Solving SAP integration challenges with Anypoint Platform

anypoint cloud integration

Anypoint Platform helps you connect SAP’s on-premises and cloud-based solutions, SAP middleware, third-party legacy systems, and modern, best-of-breed technologies.

Integrating SAP with other core business systems is no easy feat. Given its complexity and business-critical nature, small requests to update functionality can take considerable effort and time, resulting in a backlog of projects that stall innovation. Further, the proprietary nature of the SAP ecosystem often leads customers to resort to a patchwork of integration solutions to solve various use cases, creating solution-specific connections that make it difficult to scale as the business inevitably evolves.

However, overcoming these challenges is possible with the right technology. Uniquely built as a single solution, MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform eliminates the need to navigate multiple, disparate tools across your organization. It’s based on industry-standard technologies and development tools that your developers are already familiar with, and it uses an Eclipse-based environment with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to accelerate development. Or, when desired, developers can get right into the code by using XML. Default support for Apache Maven and easy integration with CI/CD systems, such as Jenkins, accelerate integration projects.

All these benefits combined, adopting Anypoint Platform dramatically reduces training and staffing requirements, development costs, and the time it takes to realize value.

Connect SAP to any app, data, or device

A leading platform for SAP integration, Anypoint Platform helps you connect SAP’s on-premises and cloud-based solutions, SAP middleware, third-party legacy systems, and modern, best-of-breed technologies. To do so, MuleSoft provides a library of over 50 SAP integration assets, including SAP-certified connectors (ECC, S/4Hana, Hybris, Concur, SuccessFactors, and BusinessObjects) and integration templates between SAP and common endpoints such as Salesforce and Workday. We also provide over 200 total integration assets to connect to the other systems in your technology stack.

Mule runtime engine supports SAP integration through an Anypoint Connector, which is an SAP-certified Java connector that leverages SAP Java Connector (JCo) libraries. The connector supports a number of SAP solutions, including ERP, Cloud for Customer, Supplier Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, and any other modules compatible with the NetWeaver platform.

Through the SAP Connector, users can enable Mule applications to:

  1. Execute BAPI functions over the RFC protocol, supporting the following types:
    1. Synchronous RFC (sRFC)
    2. Transactional RFC (tRFC)
    3. Queued RFC (qRFC)
  2. Act as a JCo Server to be called as a BAPI over sRFC, tRFC and qRFC.
  3. Send IDocs over tRFC and qRFC.
  4. Receive IDocs over tRFC and qRFC.
  5. Transform SAP objects (JCo Function/BAPI & IDocs) to and from XML.

With MuleSoft’s SAP connector, you can use the RFC protocol to connect to NetWeaver Application Servers. Since SAP solutions run on top of NetWeaver, anyone using the SAP connector can access those systems and facilitate both outbound and inbound communications between applications and systems.

Unlike SAP interfaces, SAP Gateway, and other integration approaches, our connectors do not require specialized skill sets or custom development. They only require simple configuration, making it fast and easy to build SAP integration apps. Learn more about our connector for SAP ECC and S/4Hana by reading the supporting documentation.

Practical application: order to cash

Convincing customers to buy products and services is only part of the sales cycle, and many sales reps lack the tools to complete the entire transaction. Manual entry of sales orders in SAP is inefficient, and reps lack visibility if they cannot see fulfillment status within their CRM. In today’s world, customers buy from companies that can serve them most quickly, efficiently, and accurately, and an efficient order to cash (O2C) process enables companies to do just that.

O2C is a complicated, multi-step process for businesses, involving data and transactions across a myriad of systems. Done correctly, O2C involves product inventory, pricing, quoting, orders, fulfillment, and communication at key milestones. In the best case scenario, opportunities are created and tracked in a CRM. But without integration to SAP and other downstream systems, subsequent steps involve multiple, manual processes with a variety of stakeholders. Employee productivity suffers as the risk of making errors increases, and ultimately so does customer satisfaction as the end-to-end process slows. With integration throughout the O2C process, sales reps can submit purchase orders directly within CRM, enabled by updated product catalogs and real-time inventory coming from SAP. Subsequent O2C steps are automated, including order fulfillment, delivery, invoicing, and payment.

For this solution, we recommend the broadcast integration pattern, which moves data from a single source system to many destination systems in an ongoing and real-time (or near real-time) basis. The broadcast pattern is transactional, meaning that it executes the logic only for those items that have changed recently. Because broadcast patterns are usually employed with little human oversight in mission-critical applications, they are optimized for processing records as quickly as possible in a highly-reliable manner to avoid losing data in transit. Within our O2C scenario, there are countless instances when you need to broadcast an order update from SAP to one or more receiving systems as soon as the event occurs. For example, order information needs immediate processing downstream to your order management system, regardless of whether the order was placed through an eCommerce channel or CRM.

Because Anypoint Platform is easy to use and integration assets are easy to share in Anypoint Exchange, line of business IT teams have the power to drive innovation without having to wait for SAP developers or other specialized resources. Discover the hundreds of pre-built integration assets and SAP integration methods supported by Anypoint Platform by downloading MuleSoft’s SAP integration best practices whitepaper.



We'd love to hear your opinion on this post