SAP BAPI


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SAP BAPI, a Tested Way to Integrate with SAP

Interoperability of software applications has become a critical requirement for business processes ever since SAP evolved from being a monolith to becoming the central core of an increasing number of third-party solutions. Many top vendors for specialized business applications offer ways for their software to work in tandem with SAP ECC and SAP Business Suite.

SAP itself has enabled this through its SAP Business Application Programming Interfaces (SAP BAPIs). These are standard interfaces that enable software vendors to integrate their software into SAP Business Suite. In programming terms, a standard BAPI is a Business Object type that encapsulates a set of methods and parameters, with an a “Extension” parameter to pass custom data that is specific to a company. For example, standard BAPI for purchase orders and sales orders can be enhanced as explained in this article.

SAP BAPI, a Tested Way to Integrate with SAP

Interoperability of software applications has become a critical requirement for business processes ever since SAP evolved from being a monolith to becoming the central core of an increasing number of third-party solutions. Many top vendors for specialized business applications offer ways for their software to work in tandem with SAP ECC and SAP Business Suite.

SAP itself has enabled this through its SAP Business Application Programming Interfaces (SAP BAPIs). These are standard interfaces that enable software vendors to integrate their software into SAP Business Suite. In programming terms, a standard BAPI is a Business Object type that encapsulates a set of methods and parameters, with an a “Extension” parameter to pass custom data that is specific to a company. For example, standard BAPI for purchase orders and sales orders can be enhanced as explained in this article.

BAPIs are technically implemented using RFC (Remote Function Call) enabled function modules inside SAP systems. Such a trusted RFC connection allows creation of trusted-trusting relationships between systems, both SAP and non-SAP. BAPIs also can be called through ALE/IDoc (Application Link Enabling/Intermediate Document) technology.

BAPIs are defined in the Business Object Repository (BOR) as methods of SAP Business Objects that perform specific business tasks. They allow integration at the business level, not technical level. This makes it much easier to find suitable BAPIs compared to non-BAPI-based function modules.

There are different ways in which application developers may integrate workflows:

  1. Integration of third-party applications with an SAP System.
  2. Integration of custom business applications with an SAP System.
  3. Integration of additional SAP components into the SAP system.
  4. New user interfaces to an SAP System for occasional SAP users.
  5. Web-based access to an SAP System through Internet or Intranet applications.
  6. Mobile, cloud or IoT (Internet of Things) access to an SAP system.

Here is one example of how SAP BAPI is used for reporting.

As many SAP customers move to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud, one of the most vital requirements is to integrate existing or new on-premise applications with SAP S/4HANA. Released BAPIs can be used to connect SAP S/4HANA Cloud with SAP on-premise applications only.

For other integrations, such as cloud-to-cloud and cloud with non-SAP solutions, SAP recommends using Public APIs which use OData (Open Data Protocol) or SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), Business event handling and other SAP Cloud products.

There are many sophisticated ways that SAP solutions can be integrated with other applications. Boomi has an intelligent iPaas (Integration Platform as a Service) with many connectors that seamlessly integrate workflows.

While SAP BAPI has many advantages, SAP customers have to assess the right set of intelligent approaches for their landscape based on their needs.

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