Most companies are in a continuous battle to get away from the spaghetti chart of interfaces between various systems – but for many companies, it’s still a reality.
Do you recognize your company in this statement? If you do, then you also know that monitoring these interfaces can be both complicated and time consuming. In most cases, the IT staff monitors the interface, but if an error occurs, they need input from the business staff. And let’s face it; communications between the two groups is not always optimal. The result can be a cumbersome process that takes time and money to run.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It actually can be easy. It can even be managed by the business. That’s why I wanted to share a cool and virtually unknown tool with you.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that about a year and a half ago SAP released a solution called the SAP Application Interface Framework. This tool simplifies how you manage your interfaces, no matter how many your business requires. It provides a streamlined, customizable framework, so your IT team can easily set up interfaces and your business team can monitor and handle errors efficiently on their own.
Now if you know me, I don’t have a technical bone in my body. So I had a chat with the guy who wrote the program – Markus Gille. He shared with me how it works.
Markus explained that this application provides a structured framework that simplifies the process by allowing developers to implement the typical four basic building blocks of interfaces:
- Structured mappings which are needed to map from the source to the destination structure
- Value mappings which are needed to make sure the values for sending and receiving systems can communicate
- Checks to ensure that interface data is correct, verified and in the proper format
- Actions that need to be triggered to do something with the data – such as create a purchase order
He went on to explain that the tool provides a simple customizing menu that allows your team to tailor existing interfaces to your business processes. And it allows you to reuse your work in developing new interfaces - saving time and money. And not only can you reduce the time and cost for maintaining interfaces; you’ll improve process compliance and data quality.
In addition to these unique features for simplifying interface development, the framework also provides a user-friendly interface that business users can use to efficiently monitor and handle errors on their own. The tool has features for mass handling and customizable authorization checks to restrict the access to interface data based on your company’s or regulatory compliance rules.
It is really unique to have both interface development and monitoring and error handling inside one single framework. It creates great synergies and savings across your business!
Markus bi-lined an article with SAP Insider about the SAP Application Interface Framework. Take a look and let us know your stories – good and bad!