SAP EDI Integration & Transactions
SAP ERP Integration
EDI and ERP work hand-in-hand to integrate a business’s data and processes into one streamlined system. SAP ERP EDI integration is critical to communicating information within your business and with your partners with fewer errors and greater speed and security. For that reason, 1 EDI Source is a proud member of the SAP PartnerEdge open ecosystem, which gives us the ability to tightly integrate with SAP ERP solutions and offer many benefits as a result.
- Seamless SAP ERP EDI integration with EDI solutions.
- Connectivity validation between systems for reliable communications.
- SAP product roadmap to stay up to date with critical product upgrades, changes, and best practices.
As an open ecosystem member, we can now work with supporting content such as resources, services, and benefits to create and maintain a successful partnership with SAP and provide you, our customers, with improved ERP integration and experience. Let’s address some questions you may have about how this partnership could change the way your company does EDI.
What Considerations Should I Take Into Account During SAP EDI Integration?
When it comes to your EDI solution, one of the most critical projects is integrating your back-office ERP and EDI systems. When integrating SAP and your EDI system, there are three focus areas you should fully explore during the process.
What method is used between your EDI and ERP systems?
What business solution will be handling your Business Rules Validation Processes, SAP or EDI solution? How will error handling and reporting be managed?
Where is business document transaction data stored (including data cross-reference lookup tables and turnaround data)?
Criteria that any EDI solution integrating with SAP S/4 HANA must support
What is SAP S/4 HANA
SAP S/4 HANA is a very robust ERP package that enables clients to fully customize the product and workflows in order to support their internal business processes. As a result, an EDI solution must accommodate these customizations in order to meet the individual needs of each client.
An EDI solution should offer the ability to configure mapped EDI data to a client’s specific IDoc structure as most clients will have configured their SAP S/4 HANA system to their own internal business needs. While standard or template maps are valuable for getting started, each client will need to be able to customize how they integrate with SAP S/4 HANA. Due to this, a flexible integration solution with a standard template to start from are critical.
In terms of an EDI solution that is made to integrate with SAP S/4 HANA, the ability to validate the overall integrity of the final mapped IDocs against the SAP S/4 HANA metadata prior to loading the document into SAP S/4 HANA is extremely important to ensure data accuracy of inbound documents.
The EDI solution should also allow you to resend transactions without having to go through SAP S/4 HANA in order to improve the ease of managing your EDI solution.
With your EDI solution, you should be allotted the power to manage any data that isn’t currently supported by SAP S/4 HANA to augment data with IDocs. This provides more accurate and complete messages to all trading partners involved. One use case example: Your EDI solution should allow you to carry forward multiple ship dates onto the invoice despite IDoc not supporting them being loaded into SAP S/4 HANA. Keep in mind that mapping multiple IDoc description fields together as SAP S/4 HANA does come with field length limitations on descriptions.
The EDI solution’s ability to standardize data alteration as it is loaded into and extracted from SAP S/4 HANA ensures that the data is compliant with the SAP S/4 HANA setup when imported. It should also be translated back into the format that makes the most sense for trading partners when sent back out. For example: Your EDI solution should be able to convert Unit of Measure codes, trading partner ship-to IDs vs. internal ship-to IDs, trading partner part numbers to internal part numbers, and EDI codes to SAP S/4 HANA codes.
Benefits of EDI ERP Integration with HQXchange™ [HQX]
1 EDI Source’s HQXchange™ Enterprise solution offers seamless ERP integration and significant performance improvements with enhanced automation and archival features. HQX offers enhanced communication security and SAP integration adapter support, which enables SAP clients to safely migrate and utilize the full potential of their ERP EDI integration.
HQX Enterprise is the recommended EDI solution for the best in SAP integration offering many features and benefits.
- SAP module included
- Tight integration with ERC connector
- Ability to handle SAP status messages
- Validation against IDoc metadata
ERP EDI Order-to-Cash Steps
Translating Inbound Purchase Order EDI Documents into an IDoc
Translation process includes validating inbound EDI documents against the EDI standards, running business rule validation checks, completing all data conversions and translating documents into an SAP IDoc. Generated IDocs are validated against the IDoc metadata to ensure the IDoc structure was correctly formatted prior to transport.
Populating the Sales Order Within SAP
IDoc intermediary files are imported into SAP
using an RFC connection.
EDI Document Turnaround
Automatically turn around documents to complete the transaction with the trading partner. This is a reverse process of the inbound workflow translating the outputted IDoc from SAP back into an EDI format that the trading partner expects.
How Will The EDI Source Integration Process Work With SAP?
In a standard fulfillment sales lifecycle, an EDI purchase order from a trading partner is translated into an SAP standard document format called an IDOC (intermediate document).
The purchase order is then validated against the IDOC metadata prior to being imported into SAP to ensure the IDOC structure was correctly formatted.
The validated IDOC is then automatically sent to the SAP ERP system using SAP’s remote function call (RFC) protocol. RFC is the preferred connection method with SAP because of the tight, secure connection it creates between the two business systems.
Orchestration (SAP PO) integration toolset, allowing users to define specific business rules and processes to automate order fulfillment decisions. This is an optional built-in business process into SAP.
Integrate order into SAP and create a Sales Order that can be turned around into an Invoice of ASN.
Management By Exception and Turnaround Data — Data You Need to Make Great Decisions Now
What Is Management By Exception?
Management by exception means that over 99% of all validated EDI transactions are automatically processed by the system so less than 1% of documents need manual intervention. This ease of operation is one of the core benefits of SAP EDI integration.
What Is Turnaround Data?
Turnaround data is any information required by your trading partner on an outbound document, but isn’t required within SAP to process and fulfill the order internally. It’s in best practice to store and recall this information within the EDI solution rather than SAP, since this data is pertinent to the EDI transaction but not your back-office systems. It’s often possible to store this turnaround information in designated custom “Z” fields within SAP, but future ERP updates may be required due to unanticipated changes with your trading partners.
How Have Other Companies Benefited?
SAP EDI integration offers flexible and creative solutions for businesses, their partners and their customers. For example, let’s say a company is trying to manage Ship-To Location IDs. Typically, they would have to manage converting between their own and their trading partner’s Ship-To Location IDs. This can be a confusing and time-intensive process since each company needs a unique ID to correspond to their business operations and the trading partner’s Ship-To ID must be translated into an IDoc to be imported into the SAP system.
With 1 EDI Source’s HQX, this data translation is automatically performed. On top of the translation, additional error handling can be built in to handle cases where a trading partner provides either a new or incorrect Ship-To Location ID that can’t be found within the system. When the error is identified, the documents can either be held within the EDI translator for additional review and reprocessing or sent and processed into SAP — when it goes to SAP, a customer service representative will receive a notification to resolve the identified error. It’s a streamlined process that informs the needed parties of problems quickly to reduce losses and keep relationships and business functions running smoothly.