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EDI solution for SAP generated FF messages RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm a total newbie regarding the EDI features of BizTalk 2009/2010 so this is probably a very basic question.

    I've been trying to understand how the EDI bacthing and prosessing works. I now have a project where I'm puzzled on how to solve the situation. I'm considering BizTalk EDI features mainly because I was told incoming messages would be easy to receive as EDI messages.

    In my project, I receive/send SAP generated FlatFiles that should be in standard EDI(FACT) format, according to the customer.
    I tried to read these in using the EDI pipeline but the problem is what schema to use. How can a find out the schema?

    For example, one of the files is described as "SHPORD YDELVRY2 v.9".
    This file begins with the code "EDI_DC40".

    I'm probably missing information here but what do I need to know to proceed?
    My main conern is that I need build the schemas for the FlatFiles from scratch.

     

    How should I proceed with this task?

    Sunday, May 22, 2011 5:18 PM

Answers

  • Based on the links provided by Ben it seems the FlatFiles are in SAP IDOC format and in my project scenario it appears there is no need for any EDI processing. The requirement is to convert inbound SAP IDOC FlatFiles into an inhouse XML format which is then sent to another system for prosessing. Similarly, a couple of inhouse XML messages should be transformed into SAP IDOC FlatFiles and sent back to the SAP system. Sorry about the confusion.

    My only concern is no how to process the SAP IDOCs in BizTalk. As I've understood one should use XSD schemas generated from the SAP system that produces the FlatFiles. I guess my confusion is based on the fact that I haven't received any schemas, just the FlatFiles and some vague descriptions.

    Any advice regarding SAP IDOC FF processing?

    Install the Line of Business Adapters for BizTalk Server (WCF-LOB). There is an LOB adapter for SAP. Once you have installed and configured it, you can use it to connect and generate Schemas that can be processed directly into XML from the native IDOC document format.

    With the BizTalk adapter you can consume IDOC's as well as RFC/BAPI service calls. You can also expose an RFC Receive Port directly to SAP and it would not require you to process IDOC's (if that is an option).

    Information on the Adapter Pack can be found here...

    http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/adapter-pack.aspx

     

    • Marked as answer by sharpjusba Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:23 PM
    Monday, May 23, 2011 8:33 PM
  • Thanks for your help! I looked into the adapter issue quickly and it seems the right direction to pursue.

    One additional question, how about my scenario where BizTalk would receive the IDOC FF as file via FTP.
    I don't have access to the SAP system so I cannot connect to it using the SAP Adapter, or am I missing something here?

    I've requested the customer to generate the IDOC XSD shemas from SAP, that creates the FlatFiles.

     

    This is extremely common. The actual adapter is not the issue, you can use FTP or FILE or whatever you need to pickup the file itself. You will need to use the SAP adapter to connect to the SAP environment (this does not have to be production...) you will need to do this to Generate the schema for whatever IDOC document you will be consuming. Once you have generated the schema, you will use the schema to create a FF pipeline. Then on your FTP receive port you will use your receive pipeline for the inbound port pipeline.
    • Marked as answer by sharpjusba Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:23 PM
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:29 PM

All replies

  • Did you already look in the built-in schemas for the Edifact ones? See the article at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb226360(v=BTS.70).aspx for how to get to these schemas. Usually you will need to slightly customize the provided schema for values your SAP system will output and data types, etc.

    This article mentions how to map Edifact types to SAP IDoc types: http://edicrossroad.blogspot.com/2008/12/overview-of-ale-idocs.html. I am not sure if this is authoritative though.

    Thanks,


    If this answers your question, please use the "Answer" button to say so | Ben Cline
    Monday, May 23, 2011 12:33 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the links Ben, the article gave me basic description of the files I'm using.

    In my first post I forgot to mention that I've looked into the bult-in schemas, I'm working on BizTalk 2009 for this project.
    The problem is that I'm not sure how to match the schemas. The EDIFACT folder has subfolders named D00A, DOOB, etc.

    How would I know which one to use even if I'd have to modify it a bit?

     

    Monday, May 23, 2011 6:57 AM
  • I am a bit confused; SAP's native format is IDOC which is not exactly EDI. Are you processing EDI or IDOC messages and if you are processing EDI messages, have you configured the parties correctly to allow the EDI pipeline to correlate the inbound EDI and process it as defined in the Parties configuration?
    Monday, May 23, 2011 5:45 PM
  • Based on the links provided by Ben it seems the FlatFiles are in SAP IDOC format and in my project scenario it appears there is no need for any EDI processing. The requirement is to convert inbound SAP IDOC FlatFiles into an inhouse XML format which is then sent to another system for prosessing. Similarly, a couple of inhouse XML messages should be transformed into SAP IDOC FlatFiles and sent back to the SAP system. Sorry about the confusion.

    My only concern is no how to process the SAP IDOCs in BizTalk. As I've understood one should use XSD schemas generated from the SAP system that produces the FlatFiles. I guess my confusion is based on the fact that I haven't received any schemas, just the FlatFiles and some vague descriptions.

    Any advice regarding SAP IDOC FF processing?

    Monday, May 23, 2011 7:46 PM
  • Based on the links provided by Ben it seems the FlatFiles are in SAP IDOC format and in my project scenario it appears there is no need for any EDI processing. The requirement is to convert inbound SAP IDOC FlatFiles into an inhouse XML format which is then sent to another system for prosessing. Similarly, a couple of inhouse XML messages should be transformed into SAP IDOC FlatFiles and sent back to the SAP system. Sorry about the confusion.

