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How to establish communication between SAP Unicode and non-Unicode systems

We have an SAP R/3 4.7 non-Unicode system and an SAP ECC 6.0 non-Unicode system. Can we establish a connection between the two? If so, will it have any impact if we change SAP ECC 6.0 to a Unicode system and SAP 4.7 still remains non-Unicode?

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SAP systems communicate via Remote Function Call (RFC) connections. They are to be created via the SAP menu > Tools > Administration > Administration > Network > RFC Destinations (Transaction SM59). Connections between SAP systems are of RFC connection Type 3. You need to specify the host name and communication service. If you want, you can also specify logon information. As of Release 3.0, load-balancing can be used.

For the communication between Unicode and non-Unicode systems, in the MDMP and Unicode tab, you can specify the format of the target system. The RFC call performs the conversion between different technical formats (integer display, little versus big Endian, and so on), as well as between code pages of sender and recipient.

In the case where two SAP systems that have different code pages exchange data with each other, and where these do not use Unicode code pages, the code page conversion is performed on the receiver system side. The binary codes of characters that cannot be converted into the code page of the receiver system are retained.

In the case where two SAP systems with different code pages exchange data with each other, and where one of these systems uses a Unicode code page, the code page conversion is always performed on the side of the system that uses the Unicode code page. The binary codes of characters that cannot be converted into the non-Unicode code page are substituted with replacement characters, ignored or a dump is generated. The default behavior can be set when creating or modifying the RFC connection.

This was first published in September 2009

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