Business Critical Line-Of-Business (LOB) Data in SharePoint 2013 – Using Winshuttle for No-code or Minimal-code Approach
In this part 3 of my blog series, I’ll discuss a minimal code approach to integrate SAP with SharePoint. This approach would mean utilizing a tool or toolset to provide an end-to-end solution. I’ll further discuss how we can use the Winshuttle suite of products to enable integration of SAP with SharePoint 2013.
Using Winshuttle, one can create an end-to-end solution rather than just creating services that expose SAP data. Winshuttle has products that allow you to connect to multiple SAP touch points such as SAP Transactions, BAPI’s, and tables and expose the data as a web service. There are lots of tools in the market that allow you to connect to SAP BAPI’s and tables but Winshuttle is unique that it allows you to record entire SAP transactions such as MM01 to create a material in SAP. This allows a non-technical person well-versed in creating SAP transactions, such as a Master Data Analyst, to create a powerful web service that exposes a complete business process in a matter of few minutes.
A separate set of products from Winshuttle then can be used to not only create an electronic form that can be used to consume the web services but also design the business workflow process using a designer tool. In the end you can integrate most SAP business process without writing a single line of code. For example, you can create a SharePoint portal that can integrate SAP Master Data with SharePoint and further allow users to participate in a workflow.
A vast majority of solutions can be implemented by someone who is well versed in the tool and has good understanding of SAP LOB data. This is a significant benefit as it reduces the constant dependence on IT, and the ability to have more self-service type solutions makes business more agile. As a result, the savings are significant as even the simplest self-service solution can save countless hours that would be spent otherwise in manually entering the data in SAP.
Now anyone who has been involved in creating SAP integration solutions for the Microsoft stack of products knows very well that no two SAP integrations are the same and that no product in the market will be able to solve all the business problems. Ideally you want all your customers to build their requirements around the strengths of an enablement platform such as Winshuttle. However in reality that’s not always the case. Very frequently you will run into issues where a product at-least out of the box is not going to solve all your needs.
This is where Winshuttle is different. Yes, it allows you to create moderately complex no-code solutions but for those advanced application-like scenarios, the platform allows more advanced users such as IT programmers to extend the solution. The person implementing the solutions doesn’t necessarily have to be an IT Programmer but, it will certainly help to have such a person implement more advanced solutions as they will require some custom coding. As a result, extremely powerful SAP data automation solutions can be created using Winshuttle with some minimal coding.