The essential entities
involved in the ALE framework have been discussed above. We will now proceed
with the configuration methodology for ALE implementation. The configuration
is a multi-step approach. The steps can be categorized as follows (as
depicted in figure 5):
Figure 5: MULTI-PHASE ALE CONFIGURATION
3.1 Understand and verify the
need of business processes
The need of implementing ALE
must be clear to you. For that you need to have all the details of the
business requirements. These requirements will facilitate the implementation
process and also ensuring its success.
3.2 Configure SAP user
administration module (BASIS)
This step involves BASIS
configuration of SAP system. The concept of the Logical System described
above is applicable here. BASIS administration involves creation of logical
systems (LS) for every prospective ALE-enabled client, followed by linking
prospective clients to the Logical System using the respective servers.
Once the Logical Systems have
been created, you create background users on the prospective clients – to be
used by ALE. After this, choose Tools > Administration > Administration >
Network > RFC destinations or enter transaction code SM59 to create RFC
(Remote Function Call) destination for each client.
As a final step, create
partner profiles for the sending system. A partner profile is an identifier
for the sending system that is used for communicating messages. You will be
using LS as it is used for ALE communications. Every partner profile used
for ALE must be based on existing LS (created above).
3.3 ALE Functional Configuring
This configuration step
allows the installation of core ALE features on which data transfer activity
will be based. You need to create a Customer Distribution Model (CDM) first.
The Customer Distribution Model acts as a repository of data that decides
the flow of message types to Logical Systems (LS). There can be one to many
messages flow to a Logical System and it can also happen vice-versa. You
also need to enforce a selection criterion on the message (type) flowing to
a Logical System. This is achieved by adding appropriate message types and
filters to the CDM.
Now that the path of the
message flows have been set, we can generate outbound partner profiles
(similarly as we done for inbound profiles in step 2). Finally, you can
distribute the CDM to the receiving systems followed by generating inbound
partner profiles on each of the clients.
3.4 Testing and Implementing
the ALE Configuration
After completing the setup of
the ALE environment it needs to be thoroughly checked and tested with real
time business processes and situations. The performance should be measured
with varying degree of business transaction volumes. It is advisable to
include negative and ‘unusual’ test scenarios as well.
Once testing is completed it can be
implemented once it is signed off with the respective business owners.