Simplify Development Work for Data Exchanges with the ADBC API

  • by Roger Colaco, Solution Architect, Fujitsu America Inc.
  • July 9, 2010
The ADBC API is a little-known option for exchanging data between two systems. ABAP database connectivity is an option when you need to exchange data to stage in the target system because it provides better control when performing database updates and data retrieval from the non-SAP system. Find out how to set up and use the ADBC API.
Key Concept
The ADBC API consists of a library of classes that connects to an external database in a standardized manner. The availability of various methods makes performing database operations easy, serving as a standardized platform for the connection between the SAP system and the external database. You can set up database systems ranging from Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, and Informix to exchange data using the ADBC API.

Sometimes you need to exchange data between two systems in a system landscape in which the traditional file exchange method can be cumbersome. When dealing with file-based interfaces, you must contend with the overhead with managing files — such as versioning, archiving, and formatting. Any time lag between information being available in the external system and the SAP system receiving the information for processing can cause issues.

In your SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) system, connecting to a database system directly is always an integration option, especially when there are system or design limitations. The option of using database connectivity has existed since SAP R/3 3.1H. Starting with SAP R/3 4.7, SAP has offered the ABAP database call interface —also called the ADBC API.

You can work around these external database system limitations by using the ADBC API. You can use the ADBC API when:

  • You have database system and application limitations, such as when the external database has limited capabilities, options, and resource constraints
  • Using IDoc or Remote Function Call (RFC) is not possible. For example, you cannot use IDocs or RFCs when you have customizations in your SAP system, which involves more development time.
  • You need a better interfacing technique than using flat files to overcome the overheads with managing exchange files, archiving, and deleting

Based on my recent implementation experience, the benefits of using the ADBC API include real-time data transfer between the two systems. In addition, the availability of standard methods simplified development work. Although the ADBC API has been around for a while, it is not yet widely popular. Furthermore, SAP has recently improved the interface.

I provide the steps needed to set up a new connection using the ADBC API, including setting up the system prerequisites, testing the connection, and programming the API using the available classes and methods. The processes I describe apply to SAP R/3 4.7 and later, including SAP ERP 6.0.

Roger Colaco

Roger Colaco works as a solution architect with Fujitsu America’s SAP NetWeaver practice and has 12 years of SAP experience working on SAP implementation projects. He specializes in integration technologies using IDoc, BAPI, and Web services — to name a few — on the SAP ECC and SAP NetWeaver PI platforms. He has also worked extensively on the logistics modules, managed SAP projects, and is a PMI certified project management professional.

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