Introduction


Recently we got a requirement from our client to handle EDI messages using third party solutions available in the market. While doing R & D I got this information and thought of sharing. As per my knowledge it is not advisable to go for third-party EDI solutions by considering its features, compatibility, highly availability, flexibility for the integration and monitoring.

I’m going to discuss some of the third-party EDI solutions available in the market and the common issues while using them in PI landscape. We should get the professional license to use them in SAP NW PI. Some of the third-party vendors taking care of the deployment,maintenance and support if you have the license.

To handle B2B/EDI messages SAP is providing B2B Add-on which contains rich set of generic EDI adapters, we should have separate license to access these features. Some of the third-party tools which provide EDI solutions and support to SAP NW PI are listed below.


Vendor

Solutions

Remarks

AEDAPTIVe Solutions

EDI Adapter for SAP Net weaver

PI Adapters for EDIFACT,AS2 ,SFTP and PGP

Axway

ACTIS Automotive Package

PI adapters and content with focus on automotive industry including OFTP support

Corporate business solutions

cbs PI Industry Solution for EDIFACT

PI adapter and content covering AS2, EDIFACT and subsets

itelligence (de/en)

it.x-change

PI adapters and content covering AS2, SFTP, FTAM, X.400, EDIFACT and subsets

Resource Informatik

R-EDI Adapter

PI adapter module for generic EDI conversion including EDIFACT and subsets

Adaptive Solutions


AS2 Adapter for Netweaver


AEDAPTIVe’s AS2 Adapter for SAP NetWeaver® offers secure and reliable EDIINT AS2 capabilities to exchange EDI, XML or any text message format of choice via the Internet is supported without the need of additional software. The AEDAPTIVe AS2 Adapter for SAP NetWeaver® is certified and “Powered by NetWeaver”.


Features


  • Unlimited license!
  • Automatic document recognition. Using embedded correlation logic and recognition document can be easily tracked in a correlated matter.
  • Built-in AS2 support. No need for additional software or tools. Only a fixed Internet connection will be sufficient to reduce EDI networking costs.
  • Message Monitor for viewing native XML or EDI content.
  • Display EAN -numbers when available from message.
  • Included test scenarios for educational purposes. Safely play around with AS2 using guided procedures.


Support


  • HTTP(s).
  • AS2.
  • XML.
  • Flat Files.
  • 3DES encryption.
  • RC2 (40,64,128) encryption.
  • AES (128,192,256) encryption.
  • MD5 , SHA1 signing.

SFTP Adapter for Netweaver


The AEDAPTIVe SFTP Adapter client for SAP NetWeaver© was originately designed and written for a few industry leaders in the Retail and High Tech industry, to enable SAP Exchange Infrastructure to exchange files securely with other internal applications, as regular FTP did not meet the companies security policies. The adapter is able to push files to other SFTP applications or pull files using a listener mechanism. For authentication, the adapter supports three methods, which should cover basically any common security measure.


Like any other AEDAPTIVe solution, the SFTP Adapter is built on the SAP NetWeaver Adapter Framework. This ensures customers native integration with NetWeaver and existing monitoring tools such as SAP Solution Manager and the underlying CCMS. The adapter can be used in transparent conjunction with other adapters already available in SAP NetWeaver.


SFTP Adapter Features


Feature

Support

Remarks

SFTP version

Draft version 3

AEDAPTIVe SFTP supports draft version 3, which is the most commonly implemented

Supported data streams

SSH2 only

SFTP can be used over several data streams, notably SSH1 and SSH2. AEDAPTIVe SFTP only supports SSH2 which offers several security benefits over SSH1

Authentication Methods

PWD, Public Key and Host based

Supports Public Key authentication and Host Based authentication. The following SFTP servers have been tested with these authentication methods: OpenSSH and SSH Communications.

Proxy

HTTP, SOCKS4, and SOCKS5 proxy authentication

SFTP Sender and Receiver can access SFTP servers via a proxy server; authentication on the proxy server with user name and password is also supported

Archiving

Supported

Possibility to archive messages on the SFTP server or locally on the PI server

Setting file permissions on new files

Supported

The SFTP Receiver adapter can set the UNIX file permissions after writing the file to the SFTP server


SAP NW PI Features


Feature

Support

Remarks

SAP NetWeaver PI version support

SAP NetWeaver 2004 (XI 3.0), SP 12 or higherSAP NetWeaver 2004s (PI 7.0), SP 8 or higher. SAP NetWeaver 7.3

Adapter specific message attributes

Supported

SFTP Sender Adapter supports: File Name, Directory, File Type, Source File Size, Source File Timestamp, Source SFTP Host. SFTP Receiver Adapter supports: File Name, Directory.

