Need to trade faster with business partners? Looking to extend your business processes to include your trading partners? SAP is now offering a new B2B Add-On for SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) allowing you to more efficiently trade with your trading partners and extend your business processes. Prior to the release of this add-on if you wanted your SAP PI system to integrate and automate business processes with customers, partners and suppliers you had to use third party adapters or develop your own.
However SAP have now released B2B adapters of their own. These B2B adapters are provided in the comprehensive B2B Add-On allowing you to run B2B processes as part of an existing SAP NetWeaver PI based integration hub or as a dedicated B2B integration hub. It comes with a set of B2B protocol adapters, converter modules and B2B infrastructure services to meet the B2B/EDI integration needs of most industries.
The B2B Add-On has been developed by SAP as a response to strong demand from existing customers for a SAP solution for EDI integration. Furthermore it helps SAP PI to compete in the middleware market, as SAP no longer has to depend on third parties to meet customer demand. At a high level the solution scope of the B2B Add-On is very similar to existing third party adapters. However, the SAP solution provides for instance the following additional benefits:
• Easier to deploy and configure
• Deeper integration in PI product e.g. logging, monitoring, tracing
• No additional tooling is needed i.e. you can reuse design and configuration tools
• Leverage known implementation approach and skills
• Incorporated in standard operations & lifecycle management
• One solution for A2A and B2B integration
• Pre-packaged B2B integration content for faster delivery
AgilityWorks have recently implemented the SAP PI B2B Add-On for CMS Distributions. CMS Distributions are a distributor of data storage, networking and IT infrastructure products and services. They engaged AgilityWorks on a project to replace their existing integration platform with the latest SAP PI 7.4 Java-only installation. As their existing platform, which had been built up over a long period of time, has become difficult to maintain and reached the end of its product lifecycle.
CMS Distributions rely on Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for a large portion of their business, both in dealing with their suppliers and their customers. They communicate with their partners through the exchange of traditional EDI formats (EDIFACT, TRADACOMS, etc.) and with messages in non-Industry Standard formats (such as custom XML). For messages exchanged in traditional EDI formats CMS utilized the B2B Add-On, which provided CMS with a number of tools to help with managing these formats in SAP PI; Convertor Modules, Mapping Templates, B2B UDF Library, Number Range Objects (Message Numbering), and B2B Archiving. By making use of the B2B Add-On and custom build, CMS Distributions now have a scalable integration platform that can support their business and plans for growth.