If you are on this page means you are planning for attending an interview soon. Well, I am here to tell you a few important tips that you need to take care of while attending any technical interview.
Here I am concentrating on the SAP technical area, especially in SAP PI/PO where I had spent around 8-10 years in my career. Most of the tips are based on my personal experience (both given and taken) which are collected from both telephonic as well as F2F interviews.
Let’s Start then.
Make sure to give yourself enough time to prepare before an interview. In the preparation phase, it is important to recall on your knowledge on SAP PI/PO Architecture and Concepts. Go through the important component like Adapter Engine, Integration Engine, Mapping techniques, Runtime/Monitoring, etc. and try to understand the core concepts of each component and what is the significance of each one of these in the whole architecture.
Clear Understanding of SAP PI/PO Architecture
For the interview to be successful, you should understand PI/PO architecture very well and the basic concept should be very clear, and you need to know the purpose of middleware in any business landscape. Also, try to get a little bit of history of that particular tool so that you would be able to impress the interviewer. By understanding the purpose of middleware you’ll be able to answer architecture-related questions with confidence.
Try to go-through the Interface/s that you have developed and tested
Over time, we tend to forget the technical details of the interfaces or configuration steps. You might have worked with IDOC adapter extensively 2-3 years ago, but it may be difficult to recall the functionalities or configuration steps of IDOC adapter now.
Therefore, you need to go through the functional and technical specification documentation of the interfaces you built in the past to brush up on your knowledge. As you know it is very difficult to retain access after you have moved out of the project, better to prepare your own documents with few screenshots(Message Mapping techniques, Adapter Configurations, Receiver Rules, Alert Rules, etc.) steps for each interface that you have developed. Simply go through these documents prior to the interview.
Understand Node Functions, Mapping Techniques, and Interface Patterns.
Interviewers focus on Message Mapping techniques, as it’s a crucial part of interface implementation. You should know the use of Graphical Mapping, Java Mapping, XSLT Mappings, and UDFs.
It’s crucial to understand the functionalities of main node functions, such as Collapse Context, Remove Context, UseOneAsMany, Map with Default, If Conditions, String Node functions, CreateIf, etc.
Try to understand the functionalities each node function in terms of number of input, the number of output, and the data transformation technique. There is no need to memorize them in detail but have an overall understanding of the function. For complex Node functions, such as FormatbyExample, and UseOneAsMany better to practice with one sample if possible.
You also need to prepare for questions about advanced mapping techniques like Multi-mapping, Message-splitting, Extended Receiver Determination, Parameterized Mapping, etc. Improve your knowledge in common interface patterns like iDoc to File, file to RFC, Synchronous SOAP, ABAP Proxy to File, file to file, SOAP to RFC.. ie. All possible combinations of FILE, IDOC, RFC, PROXY, and SOAP adaptor.
Learn Adapter Configuration Steps.
iDoc (AAE), RFC, HTTP(AAE), FTP/File, sFTP, and SOAP configuration are essential skills to become a good integration consultant. Sometime interviewer asks for particular configuration steps in particular adaptor with the sample value. For ex: what are all file handling methods available in both sender and receiver like DELETE, ARCHIVE, and TEST.
Read about the capabilities of B2B Tool Kit adapter types AS2 and EDI Separator as they are widely used in the industry.
Enhance your Knowledge in Message Monitoring Tools and Alerts.
Brush up on capabilities of Message monitoring and Run-time Components monitoring and learn how they changed over the years. Specifically, focus on Message Monitor, Communication Channel Monitor, Channel Independent Log, B2B Log Viewer, and XPI inspector, iDoc Monitor. Have an overall understanding of the functionalities of these components and tools.
You should also understand the integration-related monitoring tools in SAP, such as iDoc monitoring transaction codes, RFC monitor (SM58), Proxy Message Monitor (SXMB_MONI), Inbound Queues (SMQ1), Outbound Queues (SMQ2), etc.
Steps Involved in Configuring Alerts in SAP PI.
New SAP PI/PO versions use the Component-Based Message Alerting (CBMA) mechanism. Understand the architecture and capabilities of CBMA. You can follow the Alert Configuration steps here.
Prepare your Introductions.
Try to get a complete overview about you in first 5 min It can start with your name, companies you work with, project you have been part of and total and relevant experience and your role in each
1. I am Mr. XYZ, BE-CS graduate and having 6 years of total and 5 years of PI/PO and
2. I have been part of 3 projects in 2 companies out of which 2 are pure implementation and 1 in support.
3. Coming to the role, you can start something like I have started with ABAP developer and moved to PI/PO in 1 year and worked as a developer and now I am the lead for leading 2-3 people.
Now you can ask the interviewer if he is interested in any particular area so that you can explain in detail.
- You can prepare for the one very complex scenario that you have worked
- Prepare for connecting system details like ARIBA, Legacy etc.
- You can also explain your competency in ABAP wherever PO connects ABAP and explain ABAP part of those scenarios.
- Prepare for day-to-day actives if you are in a Support project
- List down all the frequently occurring issue you faced during daily monitoring.
- Prepare for complete landscape understanding and explain if asked.
- Also, prepare for the exact activities that you are responsible for. Be comfortable in explaining your part very clearly as everyone can’t do all the things in this world!
- Prepare to explain any extra tasks that you have done in the project. i.e. Any automation, Any tooling part, Any reusable components/ documents