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Author's profile photo Mary Odabashian

Relax. Building better connections is easier than you think.

Most companies are in a continuous battle to get away from the spaghetti chart of interfaces between various systems – but for many companies, it’s still a reality.

Do you recognize your company in this statement?  If you do, then you also know that monitoring these interfaces can be both complicated and time consuming.  In most cases, the IT staff monitors the interface, but if an error occurs, they need input from the business staff.  And let’s face it; communications between the two groups is not always optimal. The result can be a cumbersome process that takes time and money to run. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way.    

It actually can be easy. It can even be managed by the business. That’s why I wanted to share a cool and virtually unknown tool with you. 

I’ll bet you didn’t know that about a year and a half ago SAP released a solution called the SAP Application Interface Framework. This tool simplifies how you manage your interfaces, no matter how many your business requires. It provides a streamlined, customizable framework, so your IT team can easily set up interfaces and your business team can monitor and handle errors efficiently on their own.

Now if you know me, I don’t have a technical bone in my body.  So I had a chat with the guy who wrote the program – Markus Gille. He shared with me how it works. 

Markus explained that this application provides a structured framework that simplifies the process by allowing developers to implement the typical four basic building blocks of interfaces:

  • Structured mappings which are needed to map from the source to the destination structure
  • Value mappings which are needed to make sure the values for sending and receiving systems can communicate
  • Checks to ensure that interface data is correct, verified and in the proper format
  • Actions that need to be triggered to do something with the data – such as create a purchase order

He went on to explain that the tool provides a simple customizing menu that allows your team to tailor existing interfaces to your business processes.  And it allows you to reuse your work in developing new interfaces – saving time and money.  And not only can you reduce the time and cost for maintaining interfaces; you’ll improve process compliance and data quality.

In addition to these unique features for simplifying interface development, the framework also provides a user-friendly interface that business users can use to efficiently monitor and handle errors on their own. The tool has features for mass handling and customizable authorization checks to restrict the access to interface data based on your company’s or regulatory compliance rules.

It is really unique to have both interface development and monitoring and error handling inside one single framework. It creates great synergies and savings across your business!

Markus bi-lined an article with SAP Insider about the SAP Application Interface Framework. Take a look and let us know your stories – good and bad!

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      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      Mary, thank you for sharing.

      There was not much technical information in the article, unfortunately (which is one of the reasons I stopped reading SAP Insider - so many words but so little specific information), so I looked it up in SAP Help. It list SAP PI 7.0 as an obligatory components for this solution. Does it work only for the interfaces where PI is involved?

      Author's profile photo Mary Odabashian
      Mary Odabashian
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Jelena,

      The SAP Application Interface Framework requires SAP Basis 7.0 (NetWeaver) and SAP NetWeaver PI 7.0. Let me see if I can get Markus to jump into the conversation too.

      Cheers, Mary

      Author's profile photo Markus Gille
      Markus Gille

      Hi Jelena,

      SAP Application Interface Framework itself is only dependent on the SAP Netweaver Basis (at least SAP Netweaver Basis 7.0 starting from SP17) as Mary did point out correctly.

      Depending on which basis technology you indent to use for interface data transmission, you might need the PI system, too. E.g. for proxy communication, you need to define the proxy structures somewhere, this can be done in ESR (Enterprise Service Repository, part of PI) or in newer application releases you also can do this in the application system directly.

      We also have customers who did implement SAP Application Interface Framework to process IDOCs and PI is not a prerequisite in this scenario.

      If you send me an email (my email is mentioned in the article), I can send you more detailed information. We have seen excellent benefits and savings from our customers for interface implementation as well as in monitoring and error handling.

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Markus Gille
      Markus Gille

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you very much for your great article! 🙂 It was a pleasure to chat with you about SAP Application Interface Framework and which benefits it can provide.

      Thanks and best regards,