I have been a programmer practically since forever, having already used many languages, many platforms and faced some challenges. Perhaps one of the most unusual was having to learn Assembly in a few days to be able to connect a data acquisition card to a Java client-server application, which allowed interacting with equipment of a chemical laboratory via the Internet. This was in 1997, the time of dial-up internet in Brazil, when I was completing my Master in Chemical Engineering. Challenges and innovation have always motivated me.
More recently I had the opportunity to know the SAP world, and become a partner. Old wish to be able to work with the biggest and the best: SAP. As a sales channel for SAP Business One in a state in the south of Brazil, I came to know the SAP B1 Integration Framework by forwarding the destination: in my first sale of SAP B1, I ended up taking on a B1If project and need to know the tool.
Project was successfully delivered and after three years I currently use B1If almost daily, and I can say there is nothing better to integrate and expand SAP Business One. In my opinion, SAP B1If is the best tool and the best technology to optimize and accelerate the Digital Transformation journey for SAP Business One customers.
About SAP B1 Integration Framework – B1If
The SAP B1 Integration Framework is a standard SAP Business One platform, built under Apache and Java and alowing development using process flows, default adapters and XSLT language. SAP B1 Integration Framework is already used by SAP to offer the features of Dashboards and Mobile, and for out-of-box packages such as RFQ, Customer Checkout, Subsidiary and Intercompany.
SAP B1If also allows integration with other SAP applications (such as SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business Suite, SAP Business ByDesign, SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Hybrys, SAP Customer Checkout and SAP Cloud Platform), integrations with IoT via Raspberry Pi, docker and multitenant use, and much more.
More recently SAP launched the Integration Hub, a set of preconfigured templates based on SAP B1If to integrate cloud-based business applications and services, such as Shopify, Magento, Aramex, DHL, FedEx, UPS, Fixer, Mailchimp, SendGrid, Nexmo, Expensify, automated request for quotation.
Developing passive REST API in B1If
In this post I am going to demonstrate the use of the B1If platform for the development of passive REST API that accelerate the expansion capacity of SAP Business One with apps, websites, iPaas platforms and other expert systems.
Using an innovative and disruptive design, the REST APIs allow any company to connect their ERP to business ecosystems in a simple, accessible and fast way.
Image 1 – Passive API REST developed in SAP B1If as a gate for app, site, iPaas and specialized system to connect with SAP Business One – image by Monica Nietsche and Rafael Ogeda
The API developed in this project were designed to allow companies to easily and quickly “unlock” their ERPs for true Digital Transformation, allowing them to expose business objects in a loosely coupled concept. In other words, the integration layer and the connection with the business objects are part of the management system, without the need for intervention in the ERP structure. With this we have an integration environment independent of ERP.
Initially, three specific connectors were developed as passive REST API: b2cAPI (ecommerce B2C), crmAPI (Customer Relationship Management) and wmsAPI (Warehouse Management System).
We also intend for 2020, in addition to expansions and new versions for the three initial connectors, to develop four more connectors: mesAPI (shop floor), accAPI (accounting), finAPI (financial) and supAPI (supply chain).
Image 2 – Passive API REST developed in SAP B1If as a gate for app, site, iPaas and specialized system to connect with SAP Business One – image by Monica Nietsche and Rafael Ogeda
Structural view of the development
The structural view of the development involves the use of loosely coupled integrations, using standard and specialized environments and tools from SAP Business One, the use of microservices and the recording of business objects using standard and reliable ERP resources. For SQL databases we use recordings via DI-API and for HANA database we use recordings via ServiceLayer.
The development carried out uses only processes and the standard data dictionary of SAP Business One, but allows flexibility for the use of both user fields (UDF) and standard fields not covered in the standard API.
Details: Basic Auth, body request/response in application/json, pagination, incremental query, monitoring (usage, database), treatment of custom fields and standard fields not used by the API, roadmap, configurable by client, complete documentation in the Postman standard, Web Monitoring Portal developed in PHP to monitor the use of the API and recordings in SAP B1.
Rafael Hernandes Ogeda
Note: all images presented here were created by Rafael Ogeda and Monica Nietsche, .
“Thank you very much Monica for sharing the dream and the realization with me. Love you!”
- Integration Framework for SAP Business One (B1if) – Central Blog (post blog by Mirian Rieger)
- Loosely Coupled Solutions for SMBs Topics – Central Blog (post blog by Ralph Oliveira)
- openSAP course: In Action – Integration Framework for SAP Business One