Standardized modules for the integration into the SAP ERP system or SAP S/4HANA help to make the implementation of FUTURA® as fast and economical as possible. We combine the advantages of an out-of-the-box solution with a high degree of flexibility in the case of customer-specific expansions and adjustments, which are usually implemented via so-called business add-ins.
SAP integrations are based on standardized, bidirectional, real-time interfaces. Standardized programming interfaces of the SAP Business Objects, so-called BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interface), are mainly used to access the data and business processes inside the SAP system via external programs.
BAPIs are independent of programming languages and communication mechanisms. Therefore, they play an essential role in business data exchange that goes beyond technical integration. This is the only way to enable an interactive operation of SAP via FUTURA: the combined error handling indicates the processing status of the data exchange immediately and ensures that users work in one system only.
Depending on the process flow, Futura Solutions has different standardized integration modules for the connection to the SAP ERP system or SAP S/4HANA system. These modules can be used individually or in combination, predominantly for the following business transactions:
Communication between the systems takes place via web services. Idocs (ALE) or pure Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture (eSOA) communication can be used for the data transfer from SAP to the FUTURA® Cloud. The open, service-oriented architecture (SOA) of the SAP NetWeaver platform is used for this purpose.
The FBG (FUTURA® Business Gateway) is the middleware and integration platform developed by Futura Solutions itself and is optimized for specific data exchange. Especially in the context of processing services and its extensive data, information must be transported reliably and quickly between the systems. This is ensured by the FBG. It connects the FUTURA® Cloud to the SAP environment. The required data is transferred via web services in XML format. SAP standards such as BAPIs and idocs are used. Depending on the interface, the data is transferred synchronously (real-time call), i.e. in real time, or asynchronously (batch input procedure). The IDocs are automatically converted into XML structures.
Quality assurance requires documentation. Therefore, prior to the actual rollout and the technical project realization, the organizational requirements are clarified and documented in functional and/or technical specifications. This serves the purpose of creating clarity for the customer, and applies to rolling out the FUTURA standard as well as to implementing individual expansions for the customer.
When dealing with the standard scope of services, standard test scenarios are used. When expansions are required, they will be adjusted accordingly. If the tests are successful, we will provide the customer with the documents needed to carry out the integration test independently. The integration test includes functional interface tests to check the operational readiness and is also applied to verify customer-specific expansions or developments. Acceptance or release takes place in the upstream quality assurance system. If that is successful, nothing stands in the way of transport and customizing in the production system.
The system landscape consists of a development system, a quality assurance system and a production system.
A technical workshop (basic system check) precedes implementation in order to determine the technical requirements as well as the customer-specific settings and specifications. The results of this basic system check are recorded in a detailed report which is the basis for basic customizing.
Subsequently, the FUTURA/SAP integration modules (in the FUTURA namespace) are imported into the customer’s development system via a so-called SAP transport request. After completing the necessary configurations for the FUTURA processes, the integration modules are transported from here to the quality assurance system and the production system.
The challenge now is to securely connect the customer’s SAP system to the cloud-based FUTURA® solution. Every company has its own guidelines that must be observed. Communication between the systems via VPN for instance or SSL encryption and other security mechanisms – this is common practice with FUTURA.
The settings made in the SAP system in the course of basic customizing depend on which business process flows are to be rolled out. This step involves the creation of specific document types and an adequate message control configuration. At the same time, the basic settings for the web service communication are made and the service definition is assigned within the SOA management.
Extensive documentation enables our customers to make their own settings and customizing. Of course, it is even easier with the help of our experts who also implement and execute customer-specific expansions.