Control via runtime workbench

Supported

The SFTP Sender and Receiver Adapter can be manipulated via SAP NetWeaver RTW just as any standard SAP Adapter

Type of Data Stream

Binary

SFTP draft version 3 is a binary only protocol. Inbound and outbound data can still be manipulated as text in SAP NetWeaver PI

Scheduler

Supported for SFTP sender adapter

In the SFTP Sender Adapter a scheduler is available that allows the configuration of the polling interval and polling times. With this polling mechanism it is possible to restrict polling to specific week days and/or times.

Variable Substitution

Supported

The SFTP Receiver Adapter support variable substitution options similar to those of the standard File Adapter

AEDAPTIVe’s EDI Adapter


The AEDAPTIVe EDI Adapter for SAP NetWeaver® is certified and “Powered by NetWeaver”. From an integration perspective native integration with the NetWeaver Adapter Framework (JCA compliant) is guaranteed. Creating the opportunity to use existing monitoring and management applications such as CCMS and SAP Solution Manager® out of the box.


Features


  • Competitive license structure. AEDAPTIVe’s EDI Adapter for SAP NetWeaver® comes with an unlimited per production seat license. Meaning no limitations to business partners, message volume or size or connected systems.
  • Cross-industry. The adapter is extended with industry specific adapter content when needed.
  • VAN Explorer. Extend your way of tracking messages in the event of failures. Use the VAN Explorer to see the content of the VAN-mailbox.
  • Automatic document recognition. Using embedded correlation logic and recognition document can be easily tracked in a correlated matter.
  • Configurable check for out-of-sequence message ID’s.
  • Batch mode configuration for outbound documents following a schedule per receiver communication channel.
  • Bundle multiple outbound documents following the same schedule in one EDI envelop.
  • Message Monitor for viewing native XML or EDI content.
  • Display EAN-numbers when available from message.
  • AS2 Adapter (optional adapter).
  • PGP Encryption / Decryption (optional module).
  • Included test scenarios for educational purposes. Safely play around with EDI using guided procedures.
  • Support UN/EDIFACT, EANCOM, TRADACOMS, ANSI X12.
  • Built-in X.400 support.

AXWay


Axway Automotive Supply Chain Ready-to-Run Package


The Axway Ready-to-Run package provides pre-configured standard scenarios, processes, and dashboards for all typical business processes in the automotive industry. The package includes typical workflows from order to payment, with connectivity (OFTP, FTP, etc.), ERP extension (e.g. SAP), any-to-any transformation, and mappings based on automotive standards.


Known Issues

  • Version compatibility: Some 3rd-party tools are compatible with SAP NW PI 7.3 and some of them are upto PI 7.1 only. If we are planning for SAP NW PI upgrade it will be a problem, because all your EDI interfaces are running on third-party EDI tools [You are dependent on third-part vendors] which may not have the higher SP NW PI version compatibility. In those cases we may need to move our EDI interfaces to Seeburger [it will be like a new implementation which needs more time and efforts] or wait until the compatible version release from third-party vendor. We will not face these kinds of issues if we use Seeburger B2B add-on, SAP will take care of the higher version compatibility.
  • Deployment: To use the third-party EDI features we should deploy the adapter and conversion module source files in SAP PI using NWDS or Eclipse and we should maintain the adapter URL to send and receive the EDI messages. Deploying is a big challenge for basis team.

  • Monitoring:Since it is not SAP based product we can’t monitor and set the alerts when the interface got failed. We should consistently monitor the system to find the issues.


Conclusion

Considering all these aspects it is better to go for SAP B2B add-on for SAP NW PI / PO which contains rich set of B2B EDI adapters, converter modules and B2B infrastructure services.

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10 Comments

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  1. Pavan kumar

    Good One Bhargav.

    Small Correction in 3rd paragraph,To Handle B2B/EDI messages SAP is providing its own B2B Add on similar to Seeburger suite which is a separate licensing cost but not for SAP SFTP and SAP PGP. SAP is not offering Seeburger add on since SAP and Seeburger both are different software providers.

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