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What's the difference between IDocs and BDocs?

From what I've read, I feel that both are used for data exchange across SAP systems and external systems.

This is a very basic question. What is the difference between IDocs and BDocs? From what I've read, I feel that both are used for data exchange across SAP systems and external systems.
BDocs are a data exchange format created by the SAP CRM application. The philosophy is the same as IDocs, but the structure used is somehow different and hence in contention with IDocs. Actually, BDocs are an unlucky parallel development that should not have happened, as IDocs are the common ALE data format. Unfortunately, we have to live with it and use an expensive converter to transfer between BDocs and non-BDoc-compatible systems.
This was last published in May 2005

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