This post is a follow up post to the blog post Integrating SAP Ariba solutions with SAP Cloud IAG published by my colleague Sonia Petrescu. So, I recommend visiting that blog post first if you are new to this concept.
[Update: Feb 2021: SAP has now released standard integration between IAG and Ariba Sourcing Suite as well. But the below concept can still be followed for extensibility purpose]
A quick summary of what you will get from this blog post
- Understanding of SAP IAG to SAP Ariba standard integration Technical flow
- Understanding of difference between integration with a full suite Ariba application vs integration with Strategic Sourcing Suite (in IAG context)
- How to approach additional integration capability using SAP Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud IAG – Identity and Access Governance is a Cloud based user administration and governance application which has integration capability to various SAP solutions (On-premise, Cloud and Hybrid). Here we are focusing on integration of SAP IAG to SAP Ariba Applications.
SAP IAG to SAP Ariba standard integration Technical flow
What could often commonly interpreted as SAP IAG integration with SAP Ariba, in reality needs understanding of WHICH SAP Ariba Module exactly are we integrating to. This blog post dedicatedly targets towards explaining the nature of integration towards SAP Ariba with SAP IAG differentiating the various combination possible with it and how to approach in which scenario.
Let’s start with the recap from the previous post what the Standard Integration means for this.
The standard out of the box integration basically provides a native connection between these two applications (SAP IAG and SAP Ariba) to seamlessly interact with each other without any need of additional integration component. Let me try to visualize this in following diagram.
Understanding the difference
What this basically means is that, when we say SAP Cloud IAG integrates with SAP Ariba, it actually natively integrates with Ariba Buying (and Invoicing) module, and from there if the applications are suite integrated, it will also integrate the users and authorizations to Strategic Sourcing Suite applications too. and this is ideally the Best Practice too.
I have intentionally kept Ariba Network as a separate entity as this entity runs on an entirely different platform and does not belong to the user provisioning context of Ariba applications.
So, as you can already start to analyze, if you or your customer has only subscription for SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing applications like Sourcing or Contracts or SLP etc, the standard native integration would not suffice without the presence of a Buying module (as of now). This situation may also arise if you are planning to deploy Strategic Sourcing first and then at later point in future might be planning for Buying modules.
[Update: Feb 2021: Standard integration has now been extended to stand alone Stategic Sourcing module as well. Utilize the following concept for extensibility purpose ]
In this situation, an innovative approach can be the following:
- Interfere the native interfacing mechanism
- Change the destinations to work with SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing module
- Format the data (both ways) to match the requirement of each system: SAP Cloud IAG and SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing applications.
Extension of SAP IAG Integration to SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing via SAP CPI
To make this approach simpler, I can propose utilization of the same SAP Cloud Platform with the extended integration capability by using SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI). Let me visualize this in the following diagram.
So, basically, as shown above, here we are using the following approach.
- Creating a CPI IFLOW which can do the following
- Receive request from SAP Cloud IAG for information towards “an” Ariba system (ideally intended for Buying module)
- Parse the information so that SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing modules can understand it
- Split and Route the requests to SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing module by calling interfaces provided by SAP Ariba.
- Get the information back from SAP Ariba
- Parse it back so that SAP Cloud IAG can understand it
- Route the information back to SAP Cloud IAG coming from “an” SAP Ariba (ideally it would have meant it is coming from Buying module)
- Set the destination in SAP Cloud IAG to the above iflow URL.
- Set the destination in the iflow for SAP Ariba Strategic Sourcing interface for User and Groups.
We have already done the proof of concept for this to prove that this approach works pretty smooth.
To conclude, When it comes to managing and governing User and Access information centrally, you can benefit by the power of SAP Cloud Platform by utilizing SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) module to get best of both worlds, without the limitation of which SAP Ariba Module you are subscribing to at that point of time.
- For information regarding exact native integration supported product portfolio please refer to the respective SAP product documentation pages.
- This blog post is to focused on sharing the idea of extensibility using SAP CPI for such kind of tricky situation. This is not a development specification document and should not be treated as so.