This document explains about the web service tool which is provided by SAP CRM and how it can be used to publish web services.
What is web service ?
A Web service is a method of communication between two electronic devices over the World Wide Web. A Web service is a software function provided at a network address over the web or the cloud, it is a service that is "always on" as in the concept of utility computing.
The term Web services describes a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications using the XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI open standards over an Internet protocol backbone. XML is used to tag the data, SOAP is used to transfer the data, WSDL is used for describing the services available and UDDI is used for listing what services are available. Used primarily as a means for businesses to communicate with each other and with clients, Web services allow organizations to communicate data without intimate knowledge of each other's IT systems behind the firewall.
Why you need web service ?
Web services allow different applications from different sources to communicate with each other without time-consuming custom coding, and because all communication is in XML, Web services are not tied to any one operating system or programming language. For example, Java can talk with Perl, Windows applications can talk with UNIX applications.
Web services represent an industry-wide standard, and enable you to link loosely coupled systems with a technology that does not entail a particular programming language or platform. Web services offer you the flexibility to extend an application's capabilities to support specific business processes without extensive coding or complex integration.
Key benefits of Web Service
Exposing the existing function on to network
Connecting Different Applications ie Interoperability
Low Cost of communication
How does web service help SAP CRM implementation ?
In today's business environment SAP CRM not only interacts with systems which are SAP based ( ECC , BI etc) but also various other systems like custom user interface ( Adobe Flex based applications ), Adobe interactive forms , applications which offer validation services , existing client applications like contact management where their current day customer data is housed or external systems which interact with SAP CRM on regualr basis. In this kind of environment web services offer reliable , secure and cost effective option.
For example, you can use Web services to allow your customers to access your product and price information from their procurement systems and create sales orders in your SAP CRM system by linking the procurement software to your order management application.
What does SAP CRM offer out of the box ?
SAP CRM offers "Web Service Tool" an application using which web services can be created (using New or create using existing web service as tenplate options) . These web services once created can be checked for consistency , activated and made productive so that they can be consumed . But there are few web services/ objects delivered by SAP for which enterprise service which is required for consumption are not created , I will discuss in detail as to how an enterprise service can be created if only function module is available.
Web Service Tool Technical Details
Web UI Component : WS_DESIGN_TOOL
Logical Link : CT-WS-SR ( Available under work center CT-ADMIN , Group: CT-ADM-SR )
How to use the tool ?
View an Existing Service
1. Web Service Tool
2. Search for available objects
3. Detail View of the object
Expert Mode : You can see the technical details and more information of the object in this mode
Creating a new web service
a. Click on the new button to create
Check , Activate and make it productive
Create Web service from existing template
a. Select an existing object and click on the copy button , to create using the object's template
How to expose the service , so that it can be consumed by external systems
1. Go to transaction : SOAMANAGER , select tab " Application and Scenario Communication " , then link "Single Service Administration".
2. Create Service with Endpoint
3. Import the generated WSDL in SOAP UI for verification
How to create web service for SAP delivered function modules/custom function Modules
Consuming a Web service / WSDL
The document covers the below topics
1. Web Service Tool provided by SAP CRM.
2. How to search and view details of a web service provided by SAP.
3. How to create a custom web service using the Web Service Tool.
4. How to expose a functionality as a web service to external systems.
5. How to consumer a web service provided by external systems.
Note : The functionality in the document is from SAP CRM 7.0 .