How to integrate Omnichannel Article Availability and Sourcing with 3rd party solutions
Dear Retail community,
Beyond powerful POS document management and superb planning and forecast capabilities, SAP Customer Activity Repository serves as the Omnichannel Commerce Hub, which runs best and in full harmony with SAP Hybris Commerce as the Omnichannel Commerce Platform.
Without surprise SAP Hybris Commerce a key element in the SAP Retail Omnichannel reference architecture, and is well integrated with SAP Retail to run the full set of omnichannel business scenarios.
However, switching from a 3rd party digital commerce platform to SAP Hybris Commerce is not an overnight task but a project of its own. Therefore the omnichannel innovations in SAP CAR are designed to integrate also with 3rd party non-SAP commerce platforms.
As a prerequisite the 3rd party commerce platform has to be integrated with the SAP backend (SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA 1709) for master data, sales area (SAP sales org, distribution channel, …), retail article master data specialties (generic articles, product sets), product hierarchy, …, and typically processes the orders of a commerce platform for logistical fulfillment, billing etc. But this has to be done anyway when a digital commerce platform is to be integrated with SAP systems. So this is typically in place when retailers think about the integration with SAP Retail omnichannel innovations.
The SAP CAR based Omnichannel Article Availability and Sourcing (aka OAA) innovation was developed to serve as a framework for calling applications. SAP Hybris Commerce is such a calling application, and is integrated with OAA by the SAP Hybris Commerce integration package for SAP for Retail, which is free of charge for SAP Hybris Commerce licensed customers.
The Hybris Commerce integration package not only provides the full retail master data, OAA and order integration, but also the integration with SAP CAR based Omnichannel Promotion Pricing, Hybris Marketing for product and offer recommendations. In addition it integrates the Hybris Assisted Service Mode with SAP CAR, SAP ERP and SAP Hybris Marketing for the comprehensive integration of physical store sales activities with digital commerce (no blog yet), making professional clienteling and endless aisle scenarios possible.
But coming back to the headline:
How can a 3rd party commerce platform integrate with the SAP CAR based Omnichannel Availability and Sourcing:
The integration of a commerce platform (here SAP Commerce) with OAA is twofold:
- Asynchronous integration (using iDocs)
- Stores and DCs from SAP CAR to SAP Commerce
- Aggregated stock qty + rough stock indicator from OAA to SAP Commerce and SOLR search engine (for the search index)
- Periodically full and delta update from OAA into SAP Commerce and SOLR
- This replication of stock inventory and RSI’s into SAP Commerce is required to “relieve” SAP CAR from the vast majority of synchronous calls for inventory checks (product lists, search results, customers browsing through categories, checking product details), leaving computing capacity for more relevant calls (shopping basket, checkout)
- Periodical replication of web orders from SAP Commerce to SAP backend
- Synchronous integration (real-time) using REST web services
- Omnichannel availability check by SAP Commerce in SAP CAR
- Omnichannel sourcing by SAP Commerce in CAR
- Temporary reservation of sourcing results during checkout by SAP Commerce in CAR
Fig.1: Omnichannel Article Availability and Sourcing- Integration and simplified process diagram
The REST web services and iDocs used by OAA are described in my blog in the Omnichannel Customer Wiki > Helpful links for OAA developers.
In addition to the asynchronous and synchronous integration there is a failsafe mechanism in SAP Hybris Commerce and the integration package, to run the commerce platform offline in case SAP CAR is not responding in time. See my OAA blog in chapter “Offline scenario”.
Stock replication without SAP CAR
In case you have no CAR and you would like to replicate your distribution center stock (DC stock) information from the SAP back end to your ecommerce solution, please check this blog:
- New: How to extract ATP stock 20-400x faster from standard ERP and S/4 (by using OAA’s parallelization capabilities)
Without CAR you can only replicate DC stock to your ecommerce platform. Also, there is no omnichannel sourcing and stock reservation possible as this is performed in SAP CAR.
I hope this blog helps you to understand what is required when integrating OAA with a 3rd party commerce platform.
Feel free to drop your comments and questions below.
Dr. Ingo Woesner
Global Director, Outbound Product Management Retail Omni-Channel
Follow me on SAP Community Network and LinkedIn
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Thank you Ingo!! This is very helpful!!
Thanks Ingo for sharing.
Thank you for sharing.
We have issues with sourcing XSD and it's relevant PUT body segments.
Problem is sourcing XSD doesn't' have the following name space segment.However, the PUT request would expect this segment for the correct Payload generation. Our HYBRIS platform throws exception when we try to use the XSD.
<asx:abap xmlns:asx="http://www.sap.com/abapxml" version="1.0">
Sourcing PUT example:
I'm in product management, which means: I cannot code... sorry ...
May I ask you to create an OSS ticket?
Hello Mr Woesner
Thank you for a good read of intended setup.
We are live in POSDM on CAR and are looking at answering "the stock/inventory question" out of OAA in CAR.
We have 3rd part Web Sales System.
As a CAR consultant i am naturally advocating for using OAA, but i am faceing a few hard questions.
This means changes in Purchasing related documents would not take effect for 20 minutes...
This is a problem due to re-initialization of a SLT'ed table.
One reason could be the Country Of Origin Master data field that is legally important.
let's have a skype to discuss. I would invite a retail architect as well.
I have send you a private message with my email address, otherwise take my firstname.lastname with @sap.com
PLease send me an email an I will set up the skype.
Hi Ingo Woesner - this is really interesting for some of our upcoming business models. Is there an approach for a 3rd party solutions that aren't fully transaction and just focused on perhaps product availability? Would you expect them to consume the OAA API direct from CAR for availability for example? I can imagine a lot of calls to CAR...
OAA stock information is replicated to Commerce and/or the 3rd party e-commerce solution for low accurateness requests (e.g. search results, browsing, product details). CAR OAA API should only be called from basket and check out, or for the stock availability of a specific store.
The CAR OAA API is built for high volume and is operational with a 5000 store retailer (3 CARs, one per region). So depending on your (medium) volume and hardware a permanent availability check might be feasible.