- Understanding Requirement
- Parties involved
- How to Achieve this?
- Mapping Sheet Example
- SAP Functional (FICO or any other module) Role to play
This blog is to understand the process for Interface Development for a client. You may get task to develop interface connecting SAP System to Non-SAP system. Assuming that you are new/junior resource, you are unaware of Interface Development Process. Following points may come to your mind:
- What is the process?
- How many Parties are involved in interface development?
- How to start and from where to start?
- What is the first step?
- What is my role and Scope?
In this blog I will try to cover interface development process with some examples based on my experience.
In SAP parlance, interface means connecting 2 or more systems to exchange information between them. It may be creating, modifying, or deleting the information between 2 systems. For e.g., Automatic creation of cost/Profit center, Asset Master creation etc.
But why is this required? Why can’t data be created directly into SAP system instead of creating through Interface.? Because some client creates master data in legacy system or maintain records in some other system. This information needs to be transferred to SAP system to keep both system in Sync.
Below points to be noted during Requirement Gathering Phase.
- What is required to be created/Modified/Deleted?
- Why is this required?
- What is the frequency of this interface?
- What is the volume of Data?
Business Process: Detailed understanding of this new requirement should be understood and documented. Business Process should be understood properly for new Interface development.
Non-SAP System: Discussion should be done with Non-SAP consultant as how this could be achieved. Which fields to be considered and Mapped?
Documentation: Prepare minutes of meetings and circulate this to all stakeholders. Prepare Functional specs and send to client for signoff. Only upon signoff, development should be initiated.
From SAP point of view when you are creating the Interface below parties are involved in general. It may vary but for this blog let us stick to below stakeholders
- SAP FICO or any other Team
- ABAP Team
- SAP PI Team
- Non-SAP Team.
This are the teams involved in Developing new interface. Sometimes Non-SAP may also be a Banks. Sometimes it may be other ERPs.
How to Achieve this?
To develop new interface following points to be noted.
Mapping Sheet Example
Below is the Mapping sheet example. Each company has its own template. Also, this is freely definable by user. If you see, there are 2 parts – SAP and Non-SAP. Fill SAP part and send to Non-SAP team or Vice Versa.
SAP Functional (FICO or any other module) Role to play
- To understand the new requirement.
- To prepare Mapping sheet.
- To Test the actual Scenario – SIT
- To get UAT completed.
- Signoff and Production Movement.
Example/Exercise for readers
So now we will do small exercise.
Assume you have been assigned task to create Interface for ‘Person Responsible Change’ in Cost Center. Every time Head of Department leaves, new person is appointed. Same information is updated in Non-Sap System and must be Sent to SAP system. Cost Center must be updated with New Person Responsible every time someone leaves. How to achieve this.
Step 1 – Discussion.
- Discuss with client for this new requirement of Person Responsible.
- Set up a meeting with all concerned parties to understand this requirement in detail.
- Parties are Client, SAP FICO or any team, Abap Team, PI team and Non – SAP team.
Step 2 – Mapping Sheet
Based on the discussion, carry out below steps.
- Create Mapping sheet and insert SAP values and send to Non-SAP team to map their values.
- Non-SAP team will map their values against SAP fields.
- Review and Send file received from Non-SAP team to ABAP team and PI Team for further development.
- Below is the example of Mapping sheet for ‘Person Responsible’.
Step 3 – Mapping/Programming
- PI team will do the mapping provided in Mapping sheet by both SAP and Non-SAP teams for Person Responsible. As SAP functional, here you have no role to play.
- ABAP team will do programming to receive the Person Responsible from Non-SAP system. As SAP functional, here you have no role to play.
- Background program will be created and will work on Realtime.
- Technical Specification to be created for this development.
Step 4 – Testing
- Request Non-SAP team to change the Person Responsible and Initiate update.
- PI team will receive the data of Person Responsible. It will Convert and exchange data as per mapping.
- ABAP program will receive the value and post the changes in the Cost Center.
- Review the changes in system and validate/Approve.
Step 5 – Error Handling.
- Data Received above should be posted in Cost Center. If not, than error log should be created.
- Request ABAPer to create Error table.
- Error if any, should be analyzed in detail.
- Necessary corrective steps to be initiated.
- Automatic mail should be received by user as well as consultant if any error is generated.
Step 6 – Testing/UAT and Production Movement.
- SIT and UAT should be done in details for Person Responsible in Cost Center.
- Aggressive testing should be done like changing multiple Person Responsible from Non-SAP system
- If Satisfied, Signoff should be taken from the client.
- Changes to be moved to production.
I hope you liked this document.