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What is PI?

PI (Process Integration based on Exchange Infrastructure). It takes the responsibility of integrating different SAP and  non-SAP systems in the Heterogeneous Landscape (network of different computers). PI acts as SOA Middleware and forms the backbone of SOA in SAP environment. Process Integration can be used as a Middleware Engine to communicate in a distributed environment. The heart of PI is Integration Engine that is used for integrating different technologies using Standard Messaging techniques, e.g XML. Different mapping tools are available for mapping the distributed system which can be mapped without having any expertise of Technical Details. As a real world example, PI can be helpful in integrating different banks with SAP R/3. PI also support previous releases of SAP R/3 like 4.6C and have many more adapters to communicate with legacy systems.

SAP PI is more than just an Integration Broker - it delivers cross-component BPM functionality

SAP PI is an integration technology and platform for
1.      SAP and Non-SAP systems,
2.      A2A and B2B scenarios,
3.      Synchronous and Asynchronous communication,
4.      Cross component Business Process management and it include built-in engine for designing and executing   integration process (Business process).
5.      The goal of SAP PI is to provide single point of integration of all systems inside and outside the corporate boundary across technologies and organizational boundaries.
6.      The important feature of PI is openness, flexible and transparency to the integration process. It supports SOA.
7.      The overall key concept of SAP PI is to drive integrated business process across heterogeneous and highly dynamic landscapes in a more manageable cost effective way.
8.      The basic idea is to provide runtime infrastructure which allows heterogeneous systems to be tied together with fewer connections and at the same time, in order to connect those applications and let messages flow from one application to other, have a centralized storage of integration knowledge.

PI Advantages over other Middleware Tools

* Pre-Delivered integration content

       (Def:-SAP solutions bring their integration Meta data like CRM, SRM,SCM, xRPM, etc.) As delivered with the Enterprise Service repository of PI
                        A) Out-of-the-box of integration solution
                        B) Simplified upgrade of SAP solutions
                        C) Versioning and modification management of integration of Meta data.
* Openness and interoperability
                        (Def:-Connect to existing integration solutions) like
                        Through JMS messaging (e.g MQ series) and SOAP.
                        Use open, XML standards for integration
                        Incorporate existing functionality in to new process (Adapters (JCA), web services (WSDL)).

SAP PI for Beginners