Complex Data Type Transfer through RFC

  • by George Chen, SAP Consultant, Lynk, Inc.
  • December 18, 2017
Before sending data across systems you need to ensure both systems are on the same page regarding the data type. If it is a unique composite data type from the called system, then you first need to send the definition of this data type to the calling system and have it re-created. If it is a unique complex data type from the called system, you need to disassemble this complex data structure.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn how to: 

  • Analyze a complex data structure
  • Disassemble a complex data structure into simple data elements
  • Organize the data elements in a way to output the metadata so that the calling system can receive, interpret, and re-create complex structure based on this metadata
Key Concept

For the definition of a complex data structure on a source system, you can develop a generic approach to disassemble it into multiple instances of simple data types in articulated sequence, to be sent to the target/receiving system. You then reassemble them into a complete data structure.

When interfacing between two SAP systems, you need to synchronize the data structure. Sometimes this data structure is a complex structure of nested table/structure and data elements. Usually this definition of a complex data structure is hard coded on both systems, and programs need to be hard coded to accommodate this definition of the data structure to enable data transfer.

More complex types of data structures require more data-structure dependent programs. This brings inflexibility in development, high maintenance, and inefficiency in development. Since you can pass the definition of simple data types from the source system to the target system with generic programming, you can disassemble the definition of a complex data structure into multiple instances of simple data types in a designated sequence. In each instance, you pass a simple data type definition to the target system. In the target/receiving system, you reassemble these data type definitions to build a complex data structure following the sequence.

This generic design greatly improves the code efficiency in interface development and is easy to maintain in future.

George Chen

George Chen is the owner of Lynk, Inc. An SAP consultant, he has worked on SAP Netweaver ABAP/HANA/BPC/BW/IP/TPM/CRM for the past 17 years. He specializes in process integration, performance tuning, and introducing advanced ABAP design patterns in development. He has worked with SAP America many times to conduct ABAP performance tuning and troubleshooting. His focuses are ABAP for HANA and ABAP OO in SAP NetWeaver.

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