My name is Vijay Vital and I have been working on integrating SAP with the Ariba network. I am certified in SAP Ariba and S/4HANA. I blog on Ariba network integrations, which can be found under following profiles here and here.
One of the most common discussions that I come across is about the various integration tools used to integrate SAP or S/4HANA with the Ariba Network. In this article, I would like to share my view of the integration architecture that I would recommend when integrating with the Ariba Network as a buyer.
As an architect, one of the important facts to consider is that the Ariba Network is in the cloud as a Software As A Service (SAAS) and SAP Ariba gets upgraded every 3-6 months. The architecture should not only cater for integration during the project but also consider the ongoing upgrades to be scheduled to stay current in line with the Ariba Network upgrades.
SAP Ariba Add-on OR Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway (CIG) OR SAP NetWeaver adapter
Below are 3 scenarios that I comes to my mind.
Scenario 1: Customers use IDocs/BAPI/RFC and middleware in their current landscape
Some Customers could have existing IDocs/BAPI/RFC Integration with Ariba Network. They could have used SAP NetWeaver or similar middleware to talk to SAP Ariba. The use of a middleware tends to be one or more of the follow reasons:
- They could have been long time users of Ariba (Some prior to SAP acquiring Ariba) and when CIG or an add-on didn’t exist during their implementation
- Some Customers only allow middleware to talk to systems outside corporate network (DMZ) due to security requirement
- The end users are familiar with existing integration and its error handling processes.
My Recommendation for the above scenarios is to use the current architecture used by the Customer
Note: If Customers currently integrates purchase orders, purchase order acknowledgments. advance ship notices and invoices but want to move to “SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration” version which have lot more interfaces, then you could consider migrating them to the other scenarios described below.
Scenario 2: Customers use IDocs with limitation on the middleware capabilities
Some Customers have limitation using the existing SAP NetWeaver or middleware. The reasons tend to be one or more of the following;
- Have a customised solution and need additional complex mapping by supplier or supplier groups.
- They don’t have a middleware or prefer not to use the on-premise middleware.
- Have little resource or no resource for mapping the on-premise middleware.
- Moving to the cloud strategy.
My Recommendation for the above scenarios is to use the Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway who can manage your mapping and help with integrating your system with Ariba Network.
Scenario 3: Customers prefer to integrate directly like S/4HANA integration with Ariba
Some Customers want to integrate directly to Ariba network and leverage the latest integration options available. The reasons tend to be one or more of the following;
- Green field implementations.
- Roadmap towards SAP S/4HANA.
- Rapid deployment of solution approach.
My Recommendation for the above scenarios I recommend using SAP Add-On for Business Suite or S/4HANA native add-on for Ariba. These add-ons can be upgraded independently of the SAP ECC there by making it easy to be maintained with cloud solution.
Good Luck choosing the integration architecture that best fits for your Customer requirements.