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Why connect Java programs to the SAP system?

What is the role of Java in SAP and why do we connect Java programs to the SAP System? I do have some real time programming experience with Java but now I have since switched to SAP ABAP. I'm not familiar with Java as it pertains to SAP systems. Would you be able to suggest a good book on the subject matter?

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Java plays an essential role in any SAP landscape by making it safe and easy to integrate third party applications and/or custom code to an SAP system. SAP's Java connector, JCO, provides access to both synchronous interfaces (BAPI/RFC) as well as message-based interfaces (IDOC/ALE).

I have published a book on the subject called Enterprise Java for SAP.

This was first published in January 2008

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