SAP is an extremely powerful ERP system that can give a deep insight into important areas of your business. SAP is pledging emerging technologies to map its growth across business verticals digitally over the next few years. Are you a part of the shift?
In fact, SAP customers are now looking to extend their digital capabilities through SAP offerings and dwell into latest technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, IoT and others. However, companies are swamped with a number of SAP applications integration challenges. None the less, companies that have not integrated their SAP systems are running the risk of failing to optimize critical business operations, resulting in reduced business growth and inefficiencies of business processes.
Therefore, it becomes important for organizations to integrate their multiple stand-alone applications into a single centralized application to reduce integration costs and at the same time focus on ways to accelerate business growth.
Factors to consider while integrating SAP
A large number of applications are offered by SAP that can be adapted to meet the needs of almost any business. But with so many options available within SAP create a challenge when selecting an option to integrate it with other non-SAP and third-party systems. If you are looking for a machine learning interface compatible SAP, the selection criteria will vary. The selection will depend on various aspects such as below:
Which SAP version you are running: few of the versions you could be running include MySAP, SAP Business One, SAP All-in-One, the R/ series or any of SAP’s more specialized versions.
The underlying technology: Is it ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) based or newer version that has moved away from that standard?
Compatible interface types: SAP latest version for business applications SAP S/4 HANA is offered in an on premise, cloud and hybrid versions. Integrations differ for cloud-based and on premise installations.
The support requirements: are you looking the interface to be supported by SAP or you have the IT expertise to support your own interface?
Your business needs: what are you looking for, it may be SAP Printing Solutions or ERP or CRM. Your integration plans can be impacted by any of these factors. Integrations with older ABAP-based releases are handled differently than integration with newer versions. Integration plans can also be impacted by modifications that have been made in your applications. Hence it is important to consider all these factors in detail.
SAP Integration Tools and Interface
Several SAP interface technologies and tools that exist are as below along with their key features:
IDOC (Intermediate Documents): ODOCs are SAP objects that facilitate the exchange of information between SAP and non-SAP applications. The IDOC once triggered in SAP can transmit any business data from one system to another and is usually used for asynchronous transactions. You can retrieve a multitude of information with IDOC’s.
BAPI (Business Application Programming Interface): This is another core SAP technology that enables integration between SAP and non-SAP applications. BAPI is used for synchronous transactions, unlike IDOC which are typically used for the asynchronous scenarios. The main advantage of BAPI is that it can function independently of IDOC’s and allow seamless SAP integration with non-SAP and external applications.
SAP JCO (Java Connector): It is an integrated component that can be implemented with desktop based and web server-based applications. SAP JCO facilitates the development of SAP compatible components and JAVA based applications and allows such applications to integrate with any SAP systems simultaneously.
SAP NetWeaver: It is the preferred tool for exchanging information and triggering actions between SAP and non-SAP applications for companies using SAP ECC (ERP Central Component).
As you can see SAP ecosystem has been evolving over the past few years and it provides a number of integration applications that have been transforming the way businesses are controlling all aspects of their operations. All you need to do is consider the factors described above and take advantage of the best solutions available to fully integrate with your ERP.