SAP is a major player in the manufacturing ERP space. We have a lot of customers that rely on SAP for accurate financial data to run their businesses. Therefore keeping SAP and CloudDISPATCH is sync is often one of the first integrations our customers consider.
Below is a list of general use cases for integration with ERP systems like SAP. This information contains the general workflow and best practices we have discovered working with our customers.
General ERP / EAM / CMMS Use Cases:
- Spares / Inventory Management
- Asset Management
- Master Data Management
- Allocation of Labor & Spares Costs from Shop Floor Activities
- Production Orders and Status
- Labor and historical record retention in the EAM / CMMS system
Supported Versions Details:
We support all recent versions of SAP ERP and the PM module. Whether your SAP deployment is on-premise or in the cloud, an older SAP ECC (ERP Central Component) 6.0, or newer S/4HANA, we've had customers successfully integrate using the standard IDOC, BAPI, or other integration methods.
Integration Methods and Best Practices:
When it comes to SAP, L2L CloudDISPATCH integration API endpoints and use cases are well known and documented. Depending on your specific SAP spare parts reservations, ordering, receiving, and issuing procedures you will likely need to customize the SAP IDOC interfaces to match your business needs. This is normal and average for this industry. SAP is a very powerful financial system that allows for very advanced customizations that meet industry and company-specific policies, requirements, and regulations. Based on this you should plan on customizing and tailoring our best practices to fit your needs. Typical integrations with SAP include transactions against the Material Master and PM Modules record areas.
SAP Connectivity Options
You have several options for integration with SAP. IDoc, BAPI/RFM, and SOAP web services are some of the most common methods used for interfacing with SAP. Additionally, SAP Netweaver Gateway, can make your SAP business data accessible as RESTful resources. Using REST and OData principles, the SAP Netweaver Gateway exposes a uniform, stateless interface to any software system that can communicate using HTTP(S) and XML or JSON payloads. IDOC is an older method of exchanging data asynchronously using structured and specially formatted documents. BAPI is a newer synchronous API method for exchanging data.
For more information on these methods please review the following links:
In our experience, most customers have either a middleware solution or existing IDOC integrations and experience and prefer to go with what they know. We have a reference IDOC implementation as part of our L2L Integration server. Please contact support for more information on the L2L Integration Server.
Depending on your established SAP integration standards, instead of using the L2L Integration Server IDOC interface, you might develop this integration using an existing middleware solution. We have customers that have successfully completed this using some of the following middleware solutions:
L2L Integration Server
We provide a reference implementation for SAP IDOC integrations as part of the L2L Integration Server. The L2L Integration Server is an on-premise java application with a number of pre-built ERP integrations, including SAP IDOC. The L2L Integration Server runs behind your corporate firewall on a Linux or Windows host. It performs bi-directional synchronization between your L2L CloudDISPATCH Instance and your SAP deployment using IDOCs. You'll need to write the company-specific IDOC handling routines to process these IDOC files according to your specific SAP use cases, policies, and procedures. We provide the L2L Integration Server with the java source code so you can easily extend and expand the functionality as you need. For more information regarding the L2L Integration Server, please contact support.
L2L API Code Examples
You might be asking yourself, I'm technical, can't I just do this myself? YES! Based on how easy it is to use our API, a lot of customers jump right in and write custom SAP integrations using the tools, programming languages, and platforms they are most comfortable with. If this is you, we've created a number of API code examples in all of the most popular programming languages. Check out our Github repository at:
Use an L2L Partner
Contax (http://www.contax.com/) is a trusted L2L SAP integration partner. They have extensive experience with SAP integrations and are very easy to work with. Please contact support if you would like an introduction to the L2L specialists at Contax.
- Spares API Integration Workflow
- Integration Options and Best Practices
- L2L Integration Overview and Architecture Diagrams