Denodo provides multiple integration options for obtaining data from the SAP ecosystem modules. The following data sources can be used to connect to SAP: BAPI data source, web service data source, multidimensional data source and custom data source.
SAP’s recommended approaches for SAP integration are BAPIs and Web Services.
SAP BAPI Integration:
Denodo provides a built-in connector for the different components of the SAP Business Suite (ERP, CRM, SRM, SCM, PLM, etc) using BAPI and other RFM calls. After selecting the BAPI or RFM, VDP will introspect the schema of the BAPI. The schema will include the input parameters and hierarchical fields in their native format, which is a unique feature of Denodo’s Extended Relational Model. Some advantages of the BAPI approach:
a. Direct integration with BAPI does not require additional Web Service layer which could have a potential performance impact.
b. Eliminates the requirement for an SAP Application Server license and deployment.
SAP Enterprise Web Services:
The second option is to use SAP’s Web Service SOAP interface using Denodo’s built-in web service connector. This approach is commonly used where an SAP Web Service includes business logic that goes across multiple applications and there is no BAPI available that includes this logic. Some advantages of this option are:
a. Supports the future direction of SAP so some functionality may be available only through this interface.
b. Supports Web Services Security which may be needed in some use cases.
These methods are used by many applications in the SAP ecosystem, like SAP NetWeaver Gateway. These approaches enable access to SAP tables in cases where direct connection to the underlying database is not possible.
Additionally, through a Multidimensional data source, Denodo provides an OLAP adapter for SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) that offers full graphical introspection of the InfoCubes, facts and characteristics. Here, Denodo can automatically generate MDX queries to retrieve the requested information that are delegated to SAP BW for high speed performance. In this case, it is recommended to use the BAPI option over the XMLA option. This option uses BAPIs through the JCo library and provides faster connectivity with additional optimization options.
Other methods to access SAP data include direct connection to SAP’s underlying database through the creation of a custom connector leveraging SAP’s Java SDK.