BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interfaces) are the standard SAP interfaces. They play an important role in the technical integration and in the exchange of business data between SAP components, and between SAP and non-SAP components. BAPIs enable you to integrate these components and are therefore an important part of developing integration scenarios where multiple components are connected to each other, either on a local network or on the Internet.
BAPIs allow integration at the business level, not the technical level. This provides for greater stability of the linkage and independence from the underlying communication technology.
BAPIs can be used for the following types of integration:
● Connecting SAP Systems to the Internet using the SAP Business Connector or Internet Application Components (IACs)
● Creating true component software, by enabling standardized communication between SAP components. The aim is to encapsulate the functions of the SAP system in independent business components that are integrated through a common interface (the BAPIs).
● Connections to third-party software and legacy systems
● Implementing distributed scenarios with asynchronous connections using Application Link Enabling (ALE)
● Using PC programs as frontends to SAP Systems. These can be developed with Visual Basic (Microsoft), for example, or with Visual Age for Java (IBM)
Workflow applications that extend beyond system boundaries
Workflow applications that communicate with one another using the Internet
● Customers’ and partners’ own developments
The diagram below shows how BAPI interfaces enable different types of applications to be linked with the SAP system.
Object-oriented technologies have become standard for communication between different software products. For this reason SAP has introduced business object types that structure the data and processes according to business criteria. Business object types are used to break the SAP system down into smaller, disjunctive units, improving its structure and reducing its complexity.
BAPIs are defined as methods for the business object types. As a result, both the object-oriented structures in SAP Systems and the opportunity for object-oriented access are offered. These object-oriented interfaces allow other components to directly access the application layer of an SAP system without having to know the specific implementation details.
The introduction of business object types and their BAPIs enable object orientation to be used in central information processing in companies. For example, you can reuse existing functions and data, achieve trouble-free technical interoperability, and implement non-SAP components.
The resulting architecture is illustrated in the graphic below. The main parts are:
For more information on business object types and their BAPIs, see