You can use IBM App Connect to pass key data between SAP and your apps – automatically, in real time.

You can use App Connect with SAP by configuration and data mapping without a need for coding, and can achieve a return on your investment in minutes/hours, not days/months.

This guide is to show you how…

If you can’t find what you want, or have comments about the “how to” information, please either add comments to the bottom of this page or .

Want to understand more before getting started? Consider the tabs SAP connectivity options and what you can do with SAP in App Connect Designer or App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console.

How to use App Connect Designer with SAP

In App Connect Designer, as a business user (or anyone else wanting a simple integration experience) you can create integration flows that retrieve or create SAP OData resources and use data retrieved from SAP for other activities in the flow. The flows can be triggered by events in apps such as Salesforce, or by calling an API such as from mobile and web applications.

Before you can use App Connect Designer to access SAP OData resources in your private network, you need to have prepared SAP OData connectivity for use with App Connect Designer, as described in the tab section What should I know about connecting to SAP?.

Create an event-driven flow to retrieve SAP data to enhance actions on SaaS apps

Learn how easy it is to create an event-driven flow in App Connect Designer to retrieve OData resources from SAP and use the SAP data to enhance actions on SaaS apps.

Create an API flow to create SAP OData resources

Learn how easy it is to create an API flow in App Connect Designer to create OData resources in SAP and perform actions on SaaS apps.

How to use App Connect Studio with SAP

To use SAP BAPI, RFC, and IDOC activities in flows that are triggered by APIs, polled for events, or at scheduled intervals, and to create more-customised integration behaviour, you can use App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console.

To use App Connect Professional Studio connected to SAP, first prepare the SAP connectivity and then configure and run your integration solution.

Preparing SAP connectivity for App Connect Professional

To be able to connect to SAP from App Connect Professional, you need to install SAP libraries into App Connect and install the App Connect Secure Connector on a computer on your network with access to the SAP system.

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Synchronizing account data from SAP to Salesforce.com using IBM App Connect Professional

This tutorial illustrates how you can use IBM App Connect Professional on Cloud to synchronize account records in SAP in a private network with Salesforce.com’s cloud offerings.

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Moving bulk data from SAP to Salesforce with IBM App Connect Professional

IBM App Connect Professional provides several techniques for you to move bulk data (thousands of records) from SAP to Salesforce.com. Using these techniques, you can create or update hundreds of Salesforce objects in one API request, making the most of the Salesforce.com limits for the total API requests per 24-hour period.

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What are the SAP connectivity options?

Considering how App Connect connects to SAP helps you choose whether to use App Connect Designer or Studio, and helps understand the SAP preparation that should exist for use by IBM App Connect.

SAP OData connectivity for App Connect Designer

If your SAP Gateway has been configured to use OData for SAP products, App Connect Designer can access SAP OData resources in real time, to share SAP data with SaaS apps like Salesforce.com and with other apps and systems that App Connect Designer can connect to.

For two-way communication with SAP, IBM App Connect Designer uses a SAP OData 2.0 connector and the IBM Secure Gateway to connect to a SAP Gateway OData service in the private network that hosts the SAP system.

Preparation: Before using App Connect Designer to connect to a SAP system in a private network, your SAP system needs a SAP Gateway OData service and you need to have configured App Connect to use the IBM Secure Gateway to access the private network. See the tab section What should I know about connecting to SAP?.

SAP connectivity options for App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console

For two-way communication with SAP, IBM App Connect Professional uses a SAP connector. The connector supports the following SAP interfaces that make it easier for developers to build integration solutions that work with SAP: Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI), Remote Function Call (RFC), and Intermediate Document (IDOC) interfaces.

You can perform the following activities using the SAP connector:

  • Outbound activities
    • Invoke BAPI
    • Invoke RFC
    • Send IDOC
  • Inbound/Starter activities (listen on the configured SAP endpoint, during run time. The activity receives an IDOC from the specified SAP endpoint and converts it to XML data. )
    • Receive IDOC
    • Receive RFC (and Send RFC Response activity)
      • Synchronous mode – Both SAP and App Connect (the SAP Receive RFC activity) must be available during processing. SAP sends an RFC request to App Connect and waits for a response from the Receive RFC activity.
      • Asynchronous mode – The SAP Receive RFC activity need not be available when SAP invokes the function call. SAP sends an RFC request to App Connect and does not wait for a response from the Receive RFC activity.

Preparation: Before using SAP connectivity with App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console, you need to configure the SAP connector and install SAP Java Connector (JCO) libraries.

Related information:
Overview of the SAP connector

What can I do with SAP in Designer or Studio?

Generally, for the simplest integration experience, you can use App Connect Designer to create flows or APIs that exploit SAP OData resources. To use other SAP activities, or for more-customised integration behaviour, you can use App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console.

SAP OData in App Connect Designer

In App Connect Designer, as a business user (or anyone else wanting a simple integration experience) you can create integration flows that retrieve or create SAP OData resources and use data retrieved from SAP for other activities in the flow. The flows can be triggered by events in apps such as Salesforce, or by calling an API such as from mobile and web applications.

  • For example, a business user might create an event-driven flow that, when a new lead is created in Salesforce (the event), retrieves SAP OData resources and uses the data from SAP to then create a lead in Marketo.
  • Similary, using Designer it is easy to create an API flow that, when triggered by a business user of a mobile app, retrieves SAP OData resources and uses the data from SAP to then create a record in Salesforce, and then create a task in Asana.

SAP BAPI, RFC, or IDOC activities in App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console

As an integration developer who wants to create flows that use SAP BAPI, RFC, or IDOC activities, or wants to create more-customised integration behaviour, you can use App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console. You can create flows that can read records from SAP and upsert records to SAP, and use data retrieved from SAP for other activities in the flow. Data migration from SAP to Salesforce.com, and data sync between records in SAP and Salesforce.com are two scenarios.

In App Connect Professional Studio, you can create flows that are triggered by a variety of starter activities; for example:

  • A SAP Receive IDOC activity receives an IDOC from the specified SAP endpoint.
  • A SAP Receive RFC activity receives RFC from the specified SAP endpoint.
  • An HTTP Receive Request activity receives an HTTP request to the specified URL and port.
  • A Salesforce.com Poll Updated Objects activity, which regularly polls Salesforce.com, detects that the specified objects have been created or updated.
  • A Schedule Job activity that starts a job instance regularly at a specified interval.

In App Connect Professional Studio, you can also create flows that use a Pick activity that groups a set of possible starter activities, any of which can start the flow.

Summary:

  • To use SAP OData resources in event-driven and API flows, see use App Connect Designer. Designer provides the simplest integration experience to connect SaaS apps, and other apps and enterprise systems connected through IBM Integration Bus, with simple data mappings between the apps.
  • To use SAP BAPI, RFC, and IDOC activities in flows that are triggered by APIs, polled for events, or at scheduled intervals, and to create more-customised integration behaviour, you can use App Connect Professional Studio and Web management console.

Prerequisite steps before connecting to SAP

Before you can use IBM App Connect Designer to connect to SAP, you need the following prerequisites:

  1. A well-defined SAP Gateway OData service that conforms to several requirements; your SAP objects should be defined without relationships, and your SAP service should be enabled with the sap:creatable:false flag. For more information about the requirement for a SAP service, see Creating a well-defined SAP Gateway OData service for use with IBM App Connect.
  2. The following SAP settings:
    SAP Gateway Service URL
    Specifies the URL to the SAP Gateway OData service. Use the URL value without an ending “/”; for example: http://9.111.222.34:8000/sap/opu/odata/sap/ZGW_ORDER_STATUS_SRV
    UserName
    Specifies the user name to use when connecting to the SAP Gateway OData service.
    Password
    Specifies the password to the user name when connecting to the SAP Gateway OData service.
  3. A network in App Connect configured to enable access to a SAP Gateway system in a private network.

    If you want App Connect to connect to a SAP Gateway OData service in a private network, ensure that you have an existing network in App Connect defined for your private network, that the Access control list (ACL) for the network is configured to allow connections to the SAP system, and ensure that any firewall between the IBM Secure Gateway Client and the internet is configured to allow connections on the ports that you want App Connect to use.

    In App Connect, when connecting to SAP, you can select the option to create a new network. For information about creating a network in App Connect, see What should I know about connecting to applications that are on a private network?.

Before using the SAP connection in App Connect Designer, start the IBM Secure Gateway client that you configured for use with SAP. After starting the client, the Applications tab on the Catalog page in App Connect Designer should list the SAP objects and their actions that you can use; for example:

SAP objects and their actions as listed on the Applications tab

Hint: If you start the IBM Secure Gateway client after logging in to App Connect Designer, you can refresh the Applications tab to see the list of SAP objects and their actions.

Troubleshooting

  • If you see the message “We are unable to retrieve objects for SAP.”, check the network that you selected for use with the SAP connection:
    • The IBM Secure Gateway client is running
    • The ACL for the IBM Secure Gateway is configured to allow connections to the host and port of the SAP system

    For example:

    • On the Networks page:
      Network page showing a connected network for SAP, with ACL that allows access to the SAP system.
      (Click the image to see more of the Network page.)
    • On the Secure Gateway ACL page:
      Secure Gateway ACL page for SAP network, with ACL that allows access to the SAP system.
      (Click the image to see more of the Secure Gateway ACL page.)

    If starting the IBM Secure Gateway client with the correct ACL does not display the list of SAP objects, also verify the following:

    • The computer on which the IBM Secure Gateway client is running is connected to the host of the SAP system (for example, can ping the IP address of the host)
    • The user name to use when connecting to the SAP Gateway OData service is authorized to pass through any internal firewalls between the IBM Secure Gateway client and the SAP system.

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