Note 571530 – Availability of Sap Business Connector
– Business Connector 4.6: December 31, 2008.
– Business Connector 4.7: December 31, 2009.
Note 1094412 – Release and Support Strategy of SAP Business Connector 4.8
– Business Connector 4.8: December 31, 2017
Due to the above facts I started looking what the differences are between the middleware tools SAP BC and SAP PI, as I want to know the big reason for moving to SAP PI. Also SAP PI is still considered as the successor of SAP BC. Finally I have formed a conclusion what the best argument is to go for SAP PI instead of SAP BC.
Similarities SAP BC and SAP PI
SAP BC and SAP PI both understand the SAP-specific network protocol Remote Function Call (RFC) as well as standard network protocols such as HTTP, FTP, and email. Also, both of them can process the SAP-specific data formats defined by BAPIs and IDocs as well as standard XML data formats.
(There are differences between the 2 middleware tools in adapters e.g. SAP PI can use FTPs)
Both SAP BC and SAP PI use a graphical mapping tool to do mappings and both support the possibility to use own JAVA coding to help in mappings, e.g. formulas to change the date format.
(Mapping tools work differently)
Any SAP Customer and SAP Partner who has purchased a SAP License is entitled to receive the SAP BC. This doesn’t really mean that anyone can use it for free.
For SAP customers who are already using other modules in the NetWeaver stack, PI is often available for little additional cost. Still there are additional costs for data traffic.
Differences SAP BC and SAP PI
BPM (Business Process Management)
Unlike SAP BC, SAP PI supports Business Process Management. This is a similar thing as SAP workflows and used in the following situations:
– Process where we have one message coming in and based on that message multiple messages are send out.
– Process where multiple messages are coming in and we need to send out one message.
SAP BC is still to be considered as Webmethods with a SAP Logo on it. The support for SAP PI is better because SAP PI is still considered to be the successor of SAP BC. There is also more documentation available on the internet on SAP PI.
Stability, Volumes, Landscape
When the SAP Business Connector needs to handle large volumes then it’s not a stable as SAP PI.
SAP Business Connector is working fine in a small landscape of systems, but in a bigger landscape it’s easier to use SAP PI because of the maintenance.
For SAP PI there are a lot of predefined services available. These predefined services can be easily uploaded into SAP PI. The predefined service contains the mapping of a standard process and the routing needs to be completed. The routing can be done with the help of manuals.
SAP PI has got better monitoring tools then SAP BC. SAP BC just note down an error as in PI it’s possible to send out alerts via e-mail.
With SAP PI you can set up Service Oriented Architecture. As SAP PI is the collection of technical components which provides the technical possibility to implement E-SOA. SAP PI is part of SAP NetWeaver.
There is a breaking point where it’s becoming to complex to use end to end mappings, there for it’s better to switch to SOA. SAP PI is the tool to do it with and Business Connector is only good to use in a small environment, for end-to-end mappings with small volumes.
For more references: