Faktor Zehn introduces: the ConVista CPIHelper

ConVista has launched its first open source project to improve the lives of all developers of SAP Cloud Platform Integration. The ConVista CPIHelper is a plug-in for the Chrome Browser that adds some useful features to the SAP Cloud Platform Integration by adding new functions and views to the Integration Flow Designer.

The ConVista CPIHelper can be installed directly from the Chrome Webstore.


Chrome Web Store Button

What improvements does the ConVisa CPIHelper provide?

Specifically, the CPIHelper includes the following improvements in the Integration Flow Designer:

  • Sidebar with processed messages
  • Enable InlineTrace to display the message flow in the Integration Flow Designer
  • Direct display of trace messages in the Integration Flow Designer
  • Nice expression for trace messages in the Integration Flow Designer
  • Button for tracing messages
  • Go directly to the trace of a message at a specific location
  • Direct access to the logs and attachments of a specific message
  • Popup with error message from past messages

In addition, the user also receives the following general CPI improvements with the CPIHelper

  • Useful links in the browser bar popup
  • Last visited Integration Flows in browser bar popup

What does the ConVista CPIHelper look like and how does it work?

When an integration flow is opened, the plugin automatically adds a “Messages”, a “Trace” and an “Info” button in the integration flow designer (Figure 1).


Buttons ConVista CPI-PlugIn

Figure 1: new buttons

Trace Button

The “Trace Buttons” are used to set the log level of the current Integration Flow to “Trace” that is to be traced (see Figure 1, left button in the bottom row).

Message Button

The “Message” button opens a small, moveable sidebar with the most recently processed messages (Figure 2). When the mouse pointer is moved over the status symbol of the message, a pop-up with the error message appears directly (Figure 3). Clicking the time button activates InlineTrace (only if Trace has been activated for the message) (Figure 4). Clicking on a color-coded integration flow element opens a pop-up with the trace of the message at that location if trace is available (Figure 5).


Figure 2: Pop-up with the trace of the message

Figure 3: Pop-up with the error message

Figure 4: Activated InlineTrace

Figure 5: Pop-up with trace of the message

Info Button

With the “Info” button, detailed information on the operational status of the integration flow can be viewed (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Information on the operational status of the integration flow

Toolbar Popup

The plugin’s button in the toolbar displays a list of useful links for the current tenant. For example, the last visited Integration Flows (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Overview of useful links to current Tenant


Who developed the ConVista CPIHelper and how did the idea come about?

The ConVista CPIHelper was developed by Dominic Beckbauer, who has been working for ConVista in the Cross Services division since May 2016. His main focus is on integration and integration architectures on the SAP Cloud Platform.

When working with the SAP Cloud Platform Integration, many clicks are necessary to get to the different functions. For example, to log errors, i.e. to activate the trace, a new window must be opened, navigated from there to the appropriate location, scrolled to the bottom, clicked on a button and confirmed again. This is one of the reasons why Dominic Beckbauer came up with the idea of inserting a button where the daily development work takes place.

In the beginning he wrote the plug-in to make his own work easier. After some colleagues found the features helpful and wanted to use them themselves, it became a bigger project. The first version was released to the public at the beginning of March and has been developed continuously since then. Currently there are installations from over 20 countries and a lot of positive feedback about the features.

On 31.03.2020 version 1.0 was released. In this version some useful additions have been integrated and according to our own estimation the use of the plugin can save at least 15% of time during development in the CPI. Dominic Beckbauer’s goal for this version was to expand the development area in the CPI so that a developer no longer has to switch from the Integration Flow Designer to debug the CPI.

But there are still some ideas for the future and in the meantime the first colleagues have announced to join the project. So it remains exciting in any case!



Conclusion / Outlook

The ConVista CPIHelper supports the development of integration flows in the SAP Cloud Platform Integration by extending the development area with monitoring and tracing functions. It thus supplements the CPI with the necessary debugging tools.

The CPI Helper has been very well received by the community. It is now used in 20 different countries, which further increases the motivation to develop the helper.

Next are variables in the CPI Helper. The idea is to be able to view and delete set variables via buttons instead of having to click through several menus in the CPI.

Picture sources: https://github.com/dbeck121/ConVista-CPI-Helper-Chrome-Extension

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