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IBM App Connect can now interact with on-premises SAP ERP systems via the RFC interface

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Thu July 23, 2020 11:12 AM

Looking for SAP connectivity via traditional interfaces? In this article, we describe how to connect to your SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems through the SAP Remote Function Call (RFC) interface by using the SAP connector.

The SAP connector uses a new connectivity topology for IBM App Connect, which exploits App Connect Enterprise configured to act as an App Connect Agent. The App Connect Agent:

  • Is an App Connect Enterprise integration server that acts as a ‘tethered’ on-premises connector runtime. (This requires App Connect Enterprise V11.0.0.4 or later.)
  • Runs inside the enterprise firewall, and establishes a secure connection to App Connect on IBM Cloud.

Once configured, the App Connect Agent enables connection to on-premises SAP RFC interfaces, enabling you to design App Connect flows that integrate SAP with other applications.

Features and benefits of the SAP connector

  • Support for outbound connectivity to SAP ERP systems via the RFC interface.
  • No need to rely on the App Connect Enterprise Toolkit; you can now discover SAP objects from App Connect on IBM Cloud.
  • Simplified filtering of the potentially huge number of RFC interfaces used by most enterprises – via dynamic filtering.
  • “Set up your agent and go” capability, which enables the IBM Cloud-managed service to handle connectivity, discovery, and runtime interactions.
  • Self-servicing on-premises connector componentry: connector logic hosted by the Agent is pushed dynamically from a managed cloud service on to the Agent, without the need for user action. This enables the latest value-added features to be seamlessly delivered close to real time.
  • Developed based on the proven technology of callable flows. App Connect Enterprise users are already familiar with the callable flow and with agent configuration, which provides a benefit during SAP connector usage.

Connecting App Connect to your on-premises SAP system through an RFC interface

To use App Connect to create flows that integrate SAP with other applications, you must first configure an on-premises App Connect Enterprise integration server as an App Connect Agent. We’ve provided full instructions in the UI to help you do this – you can make a start from the Catalog > Applications tab.

After you’ve configured the Agent, simply complete the connection fields for your SAP instance, ensuring that your newly configured Agent is selected for a secure connection to that instance.

You’re all set for designing flows that enable you to interact with SAP!

For more information about configuring the Agent and connecting to SAP, see How to use IBM App Connect with SAP (via RFC).

Tip: If you’d like to manage your App Connect Agent connection, you can open the App Connect menu

and then click Manage > Private network connections to open the “Private network connections” page. Notice that your Agent is shown with an Active status. From this page, you can also rename the Agent or reopen the agent setup instructions.