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BAPIs vs. IDocs for Web-to-SAP interfaces, what are the differences?

Which option is better for interface data from a Web site, BAPI calls or IDocs? Read Axel Angeli's expert opinion on BAPIs vs. IDocs for Web-to-SAP interfaces in this expert tip.

We are building custom Web-to-SAP interfaces and I would like to know if it is better to interface the data from our Web site via BAPI calls or by use of IDocs. I understand the advantages and disadvantages of both.

However, are IDocs still a viable long-term option with SAP? I have been told that SAP is moving away from IDocs...

in favor of BAPIs. In other words, use of IDocs the old way to interface data and the new and preferred way is via BAPIs. Is there any truth to that?

IDocs are still a viable long-term option! The decision between BAPIs and IDocs depends on who will bear the burden of error handling.

BAPI error handling needs to be done by the calling application, while IDoc error handling can be done through BD87, etc. By the way, IDocs are also received through a BAPI: "IDOC-INBOUND_ASYNCHRONOUS." Still, I have no overall preference of BAPIs over IDocs or vice versa. However, if communication can be done asynchronously -- so the caller does not need an answer back right away -- then the IDoc solution is the safer and easier way of doing the work.

This was last published in March 2006

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