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Object documentationNI Network Interface Locate this document in the navigation structure


To provide independency from the various platforms, SAP has developed the intermediate layer NI (Network Interface) for all network connections. It is used by SAProuter and all SAP programs, as well as by the development kits for CPI-C and Remote Function Call (RFC).


In the OSI 7 layer model, the NI layer forms the upper part of the transport layer, and is therefore the part nearer the applications. Specifically, this means that NI uses TCP or UDP. The protocol is also known as the SAP Protocol .

NI in the OSI 7 layer model

OSI layer


7 Application

6 Presentation

5 Session

4 Transport



3 Network


2 Data Link


1 Transfer method

The test program niping, which tests the NI functions, belongs to the NI layer. A predefined number of data packages is simply sent from the client to the server, is returned by the server, and read again by the client. The program also outputs average transfer times and, depending on the trace level, detailed information on the data transfer. Niping can be used to test network connections with or without SAProuter.

If niping is entered without parameters, an online help is displayed with possible parameters and additional options.