It is pretty evident if you do a proper mathematical calculation, how much extra load the IDoc really adds to your system. The overhead produced by the IDoc is only minor -- an average maximum 20% in space and 5% in processing time.
Of course the IDocs will populate the EDID4 and EDIDC table quickly, but it also will do the application tables....
So the IDoc will only produce a small percentage of the payload produced by he full transaction. The small amount of additional processing time is also well compensated by the additional amount of monitoring means that are given by IDocs. The latter is of utmost important in productive environments, where you would not have a chance to debug the process chain from an external system via BAPI into R/3.
If your EDID4 tables grow too fast, create a simple ABAP that migrates the contents of EDIDC and the dependent tables EDID4 and EDIDS to an archive (or delete them if they are no longer necessary).
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