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The outbound processing performed by the ALE layer can be divided into the following steps: data filtering , converting the BAPI call to an IDoc , segment filtering , field conversion , version change , and dispatch control .

Data Filtering

If data filters have been defined for the BAPI in the distribution model, then this filtering is performed automatically by the outbound function module. Data filtering offers two filter services: interface reduction , which carries no conditions, and parameter filtering , which is tied to conditions:

  • Interface reduction allows field suppression by the BAPI interface, which means that these fields are ignored by the receiver. This can be used to prevent certain fields from being overwritten, for example. However, it can only be used for certain types of BAPIs whose interface explicitly supports this type of filtering.

  • Parameter filtering allows you to control the scope of the dataset for transmission in the BAPI, by filtering out BAPI table parameters that fail to meet the defined conditions. If hierarchical dependencies exist between two table parameters of the BAPI, then additional parameter hierarchies will have to be defined. For further information see the ALE Programming Guide under Defining Hierarchies between BAPI Parameters .

Because parameter filtering can be linked to conditions, filter objects have to be created for this type of filtering (in contrast to interface reduction). For more information on data filtering, see the ALE Programming Guide under Data Filtering .

Conversion of BAPI Call into IDoc

Once the data has been filtered, an IDoc containing the data to be transferred, is created from the BAPI call by the outbound function module Note the following:

  • If full parameters were suppressed during interface reduction, then these parameters will not be included in the IDoc. If, on the other hand, only individual fields are not to be included for structured paramers, the entire parameters are still included in the IDoc.

  • With parameter filtering, table rows that have been filtered out are not included in the IDoc.

Segment Filtering

Once the IDoc has been created, IDoc segments can be filtered again. This filtering is rarely used for BAPIs.

Field Conversion

The field conversion, which takes place after segment filtering, is especially relevant, for example, when a field format differs between the sender and receiver system. This function is especially important for converting the field format during data exchange between R/2 and SAP Systems. Note, however, that field conversion only plays a very small role for BAPIs.

Version change

To ensure that ALE functions properly between SAP Systems with different releases, a conversion of IDoc formats can be performed to modify the message types used by the different releases.

If version change has been completed, the IDocs are stored in the database and the dispatch control is started which decides which of these IDocs are sent immediately.

Dispatch Control

Dispatch control involves both a time-based control and a quantity control :

  • Time-based control

    IDocs can either be sent immediately or in the background. This setting is made in the partner profile. If the IDoc is sent in the background, a job has to be scheduled. You can choose how often background jobs are scheduled.

  • Quantity control

    By default, ALE immediately writes the result of every IDoc in the BAPI to the database. It is possible, however, to collect IDocs and send them in packages. As a consequence, the results of the IDocs or BAPIs are not updated until the entire package has been processed. The package approach also allows you to bundle multiple BAPIs under a single LUW within ALE. The package size is configured for each specific partner in ALE customizing.

When an IDoc is to be dispatched, dispatch control uses the partner agreement for the logical receiver system to automatically determine the corresponding RFC destination. It then passes the IDoc on to the communication layer.

For more information on outbound processing, see the ALE Programming Guide under Implementing Outbound Processing .