 release, I feel that PI has got some maturity in the tool and marched towards the right direction in ESA (Enterprise Service Architecture). Obviously, PI tool are webservice lover and almost all the internal communication happens on XML over SOAP.
With Dual stack, the major draw back is having architecture supporting two different servers – ABAP & JAVA. The internal communication between JAVA <=> ABAP shown a drastic impact to the performance and sustainability. This was the main reason SAP has decided to move on with JAVA only architecture for better flexibility, innovation and robust architecture.
Now, SAP Process Orchestration (SAP PO) is purely based on JAVA and NO ABAP stack in the architecture. So, it is called as Single stack means Java only installation. This makes the life of server easier to communicate and maintain. No more back and forth communication between two different technologies. Yah! no more ping pong between JAVA and ABAP required. No more RFC communication failure issue.
SAP PI 7.3 first supported the single stack installation (Java only) which is called as Advanced Adapter Engine (AEX). This is a robust Java only Enterprise Service bus (ESB).
AEX does not have the BPM capabilities that is the reason separate component was required to support this feature which is SAP BPM and BRM.
SAP XI/PI/PO Releases:
- Exchange Infrastructure – XI 1.0 – 2002
- Exchange Infrastructure – XI 2.0 – Dec 2003
- Exchange Infrastructure – XI 3.0 – Dec 2005
- Process Integration – SAP PI 7.0 – Release Date: June 2006
- Process Integration – SAP PI 7.10 – July 2008
- Process Integration – SAP PI 7.11 – July 2009
- Process Integration – SAP PI 7.30 – May 2011 – Single Stack Supported
- Process Orchestration – SAP PO 7.31 – May 2012 – Single Stack Supported
- Process Orchestration – SAP PO 7.4 – May 2013 – Single Stack Supported
- Process Orchestration – SAP PO 7.5 – Oct 2015 – Single Stack Supported
These are the key words that I always remember about the releases:
- PI 7.1X – Moving towards Java
- PO 7.3X – Build strong base on Java
- PO 7.4 – Move towards HANA
- PO 7.4 – Move towards Cloud and Integrate Solutions.
- PO 7.5 – On-Premise and Cloud Integration. Sorry no more Dual-stack installation
SAP Business Process Management (BPM) & Business Rules Management (BRM)
In Dual stack installation, workflows are supported using the ccBPM which is based on ABAP stack but SAP PO single stack installation and no ABAP support, SAP has released SAP BPM installation which supports the workflow.
ccBPM works on BPEL
SAP BPM works on BPMN
BPEL and BPMN are workflow language and global standards to define and process an workflow activities. You can read more on BPMN from here. BPMN is more matured and robust compared to BPEL which makes PO more stable and feature full tool.
Business Rules Management (BRM) are used to configure the rules for the BPM to execute. This separation of workflow with the rules helps to change the rules whenever we want without changing the workflow.
Good Example to remember:
Lets say if the employee travel claim is greater than $500 then it needs manager approval. So when employee submit the claim and if this rule is met then approval email is sent to his manager.
Now the rule of $500 is defined in BRM and workflow is written in BPM. Lets say tomorrow that $500 is increased to $700 then by just changing the rule in the BRM is enough to satisfy the requirement.
That’s how BPM and BRM go hand in hand by separating the workflow with the business rules. After all this has to keep up with the everyday changing business needs / rules.
Remember, Next time you talk about SAP PO
- SAP PO = SAP PI (AEX) + BPM + BRM
- SAP PI is called as AEX without BPM / BRM
- AEX can process everything except BPM. End to end Interface using Mapping too.
- SAP PO is Java only installation.
- SAP PO has SAP BPM which is BPMN language.
- SAP BPM replace ccBPM (ABAP based and uses BPEL)
- SAP BPM + SAP BRM is built using Composite Environment (CE).
- SAP PO Interface can be developed using Eclipse. (iFlows)
- B2B Addon are additional components to be installed with SAP PO.
I think this basics is enough to understand SAP PO and the difference between the previous SAP Integration tool versions. Enjoy!