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Data connectivity using PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver
Content

SAP R/3 is a software system that integrates multiple business applications, such as financial accounting, materials management, sales and distribution, and human resources. The R/3 system is programmed in Advance Business Application Programming-Fourth Generation (ABAP/4, or ABAP), a language proprietary to SAP.

PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver provides the ability to integrate SAP R/3 data into data warehouses, analytic applications, and other applications. All of this is accomplished without writing complex ABAP code. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver generates ABAP program on the SAP R/3 server. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver extracts data from transparent tables, pool tables, cluster tables, hierarchies (Uniform & Non Uniform), SAP IDocs and ABAP function modules.

When integrated with R/3 using ALE (Application Link Enabling ), PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can also extract data from R/3 using outbound IDocs (Intermediate Documents) in real-time. The ALE concept available in R/3 Release 3.0 supports the construction and operation of distributed applications. It incorporates the controlled exchange of business data messages while ensuring data consistency across loosely coupled SAP applications. The integration of various applications is achieved by using synchronous and asynchronous communication, rather than by means of a central database. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can change data in R/3, as well as load new data into R/3 using direct RFC/BAPI function calls. It can also load data into SAP R/3 using inbound IDocs.

The database server stores the physical tables in the R/3 system, while the application server stores the logical tables. A transparent table definition on the application server is represented by a single physical table on the database server. Pool and cluster tables are logical definitions on the application server that do not have a one-to-one relationship with a physical table on the database server.

Communication Interfaces

TCP/IP is the native communication interface between PowerCenter and SAP R/3. Other interfaces between the two include:

Common Program Interface-Communications (CPI-C). CPI-C communication protocol enables online data exchange and data conversion between R/3 and PowerCenter. To initialize CPI-C communication with PowerCenter, SAP R/3 requires information such as the host name of the application server and the SAP gateway. This information is stored on the PowerCenter Server in a configuration file named sideinfo. The PowerCenter Server uses parameters in the sideinfo file to connect to the R/3 system when running stream mode sessions.

Remote Function Call (RFC). RFC is the remote communication protocol used by SAP and is based on RPC (Remote Procedure Call). To execute remote calls from PowerCenter, SAP R/3 requires information such as the connection type and the service name and gateway on the application server. This information is stored on the PowerCenter Client and PowerCenter Server in a configuration file named saprfc.ini. PowerCenter makes remote function calls when importing source definitions, installing ABAP program, and running file mode sessions.

Transport system. The transport system in SAP is a mechanism to transfer objects developed on one system to another system. There are two situations when the transport system is needed:

  • PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver installation.
  • Transport ABAP programs from development to production.

Note:  If the ABAP programs are installed in the $TMP class, they cannot be transported from development to production.

Security You must have proper authorizations on the R/3 system to perform integration tasks. The R/3 administrator needs to create authorizations, profiles, and users for PowerCenter users.

Integration Feature

Authorization Object

Activity

Import Definitions, Install Pro rams

S_DEVELOP

All activities. Also need to set Development Object ID to PROG

Extract Data

S_TABU_DIS

 

READ

Run File Mode Sessions

S_DATASET

WRITE

 

Submit Back round Job

S_PROGRAM

BTCSUBMIT, SUBMIT

Release Back round Job

S_BTCH_JOB

DELE, LIST, PLAN, SHOW

Also need to set Job Operation to RELE

Run Stream Mode Sessions

S_CPIC

All activities

Authorize RFC privileges

S_RFC

All activities

You also need access to the SAP GUI, as described in following SAP GUI Parameters table:

Parameter

Feature references to this variable

Comments

User ID

$SAP_USERID

Identify the username that connects to the SAP GUI and is authorized for read-only access to the following transactions:

- SE12

- SE15

- SE16

- SPRO

Password

$SAP_PASSWORD

Identify the password for the above user

System Number

$SAP_SYSTEM_NUMBER

Identify the SAP system number

Client Number

$SAP_CLIENT_NUMBER

Identify the SAP client number

Server

$SAP_SERVER

Identify the server on which this instance of SAP is running

Key Capabilities of PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver

Some key capabilities of PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver include:

