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SAP Classic meets SOA: BAPI documentation now available in ES Workplace

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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