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Author's profile photo Former Member

B2B or not to be?

The blog is about the B2B add-on features I like the most and use most often when I am working on integration scenarios involving EDI formats:

  1. Trading Partner Management tool
  2. The number and variety of EDI formats that B2B add-on supports out of the box
  3. B2B configuration tables in the B2B cockpit
  4. EDI <–  –> xml converter tool
  5. B2B RDS content

  6. plus Integration Advisor which is not part of B2B add-on, but is worth attention as far as B2B integration is concerned.

Did you ever face a challenge of exchanging EDI messages within SAP Process Integration ?

Let me give you an example of a few EDI formats, you will then know why I am talking about a challenge here:

EDI Formats.png

If you did, you probably ended up using Seeburger for SAP PI or any other solution which would translate your EDI message to a more “PI friendly format”!

There are many companies, which as a knock-on effect of adding an additional EDI format converting software to their landscape:

  • ended up having additional licence costs;
  • needed ( and still need ) to ensure that they have got people with skills to support their chosen EDI software either in house, external or offshore.

Now, if they need to change one of their current EDI scenarios or they want to start exchanging EDI messages with a new trading partner, they are reluctant to do that change as it is a time and money consuming process.

The good news is that there is now dream come true solution to EDI integration:

SAP Process Orchestration with B2B add-on installed! 🙂

B2B add-on is included in SAP Process Orchestration packet!

Have a look at the picture below that illustrates building blocks of SAP PI and SAP PO.

PI versus PO with B2B add-on.png

Now, you can use the power of BPM, BRM, PI and B2B add-on in one integration scenario! 😎

I have been using B2B add-on since SP01 was released in 2012. We are on SP04 now.

SAP PO B2B add-on features that are making my everyday life as SAP PO integration consultant  a lot easier are:

  1. Trading Partner Management tool

I can easily maintain details of trading partners, such as contact details, connection data, message types and certificates and then re-use already tested PI mappings. SP04 makes it possible to adjust this data in bulk. Also, it is now possible to import and export data via Web Services APIs or CSV – an important feature when the details of trading partners are maintained in other sources. I have learned all about trading partner management from SAP’s document which was a base for all the scenarios I have implemented.

  1. The number and variety of EDI formats that B2B add-on supports out of the box

There are hundreds of EDI formats and their versions supported by B2B add-on out of the box.

If you want to download the latest list of supported formats, you can download it from SAP Software Download Center together with B2B add-on.    

  1. B2B configuration tables in the B2B integration cockpit

B2B configuration tables in the B2B integration cockpit are handy when I need to configure and test a bespoke EDI format.

  1. EDI ß à xml converter tool

This is a very handy tool I use a lot when developing EDI integration scenario to find out why my test message is failing and what I need to change to fix it:

EDI converter.jpg

  1. Predefined and preconfigured ESR content for order to cash and procure to pay processes that is part of B2B RDS

      SAP Process Orchestration Rapid Development Solution for EDI B2B add-on includes:

B2B RDS.jpg

B2B RDS package consists of the following tasks:

  • B2B Add-On installation
  • Deployment of the predefined and preconfigured content for order to cash and procure to pay processes
  • Two day workshop focusing on introduction and hand over of content to the customer
  • Configuration of 10 message types / partner combinations on the PI development or test system
  • Go live support

6. Integration Advisor

There is also a fantastic SAP tool for B2B and EDI integration in the cloud which is Integration Advisor. The solution is cloud-based, so that it is easy to collaborate with your Business Partners on the design, modelling and testing of your integration scenario. Such integration scenario can be then deployed to SAP Process Orchestration on premise or Hana Could Integration. The Integration Advisor puts an end to the mapping excel sheets that are now often used as a design tool. J I hope I will write more about this tool in the near future. For now I recommend reading one of the integration advisor gurus’ document on SAP community network:

B2B or not to be?

My answer is: B2B.

What is your answer?

Or which features of the B2B add-on do you like the most ?

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Agnieszka,

      Nice one!

      Personally, I liked the feature to override Functional Acknowledgements from TPM configuration. It was quite useful. In my case, only few partners wanted FA.

      So the FA in EDI separator receiver channel was turned off in general and specific partners who needed FA were maintained in TPM configuration.

      But on the other hand I would like to see lot of essential features to be added in near future like

      1) Central Place to configure elaborate envelope configurations like other popular standalone B2B tools offer

      2) Batching of documents automatically based on UNB, ISA envelopes on the outbound.

      Now batching can be done only in the mapping. But the EDI mapping and context handling becomes very complex.



      Sudharshan N A

      Author's profile photo Dimitri Sannen
      Dimitri Sannen

      Hi Agnieszka,

      Great to see your enthusiasm! 🙂

      Keep sharing your experiences.

      Kind regards,