    My only concern is no how to process the SAP IDOCs in BizTalk. As I've understood one should use XSD schemas generated from the SAP system that produces the FlatFiles. I guess my confusion is based on the fact that I haven't received any schemas, just the FlatFiles and some vague descriptions.

    Any advice regarding SAP IDOC FF processing?

    Install the Line of Business Adapters for BizTalk Server (WCF-LOB). There is an LOB adapter for SAP. Once you have installed and configured it, you can use it to connect and generate Schemas that can be processed directly into XML from the native IDOC document format.

    With the BizTalk adapter you can consume IDOC's as well as RFC/BAPI service calls. You can also expose an RFC Receive Port directly to SAP and it would not require you to process IDOC's (if that is an option).

    Information on the Adapter Pack can be found here...

    http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/en/us/adapter-pack.aspx

     

    • Marked as answer by sharpjusba Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:23 PM
    Monday, May 23, 2011 8:33 PM
  • Thanks for your help! I looked into the adapter issue quickly and it seems the right direction to pursue.

    One additional question, how about my scenario where BizTalk would receive the IDOC FF as file via FTP.
    I don't have access to the SAP system so I cannot connect to it using the SAP Adapter, or am I missing something here?

    I've requested the customer to generate the IDOC XSD shemas from SAP, that creates the FlatFiles.

     

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:35 AM
  • Thanks for your help! I looked into the adapter issue quickly and it seems the right direction to pursue.

    One additional question, how about my scenario where BizTalk would receive the IDOC FF as file via FTP.
    I don't have access to the SAP system so I cannot connect to it using the SAP Adapter, or am I missing something here?

    I've requested the customer to generate the IDOC XSD shemas from SAP, that creates the FlatFiles.

     

    This is extremely common. The actual adapter is not the issue, you can use FTP or FILE or whatever you need to pickup the file itself. You will need to use the SAP adapter to connect to the SAP environment (this does not have to be production...) you will need to do this to Generate the schema for whatever IDOC document you will be consuming. Once you have generated the schema, you will use the schema to create a FF pipeline. Then on your FTP receive port you will use your receive pipeline for the inbound port pipeline.
    • Marked as answer by sharpjusba Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:23 PM
    Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:29 PM
  • I understand the concept now, thanks for the help. For now it seems I won't be able to connect in any case to the clients SAP system so I'm hoping to get the IDOC schemas generated by the clients SAP team. As I understand this should be trivial to do in SAP. Importing the schemas to BizTalk would allow me to use an inbound receive pipeline for processing inbound FlatFiles. Or this is the plan.
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:28 PM
  • I understand the concept now, thanks for the help. For now it seems I won't be able to connect in any case to the clients SAP system so I'm hoping to get the IDOC schemas generated by the clients SAP team. As I understand this should be trivial to do in SAP. Importing the schemas to BizTalk would allow me to use an inbound receive pipeline for processing inbound FlatFiles. Or this is the plan.
    Don't bet on it! :-). You really need to generate the schemas for the IDOC using the BizTalk adapter, unless they are going to give you IDOC's in XML format (chances are they are going to give them to you in native FF format, in which case you will have to have the adapter connect to and generate the appropirate schema). Let me know what IDOC you are looking for and I'll see if I can get it for you. Thanks!
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:31 PM
  • I understand the concept now, thanks for the help. For now it seems I won't be able to connect in any case to the clients SAP system so I'm hoping to get the IDOC schemas generated by the clients SAP team. As I understand this should be trivial to do in SAP. Importing the schemas to BizTalk would allow me to use an inbound receive pipeline for processing inbound FlatFiles. Or this is the plan.
    Don't bet on it! :-). You really need to generate the schemas for the IDOC using the BizTalk adapter, unless they are going to give you IDOC's in XML format (chances are they are going to give them to you in native FF format, in which case you will have to have the adapter connect to and generate the appropirate schema). Let me know what IDOC you are looking for and I'll see if I can get it for you. Thanks!
    You're right, my request for the schemas is a long shot but I specifically requested XSD schemas and/or XML files. I'll keep my finger crossed. :)
    I'll let you know how it goes.
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:37 PM
  • I understand the concept now, thanks for the help. For now it seems I won't be able to connect in any case to the clients SAP system so I'm hoping to get the IDOC schemas generated by the clients SAP team. As I understand this should be trivial to do in SAP. Importing the schemas to BizTalk would allow me to use an inbound receive pipeline for processing inbound FlatFiles. Or this is the plan.
    Don't bet on it! :-). You really need to generate the schemas for the IDOC using the BizTalk adapter, unless they are going to give you IDOC's in XML format (chances are they are going to give them to you in native FF format, in which case you will have to have the adapter connect to and generate the appropirate schema). Let me know what IDOC you are looking for and I'll see if I can get it for you. Thanks!
    You're right, my request for the schemas is a long shot but I specifically requested XSD schemas and/or XML files. I'll keep my finger crossed. :)
    I'll let you know how it goes.
    I understand, but if they give you an XSD and you import it, that is just fine, but that would mean that they would have to give you IDOCXML and not IDOC (which is much different than an IDOCXML). If they give you an XSD, for the IDOC, but deliver FF formatted IDOCs it will not be successful. Good luck. Let me know how I may help.
    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:59 PM