In order to facilitate seamless integration of third-party software and to ensure a high quality SAP ecosystem for increased customer satisfaction, SAP established an integration certification program back in 1996. Representatives of this program are located at SAP's headquarters in Walldorf/Germany, SAP Labs in Palo Alto, CA/USA, SAP Labs in Montreal/Canada, SAP Labs in Bangalore/India, and SAP Labs in Chengdu/China.
Software providers and SAP partners who have built or plan to build software integrations with SAP solutions are welcome to work with one of the three SAP Integration and Certification Centers (ICCs) to have their integration certified. The ICCs can look back at having performed well over 4.000 certifications with a currently active community of 1,100 software providers. Just as they did, you may first need answers to the following questions:
- Do I need to be a partner to register? Will I automatically become a partner after completed certification?
- Is my software integration certifiable?
- What is the scope of a certification?
- How long does it take to finish a certification?
- How much does it cost?
- Is system access included? Where do I get system access?
- What benefits do I get?
- What do I need to do?
- What does a typical certification project look like?
1. Do I need to be a partner to register? Will I automatically become a partner after completed certification?
You do not need to be a partner if you intend to sell your solution in the large enterprise business. However, you are more than welcome to register for the SAP Partner Program ahead of time to start leveraging these program benefits soon after the certification is completed.
For your sales plans around SAP's small medium business offerings (SAP Business All-in-One, SAP Business One, etc.) please register for partnership prior to registering for any certification - if any is needed (see SAP's evaluation program offerings for details).
Tip: To find out whether your company already is a partner of SAP, please search the SAP partner information center.
2. Is my software integration certifiable?
Providers may register their integrated solutions which are presumably technically feasible and which are not customer-tailored integrations but rather commercially available solutions. It is taken for granted, that a provider registering a solution for certification needs to be the owner of or have the rights to the trademarks used (e.g. product naming) and also needs to be the IP holder of the interface software code. A software provider may, however, engage third-parties to conduct the certification duties for them if these parties are acting under non-disclosure agreements between provider and consulting party. Please consult our General Terms and Conditions for details.
The SAP certification program mainly offers SAP-predefined integration scenarios for certification testing. SAP currently maintains approximately SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC)–Integration Scenario - Interface Reference Table. A particular scenario may be available for different release levels, which usually match the SAP component releases available to SAP customers. SAP recommends certifying the latest (highest) release levels to provide customers the newest technology and features available. It is possible for a third-party solution to be certified on multiple integration scenarios depending on the functionalities or environments covered by that integrated solution. These SAP-predefined scenarios are well-documented and offered to any provider worldwide.
Tip: If you know other software providers in your business area who may already have a certified integration, you may also find a matching integration scenario in the partner information center by searching their company names and cross-checking their "SAP Interface" meaning the SAP integration scenario.
Providers whose solutions do not match one of those SAP-predefined scenarios may still apply for certification by registering their solutions for testing based on custom-defined integration scenarios. In this case, an SAP Integration Assessment Service needs to be performed to receive final approval from SAP for such a "one-off" scenario prior to any certification testing. Please consult the SAP Integration Guide - Technologies (PDF 131 KB) to check the technical limitations on certifications in general (for example, ABAP coding to replace an existing RFC call is not allowed and therefore not certifiable).
Tip: See our tips in section 8 below on how to find a suitable pre-defined integration scenario.
3. What is the scope of a certification?
The main business language for this worldwide acknowledged service is English. All documents as well as the test report, which contains the test results are therefore documented in English. However, German and English speaking consultants are available to assist you.
SAP tests the interface software built by third-party providers or SAP partners for correct implementation of SAP-endorsed technologies and/or stability in an SAP environment depending on the type of certification. Upon signing-up, providers will receive a copy of the test plan to help prepare for the certification.
Providers generally have one to two days of consulting and testing services included in their certification fee. Any days needed beyond the days specified in the service offer will have to be paid for at the current consultings fees (see section 5 ). SAP does not guarantee that a third-party solution is error-free after the certification is completed, since it is only testing the limited scope within a pre-defined integration scenario and not the solution as a whole. Also, SAP neither sells nor supports any of these solutions as part of the certification process. Such additional services are offered upon SAP's sole discretion only and are subject to separate legal documents.
