Integration Flows (iFlows) are the equivalent of the traditional Integrated Configurations (ICOs) created in the Integration Builder tool of SAP Process Integration (PI) or SAP Process Orchestration (PO). When an iFlow is created and deployed, an ICO is also automatically generated as one of the directory objects because iFlows and ICOs share the same database.
The SAP NetWeaver Design Studio (NWDS) tool is gaining popularity and has become the tool of choice for performing various development tasks within the SAP NetWeaver platform. As a result, SAP has also made it possible to develop ICO-like configurations from SAP NWDS. These configurations are known as Integration Flows (iFlows).
iFlows are built on Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)-like artifacts. This type of artifact gives a good overview of systems and components involved in end-to-end messaging and connectivity. It also presents an insight into the architecture of the process flow. Even though they are developed from SAP NWDS, an iFlow fulfills the same role as an ICO and, invariably, iFlows provide an alternative to ICOs.
An iFlow defines the interaction between the systems in A2A or B2B scenarios. It provides a visual BPMN representation of an integration process and brings design time and configuration time together.
Integration Flow Tool
You can build iFlows in the NWDS studio to be deployed to process integration. The features of iFlows are as follows:
- An iFlow represents an integration scenario using a graphical model containing endpoints and flow steps. It holds information of all elements involved in process integration.
- When an iFlow is complete, it is deployed to the runtime where the actual execution of process integration takes place.
- When an iFlow is deployed, an Integrated Configuration is generated.
- Integration flows access the objects in two repositories, the Enterprise Services Repository (ESR) and the ID, in one perspective.
- iFlows are available as plug-ins for standard Eclipse installations and NWDS.
You transport iFlows and their referenced entities from one system to another.