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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft January 15, 2004
SAP Professional Journal – 
Java has increasingly become an application development standard. SAP Java Connector (JCo) is the middleware that bridges the gap between the Java and ABAP worlds. If you are looking for advanced information on JCo to help you improve your applications or speed up your development projects, then this article is for you. It contains an assortment of general recommendations, performance tips, debugging tricks, and solutions to specific challenges that should be of value to all JCo developers.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft November 15, 2003
SAP Professional Journal – 
The SAP Business Connector (SBC) is a great tool for XML-enabling ABAP-based SAP components like R/3. It uses a service-based architecture and delivers many ready-to-use services. Customers can also easily build services — either flow services using SBC’s graphical design environment or Java services by writing Java code. While much can be accomplished with both, Java services offer distinct advantages in some areas, including performance, exception handling, and support for a range of data types and operations. This article shows you how to create a Java service from scratch or by using existing Java libraries, and how to leverage the ability of Java and flow services to invoke one another by looking at an example flow service that invokes two Java services.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft September 15, 2003
SAP Professional Journal – 
In integration projects that use the SAP Java Connector (JCo), usually the Java program is the client and the ABAP-based SAP system (e.g., R/3) is the server. In some cases, however, you might want an ABAP program to invoke functionality in a Java component. Using JCo to build an RFC (Remote Function Call) server is ideal for such a scenario. This article shows you how to prepare your SAP system to be an RFC client as well as how to develop a JCo RFC server.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft July 15, 2003
SAP Professional Journal – 
In the past, the SAP ActiveX Controls and the SAP DCOM Connector were the only options available for writing Windows-specific applications that communicate with ABAP-based SAP components like R/3. SAP has now released a new product for the Microsoft platform, the SAP .NET Connector, which has several advantages over the SAP ActiveX Controls and the SAP DCOM Connector, including full integration with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. This article introduces you to the SAP .NET Connector using C# as the programming language for the sample code, but you can apply what you learn here to any .NET-compliant language.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft May 15, 2003
SAP Professional Journal – 
It's a reasonable assumption that both .NET and J2EE will dominate as development platforms for quite some time. In keeping with this widely held belief, SAP offers the SAP Java Connector (JCo), which allows Java applications to access ABAP applications, and more recently has introduced the SAP .NET Connector, which provides a similar capability for .NET applications. Those who are proficient in both Java and C# will clearly have the broadest range of options available to them. This article is an introduction to C# for Java developers. To speed up the learning process, you will find lots of suitable code snippets as well as the complete source code for two classes.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft March 15, 2003
SAP Professional Journal – 
The SAP Java Connector (JCo) is the premier middleware for connecting non-SAP components written in Java to ABAP-based SAP systems like R/3. The non-SAP components can be clients (Java calls ABAP) or servers (ABAP calls Java). In both cases, you need a repository object that represents the metadata (parameters and exceptions) for the functions to be invoked. Using JCo repositories properly is a key contributor to stable and performance-optimized applications. This article shows you how.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft September 15, 2002
SAP Professional Journal – 
With the SAP Web Application Server 6.10, you can build state-of-the-art web applications in ABAP. Some of the web applications that you want to build will be unrelated to the SAP application components, but in many cases you will need some access to the SAP application functionality. This article shows you, step-by-step, how to find the relevant BAPI metadata in an SAP system (using a 4.6C R/3 system as an example), generate ABAP code in the SAP Web Application Server, and incorporate the generated code into a BSP application written in ABAP using the SAP Web Application Server 6.10.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft July 15, 2002
SAP Professional Journal – 

