SAP Exchange Infrastructure 3.0 SAP BASIS

The SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) is the component of the SAP NetWeaver in charge of communicating and exchanging data among systems. XI can be defined as the Information Broker acting as a central data hub within the SAP application and system landscape. It links SAP applications to one another and also allows the integration of external applications. The key focus of the SAP Exchange Infrastructure is the integration of entire process chains. In other words, the SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) is the technical solution for integrating heterogeneous software components of your system landscape or integrating the business systems of your business partners. Theoretically, you can integrate all kinds of business systems by using SAP XI. In addition, business partners can connect to your business systems by using the SAP Partner Connectivity Kit (PCK). Business Process Management capabilities ensure seamless communication between application modules.

The SAP Exchange Infrastructure is an autonomous Java-based application that makes use of the SAP J2EE server. Via the integration broker, it is possible to incorporate heterogeneous components form a wide variety of vendors. SAP XI includes an adapter framework and a large selection of predefined adapters. The solution exchanges data with file systems, message queuing systems, legacy software, and database systems. It provides the corresponding queuing, routing, and mapping services, and enhanced process control for functions such as synchronization, separation, and combination of messages.

SAP XI includes three major components: the Integration Server, Integration Builder, and Adapter Environment:

  • The Integration Server is the main XI engine for the exchange and distribution of messages. Every business partner in collaborative integration scenarios have to use this server for the exchange of messages. Using the configuration defined in the Integration Directory, the Integration Server resolves to which receivers it must send the message and also whether mapping is required.
  • The Integration Builder is the main tool for the configuration and design of the integration and collaboration processes. It includes the two major components of XI, namely the Integration Repository and the Integration Directory.
  • Adapter Environment represents all the communication options of the SAP Exchange Infrastructure. Refer to the following section.

Figure shows an overview diagram of the XI components.

Overview of the XI components

Overview of the XI components

SAP XI Communication Options

SAP Exchange Infrastructure provides multiple communication options that lake into account the capability of involved business systems to exchange content among them. Business systems are determined by the existing system landscape that you want to integrate, taking into account both SAP business systems and non-SAP business systems. The following parameters are defined to determine a communication option:

  1. Type of business system. Since the communication occurs using the XML messaging service of the Integration Engine, the capability of sending or receiving XML messages is crucial for involved business systems.
  2. Type of messaging concept (middleware technology) to be used for exchanging content.

Different messaging concepts are used, such as the following:

  • Intermediate documents (IDocs)
  • Remote function call (RFC)
  • Text files
  • Java Messaging Service (JMS)
  • JDBC data access
  • SOAP
  • RNIF
  • Plain HTTP
  • Marketplace access
  • Proxy-based messaging

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