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Author's profile photo Oliver Stiefbold

To Be Spoilt For Choice – Connecting EP to R/3

To be spoilt by choice. Connect your SAP ecosystem to Enterprise Portal.

Did you ever think about, how to connect best to your SAP ecosystem? Well, there is no “all-in-one” solution.
Consider the following different possibilities and make your decision according to your business case.

1. Webservices on the server systems. Connecting Enterprise Portal via webservice client. Available for EP 6.0 and R/3 Kernel 6.20 and higher.

Attention: Until EP6.0 SP2 patch 4 or EP6.0 SP5 there is only limited support for ABAP document literal webservices

Advantages: Truly platform independent and web enabled. Full control over the response content.
Disadvantages: No integrated transaction support, complex API on server and client side and protocol overhead. Approximately double run-time for the call, but the call duration is normally just about 5-10% of the overall cycle time.

2. JCO, native: Write a Java portal component and call a BAPI via JCO.

Disadvantages: Connection Management has to programmed by your own. Quite difficult for high load.

3. SAP Connector Framework based on Java Connectivity Architecture (JCA). From EP6.0 and WebAS 6.40 up.

Advantages: SAP CF handles the connection management and pooling.
Disadvantages: Still RFC with its limitations.

4. Integrate Business Server Pages as external iview into the portal.

Advantages: For those who already use an SAP kernel 4.6D or higher, SAP ABAP offers a http server and client and its Business Server Pages as well. If you are familiar with ABAP OO and JSP – you know BSP!. Its a good choice, however for tight integration into the Enterprise Portal it has some limitations if you render your pages in the server.
Disadvantages: No tight integration into the portal. Cross site scripting is not possible. Interact with BSP via parameters (styles and so on).

5. Integrate an ITS-WebGUI, ITS IACs into the portal.

Adv./Disadvantages: Not very fast, but try to find a semantic input check on any other web page instead 😉

6. Integrate the SAP WinGui directly into the portal (needs local installation of Wingui).

Adv./Disadvantages: Who says the SAP WinGui is not webish? I say the Web is not WinGuish ! ;-).

7. Integrate the IE-Plugin ActiveX WinGui into the Portal (needs local installation of Wingui). Only for those who love their SAP WinGui at any place :).

8. Use Citrix or Terminal Server for WinGUI and integrate it in your page.

Adv./Disadvantages: For all of you, who never understood this whole internet hype at all. Zero client administration.

Best Regards,


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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Oliver,

      I have a customer asking for a Workflow solution for Invoice verification via the Portal and UWL.

      They are on basis release 4.6C and I wonder whether I would recommend then to use ITS flow logic or build this using Java iViews. They need several screens and using the "user decision" option in WF is not an option.

      What would be your recommendation for this?

      Thank you in advance,

      Author's profile photo Oliver Stiefbold
      Oliver Stiefbold
      Blog Post Author
      4.6 C?
      Depends how much your customer wants to spent.

      1. Only Java Iviews are really "webish". You can hold a session during the transaction, and call then a BAPI at the end of the transaction.

      2. ITS flowlogic is okay. Propietary technology.

      3. The cheapest and a robust way is probably to use ITS WebGUi. Not webish. But still good for business transactions.

      BR, Oliver

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      What would you recommend for a client who does not want to create any R/3 programs, but wants to be able to read/write data to an R/3 system (4.6c)?  The java iView will be similar to the “Create Notification” iView in the BP for Assets, but the iView has to create custom notifications and write data to a legacy system.

      Best regards,

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      (I have asked this question in other forums also)
      Will there be someday where SAP will provide its core software suite in Java/non-ABAP also?
      Author's profile photo Benny Schaich-Lebek
      Benny Schaich-Lebek
      You mean writing the same thing again just for the sake to be in Java?
      Usually rewriting means also to do the same bugs again - not a good idea.