SAP Application Interface Framework: All You Need to Know About SAP AIF
SAP Application Interface Framework, popularly known as AIF, is a solution that enables you to create, deploy, monitor and manage all your application interfaces in one place. You have a message monitor that will provide you an overview of all the relevant interfaces and the messages that are being processed in your responsible areas. One of the biggest advantages you have as a business user is that you can correct errors and improving the efficiency of error handling. You can separate the technical and business aspects of monitoring interfaces, saving a lot of time for business users in areas where they can react and ensure that business is not interrupted. This results in financial savings for the business as well.
Here’s the big picture of how AIF fits into your overall landscape:
What are the Key Features of AIF?
Here’s a high-level overview of the features that are supported:
- Simplified monitoring, alerts and error handling: You can monitor interfaces across technologies centrally. You can also configure alerts for the errors, mass error handling, and most importantly, empower business users. If there are any errors that are business related and non-technical, your business user can fix the error without involving IT.
- Build your own business process with checks, value mappings, structure mappings & actions: You have the option of building your own business process using the features provided by AIF. For example, you can build a process to send a file to a business partner by using checks to ensure that all the required information is added and use value mapping to map the values to the business partner’s template. You can then use actions to send this data to the business partner.
- Reuse components across multiple interfaces: You can develop small configurable components that can be reused across different interfaces and technologies. This can save you a lot of time if you have similar scenarios across multiple interfaces.
- Customize authorizations: You can assign role-based authorizations to define access at an interface level or based on interface data.
- Help in implementing DPP measures: Data protection and privacy (DPP) compliance is very important in today’s world and AIF will help you hide sensitive fields or structures in monitoring, record audit log changes, access to personal data and manage blockage and deletion of personal data.
How is AIF Delivered?
SAP Application Interface Framework is available for both cloud and on-premise systems. For on-premise systems, AIF is available as a part of the SAP S/4 HANA on-premise edition. If you want to monitor the custom interfaces you developed, you will need to purchase an additional license, AIFGEN. For more information on the same, check out this blog on licensing or documentation link. AIF is also available as an add-on that you can install and use on your on-premise system (up to SAP NetWeaver 7.50).
In the cloud, AIF is available as a set of apps under the Message Monitoring section. This might be slightly confusing because you do not see Application Interface Framework specifically mentioned in the user interface, but you can rest assured knowing that AIF is working in the backend systems.
For a more detailed information on the roadmap for AIF, see this blog: New Product Roadmap for SAP Application Interface Framework (AIF) Available.
The delivery timelines for AIF is same as that of SAP S4 HANA on-premise and cloud editions since it is a part of the software stack. You can expect updates to your on-premise installation of AIF once in 12 months and to your cloud apps every quarter.
What About the AIF Add-On?
If you are wondering about the AIF Add-On that can be used with almost any supported interface based on-premise software, that is still available for you. The latest version of the add on, AIF 4.0, is available. But if you are using the latest or older versions of the add-on, you can rest assured that the maintenance for these components will still be supported. The fixes and modifications will be released in the form of service packs, or popularly known as SPs.
Areas of Future Investment
One of the key areas of future investment for AIF will be in improving the usability and user experience of the applications. You can expect to see all the functionalities that you currently use in applications that are powered by Fiori UI. From a technical perspective, you will see support for monitoring OData interfaces. In addition, you will see AIF being integrated with SAP Cloud Platform Integration, the flagship cloud-based middleware application for both cloud and hybrid integration scenarios. You can monitor errors from Cloud Integration in AIF. This will be further extended, and the long-term vision is to enable interoperability of AIF with SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Cloud Platform Workflow Services, and SAP Cloud Platform Integration Content Advisor.
For more detailed information on AIF on-premise and cloud versions, please refer to the detailed blogs: