I would like to discuss the ways of integration with SAP, pros and cons.
SAP has nearly everything for ERP but when it comes to connecting with outside/non-SAP world things are changing. I see S/4Hana, SAP Cloud platform presents a really good way for integration and API management but many companies still use R/3 systems and they don't have such an easy way.
What are the options?
- PI/PO or other middleware platforms; life is a little easier but you need PI/middleware consultant and paying for an additional license fee.
- Soamanager, web services; slow and needs lots of configuration.
- SAP Connector; native connection with SAP that is a very fast way. You can RFC's directly. No soap/xml overhead. But you need a non-sap developer to integrate/develop the software.
I am doing the 3. way for many years, developed custom web and mobile apps, API etc. There is a pain point for the developers who follows the traditional way of development.
- Need to learn how to connect to SAP as a non-SAP (C#, Java, ..) developer.
- Need to learn SAP connector
- Need to understand RFC's which will be used in a specific project.
- Need to manually write code to call RFC and map all tables/fields.
First three things, you can learn with time and you will have some boilerplates to start quickly but 4. item you always need to do for each project. It is really boring and time consuming low level work. We are lazy people as developers . Trying to write less code and sometimes write thousand lines of code to do that! (talking about developing libraries). Years ago I started to develop an internal tool to create that boring stuff for me automatically. It helped us very much! So I decided to make this tool open source that may help others.
You may check this out. I would like to hear your comments.
Note: First I opened the sources of SAP Connection Helper library. Still adjusting core codegen tool to make the code tidy that suits an open source project. Anyone is welcome to contribute the project.
Project on Github
Test the generator online : https://app.sapcon.io/
Some screen recordings:
Thanks for reading and your comments.