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft May 15, 2002
SAP Professional Journal – 
As a developer, you know that proper error handling is one of the keys to a stable application with low maintenance cost. If you develop BAPI-enabled components and applications this means that you need to know how to deal with BAPI Return messages. This article describes in detail how BAPIs inform you about success and failure by using a standardized Return parameter, discusses the intricacies of interpreting the data in this parameter correctly in order to avoid pitfalls, and introduces a Java class that makes dealing with BAPI messages much easier.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft March 15, 2002
SAP Professional Journal – 
If done right, BAPI components will save you time and money, especially in the long run. This article tells you why you need components for BAPI-enabled applications, shows you an enabling component that facilitates the building of BAPI components, and, using the SAP Java Connector (JCo) as the middleware, gives you a concrete example of a component that encapsulates a set of complex BAPIs (the OpenInfoWarehouse BAPIs) to make the development of applications using these BAPIs extremely easy.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft September 15, 2001
SAP Professional Journal – 
Almost all BAPI-based applications have to deal with currencies. Proper handling of the currency fields in a BAPI requires an in-depth understanding of how currency amounts are represented in SAP. This article discusses how BAPIs should treat currency amounts, how to handle BAPIs that violate the rules and return "incorrect" amounts, how to use the BAPIs of the Currency object type in your applications, and how to use the BAPIs of the ExchangeRate object type to assist you in converting currency amounts into other currencies. Anybody involved in BAPI programming, be it as a developer of BAPIs in ABAP or of client applications using BAPIs, will benefit from the lessons taught in this article.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft July 15, 2001
SAP Professional Journal – 
An extranet application allows users outside your firewall limited, controlled access to certain functionality within the firewall. If this functionality involves SAP, and you want to assign users a generic password, how do you control access to extranet applications so that only selected business partners can use them? This article examines the password management capabilities offered by SAP, including the online SAPGUI transaction for maintaining extranet userids, the password BAPIs available for object types like Customer, Vendor, etc., and a component written in Java that encapsulates access to the password BAPIs.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft January 15, 2001
SAP Professional Journal – 

Trying to develop or use SAP's Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) without a solid understanding of what they are, how they are defined in the Business Object Repository (BOR), and what the difference between a BAPI and the ABAP Function Module underneath is, leads to errors and frustration. Beginners are often confounded as to how to approach the BAPIs. Even experienced developers do not always appreciate all relevant details of the BOR metadata. This article provides a solid foundation for any BAPI-related activity and is required reading for developers who use or create BAPIs, as well as their managers.


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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft November 15, 2000
SAP Professional Journal – 
To write a BAPI-enabled application, you must understand all the relevant parameters of every BAPI you want to use in your application. This article shows you how to test-drive a BAPI inside R/3's test environment in order to accelerate the learning process. Without writing source code, you can find out which parameters, in which combination, will allow you to reach the goals defined for your application.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft September 15, 2000
SAP Professional Journal – 
Within SAPGUI, facilities that help users enter data are known as Input Help. In simple cases, SAPGUI's Input Help presents the user with a list of codes and descriptions. For more complex object types, Match Codes are used to enable the user to search on more expansive sets of criteria. You can provide a similar range of facilities in the GUIs of your BAPI applications. This article shows you how.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft July 15, 2000
SAP Professional Journal – 
Understanding how R/3 is able to handle even very large numbers of transactions with ease is essential for any ABAP or BAPI developer who wants to build performance-optimized applications, and for administrators who are charged with maintaining overall system performance. This article explains the details of transaction processing and the asynchronous update scheme around which transaction processing revolves. The asynchronous update mechanism, designed by SAP to guarantee more even response times, requires a specific programming style, which you will learn about here. The article concludes with tips and techniques for leveraging this knowledge when calling or writing BAPIs.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft March 15, 2000
SAP Professional Journal – 
The SAP DCOM Connector (SDC) is the standard middleware for Windows applications that require access to SAP functionality. SDC contains an API that offers access to the "destinations" in which R/3 system and user information required for logon is maintained. This article provides an overview of those destinations and the SDC API that enables a client program to access them. It also offers roadmaps for building a component to encapsulate the API and make it easier to work with; for building a visual logon component that presents users with a list of destinations to choose from, and to view and change their default logon information; and for building a destination management application that is suitable for end users. Lastly, you will learn how to retrieve information about a session at runtime.

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by Thomas G. Schuessler, Founder, ARAsoft January 15, 2000
SAP Professional Journal – 
This article will introduce you to the basic design principles behind SAP DCOM Connector (SDC), show you how to build BAPI-enabled applications with SDC in Visual Basic, and discuss some advanced concepts for SDC-based applications. In order to keep things simple, we will assume that our applications are built without MTS. So I will not be covering MTS-specific issues here.