In 3 Easy Steps, Automatically Convert Your Sales Order to IDoc or XML Format

  • by Shaik Shavali, SAP CRM Analyst, Rockwell Automation
  • August 2, 2011
Order management integration with third-party providers is a common scenario, as is the need to send an order confirmation output to them. SAP CRM provides standard external interfaces known as external interface (XIF) adapters for data exchange with non-SAP components in an SAP CRM solution landscape. Business data such as transactions, customers, and products can then be exchanged in inbound and outbound directions. See how to use the XIF adapter with SAP CRM actions functionality to convert orders to IDoc or XML format and then send order confirmations automatically.
Key Concept
SAP CRM middleware provides standard external interfaces known as external interface (XIF) adapters for data exchange with external systems. XIF adapter CRMXIF_ORDER_SAVE provides both IDoc processing and processing for XML or SOAP calls for business transactions. The corresponding IDoc message type is CRMXIF_ORDER_SAVE_M. This XIF adapter can be called through actions that trigger the conversion and data transfer to the external system. Because actions are freely customizable and integrated in the transactions, the data exchange process can be triggered from within the transaction automatically.

When a sales order is created in SAP CRM, it generates a business document (BDoc) that it transfers to SAP CRM middleware. In SAP CRM middleware, external interface adapters (XIF adapters) convert the data to an IDoc or XML format and select the data to be transferred. A receiving system such as webMethods can process the IDocs or XML documents to convert them to the format that third-party software can understand. Alternatively, data can be exchanged using SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (SAP NetWeaver PI) where further mapping is possible if required.

Note
The content of BDocs is based on BDoc types, which are broadly classified into two types: Synchronization BDoc types (sBDoc types), which are used for data exchange between the SAP CRM server and mobile clients, and messaging BDoc types (mBDoc types), which are used by server applications. In the context of this article only mBDoc types are applicable.

Let’s take a simple business scenario in which the order confirmation needs to be sent to a distributor (who uses a third-party software) automatically as soon as the order is released.

Note
For more information about SAP CRM middleware, see the CRM Expert article “CRM Middleware Demystified” by Ned Falk.

Shaik Shavali

Shaik Shavali has worked on SAP for seven-plus years focusing on SAP CRM and its integration points. He has been involved with multiple SAP CRM implementations worldwide. He is working with Rockwell Automation as an SAP CRM analyst involved in the global process transformation team for SAP deployment.

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