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What are the options for SAP Ariba integration with SAP ECC?

Your company's current SAP ERP landscape is critical in choosing how to integrate Ariba and ERP Central Component. Here's a look at what you need and the three options you'll have.

CIOs planning to integrate their existing SAP ERP Central Component system with SAP Ariba for optimizing procurement...

processes need not only consider the ECC-Ariba integration options available but also should first evaluate the existing ECC landscape to ensure they are meeting the required ECC-Ariba integration prerequisites.

SAP Ariba integration with SAP ECC

Choosing the relevant SAP Ariba integration option with SAP ECC largely depends on the ECC's current landscape, which may need to be upgraded to meet Ariba's integration requirements.

SAP Ariba is a HANA-powered, cloud-based, end-to-end procurement network that connects the goods' or services' suppliers with buyers to ensure a seamless procurement process.

Before getting to the three ECC-Ariba integration options, companies need to have one of the following four SAP ECC landscapes in place for both SAP systems -- ECC and Ariba -- to transfer procurement-related data between them:

  • web service-based connectivity without middleware (direct);
  • web service-based connectivity with SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI);
  • web service-based connectivity with SAP Process Orchestration (SAP PO); or
  • IDOC-based (intermediate document-based) connectivity with SAP PO.

The ECC system needs to be on version 6.0, Support Package Stack 15 or higher and SAP Ariba needs to be on version 1.0 SP5, while SAP NetWeaver should be on Process Integration (PI) 7.3 or higher.

Three options for SA integration with ECC

The three options for SAP Ariba integration with ECC are:

  1. SAP Business Suite Add-On direct connection: In this integration option, the installation of SAP Business Suite Add-On on ECC facilitates direct connection to Ariba for converting and transmitting procurement documents, such as a purchase order or an invoice, into Ariba's XML format, cXML. From being most cost-effective to being least complex, this integration approach wins.
  2. SAP Business Suite Add-On PO integration: In this integration option, SAP PI or PO is installed on ECC or the HCI middleware is installed on the cloud side of Ariba to facilitate data transfer between ECC and Ariba.
  3. SAP Ariba Adapter integration via SAP PO: SAP Ariba Adapter, built prior to the acquisition of Ariba by SAP, uses SAP PO to convert IDOCs into cXML and vice versa.

Due to SAP's plan to offer innovations on SAP Business Suite Add-On, the first two integration options are recommended by SAP SE. At the same time, using Ariba Adapter (the third ECC-Ariba option) is often preferred by companies due to centralized communication requirements via IDOCs from ECC. Choosing to use the third integration option may be due to a company's internal or security policy, wherein using a middleware has been declared the standard integration approach and IDOCs need to be issued from SAP ECC -- all data transferred via SAP Ariba Adapter.

Also, SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDS) are packaged services offered by SAP to facilitate companies in adopting a step-by-step approach to implementing SAP software, including SAP Ariba integration with ECC. RDS for Ariba is available at (SAP customer or partner needs to be registered with SAP to access the RDS content) and contains a large number of resources, such as implementation roadmaps, project templates, guidelines and accelerators.

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