Ariba Network Integration using SAP PI/PO

The Business Integration Imperative

For businesses it is increasingly important today to have a close collaboration with your partners, resource vendors as well as customers. This requires sharing information, real-time status reports and documents as well as collaborating on critical business processes like procurement, e-Commerce, e-invoicing, and other operations.

However this collaboration is not as easy as it sounds to achieve. With companies using a wide variety of networks and security policies, applications, IT standards, etc. the integration part becomes even more challenging. Besides, there are multiple supplier networks competing for buyers and suppliers.

Why choose the Ariba Network

Ariba offers connectivity solutions to enterprises that offer B2B eCommerce services. It enables suppliers and buyers to collaborate and transact between them from anywhere in the world through an internet enabled framework. It is a multi-protocol commerce hub that translates, validates, and routes business documents. It contains additional services such as directory services, reporting tools, supplier tools, payment, and sourcing.

Ariba can be utilized to discover suppliers and acquire their products and or services or even invite them to enter into trading contracts with you. The network can be used to send PO’s after the supplier has accepted your invitation. Each supplier would be having an account in the Ariba Network and they configure the manner in which they require orders and confirmations to be received in addition to setting patterns for invoices, shipping information and other pre-requisites for transactions.

 Role of SAP PI/PO in the above B2B scenario

SAP NetWeaver Process Integration/ Process Orchestration will be the core integration approach for connecting SAP solutions to Ariba Network, according to SAP.

There is always an option to use a network adaptor and a translator to communicate with the Ariba Network in case your SAP ECC application fails to generate or receive cXML documents by default in its native environment.

For round trip communication between SAP ERP and Ariba, there is a network adapter in Ariba to get the job done.

The Ariba Network Adapter for SAP NetWeaver implements round-trip communication between your SAP ERP system and Ariba Network. Ariba provides an “Ariba Network (AN) Adapter for SAP Netweaver” for SAP Netweaver Process Orchestration/Integration, is an add-on module for SAP business applications that allows them to send and receive commerce eXtensible Markup Language (cXML) documents to and from Ariba Network. You can develop your own network adapter also instead of buying a commercial one based on Ariba Supplier Network cXML open standards.

The Ariba Network Adapter for SAP NetWeaver runs on the SAP NetWeaver PI/PO component, and can be thought of as a library for SAP NetWeaver PI/PO. This library includes integration processes and Java libraries that implement the cXML transport protocol and provide a set of facilities for resolving the difference between the SAP and Ariba Network

The Ariba Network Adapter consists of the following:

  1. The design package in the SAP Netweaver PI component, which contains integration processes, interface objects, and mappings to convert IDoc, ABAP Proxy, RFC and BAPI to cXML and cXML to IDoc, ABAP Proxy, RFC and BAPI.
  2. The cXML Adapter for the SAP Netweaver PI/PO component, which conforms to the J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA) specification, and implements the cXML transport protocol.
  3. SAP Transport files for the SAP ERP system.

 The Ariba Network Adapter provides:

  1. Secure connectivity between SAP NetWeaver PI/PO software and the Ariba Network through Adapter framework
  2. SAP-Supported best practices Data mappings, Templates and tools for Quote Request, Quote Message, Order Enquiry, Order Confirmation, Requisition, Purchase Order, Payment Proposal,   Pay Me Now, Payment Remittance, Advance Ship Notice, Goods Receipt, Invoice, Invoice Status, Service entry sheet and Service entry sheet response transaction to the cXML format required for the Ariba Network elaborate. 

Setting up the Ariba Network Adapter involves the following high-level steps:

  1. Verifying that all the software and connectivity requirements are in place.
  2. Setting up and deploying the cXML Adapter
  3. Configuring the System Landscape Directory.
  4. Configuring transaction processes.
  5. Configuring the SAP ERP system.
  6. Testing the configuration.

If you are looking for the fastest way to integrate SAP into the Ariba network, get in touch with our expert consultants today.

About The Author

Karthikeyan Subramanian's picture
Karthikeyan Subramanian
Senior Technology Consultant
Karthikeyan Subramanian is a Senior Technology Consultant at Applexus Technologies. He has over 6 years of experience in SAP Netweaver PO/PI technology involving interfaces on SAP, Non SAP, Web services and Ariba Cloud.

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