An Overview to Basis Tools

The SAP WebAS/Basis system provides for the integration of software and technology through the use of the communications protocols or tools outlined as follows

  • Remote Function Calls (RFCs)

  • Common Program Interface Communications (CPI-C)

  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

  • Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)

  • Application Link Enabling (ALE)

Remote Function Calls (RFCs)
Remote Function Calls, or RFCs as they are referred to in SAP, are the most common form of interface communication and allow for the simple programming of communication processes between systems.

In simpler terms, RFCs are used to pass communication throughout the SAP system and through interfaces into other systems. RFCs are also used for communication control, parameter passing, and error handling. RFCs are usually written in SAP’s ABAP/4 language and, without getting too technical, are used to call and execute a program

Common Program Interface Communications (CPI-C)
An SAP Common Program Interface Communications (CPI-C) is nothing more than a type of program interface communication that ensures a standard and consistent communication between two programs.
In nontechnical terms, CPI-C facilitates the communication (talking back and forth) and the processing of applications and programs within the system. CPI-C is a communications protocol that consists of a series of rules governing communication between programs. These rules can be divided into four discrete areas:

  • Session setup

  • Session control

  • Communication

  • End of session

The difference between RFCs and CPI-Cs is that RFCs allow other systems to call SAP functions and CPI-Cs allow program-to-program communications and exchange.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic communication of business transactions electronically. EDI permits two different systems to pass information back and forth in a standard format If you have ever purchased an item off of the Internet, you have used some form of EDI
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the electronic communication used to facilitate business transactions. EDI permits two different systems to pass information back and forth in a standard format.

Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is used to integrate PC and other applications with the SAP system. OLE is the technology for transferring and sharing information among applications.

Application Link Enabling (ALE)
Application Link Enabling (ALE) is the creation and operation of distributed applications. In other words, ALE, which is closely related to SAP Work Flow, is the technology used by SAP to support distributed business processes.

Application integration is achieved not via a central database, but via synchronous and asynchronous communication. Synchronous transfer means that data is transmitted directly from program to program via a CPI-C interface. In asynchronous transfer, the sender and the receiver programs are independent of each other. This might sound a bit more technical than it actually is.

The following lists three types of data that are transmitted through ALE:

  • Control and customizing dataAny data that is entered into the system as part of your configuration process, including user profiles, company codes, and business data.
  • Any data that represents the organizational units of consolidation in the system, such as employee and vendor records.
  • Transaction data of transactions in the system: orders, shipments, purchases, payroll runs, and so on.
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