  • Extract data from R/3 systems using ABAP, SAP's proprietary 4GL.
  • Extract data from R/3 using outbound IDocs or write data to R/3 using inbound IDocs through integration with R/3 using ALE. You can extract data from R/3 using outbound IDocs in real time.
  • Extract data from R/3 and load new data into R/3 using direct RFC/BAPI function calls.
  • Migrate data from any source into R/3. You can migrate data from legacy applications, other ERP systems, or any number of other sources into SAP R/3.
  • Extract data from R/3 and write it to a target data warehouse. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can interface directly with SAP to extract internal data from SAP R/3 and write it to a target data warehouse. You can then use the data warehouse to meet mission critical analysis and reporting needs.
  • Support for calling BAPI as well as RFC functions dynamically from PowerCenter for data integration. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can make BAPI as well as RFC function calls dynamically from mappings to extract data from an R/3 source, transform data in the R/3 system, or load data into an R/3 system.
  • Support for data integration using ALE. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can capture changes to the master and transactional data in SAP R/3 using ALE. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can receive outbound IDocs from SAP R/3 in real time and load into SAP R/3 using inbound IDocs. To receive IDocs in real time using ALE, install PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver on PowerCenter.
  • Analytic Business Components for SAP R/3 (ABC) ABC is a set of business content that enables rapid and easy development of the data warehouse based on R/3 data. ABC business content includes mappings, mapplets, source objects, targets, and transformations.
  • Metadata Exchange PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver Metadata Exchange extracts metadata from leading data modeling tools and imports it into PowerCenter repositories through MX SDK.
  • Import SAP function in the Source Analyzer.
  • Import IDocs. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can create a transformation to process outbound IDocs and generate inbound IDocs. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can edit the transformation to modify the IDoc segments you want to include. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can reorder and validate inbound IDocs before writing them to the SAP R/3 system. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can set partition points in a pipeline for outbound and inbound IDoc sessions and sessions that fail when reading outbound IDocs from an SAP R/3 source can be configured for recovery. You can also receive data from outbound IDoc files and write data to inbound IDoc files.
  • Insert ABAP Code Block to add more functionality to the ABAP program flow.
  • Use of outer join when two or more sources are joined in the ERP source qualifier.
  • Use of static filters to reduce return rows. (e.g. MARA =MARA-MATNR = 189)
  • Customization of the ABAP program flow with joins, filters, SAP functions, and code blocks. For example: qualifying table =table1-field1 = table2-field2 where the qualifying table is the last table in the condition based on the join order.
  • Creation of ABAP program variables to represent SAP R/3 structures, structure fields, or values in the ABAP program
  • Removal of ABAP program information from SAP R/3 and the repository when a folder is deleted.
  • Enhanced Platform support. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can be run on 64-bit AIX and HP-UX (Itanium). You can install PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver for the PowerCenter Server and Repository Server on SuSe Linux. PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can be installed for the PowerCenter Server and Repository Server on Red Hat Linux.
  •  PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can be connected with the SAP business content framework to provide a high-volume data warehousing solution.


Installation and Configuration Steps

 PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver setup programs install components for PowerCenter Server, Client, and repository server. These programs install drivers, connection files, and a repository plug-in XML file that enables integration between PowerCenter and SAP R/3. Setup programs can also install PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver Analytic Business Components, and PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver Metadata Exchange.

The Power Center Connect for SAP R/3 repository plug-in is called sapplg.xml. After the plug-in is installed, it needs to be registered in the PowerCenter repository.

For SAP R/3

Informatica provides a group of customized objects required for R/3 integration. These objects include tables, programs, structures, and functions that PowerExchange for SAP exports to data files The R/3 system administrator must use the transport control program, tp import , to transport these object files on the R/3 system. The transport process creates a development class called ZERP. The SAPTRANS directory contains "data" and "co" files. The "data" files are the actual transport objects. The "co" files are control files containing information about the transport request.

The R/3 system needs development objects and user profiles established to communicate with PowerCenter. Preparing R/3 for integration involves the following tasks:

  • Transport the development objects on the PowerCenter CD to R/3.  PowerCenter calls these objects each time it makes a request to the R/3 system.
  • Run the transport program that generates unique Ids.
  • Establish profiles in the R/3 system for PowerCenter users.
  • Create a development class for the ABAP programs that PowerCenter installs on the SAP R/3 system.

For PowerCenter

The PowerCenter server and client need drivers and connection files to communicate with SAP R/3.

Preparing PowerCenter for integration involves the following tasks:

  1. Run installation programs on PowerCenter Server and Client machines.
  2. Configure the sideinfo file on the PowerCenter Server allows PowerCenter to initiate CPI-C with the R/3 system.
    Following are the required parameters for sideinfo :
    • DEST logical name of the R/3 system
    • TYPE set to A to indicate connection to specific R/3 system.
    • ASHOST host name of the SAP R/3 application server.
    • SYSNR system number of the SAP R/3 application server.
  3. Configure the saprfc.ini file on the PowerCenter Client and Server allows PowerCenter to connect to the R/3 system as an RFC client.
    The required parameters for sideinfo are:
    • DEST logical name of the R/3 system
    • LU host name of the SAP application server machine
    • TP set to sapdp<system number>
    • GWHOST host name of the SAP gateway machine.
    • GWSERV set to sapgw<system number>
    • PROTOCOL set to I for TCP/IP connection.

Following is the summary of required steps:

  1. Install PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver on PowerCenter.
  2. Configure the sideinfo file.
  3. Configure the saprfc.ini
  4. Set the RFC_INI environment variable.
  5. Configure an application connection for SAP R/3 sources in the Workflow Manager.
  6. Configure SAP/ALE IDoc connection in the Workflow Manager to receive IDocs generated by the SAP R/3 system.
  7. Configure the FTP connection to access staging files through FTP.
  8. Install the repository plug-in in the PowerCenter repository.

