Business Critical Line-Of-Business (LOB) Data in SharePoint 2013 – SAP Integration Strategies
Integration projects in SAP Microsoft space can be extremely different with regards to budget, scope, skill set, architecture, the use of standards, and many other parameters.
In my previous post I mentioned that there are basically two different types of integration projects in SAP Microsoft space. One that requires little to no coding and the one that requires heavy customization using custom development. However, there is also a hybrid approach where a tool can be used to implement one aspect of the integration but, may not build a complete end-to-end solution.
So let’s define each of these integration approaches. In order to better understand each approach and its pros and cons, we will create a scenario as well.
Suppose a customer wants to use SharePoint as their Corporate portal and bring SAP HR data into SharePoint to provide their HR Managers with self service capabilities to maintain employee data.
Using a fully custom approach will mean that the Project team will need to consist of SAP Functional Experts, SAP ABAP Developers, Microsoft developers that are well versed in SharePoint, Web Services Development, and overall integration technologies. Microsoft Developers will also need to have a good understanding of SAP LOB data they are trying to expose and consume.
A no code approach would mean utilizing a tool or toolset to provide an end-to-end solution. This kind of project can be implemented by someone who is well versed in the tool and has good understanding of SAP LOB data. The person implementing the solutions doesn’t have to be an IT Programmer but, it will certainly help to have such as person implement more advanced solutions as they will require custom coding.
A hybrid approach means that some aspects of the project can be implemented using a tool while other components are still custom developed. An example of that would be where a tool can be used to expose SAP data as Web services that can then be consumed from a SharePoint Portal.