SAP PI - Introduction
SAP Process Integration is a part of the SAP NetWeaver platform. It is called SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure XI in NetWeaver 7.0 ehp2 and older versions. SAP NetWeaver Process Integration is a part of the NetWeaver software component and is used for exchange of information in company’s internal system or with external parties.
SAP PI/XI enables you to set up cross system communication and integration and allows you to connect SAP and non-SAP systems based on different programming language like Java and SAP ABAP. It provides an open source environment that is necessary in complex system landscape for the integration of systems and for communication.
SAP Process Integration is a middleware to allow seamless integration between SAP and non-SAP application in a company or with systems outside the company.
An application that is run on different systems that are part of different business units in a company or implemented in a distributed environment between different companies that have a business relationship with each other. In this environment, there is a need for seamless integration and transfer of information between different systems. SAP PI provides a middleware platform that doesn’t deal with how application components are implemented with a business logic and focuses more on data exchange between the different components.
You can consider SAP PI as a central instance or middleware that interconnects different systems. This middleware can be referred as SAP PI runtime engine and this communication is called mediated communication. When you compare this communication with a point to point scenario, it is easy to manage the systems and connections. In addition to all this, information related to integration is available at one central point.
The message exchange between the different systems using SAP PI contains business data. The communication message protocol is based on W3C standard SOAP messages.
Why do We Need SAP PI?
In an organization, SAP ERP doesn’t contain a single system but consists of a number of integrated systems like SAP CRM, FICO, EWM, etc. SAP PI provides a platform as single point of integration for all systems without touching complex legacy system for all data and information exchange.
The following are the key capabilities provided by SAP Process Integration −
Using SAP PI, you can connect different applications and systems that have different technical ways of communication. SAP PI provides you with a variety of adapters that allow you to connect applications based on different protocols like HTTPS or Remote Function Call (RFC).
Routing defines the rules for flow of messages between different systems at runtime.
SAP PI is used to connect different applications or systems in a distributed environment that can be set up between different companies, so there is a possibility that the structure of data exchange between two components differs from each other.
Mapping determines the structure of data in a source system to structure of data in a target system. It also determines the conversion rules that are applied to the data between source and target system.