XML core of SAP’s interop initiative (August 1999)

mySAP.com is the new B2B (business to business) solution from software giant SAP. The underlying technology? You’ve got it, XML.

SAP AG has just unveiled the underlying messaging and Web collaboration technologies in the Internet-Business Framework, mySAP.com. With extended Web messaging based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), the Internet-Business Framework enables access and open exchange of business messages, allowing companies to “take advantage of Web collaboration opportunities” and to form “dynamic business communities”.

XML throughout

The Internet-Business Framework is said to “fully embrace XML on all architectural levels”. New WebFlow technology enables collaborative business processes to take place between companies using SAP and non-SAP components. WebFlow provides a fast and flexible way to drive end-to-end collaborative Internet business processes within a single enterprise, with its partners and among entire business communities. An XML-based metadata repository hosts information about how to get the right message, in the right format, to the right place and provides the relevant data structures for collaborative Internet applications.

Business Connector

Within the Internet-Business Framework, XML-based Web messaging is handled through the SAP Business Connector component, providing secure and remote access to all business data and applications. Based on open Internet communications standards, the SAP Business Connector uses hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) to exchange XML-based business documents over the Internet and across company firewalls. In addition to supporting all SAP message formats including Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs), the SAP Business Connector provides the openness and flexibility to comply with current and future business semantic standards.


To provide a high level of collaborative flexibility, the SAP Business Connector incorporates an easy-to-use graphical tool that can convert and map between SAP message formats and XML-based business messages. For partners that display information on simple Web pages, the SAP Business Connector can, for example, retrieve catalog information such as prices from a supplier's Web site and integrate the information with business applications - automatically and in real time.

knowledge sharing

To allow knowledge sharing within a business community, SAP will provide customers with an XML-based metadata repository hosted on the mySAP.com Marketplace portal at http://www.mySAP.com that contains downloadable information about interfaces, mapping definitions and other semantic integration requirements for complete business community messaging. To help drive the broad and rapid adoption of business integration standards, SAP participates in numerous standards bodies and supports content standardization efforts including BizTalk, e-speak, Open Application Group, XML.ORG World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and of course COM for Energy.


Closely linked to the exchange of information across company boundaries is the control of business processes across company boundaries using WebFlow technology. With WebFlow, companies can publish events and work items over the Web and, in turn, subscribe to external events and work items coming from the Web.


WebFlow is based on a proven workflow engine and allows a business community to create and share Web-based. WebFlow integrates with external systems through tightly and loosely coupled connectors that can share control of SAP and non-SAP components over the Internet. A graphical user interface allows for creating and monitoring Web flows and simplifies the deployment of collaborative business processes. The SAP Business Connector allowing XML-based messaging is now available for download to customers of SAP. More from www.mysap.com.


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