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webMethods or SAP XI/PI for SAP integration with legacy systems
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TOPIC: webMethods or SAP XI/PI for SAP integration with legacy systems

10-09-2012 2:20 #1

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Hi,

Our client has an requirement to migrate IBM Mainframe applications to SAP, at present we have integrations from legacy systems to Mainframe Applications. Could anyone please let us know from the below four options which one should be the best for communication with SAP systems:

1) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (SAP PI Adapter).
2) SAP <-> webMethods (SAP Adapter)
3) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (webServices)
4) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (JMS)

Justify your choice with advantages, disadvantages and any references.

Thanks

10-15-2012 18:15 #2

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I would say direct communication with SAP using webMethods SAP Adapter would be better, SAP <-> webMethods. If your client wants to use both integration tools then consider the webservices approach as its cost effective.

I got a chance to implement SAP XI and webMethods integration in one of my previous project where client was not interested in taking license for SAP XI Adapter. So, we have implemented the integration using webservices. We made web services at SAP XI and imported WSDL's via webService connector using wM 6.1 version and webMethods services(WSDLs) were imported at SAP XI.

It was easy cost effective, but faced problems with incompatibilities in the respective Web service stacks of SAP XI and webMethods, we managed to resolve those problems but it was time consuming.

SAP <-> SAP XI <-> webMethods <-> external client.


1) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (SAP PI Adapter):

webMethods provides SAP PI/XI Adapter like other Adapters. This is used for interaction with SAP XI/PI system which has its own Integration Server and Adapter Engine. We can do our mappings and data transformations either at webMethods or at XI/PI. XI/PI Integration Server has ability to send IDOC's, BAPI's, RFC's, and use http, and SOAP protocols.

Advantages:

-> Skips the external SAP PI Adapter Engine => better performance than JMS or Web services that used the Adapter Engine.
-> Asynchronous & synchronous communication possible.

Dis-advantages:

-> XI adapter is an older product that has seen limited usage (officially supported on webMethods 8.x)
-> Requires servers for PI and dedicated webMethods Integration Server => increased infrastructure/management efforts.
-> Its not free you need to take additional license for using XI/PI Adapter.


2) SAP <-> webMethods (SAP Adapter):

The webMethods SAP adapter is used together with a dedicated webMethods Integration Server instance to provide integration between SAP and IBB.

Advantages:

-> Fewer different components to manage
-> Proven approach used by numerous customers
-> You were already using and familiar with the management of webMethods IS
-> Promises best performance
-> Asynchronous & synchronous communication possible

Dis advantages:

-> Requires additional webMethods knowledge in SAP.


3) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (webServices) :

SAP PI/SI provides a Web services adapter to call and offer Web services. This functionality can be used in conjunction with the built-in Web service functionality of webMethods to integrate to SAP.

Advantages:

-> Standards-based communication
-> Web services to be offered and called directly from the webMethods.
-> Cost effective no need to take license for SAP PI Adapter seperately.

Dis-advantages:

-> Most likely the slowest approach
-> Possibility of incompatibilities in the respective Web service stacks of SAP PI and webMethods
-> Asynchronous communication not intuitive


4) SAP <-> SAP PI <-> webMethods (JMS):


SAP XI/PI provides a JMS adapter to call and offer Web services. This functionality can be used in conjunction with the built-in JMS functionality of webMethods to integrate SAP and webMethods. SAP XI/PI includes its own JMS provider but the usage of webMethods Broker is recommended.

Advantages:

-> Standards-based communication JMS is the standard communication in we can use from webMethods and which many projects are using.

Dis-advantages:

-> Should be faster than Web services but slower than the other two options
-> JMS configuration on SAP PI Adapter Engine non-trivial (especially as features like authentication and encryption are to be used)
-> Synchronous communication possible but not very intuitive

Let me know if you need any further information on this.
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