SAP Business Connector (BC) has been widely used among customers. One of the main reasons is that this is a piece of FREE software. With the introduction of SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI), many people are asking which one should I use?
To answer this question, we need to go back a few years and see where is this BC from. During the dot com peak days, all applications need to be exposed to internet. One temporary solution for SAP applications is to use BC as a translator/gateway to internet; it translates SAP message into XML format. Over the time, the functionality of BC has been enhanced.
However, from enterprise application integration (EAI) architecture point of view, we identify BC as a point-to-point (P2P) connection. For each application you need to connect to internet, there is a need for an individual BC. It is different than the integration hub/bus approach which is getting more and more acceptance in the business community. The reason is that integration hub/bus approach can eliminate spaghetti web in a complex system landscape, and make integration more straightforward and easy to adapt to new requirements. Ultimately it reduces Total Cost of Ownership. SAP XI belongs to this category.
With this background information, our answer to the above question is: A) if things are running, dont break them; keep your BC since SAP still supports it. B) If you are thinking about updating your system landscape which will affect the BC, or you are doing a long term planning, considering SAP XI or other EAI tools. There is no need to rush to a conclusion. Think big but take a small step at a time.