SAP Enterprise Buyer uses the SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) for communication with other applications and components. Within the framework of the integration platform SAP NetWeaver, XI links the component Enterprise Buyer with both internal and external components.
For new Enterprise Buyer installations, the SAP Exchange Infrastructure replaces the SAP Business Connector (BC) formerly used for the purposes of XML communication. Whereas BC was principally a technical tool, XI represents a comprehensive integration concept.
In an initial installation of Enterprise Buyer, you enable the XI for all processes globally.
For more information, see the Supplier Relationship Management Implementation Guide (IMG): SRM Server ® Cross-Application Basic Settings ® Enable Use of Exchange Infrastructure.
SAP provides methods that allow you to use the previously implemented Business Connector technology if necessary.
A major advantage of the XI platform is the central administration of systems, versions, and interfaces that communicate with each other. XI supports inter-company business processes: It does this, for example, through information available at design time (that can be used as a template for configuration), through a central integration server for XML communication with business partners, internal/external components and marketplaces, and also through monitoring functions.
Basic Structure of the SAP Exchange Infrastructure
The elements of XI are:
· Integration Repository
Here each component stores interface definitions and mappings (how two interfaces are to be linked with each other).
· System Landscape
A tool to represent your system landscape.
· Integration Engine
The runtime component of XI for processing XML messages.
· Integration Directory
Here XI defines at runtime:
¡ Which systems actually link with each other.
¡ Which services are to be available in your system landscape. Using a service that contains the addresses of the participating systems, XI assigns recipient and system at runtime?
¡ Via a routing, which interface links which systems.
· Integration Monitor
Monitors and corrects errors.
For example, the communication between Enterprise Buyer and the Supplier Self-Services (SUS) application.
In the Enterprise Buyer System at vendor level, you can enable XI for specific business partners by selecting an XI-specific communication protocol. See also Sending Purchasing Documents to External Business Partners
For more information on the SAP Exchange Infrastructure, see:
· The SAP Service Marketplace under service.sap.com/xi.
· The SAP Help Portal under help.sap.com ® SAP NetWeaver ® Process Integration under SAP Exchange Infrastructure