Using SAP Integration Gateway – Best Practices

SAP integration gateway is continuously gaining popularity amongst users. The benefits that SAP has brought into business in terms of automation, data syncing, filtering and management of various operations are simply inexhaustible. There are many specific-purpose applications and tools provided to help businesses achieve optimum integration of data sourced from multiple platforms. Integration gateway is not in any way new to SAP and the exponential growth in mobile application use can only threshold its already familiar impact. Many businesses have employed the use of integration gateway although not all of them have successfully yielded the desired results. It is therefore important to take into consideration to ensure everything is set up to harness existing efficiency and information.

Using SAP Integration Gateway – Best Practices

The Function of Integration Gateway

The SAP world has evolved over time to adapt to the dynamic and rampant advancement in technology. As mobile application use continues to grow, integration gateways will become even more prevalent and this is already being witnessed. The gateway basically allows cross-platform harnessing, that is, exposing information in external SAP systems to the world. Gateway enables users to develop special applications that are able to source data from different platforms and external sources. This makes it possible to sync data and watch service consumption patterns from different online platforms. Although there are many advantages of SAP integration gateway, not all who use it achieve results.

There are unique best practices that increase the likelihood of attracting all the mentioned benefits of using this tool. Without observing such practices, many complications may arise and limit the efficiency of the gateway. Users must also learn how to use various tools and features in the gateway to help them develop powerful applications that can operate on a cross-platform level. The good thing is that functional insights and best practices are easy to implement, control and evaluate.

Best Practices and Insights for Using Integration Gateway

Before using the SAP integration gateway, it is first important to have relevant experience in the use of SAP platforms, tools and systems. Working within a SAP environment is quite easy if correct strategies and tools are used. Here are some best practices that will help your business use integration gateway and reap its benefits to the ultimate potential.

• Use gateway enabled servers – If your server is not gateway enabled, you can quickly download and install it from SAP’s official website. It is advisable to first download and install the trial version and read a couple of resources on how functions with different operating systems.

Choose trials that are relevant to what you want to achieve. For example, if you are focused on consuming services, choosing the service consumption trial presents the best and easiest way to achieve it. This will help prevent time-wasting which often characterize other trials. Unless you intend to write your own services, there is no need to try out the long-winding trials. The best way to begin is by setting up a sandbox server (real one) within your business environment. It saves configuration efforts since the required infrastructure is already in place and incorporating gateway is relatively a simple task.

• Landscape – It is important to evaluate your landscape especially if the business is enterprise oriented. With integration gateway, it is recommended that the landscape is placed within its own hub/server. It should also have a connection to the backend systems. Since there are many other options available for deployment, it is important to take some time and read the gateway configuration guide. This will play an important role in working with SAP servers and developing gateway service with code-based implementation practices.

• OData enabling – SAP integration gateway is basically an OSGi service. It runs within the SAP mobile platform hub and only enables mobile applications that can connect to various SAP (OData) and non-SAP data sources. It is therefore important to design OData models that can match table properties and enable your data models as OData. This is done through mapping OData model definitions to correspond database tables. A productivity acceleration plugin toolkit is needed to achieve this. The service provisioning toolkit can be used with integration gateway to identify OData sources of information to design services that are then consumed by clients using the mobile platform.

• Outside-in modeling – Although many resources advocate inside-out modeling, they have been found to be very difficult to deal with and require improved approaches. An outside-in modeling design is the best way to use integration gateway. It is important to add filtering capabilities to the OData service by developing query options using coded implementations. This helps in identifying the gap between user interface application and the data layer available.

• SAPUI5 – SAPUI5 is an addition intended to improve cross-platform integration capacities. It can create cross-platform interfaces that run in virtually all devices including mobile gadgets. When this relatively new feature is used to compliment integration gateway, the end result will be easy and quick development of advanced user interface applications that run on all existing platforms.

There are various other practices and strategies that can be implemented to facilitate effortless use of integration gateway. Many integration methods exist and it is upon the business to choose one that meets their requirements. The software chosen should offer complimentary business process management and enterprise content management.

How to Go About Implementation

The gateway and all other SAP tool are only as efficient as their application within the given business or enterprise environment. While one can handle all the requirements and processes involved, it is much relieving and effortless to handle one half and leave the other to someone else. Effectively using integration gateway for cross-platform applications requires profound knowledge in various scripting languages and tools. Choose integration methods that work for your business and evaluate each method conclusively. Depending on the nature and size of your business, you can go for the learning mode or migration modes. Always ensure the system depicts automation and there is a clear way to measure its impact on operations and overall ROI.

Conclusion

The SAP world is realizing new inventions from time to time to ensure business management becomes easier and convenient. As the use of mobile applications increase, the need to have interfaces capable of running in multiple platforms will also increase. In fact, the current dimension involves cross-platform applications that can run in any device. The above mentioned insights will help your business to use SAP integration gateway and develop such UI applications.

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Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.