General Introduction to BAPIs (CA-BFA)
SAP created the Business Framework to allow the technical integration and exchange of business data among SAP components and between SAP and non-SAP components. Important components of the Business Framework are the Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs), which represent visible interfaces at the component boundaries and whose properties serve to integrate these components.
The integration can include both components within a local network and components that are connected with one another through the Internet.
BAPIs allow integration at the business level, not the technical level. This provides for greater stability in the link, and independence from the underlying communication technology.
BAPIs can be used for the following types of integration:
The diagram below shows how BAPI interfaces enable different types of applications to be linked with the SAP system.
Object-oriented technologies have become the standard for communications between different software products. SAP reflects this fact in the structure of the Business Framework. Business object types that structure the data and processes according to business criteria have been introduced. Business object types are used to break the SAP system down into smaller, disjunctive units, improving its structure and reducing its complexity.
The BAPIs are defined as methods for the business object types. As a result, the Business Framework offers both the object-oriented structures in the SAP system and the opportunity for object-oriented access. The availability of these object-oriented interfaces allows 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 etc.
The architecture resulting from the Business Framework is illustrated in the diagram below. The basic components of the Business Framework are:
SAP business components provide autonomous business functions and consist of business objects. For example, the business object types Employee and Applicant are assigned to business component Human Resources. Business processes are either implemented within a business component or across several components (distributed business processes).
The ALE integration service enables the technical integration of business processes that are carried out in different SAP and non-SAP systems. It involves distributing business object types across the systems using the ALE distribution model.
The design of all relevant situations in the Business Framework is based on concrete scenarios. Integration scenarios describe how components, business object types, and BAPIs interact, and integrate the systems by synchronizing business processes at a semantic level.
For more detailed information on business object types and their BAPIs, see:Objectives for Implementing BAPIs Universal Usability of BAPIs Business Object Types. The Business Object Repository The BAPI Knowledge Base