Structuring Large Integration Flows in SAP HANA Cloud Integration

  • by Dr. Volker Stiehl, Professor, Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences
  • June 6, 2016
See how to use SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) for modeling really large and complex integration flows. You use the local integration process as a means to structure your process models in manageable sizes. In the parent process you apply the Process Call shape for actually invoking the sub-process.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article you will learn how to:

  • Structure large integration scenarios by means of modularization
  • Use and maintain the Process Call shape within your parent integration flow as the means to actually invoke sub-processes
  • Understand what is necessary to model a callable local integration process and how to connect parent and child processes
  • Figure out how data can be exchanged between calling and called processes
Key Concept

Typically, the logic of integration scenarios is not that complex. In most cases it is enough to calculate during run time which target systems should receive an incoming message, figure out the message’s structure of the respective systems, and map the source message to the target messages, if needed. However, due to the advent of cloud computing, the demand for more sophisticated integration logic is constantly rising due to various confirmation and acknowledgment messages that need to be exchanged and coordinated, plus the additional overhead for increased security requirements. Hence, it becomes necessary to modularize the complex logic. This can be achieved within SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) by the use of sub-processes or local integration processes, terms I use interchangeably. Local integration processes can be maintained and configured independently from the parent process. The data transfer is solved by one central data container called an exchange. The exchange relieves sub-processes from defining input and output variables explicitly, which is typically the case for normal programming languages, making it an easy-to-use solution for structuring overly complex integration scenarios.

With SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI) you can model fairly large integration scenarios. Due to the flexible pipeline of the underlying Apache Camel integration engine, you could potentially add as many processing steps in your route as are necessary to fulfill your integration needs. However, when you use a graphical modeler, those large models can easily become quite confusing and you lose all the benefits of a graphical notation. In this installment of my series about modeling and running integration flows on SAP HCI, I explain how to structure large process models using sub-processes.

Dr. Volker Stiehl

Prof. Dr. Volker Stiehl studied computer science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. After 12 years as a developer and senior system architect at Siemens, he joined SAP in 2004. As chief product expert, Volker was responsible for the success of the products SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Process Integration, and SAP HANA Cloud Integration (now SAP HANA Cloud Platform, integration service). He left SAP in 2016 and accepted a position as professor at the Ingolstadt Technical University of Applied Sciences where he is currently teaching business information systems. In September 2011, Volker received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Technology Darmstadt. His thesis was on the systematic design and implementation of applications using BPMN. Volker is also the author of Process-Driven Applications with BPMN as well as the co-author of SAP HANA Cloud Integration and a regular speaker at various national and international conferences.

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