Integrating SAP R/3 using Lotus Connectors:
Named as the Domino Connector for R/3, Lotus launched a new connector component in June 1999. This is a simple automated R/3 integration solution to apply with Domino Enterprise Connectivity Services (DECS) to provide Notes and Web applications bi-directionally access R/3 data from the Domino server. Lotus also offers Lotus Enterprise Integrator (LEI) to expand its middleware software capabilities.
You can install Lotus Connector for SAP on both Domino server and on the Notes client and can also employ Lotus Connector in both Lotus Software Extensions and Lotus Enterprise Integration approaches.
Lotus Connectors are downloaded directly from the web or from the CD-ROM and based on the Lotus Connector classes. The various Lotus Connector classes are:
All of these classes come with lines of codes that are used separately in each step. In order to start with using the connection, the users are required to make a back end connection, which is achieved by loading the connector and opening the connection. Working follows it with the back end data store including selecting, inserting, updating or deleting operations. The next stage is to get result from the operations conducted in the last and finally, the application is required to iterate through or fetch result set.
The data connectors–software modules, connecting a particular data source are used by DECS and LEI both. For example, there are ODBC, Oracle, DB2, PeopleSoft and other data connectors available from Lotus. Lotus also provides the Domino Connector Toolkit, which lets you make Domino connectors to almost any third-party database product with an open C or C++ API.
As LEI is a separate product, the Domino Connector for R/3 is more closely integrated with the Domino APIs and object classes than LEI.LEI is the precursor to DECS and, therefore, the Domino Connector classes themselves.
Lotus released its Domino Connector classes for Java and LotusScript to support the R/3 interface along with the Domino Connector for R/3. The Domino Connector Classes make it simple to create customized DECS implementations for R/3 by developers.
DECS and LEI offer a more functional and structured option to the R/3 LSX. They provide a forms-driven approach for connecting Domino and R/3 and more LSX-like approach through the Domino Connector classes. A main advantage of using the Domino Connector is that it automatically includes a lot of functionality. Before this, the LSX developers used to code themselves. For example, the data connector provides functions that define real-time connections and letting Domino objects integrate/synchronize with external (SAP) data sources via a single LotusScript function. Conversely, a developer using the SAP LSX would have to do a considerable amount of LotusScript coding to get the required results.
Moreover, the Domino Connector is more server-oriented and reduces work, which R/3 LSX programmers do to start sessions and authenticate users with the R/3 services layer. Lastly, as it performs at the server layer, it gives a standardized means of implementing centralized, integrated applications for both Notes- and Web-client environments.