In order to perform the tests and depending on the technical feasibility (e.g. remote access limitations), SAP offers to test in three ways:
- remotely (e.g. WebEx sessions),
- an SAP consultant visits provider's facilities, or
- SAP invites the provider to test onsite at one of the three regional SAP integration centers.
Remote certification is the preferred way of conducting a certification as it saves time and costs. However, not all scenarios can be tested remotely. Your assigned integration consultant will help you to find the most suitable way for your particular integration. Usually, there is no license transfer of the third-party solution needed because SAP consultants only monitor and log the test results while the integration set-up and data exchange is being performed by a representative of the provider.
This representative does not necessarily have to be an employee of the provider. However, it is the provider's duty to make sure that any third-party consultants assigned to a certification project need to have a non-disclosure agreement signed with the provider and that they are instructed about the certification scope. After that, the provider (owner of the IP) may formally introduce the third-party consultant to SAP. In any case, these third-parties are not allowed to use the SAP trademarks (logos etc.) licensed to the provider as part of the successfully completed certification. Please consult our General Terms and Conditions for details.
Tip: For system access to SAP solutions, please refer to section 6 below on SAP system access.
4. How long does it take to finish a certification?
An ideal certification based on an SAP pre-defined scenario could be finished within roughly two months. This estimates assumes the following:
- one week for feasibility study by SAP after formal registration,
- one week for service offer processing by SAP,
- one week formal sign-off for service offer by provider's authorized signatories,
- two weeks for payment transfers for service fees,
- three weeks for test preparations including test system set-up and final testing,
- one week for final sign-off on test results and publication as well as benefits package handover by SAP.
However, experience has shown that not all projects follow the ideal path. Referring to the service offer definition a provider has up to nine months to finish a certification starting with the date when the service offer was acknowledged.
Possible bottlenecks on SAP side are:
- analyzing custom-defined integration scenario instead of pre-defined ones
- sheer volume of registrations right before major events (CeBIT, Sapphire, SAP TechEd)
Possible bottlenecks on provider's side are:u00A0
- IP holder or trademark owner not clearly identified
- budget constraints
- longer payment intervals
- integration may need fine-tuning in order to complete testing
- the latter may coincide with only limited development resources that are free to use
General bottlenecks on both sides: vacation time and holidays.
Tip: SAP processes most of its service steps "online": online application form, central email address monitored almost 24/5 due to regional distribution, service offer and invoice sent as PDF via email, acknowledgement accepted via faxed documents, test result logging for online publishing usually two-day-service unless the SAP consultant was visiting the provider and needs to return to office first.
5. How much does it cost?
Certification fees for pre-defined integration scenarios range from 3.500 Euro (e.g. SAP Business One add-on solution certification) to 15.000 Euro (e.g. time and attendance interface to SAP ERP Human Capital Management) depending on the integration scenario. These fees have been quite stable for the past twelve years and many of them have been reduced over time. The respective fees are listed on each documentation page of a pre-defined interface. For custom-defined interfaces, fees are 3.000 Euro for the SAP Integration Assessment Service and 7.000 Euro for the actual certification test. This again depends on the scope of the integration scenario.
The certification fee includes two days of consulting and testing services by an SAP consultant.Most certifications are done remotely, but should travel be necessary, it is at the expense of the certifying company.
After 3 years an "SAP Certified Integration" is outdated. Please read on the Re-Certification process and costs on the SDN Page about SAP re-certification.
For fees related to test system access, see section 6.
Note: Euro currency is applicable to all countries
6. Is system access included? Where do I get system access?
Long-term system access or SAP licenses are not included as part of the certification fee. However, SAP will provide the SAP test system for the consulting and test day as defined in the service offer if the system is part of its regular SAP Remote Access and Connectivity Service (RAC) offering. For all other environments, the provider will be responsible to gain the necessary SAP system access prior to performing the tests.
