How a Mediation Engine Prepares and Connects Data Among Multiple Applications on the SAP NetWeaver Platform

  • by Abdelmorhit El Rhazi, SAP Customer Development, SAP Labs Canada
  • Martin Donovan, SAP Customer Development, SAP Labs Canada
  • Narendar Akula, SAP Customer Development, SAP Labs Canada
  • September 30, 2011
With wireless communication and mobility applications growing, telecommunication billing systems have to process a large volume of data in a near-real-time manner. The billing system is among the critical components in a telecommunication company’s IT landscape, so a high-performance mediation engine, providing high availability, data integrity, and system throughput, is critical. Learn about the architecture of the mediation engine on top of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 and the architectural choices made in satisfying the requirements of the mediation engine.
Key Concept
The mediation engine in SAP NetWeaver 7.0 reads and validates call data records for telecom and utility companies. It also allows you to log errors and then reprocesses the records once errors have been corrected. Most importantly, it is a mediator among SAP ERP Central Component, SAP Convergent Charging (a rating and pricing engine), and reporting systems such as SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse.

The primary source of revenue of companies in the telecommunications industry is their customers. The company charges a monthly fee based on the total number of seconds the services (e.g., phone call, email, Internet browsing) are used or active. For example, “email” and “phone call” might be two services for which a user is billed. Obviously, a typical telecom company has millions of users and each customer uses different services several times a day. A single use of service creates two records in the provisioning system: the start and the end of the service use. These records are called call data records (CDRs). The CDR represents the entry point to the telecom company billing systems. The CDRs have to be retrieved from the provisioning system, validated against the company rules, processed, and stored in a local database in an aggregated manner.   

SAP Convergent Charging (SAP CC) is SAP software that allows companies to rate such records. SAP CC is a high-volume pricing and rating engine, but it requires a mediation engine solution to preprocess the CDRs. The mediation engine is an intermediate component between the provisioning system and SAP CC. It has to prepare the data for SAP CC by validating and aggregating the CDRs. The provisioning system sends the start and end event records to the billing system.

For example, if Service X starts on January 1 at 10:00:00 am, a start record comes from the provisioning system. When Service X ends on January 1 at 10:10:00 am, an end record is sent. The billing system has to charge the customer for the period of time the service was used. The mediation engine reads these two records and aggregates them to be able to be rated and processed by SAP CC and the billing system.

We’ll explain to you the requirements of a mediation engine conceptually, and then show you how it reads and processes the CDRs. Then we’ll cover the architecture that you should use to construct the engine, including the different layers involved. Finally, we’ll show you some example measurements and results.

Abdelmorhit El Rhazi

Abdelmorhit El Rhazi, Ph.D is a principal solution architect with the SAP customer development group at SAP Labs Canada.

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Martin Donovan

Martin Donovan is a principal solution architect with the SAP customer development group at SAP Labs Canada.

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Narendar Akula

Narendar Akula is a principal solution architect with the SAP customer development group at SAP Labs Canada.

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