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This is good news for all SAP customers that love their “SAP classic” software bought long time ago so much that they still run SAP R/3 or SAP ERP 5.0. However, also customers that have adopted SOA but run a heterogeneous system landscape should be aware of this new feature: The documentation of BAPIs, the quasi predecessors of enterprise services, is now available in ES Workplace, together with links to their related BOR objects in the SAP R/3 enterprise model.

What makes this really beneficial is that SAP has set up and implemented a mapping between business objects from the SOA world and their corresponding BOR objects in the SAP R/3 world. We now say a BAPI is related to a service operation if there is a mapping between the assigned BOR object and the corresponding SOA business object. During this exercise, a significant number of BOR objects were mapped to business objects. As a result almost half of all BAPIs in the SAP classic world now have a related service operation in the SOA world. The following graphics illustrates how this relation has been implemented:

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The following use cases may require looking at BAPIs in SAP integration projects:

  • You have recently started a SOA project or are about to do so. Which service operations in the SOA world substitute the functionality provided in BAPIs? Plus, is there one or more service operation(s) that fit even better to what you’re looking for, or do they enable an extended integration scenario?
  • You are living in a SOA world but missing an enterprise service, which is not yet available in the particular software version of your system and you cannot wait for an upgrade.

Here’s how: Let’s assume you are looking for an interface to update a business partner’s e-mail address. Using ES Workplace, you easily find the business object Business Partner and it’s assigned service operation Update Business Partner. You check the Detailed Element Description to ensure this service operation lets you change your business partner’s e-mail address by finding the necessary data element in the message structure under BusinessPartner -> AddressInformation -> Address -> Email.

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Now you want to know whether there is a BAPI that does the same, e.g. because you need to integrate a solution to a part of your system landscape that is not yet SOA-enabled. The answer can be found by checking the Related Information gray box on the right-hand side of the service operation page in ES Workplace. It now includes the new link Related BAPIs. By clicking on this link, the BOR Object Business Partner and all its associated BAPIs are displayed in a pop-up window:

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By clicking on the BOR Object BUS1006 Business Partner or on the BAPI name Change Address the documentation of the corresponding object in the SAP R/3 world will be displayed. You can navigate from the BOR Object to its BAPIs by clicking on one of the BAPIs at the bottom of the BOR Object page.

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By choosing the link Related Business Objects in the Related Information frame of a BOR Object or a BAPI page, you can navigate from the R/3 world back to the SOA world, where you can double-check that this is the related BAPI for your service operation Update Business Partner: The related business object is indeed Business Partner, which successfully closes the loop.

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The search functionality in ES Workplace now also scans all BAPI objects and returns a search result grouped by BAPIs. This will enable you to find and access all BAPIs including those that have not been related to a service operation.

Future plans for the ES Workplace are to enhance it to become the central connectivity hub for all integration capabilities of SAP’s orchestrated solutions On-Premise, On-Demand and On-Device.

Therefore, stay tuned for coming upgrades!

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12 Comments

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  1. Gregor Wolf
    Hi Volker,

    great to see BAPI’s in the ES Workplace. Perhaps you can help also with another issue. In 2008 I’ve posted the OSS Message 564600 / 2008 asking for the WSDL Description of the XIF XML Interface. Unfortunately the Note 448742 – General notes on CRM external interfaces is not helpfull because it points to the non existing SAP Interface Repository (ifr). It seems that the note 448742 wasn’t updated to provide the solution I’ve found mentioned in the message. Perhaps you can trigger some action that also this interface gets documented again.

    Best regards
    Gregor Wolf
    SAP Mentor

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  2. Guido Brune
    Hello,

    in my interpreatation of enterprise service architecture BAPI were already a kind of service.

    To my understanding ESA is _not_ protocoll-(SOAP)and/or format-dependent (XML). BAPI are Services based on RFC-protocoll with a properitary data format.

    Just my 2 cents

    Guido

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  3. Sascha Wenninger
    I would like to thank everyone who was involved in implementing this feature in the ES Workplace! This has been on my wishlist for some time and will really help bridge the gap between the long-hair and grey-hair developers!

    Sascha

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  4. Guido Brune
    Hello,

    I never call a ES service, but when I entering a unknown area I call transation BAPI in order to search for a API for this area. In most cases I found something usefull. Then I call the corresponding Function module in my coding.

    Is there a way to call the underlying service implementing service without the service overhead (XML / SOAP )?

    All the best,

    Guido

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    1. Marcel Podieh
      Hello Guido,

      to call the implementation of an Enterprise Service directly in ABAP you will first have to go to the transaction SE80 to create a Client Proxy for the Service Definition you wish to call. Then you can use the proxy in your ABAP coding.

      The following links may be of help to you:
      http://help.sap.com/saphelp_dm40/helpdata/en/bf/d005244e9d1d4d92b2fe7935556b4c/content.htm

      http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw70/helpdata/en/1a/b69d427cab0831e10000000a1550b0/frameset.htm

      http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw70/helpdata/en/c9/74246d8ad2447799063d39013e9a11/content.htm

      Regards
      Marcel Podieh

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  5. Peter Inotai
    Hi Volker,
    Thanks for sharing this site.
    I just a quick test with ‘General Ledger Account Master’. Usually I call transaction BAPI in the SAP system to check details etc.
    The advantage of this site, that it shows even details, which are not yet available in our system, but will be available in higher release.
    However I found that more information would be necessary to easier find the mapping between this site details and in the BAPI transaction. For example business object (BUS3006 for GL account) would be also useful information or the tree from the BAPI transaction.
    Best regards,
    Peter
    PS: You might consider adding ‘ABAP’ or ‘Netwever’ tag to this blog to reach wider audience.
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        1. Marcel Podieh
          Hello Peter,
          thank you for your suggestions for improvements. I would like to contact you to better understand the feature you are requesting. Can you send me your contacts to my email address in my SDN profile?
          Thanks
          Marcel
          (0) 

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