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This document explains how interfaces can be documented in a SAP Solution Manager 7.2 system, and which possibilities exist to leverage the interface data maintained by using the integrated features in SAP Solution Manager.

Interface Documentation in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 as part of Solution Documentation provides the possibility to centrally document interfaces in the solution landscape. Basically, all interface technologies which exist in an SAP landscape are available, including SAP PI interfaces where the processing is done through different kinds of adapters. Each interface can be specified individually, as every interface technology provides a set of so-called interface attributes which come out-of-the-box. In case further interface attributes are needed it is possible to create custom attributes and use them in the same way as the attributes delivered by SAP. Moreover, custom-specific interface technologies can be defined in case the standard technologies are insufficient to describe the interface properly.

In today’s distributed solution landscapes it is essential to have a central view of the existing interfaces and their technical details. Different tools may exist in various places which cater to the task of documenting single parts of interfaces, or only small portions of the interface information available in your landscape. Concentrating all this information centrally in SAP Solution Manager increases the visibility and helps avoid duplicate maintenance of said interface data in different tools.

In addition, the effect of planned downtimes in your solution landscape can be judged more easily, especially if the interfaces are assigned to business processes. Then it is directly clear which business processes will be affected once a system is shut down for maintenance, and corresponding measures can be taken in advance. Furthermore, if there is a critical situation in your landscape, like a system has stopped unexpectedly, or a particular interface has become stuck due to technical errors, you can identify the affected business processes directly in SAP Solution Manager without having the need to access the managed systems and laboriously search for the necessary information.

Moreover, many customers still use offline documents like spreadsheets to list their interfaces. This is usually cumbersome to handle and often poses the risk that data gets lost or outdated information is used due to improper document management. The Interface Documentation application aims at replacing such kind of maintenance mode. Although it will create some initial effort to transfer the offline documentation into the SAP system it is worthwhile to do so. Interfaces and their attribute data can then benefit from all features Solution Documentation provides. This particularly means that different versions of the same interface can exist in parallel, and attribute data for the same interface may vary per site or system role.

In addition, integration with the Interface & Connection Monitoring application is available: interface attribute data maintained in Interface Documentation can be used to configure Interface Channels for monitoring & alerting, without having the need to enter the same data into the system again. This integration reflects the best practice-like approach for Interface Management in SAP Solution Manager as indicated in below figure.­

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 1.1 Release Notes

Table 1: Release Notes

Support Package

Release Notes

SP01

First version of Interface Documentation application

SP03

-         Maintenance   capabilities for custom Interface Technologies and custom Interface      Attributes introduced

-         Site   concept from Solution Documentation adapted

SP04

-       Minor corrections

SP05

-         Handling   of attributes for Interface Technology SAP PI/PO improved

-         Import   feature introduced to enable load of SAP PI/PO Enterprise Service Repository   data into the Interface Documentation application

-         Solution   Documentation copy feature adapted

 1.2 Technical Prerequisites / Authorizations

The Interface Documentation can only be accessed if appropriate authorizations are available. This includes the authorizations to view and maintain Solution Documentation itself. For further details refer to http://service.sap.com/instguides -> SAP Components > SAP Solution Manager -> <current release> -> 4 Operation -> Application-Specific Security Guide.

To make full use of the value helps which are available for most attributes it is necessary to have RFC TMW or READ destinations in place to the managed systems which contain the source data.

In order to enable maintenance of custom-specific content your user must have authorization S_TCODE with value AGS_DCM_CUST_IFDOCU. This authorization is assigned to standard roles SAP_SM_SL_ADMIN and SAP_SM_SL_EDIT_BPMN.

If you like to import interface data from an SAP PI / PO Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) via transaction AGS_DCM_EXT_IMPORT you have to provide an additional http destination to the relevant PI / PO system in transaction SM59. This http destination must have the naming convention SOL_DIR_ESR_<SID> with <SID> as the extended system ID of the PI / PO system as maintained in Solution Manager’s LMDB. Provide the Target Host and the Service No. of the system, and enter /rep in the Path Prefix field of the destination. Finally, enter basic authentication data (user and password). The user must have at least authorization SAP_XI_DISPLAY_USER_J2EE to be authorized to call the ESR.

 

 1.3 Technical Aspects

The Interface Documentation application, although tightly bound to Solution Documentation, is a stand-alone application with separate data persistency. It acts as external application to Solution Documentation, and can be called from there as an element of an Interface object in the Interface Library.

Interface Documentation allows you to maintain the same interface in different contexts within the same solution – be it in different sites or system roles within the same branch, or across system boundaries. This represents the lifecycle of an interface as it is used in the real world: interfaces can be either created newly during an implementation project, or existing interfaces can be adjusted during an upgrade project. Interfaces exist in the whole landscape (in development, test, and productive environment), but may have slightly different attribute data due to specific, system-dependent attributes. All these aspects are covered by Interface Documentation application – see the subsequent chapters for further details.

Technically the different variations of the same Interface Documentation are persisted separately, but held together by a common identifier, the so-called LIFO ID (“Logical Interface Object”). This guarantees that system-independent attributes of the same interface are always in sync between different contexts. If an interface gets updated during an upgrade project the corresponding Interface Documentation object can be copied into the Maintenance branch of the solution, too, and later, when released to Production branch, it replaces the previous version of the Interface Documentation object without disruptions.

 

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