Integrating SAP and Non-SAP Systems: Bridging the Gap

Interface Between Sap And Non Sap Systems

The article explores the interface between SAP and non-SAP systems, focusing on the connection and interaction between these two types of software. It delves into how information is exchanged, shared, and synchronized between SAP systems and external systems that are not built on the SAP platform. The article discusses various integration methods, technologies, and tools used to establish seamless communication between these different systems.

Understanding Interfaces: A Brief Overview

An interface is a connection or interaction point between different systems, applications, or external entities. It allows for the exchange of data and information between internal and external systems, ensuring smooth integration and compatibility throughout the technical landscape.

Interfaces in the SAP system enable companies to exchange data more efficiently, convert event data to business objects, and facilitate data transfer to the target system. This allows companies to reduce errors in exchanging data and gives employees more time to focus on value-added tasks.

SAP provides a range of tools and technologies for the creation and management of interfaces.

Some of the ways to connect SAP and non-SAP systems include utilizing SAP PI/PO (Process Integration/Process Orchestration), SAP Data Services, SAP Cloud Platform Integration, and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

These tools assist companies in tailoring and setting up interfaces to fulfill their particular integration requirements, whether it entails integrating SAP systems internally or with external systems.

SAP Application Interface Framework: A Comprehensive Overview

SAP AIF allows users to effectively handle the technical and functional aspects of their interfaces, simplifying the management of data, message processing and storage, as well as ensuring compliance with important interface implementation guidelines. This framework can be utilized in both on-premise and cloud environments, giving companies the flexibility to implement and maintain interfaces according to their preferred technical landscape.

By utilizing advanced interface frameworks and monitoring capabilities, users are empowered to:

  • Use a template-based approach and customization features to implement new interfaces
  • Support multiple interface technologies to establish a more robust system architecture
  • Improve error handling through role-based access, user authentication requirements, and automated system alerts
  • Assign responsibilities for specific interface areas to authorized business users
  • Control access to data segments and interfaces to improve data security and governance

Understanding the connection between SAP and other systems

The Remote Function Call (RFC) interface is commonly utilized to establish connections between SAP and non-SAP systems, as well as between two distinct SAP systems. This interface leverages the concept of a Client and Server to enable various functions and execute specific tasks by making calls to the RFC server in a synchronous manner.

To ensure effective utilization of the RFC interface, it is important to carefully design and define the functions that will be executed through these remote calls. It requires thorough planning and coordination among teams responsible for both client-side applications initiating these requests and server-side components handling them. Additionally, proper security measures should be implemented to protect sensitive data exchanged during these interactions.

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Top 9 Interface and Integration Methods in the SAP System

The file interface is a traditional method used to connect SAP systems with external third-party applications. It involves transferring data through text or Excel files, either by sending them to a designated directory or extracting them from the application server. This approach offers a basic and straightforward way of exchanging information between different systems.

This method involves minimal intricate programming, simplifying the process for users to use FTP/SFTP for transferring a specific file from SAP to an external system. The file is then forwarded to the SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI) framework where it undergoes conversion and mapping according to the requirements of the third-party system. This ensures that the file can be sent in various formats such as JSON, XML, and others as per need.

2) IDoc

Another method that can be used to enable communication between SAP and non-SAP systems is through the use of Intermediate Document (IDoc). This approach, although older, is still effective in facilitating data exchange by providing a standardized file format. The file format consists of various components such as data structure, fields with their respective positions and lengths within the file, header information, data segments, and statuses for each recorded segment.

IDoc interfaces are designed to facilitate communication between SAP systems and non-SAP systems, using the ALE framework. This enables seamless integration of various ERP systems like CRM, Finance, or HR with the existing SAP system through electronic data interchange (EDI) and other means of communication.

Companies can facilitate communication between their in-house SAP systems and external technologies by converting messages into IDoc file format. This simplifies the process of exchanging data between different systems, allowing business users to manage both incoming and outgoing data effectively.


Representational State Transfer (REST) is an established architectural style for designing and connecting networked applications, leveraging resource-led technology, where all components of the interface act as resources to create communication channels between two systems.

By utilizing the SAP Gateway feature, organizations have the ability to offer RFC interfaces and SAP ABAP functions through a REST API. This enables users to utilize the HTTP protocol for seamless and real-time data transfer between different systems and file formats.

Below are some notable distinctions between REST Web Service and SOAP APIs.

  • REST provides a lighter design and functionality
  • REST is faster than SOAP
  • REST can transform data directly into JSON or XML format
  • REST supports critical CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations
  • REST can operate synchronously or be set to align with system requirements
  • REST is stateless, allowing system resources to be saved


SOAP offers a smart web service that enables efficient communication and data exchange between SAP and non-SAP systems. This allows companies to utilize the HTTP protocol and Web Service Description Language (WSDL) features, enhancing their communication capabilities.

SOAP APIs are commonly used in an asynchronous manner, but they can be customized to suit specific business needs. By utilizing the SOAP interface, organizations can guarantee dependable messaging (RM), which ensures that the receiving system successfully receives the message and facilitates regular data transfers between different systems.

5) Remote Function Call

The usual method for establishing connections between SAP and non-SAP systems, as well as between two different SAP systems, is through the Remote Function Call (RFC) interface. This interface utilizes the Client and Server concept to execute functions by making synchronous calls to the RFC server.

