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Standard interface mechanisms available to SAP

What are SAP's standard interface mechanisms? Can developers get licenses? Expert Axel Angeli answers.

I have written and currently support a number of interfaces between material dispensing/weighing systems and JD Edwards for a large pharmaceutical company. This company is now looking at moving to SAP and would like to re-write the existing interfaces for SAP. I would like to find out about standard interface mechanisms available to SAP (ie. transfers, w/o issues, w/o completions etc.). I also need to know if SAP provides developers licenses and how I might go about getting one. Appreciate any help you can give me.
To communicate with the outer world SAP uses "Remote Function Call" (a binary protocol derived from CPIC). There are libraries provided by SAP for easy access, e.g. for Windows librfc32.dll (part of SAPGUI) or the JCo Adapter for Java (can be downloaded from service.sap.com; also part of the SAP NetWeaver J2EE engine).

The newer releases starting with release 4.7 (R/3 Enterprise) have also support for HTTP that allows communication via SOAP, XMLRPC, REST or similar XML based communication; JSON and other lightweight protocols will do fine as well, but are not intrinsically supported.

Developer licenses can be obtained by SAP as part of the regular SAP license. So your company will most likely have the licenses already. For your personal use you can have Minisap system, look in www.sap.com/shop for the Mini Web Application Server (Webdynpro 6.40 or 6.20).

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