SAP Connector > Part I: Introduction to SAP Connector > Introduction to SAP Connector > Data Integration and SAP integration methods

Data Integration and SAP integration methods

SAP is an application platform that integrates multiple business applications and solutions, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO), and Bank Analyzer. Developers can add business logic within SAP using Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) or Advanced Business Application Programming-Fourth Generation (ABAP/4 or ABAP), a language proprietary to SAP.
You can use the SAP Table, BAPI/RFC functions, and IDocs integration methods to extract data from or load data to SAP systems. Use SAP Table for data-level integration, BAPI/RFC functions for object-level integration, and IDocs for message-level integration.
You can use SAP ADSO Writer Connector to load in SAP BW4 HANA. You can also use SAP ODP Extractor Connector to extract data from SAP S4 HANA, ECC, and other Operational Data Provisioning (ODP)-enabled applications. You can perform delta extraction on any ODP source that is enabled with Operational Delta Queue (ODQ).

Data Integration using SAP tables

You can integrate SAP data dictionary objects by creating an SAP Table connection.
You can use SAP Table connection to read data from SAP and write to any target. You can also write data from any source to custom tables in SAP. Contact Informatica Global Customer Support for information about using SAP Table connection to write data to SAP systems.
You can read data from transparent tables, cluster tables, pool tables, views, and ABAP CDS views. The Secure Agent accesses data through the application layer in SAP using ABAP. Data is streamed to the Secure Agent through HTTP (s) protocol. SAP Table connector supports joins and filters on the source tables.
You can also use the SAP Table Reader connection to read data from an SAP ADSO. To write data to an ADSO, use the SAP ADSO Writer Connector.
To optimize performance when the Secure Agent and the SAP system are in different networks, you can enable data compression when you read data from SAP.
When you create a synchronization task, mapping, or mapping task, Data Integration generates a dynamic ABAP query to read from SAP tables and write to custom SAP tables.

Data Integration using BAPI/RFC functions

Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPI) provide a way for third-party applications to synchronously integrate with SAP at the object-level . You use BAPIs to read, create, change, or delete data in SAP.
BAPIs allow access to the SAP system objects through methods for the business object types. Together with the business object types, BAPIs define and document the interface standard at the business level.
You define BAPIs in the SAP Business Objects Repository. You can call BAPIs as an ABAP program within SAP or from any external application. SAP Connector uses RFC protocol to call BAPI/RFC functions outside of SAP.
You can import a BAPI/RFC function as a mapplet to Data Integration. You can then use the mapplet in a mapping to read, create, change, or delete data in SAP. When you run the mapping or the mapping task, Data Integration makes the RFC function calls to SAP to process data synchronously.
You can view and test the BAPI interface definitions in SAP using transaction SE37.

Data Integration using IDocs

Intermediate Documents (IDocs) electronically exchange data between SAP applications or between SAP applications and external programs. IDoc is a message-based integration interface that processes data asynchronously.
IDoc is a component of Application Link Enabling (ALE) module within SAP that can send and receive Intermediate Documents (IDocs) over RFC protocol.

ALE Layers

The message-based architecture of ALE comprises three layers:
The architecture of ALE provides a way to send IDocs as text files without connecting to a central database. Applications can communicate with each other without converting between formats to accommodate hardware or platform differences.

IDoc Record Types

IDocs contain three record types:

ALE Components

ALE has the following components:
Logical System
All systems that need to communicate using ALE/IDoc must be setup as a Logical System within SAP. An SAP administrator can setup logical systems in transaction BD54.
Distribution Model
Defines an agreement between two logical systems on the messages that can be exchanged and identifies the sender and the receiver. An SAP administrator can setup distribution models in transaction BD64.
Partner Profile
Stores the IDoc type and processing logic related to the distribution model. An SAP administrator can setup partner profiles in transaction WE20.
RFC Destination
Defines the protocol and access to the logical system. An SAP administrator can setup RFC destinations in transaction SM59.
Message Type
Representation of a business object.
IDoc Type
Representation of a message type. SAP uses IDoc types to support backward compatibility across various SAP releases.
An instance of an IDoc type that contains business data.

Data Integration using SAP ADSO Writer

Advanced DataStore Object (ADSO) is the central object for data storage and consolidation in the SAP BW system. ADSO is the primary data persistency object in BW/4HANA that simplifies data modeling and the support environment. ADSOs are commonly stored in 2-dimensional transparent database tables.
You can use SAP ADSO Writer Connector to load large volumes of data to the target ADSO objects in the SAP BW/4HANA application.

Data Integration using SAP ODP Extractor

Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) is an SAP NetWeaver based framework that unifies the data transfer between the source and target systems. The ODP installed as a source in the SAP system maintains the Operational Delta Queue (ODQ) that allows delta data extraction from ODP-enabled data sources. ODP is the key infrastructure used for the data extraction from ABAP-based SAP systems to an SAP S/4HANA system.
SAP providers vary based on the source object through which you can extract data. The SAP providers define the context for the ODP extraction mechanism.
SAP ODP Extractor Connector supports the following ODP providers or contexts:
Source SAP System and ODPs
SAP Service Application Programming Interface (S-API)
SAP Data Sources/Extractors without Enterprise Search (ESH)
SAP HANA Information View
SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
ABAP Core Data Services
ODQ is maintained for contexts SAPI and BW. You can use the SAP ODP Extractor connection to extract the historical and delta data wherever applicable through the ODP-enabled source objects.