BAPI Introduction and Overview
The Business Framework - the open, component-based architecture, which allows software components from SAP and third parties to interact and integrate with each other, is gaining more and more momentum.
The SAP Business Objects are an essential part of the Business Framework and the prerequisites for interoperability. SAP Business Objects cover a broad range of R/3 business data and processes and can be accessed using stable, standardized methods - BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interfaces). The SAP Business Objects and their BAPIs thus provide an object-oriented view of R/3 business functionality.
Since R/3 Release 3.1, 150 BAPIs have been available to customers and third parties to enable integration of their software components with the R/3 System and the Business Framework. In R/3 Release 4.0, yet more BAPIs have been implemented to further increase the scope of object-oriented access to the R/3 System.
This guide is an introduction to the technical concepts of BAPIs. It also gives you an overview of how you can use BAPIs to achieve seamless integration between R/3 and third-party software, legacy systems, or your own add-on developments.
This guide is aimed at application developers who want to use SAP Business Objects and their BAPIs to leverage the new BAPI integration points to an R/3 System, for example:
You can implement such front-ends as Windows-based client applications, for example, macros for desktop applications (Microsoft Excel or Access) that are usually written in Visual Basic for Applications, or other applications developed in Visual Basic or C++.
To use BAPIs to access the SAP Business Objects, you need to understand the general concepts of object-oriented technology and programming. Although you can use BAPIs without detailed knowledge of R/3, you should have a basic understanding of the R/3 System.
BAPIs can be accessed from various programming environments, such as Borland Delphi, and Visual Studio using SAP's BAPI ActiveX Control, as well as from C++ platforms. You need to be familiar with the particular development environment from which you are going to access BAPIs.
BAPIs are available outside of R/3 from all development platforms that support the Remote Function Call (RFC) protocol. If you are developing your application in a non-Windows environment, you need some knowledge of RFC programming. In particular, you should be familiar with making RFC calls.