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SAP introduced the Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI) as a means to allow remote systems to access and interact with specific business objects. This interface facilitates the establishment of strong connections between SAP technologies, enabling easy access to each instance of the exposed business object.

SAP and Non-SAP System Integration Interface

SAP S/4HANA utilizes the HANA in-memory database and offers flexible deployment options, including on-premise, cloud, or hybrid models. This allows businesses to efficiently extract data from their current systems and generate user-friendly data displays.

The S/4HANA system adopts the code-to-data approach, utilizing code pushdown techniques to perform data calculations in the database layer instead of the application layer. It also provides various information models like attribute view, analytical view, calculation view, decision table, and others to optimize data presentation.

S/4HANA interfaces utilize the following principles to enable seamless communication between different systems.

– Core Data Services (CDS) is a feature that allows for efficient data modeling and access in SAP systems.

– SAP ABAP Managed Data Procedure (AMDP) is a method used to execute complex database operations within the ABAP programming language.

– Open Item Analytics (OIA) provides analysis capabilities for open items, allowing businesses to gain insights into their financial processes.

– CDS Table Functions are functions that can be used in CDS views to perform calculations or transformations on data before it is displayed or processed.

– The Business Object Processing Framework (BOPF) offers a structured approach to developing and executing business object processing logic in SAP systems.

Interface Between SAP and Non-SAP Systems

BDL interfaces are designed to enhance the functionality of current business objects by specifying their behavior, syntax, and creation process.

8) OData

OData simplifies the creation and usage of RESTful APIs, enabling it to be accessed by various applications, software, programs, or devices. It is possible to connect OData with SAP system using HTTP protocol. This allows users to handle XML files based on specific business needs when connecting non-SAP systems.

9) Web API

By utilizing the RESTful programming model, businesses can implement and manage Web APIs alongside OData and Fiori. This approach utilizes the HTTP protocol to establish connections between systems, enhancing efficiency in business processes.

Smart SAP interfaces enable organizations to enhance the scalability, flexibility, and adaptability of their systems in response to changing business requirements. These interfaces empower businesses to optimize their SAP investments by seamlessly integrating with other components of their IT infrastructure.

Here are the key benefits of SAP interfaces for business users:

Efficient Data Exchange: SAP interfaces enable efficient and accurate data exchange between SAP systems and other applications or external entities. This streamlines data transfer, reducing manual data entry and the risk of data errors, leading to improved data quality.

Process Automation: SAP interfaces facilitate the automation of business processes that span multiple systems. This automation saves time and ensures consistency and compliance with predefined workflows, reducing human error and increasing operational efficiency.

Instantaneous Updates: Numerous interfaces in SAP facilitate the immediate synchronization of data, enabling the seamless exchange of information between systems. This instantaneous functionality empowers swift decision-making and adaptability to evolving business circumstances.

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Improved User Experience: Interfaces can enhance the overall user experience by enabling users to conveniently access SAP data and functionalities through interfaces they are already familiar with or third-party applications. This not only boosts user satisfaction and acceptance but also enhances productivity levels.

What is the SAP tool used to connect SAP with non-SAP systems?

– The RFC interface serves as the classic means of communication between non-SAP systems and SAP.

– Communication among various SAP systems can also be achieved through RFC interfaces.

– An RFC can be defined as a remote function call.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help implementing new SAP interface technology for the first time, establishing remote function calls between existing systems, or broadening your company’s technical perspective through well-defined interfaces, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of experienced SAP consultants, based in the United States, possesses the necessary expertise and practical know-how to effectively manage your SAP projects and enhance operational effectiveness.

Understanding the SAP Interface

The SAP ALE interface facilitates the integration of business processes and allows for asynchronous data communication between multiple SAP systems or between SAP and external systems. The exchange of data occurs through Intermediate Documents (IDocs).


1. The SAP ALE interface enables seamless integration of business processes.

2. It supports asynchronous data communication.

3. It can be used to connect two or more SAP systems.

4. It also allows connectivity between SAP and external systems.

5. Data is exchanged in the form of Intermediate Documents (IDocs).

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Are you curious about how SAP interfaces enhance the connectivity between your SAP and non-SAP systems, ensuring a more efficient integration? Discover where our customized SAP consulting services can seamlessly integrate into your organization.

Is there a Web interface for SAP?

SAP offers various user interface (UI) technologies that allow users to access an SAP system using a web browser. These UI technologies provide a way for people to interact with the SAP software and perform tasks or retrieve information.

The interface between SAP and non-SAP systems refers to the connection or integration between these two types of software. Non-SAP systems can be any other software applications or databases that are not part of the SAP ecosystem. The goal is to enable seamless communication and data exchange between different systems, allowing them to work together efficiently.

The SAP IDoc Interface: An Overview

IDoc, also known as an intermediate document, serves as a standardized data structure within SAP applications. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the seamless transfer of data between SAP system applications and external systems. By utilizing IDocs, businesses that operate on SAP ERP systems can efficiently exchange information with external entities such as partners or customers.

To ensure compatibility and consistency during data exchanges, each type of business transaction has its specific format defined by an associated message type in an IDoc. These message types serve as templates that outline how particular sets of information should be structured when transmitted between different systems.

The purpose of interface in SAP

Interfaces are used in SAP ABAP for several reasons, including: Standardization: Interfaces provide a standard way to define methods that can be used across different classes. This standardization helps to ensure consistency and makes it easier to maintain the code.