IDocs vs. BAPI

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I am looking for the advantages and disadvantages of IDocs over BAPIs. While designing an interface in SAP, which methodology is best?

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Idocs and BAPIs are very different so it should be easy to choose between them depending on your requirements.

IDOCS
Advantages:
- System can work even if target system not always online. The Idoc will be created and sending will just continue once you get connected to the other system
- No additional programming required. You just need to set-up the configuration

Disadvantages:
- Receipt/processing on the target system may not be immediate.
- The sending system has no way to know whether the target system actually recieved what you sent. (Unless you use ALE)
- If there is no SAP standard Idoc available for your reqt, it’s harder to create a customized Idoc than a customized BAPI

BAPIS:
Advantages:
- You can tell if your sending was successful or not
- Sending to / processing on the other side is immediate
- Easier to create your own BAPI than your own Idoc

Disadvantages:
- Will only work if you have an active online connection.
- Some programming required to call the BAPI.

Others interface methods you might also want to consider are ALE and RFCs.

Discuss This Question: 2  Replies

 
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  • EECOMSOL
    The initial response you received to this question is correct except for certain additions. BAPI will work as defined but the problem you will run into is that you stand a chance of getting the document stuck because the underlying technology is BC (Business Connector) built by WebMethods for SAP. If I am correct. There is no way of tracking status of BAPI(s) as they are sent between systems. SAP is in the process of doing away with BC. In either case of IDoc or BAPI you will need build some form of interface data structure, pre-defined or not. You will need to customize the pre-defined data structure to fit your business requirement needs the only difference between the two is that, with BAPI you can enable specific application within SAP that will utilize that the data transported within the BAPI; hence the instant effect. BAPI is designed specifically for application interface programming and enabling. (Will not advice for EDI/IDoc if that is your ultimate goal) As for IDocs Your interface solution is RFCexec (Remote Function Call). The IDocs are reusable and can be tracked within SAP if delivery is successful or not. SAP has provided comprehensive IDoc tracking status information, which will help in determining the status of any IDoc transmitted to and from SAP. So, if the receiving system did not successful receive or transmission was not successful the IDoc status will let you know that. This is your best option if you are still looking build an EDI/IDoc interface. SAP transaction for setting up and tracking IDOC is rooted in ?WEDI? provided you have access to this transaction. Note you can also make IDoc Immediate or scheduled that is option provided by SAP with the delivered IDoc solution. Again you can tree out the WEDI transaction to perform and simulate your configuration. It all depends on the relationship you have with your business partner. Good Luck.
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  • Solutions1
    as noted above, iDOCs are a tried and true solution that are tracked, but make sure that someone is looking at the logs. As an example, for an EDI transaction there are some extra edits (e.g., for ISO unit of measure) that could hold up a transaction. SAP itself is replacing Business Connector with NetWeaver, so the more forward-looking option is NetWeaver.
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