Configuring the Services File

Windows

If SAPGUI is not installed, you must make entries in the Services file to run stream mode sessions. This is found in the\WINNT\SYSTEM32\drivers\etc directory. Entries are made similar to the following:

sapdp<system number><port number of dispatcher service>/tcp

sapgw<system number><port number of gateway service>/tcp

SAPGUI is not technically required, but experience has shown that evaluators typically want to log into the R/3 system to use the ABAP workbench and to view table contents.

UNIX

Services file is located in /etc.

sapdp<system number> <port# of dispatcherservice>/TCP

sapgw<system number> <port# of gatewayservice>/TCP

The system number and port numbers are provided by the BASIS administrator.

Configure Connections to Run Sessions

Informatica supports two methods of communication between the SAP R/3 system and the PowerCenter Server.

  • Streaming Mode does not create any intermediate files on the R/3 system. This method is faster, but it does use more CPU cycles on the R/3 system.
  • File Mode creates an intermediate file on the SAP R/3 system, which is then transferred to the machine running the PowerCenter Server.

If you want to run file mode sessions, you must provide either FTP access or NFS access from the machine running the PowerCenter Server to the machine running SAP R/3. This, of course, assumes that PowerCenter and SAP R/3 are not running on the same machine; it is possible to run PowerCenter and R/3 on the same system, but highly unlikely.

If you want to use File mode sessions and your R/3 system is on a UNIX system, you need to do one of the following:

  • Provide the login and password for the UNIX account used to run the SAP R/3 system.
  • Provide a login and password for a UNIX account belonging to same group as the UNIX account used to run the SAP R/3 system.
  • Create a directory on the machine running SAP R/3, and run "chmod g+s" on that directory. Provide the login and password for the account used to create this directory.

Configure database connections in the Workflow Manager to access the SAP R/3 system when running a session, then configure an FTP connection to access staging file through FTP.

Extraction Process

R/3 source definitions can be imported from the logical tables using RFC protocol. Extracting data from R/3 is a four-step process:

Import source definitions. The PowerCenter Designer connects to the R/3 application server using RFC. The Designer calls a function in the R/3 system to import source definitions.

Note: If you plan to join two or more than two tables in SAP, be sure you have the optimized join conditions. Make sure you have identified your driving table (e.g., if you plan to extract data from bkpf and bseg accounting tables, be sure to drive your extracts from bkpf table.) There is a significant difference in performance if the joins are properly defined.

Create a mapping. When creating a mapping using an R/3 source definition, you must use an ERP source qualifier. In the ERP source qualifier, you can customize properties of the ABAP program that the R/3 server uses to extract source data. You can also use joins, filters, ABAP program variables, ABAP code blocks, and SAP functions to customize the ABAP program.

Generate and install ABAP program. You can install two types of ABAP programs for each mapping:

  • File mode. Extract data to file. The PowerCenter Server accesses the file through FTP or NFS mount.
  • Stream Mode. Extract data to buffers. The PowerCenter Server accesses the buffers through CPI-C, the SAP protocol for program-to-program communication.

You can modify the ABAP program block and customize according to your requirements (e.g., if you want to get data incrementally, create a mapping variable/parameter and use it in the ABAP program).

Create session and run workflow

  • Stream Mode. In stream mode, the installed ABAP program creates buffers on the application server. The program extracts source data and loads it into the buffers. When a buffer fills, the program streams the data to the PowerCenter Server using CPI-C.  With this method, the PowerCenter Server can process data when it is received.
  • File Mode. When running a session in file mode, the session must be configured to access the file through NFS mount or FTP. When the session runs, the installed ABAP program creates a file on the application server. The program extracts source data and loads it into the file. When the file is complete, the PowerCenter Server accesses the file through FTP or NFS mount and continues processing the session.

Data Integration Using RFC/BAPI Functions

PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can generate RFC/BAPI function mappings in the Designer to extract data from SAP R/3, change data in R/3, or load data into R/3. When it uses an RFC/BAPI function mapping in a workflow, the PowerCenter Server makes the RFC function calls on R/3 directly to process the R/3 data. It doesn't have to generate and install the ABAP program for data extraction.

Data Integration Using ALE

PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver can integrate PowerCenter with SAP R/3 using ALE. With PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver, PowerCenter can generate mappings in the Designer to receive outbound IDocs from SAP R/3 in real time. It can also generate mappings to send inbound IDocs to SAP for data integration. When PowerCenter uses an inbound or outbound mapping in a workflow to process data in SAP R/3 using ALE, it doesn't have to generate and install the ABAP program for data extraction.



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Applies To
Product: PowerExchange
Problem Type:
User Type:
Project Phase:
Product Version: PowerExchange for SAP NetWeaver; PowerCenter 7
Database:
Operating System:
Other Software:

Last Modified Date: 12/8/2013 6:01 PM ID: 15633
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