A provider can subscribe to the RAC service before, during or after certifications. For further details including pricing please visit the RAC homepage. Since the RAC service is not technically suitable for all available integration scenarios, a test and demo or developer license may need to be purchased separately by the provider prior to certification testing. Contact to receive an offer for "partners and non-partners with intention to certify their solution".
7. What benefits do I get?
Ongoing certifications are kept confidential until SAP has officially signed-off a certification test report and handed out the certificate (hardcopy). Once the results of the tests have been logged by SAP internally, the certified integration will be listed online in the SAP partner information center 24/7 for public reference.
Other catalog, such as the SAP solution catalog or the Partner-to-Partner directory (for Channel Partners only) for small-medium business solutions can also be leveraged for this new status by contacting the appropriate partner management teams.
All certifications conducted after 1 January 2008, should include a tested SAP Solution Manager Ready. Based on this registration, details about any certified interface software are also distributed to the SAP System Landscape Directories of each live customer installation. This allows customers to monitor third-party integrations from within the SAP Solution Manager.
If a provider intends to announce a successful certification, SAP's partner communications team - as a one-time, free of charge service - will provide an in-depth review of the key statements on the certification scope for future re-use by the provider in other collaterals.
The key marketing benefits associated with an integration certification are the appropriate SAP certification logos and/or taglines. They are also visualized and described in the SAP Partnering Guidelines. These guidelines will also help software providers in using SAP trademarks correctly in order for them to leverage the SAP ecosystem and become a valuable asset.
Certifications are not mandatory in order to integrate third-party solutions with SAP solutions. However, SAP customers usually request SAP "approval" prior to implementing a third-party solution. Thus; an official SAP certificate documenting the SAP pre-tested integration may also tremendously expedite the sales cycle for providers.
8. What do I need to do?
If you require only system access (RAC service) at this time, please use the ICC registration form selecting the appropriate drop-down menus to request this service. You may skip the section about the product integration, however, it is recommended to at least briefly describe the purpose of your system request to see whether there are more suitable or cheaper systems available to you.
If scrolling through our SAP pre-defined integration scenarios list did indeed provide a match for your integration please fill-in the ICC registration form selecting your findings from the appropriate drop-down menus.
If your search for a scenario did not provide a match, please mind these few tips below.
TIP: How is your integration set-up?
- Your answer may be: My solution is written in ABAP. SAP recommendation: This solution can only be SAP-certified with focus on proper installation. See ABAP Add-ons.
- Your answer may be: My JAVA application (is to) run(s) on SAP NetWeaver with SAP NetWeaver as the underlying J2EE application server.SAP recommendation: This J2EE-compliant solution can also be certified for their deployment on the SAP Web Application Server J2EE-Engine. See Deployment on SAP NetWeaver Application Server J2EE Engine (J2EE-DEP and J2EE-STD) .
- Your answer may be: I just want to integrate on a UI level = portlet.SAP recommendation: This Business Package for the SAP NetWeaver Portal requires special handling. SeeSAP Enterprise Portal - Business Package Certification (EP-BP).
- Your answer may be: I have built an XI-adapter to leverage the XML-based backbone of SAP NetWeaver. SAP recommendation: See SAP NetWeaver - Adapter Framework Certification (NW-XI-AF).
- Your answer may be: I want to build more than a backend integration between my product and SAP solutions Or I want to build a composite application that introduces additional functionality.SAP recommendation: See SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment - Composition Tools Based - (NW-CA-CTB) - Manufacturing (NW-CA-MFG).
- Your answer may be: I want my application, programmed in C++ or alike, to exchange data with SAP solutions covering human resources, supply chain management, product lifecycle management, process integration (formerly exchange infrastructure), application server, etc.SAP Recommendation: Mind the solution on the SAP Integration and Certification Center (SAP ICC)–Integration Scenario - Interface Reference Table with pre-defined scenarios and check to see if one of the options for a particular SAP solution area (similar to your given solution area) fits your product.
If you still have not found a suitable integration scenario, the ICCs will help investigate which scenario could fit. Please fill in our contact form so that we may contact you with possible alternatives.
9. What does a typical certification project look like?
Please take the time to listen to one of our Flashbooks about SAP Interface Certification on the most frequently requested certification scenarios.