SAP Automation allows external applications to integrate with R/3 systems through a suit of components, tools and class libraries from web server, server and desktop. SAP Automation enables interaction between R/3 and outside world and it is possible to have read and write access from outside of R/3 to SAP BAPIS (Business APIS), business Objects and, RFC function modules, application screens data, metadata & other contents. SAP automation can also capture the interaction among SAPGUI screens and end user, input data in a batch mode into R/3, can receive or send outbound or inbound IDoc Documents.
External Applications can be integrated with R/3 through two interfaces. These interfaces are also known as channels or tools discussed as below:
A RFC interface establishes communication among sap and non-sap system, or among various modules on the same system. Basically RFC is used to enhance the functionality of sap system from an external (non-SAP) system. When compared with GUI interface, this method requires the knowledge of business and transaction logic.
Through RFCs (Remote Function Calls) a NON-SAP System may acts as a server or client to an SAP System or vise versa. Such as a Non-SAP system or program can receive RFCs (Remote Function Calls)
From a SAP System and similarly can make RFCs (Remote Function Calls) to an SAP system.
Also a number of SAP Automation tools can be combined into programming environment to incorporate remote function calls. Therefore, it is clear that ABAP programming knowledge
is required to call a remote function in R/3 and also there might be a need for expansion of codes available. However, SAP Automation has made the programming RFCs easier by
Providing the products supporting lanaguages such as Visual Basic, Java, C++, and C.
A GUI interface allows replacing standard SAPGUI with a graphical (or non-graphical) user interface through which communication takes place among R/3 application server and SAPGUI via a client program. This client program can make data easily accessible into or from R/3 without having knowledge of ABAP programming and transaction and business logic.
Another method of GUI interface is to integrate non-GUI interfaces with an external program connected with R/3. Like World Wide Web pages or multimedia kiosks.
The benefit of this GUI interface is that there is no need to rebuild R/3 application from the scratch rather purpose is solved through replacing an interface only.
GUI Interface is preferred when a quick alternate is required in terms of new interface for integration with R/3 application. However, the best alternative would be to combine
RFC interfaces and ABAP programming and then develop a new integrated application with R/3 system.
Examples include like a telephone interface for financial applications or similarly for logistics applications. A kiosk application is another a good example which provides self-service entry or review of information