The goal of this article is to emphasize on Talend Data Integration capabilities, features and ease of use especially with SAP & Sharepoint.
Sharepoint provides a lot of features that can be used in order to automate & control processes such as workflow management, active directory integration, etc. Combining these with SAP ERP could prove to be an essential easy to use tool for companies.
SAP material master creation has always been cumbersome due to the amount of data that need to be maintained and most of the times from different company departments. This is where Sharepoint can be best utilized to simplify the process.
The designed process is the following:
- As soon as the responsible department receives information to create the new material master, it creates a new item maintaining only Basic data.
- As soon as the data are maintained a workflow process is initiated to inform sales department to maintain sales data.
- The same workflow process is triggered as soon as sales data are saved and informs accounting department to maintain accounting data.
- When all data are correctly maintained, the record receives a specific status and can be sent to SAP.
- A schedule Talend job runs and imports the information to SAP. Whether the job success or not, Talend sends appropriate emails to the respective users.
Error logging is essential since the material master might not be created in SAP for a number of reasons. In this scenario Error logging is implemented using postgresSQL data base.
In order to better utilize Sharepoint capabilities BPC power Forms (http://www.bpc-components.com/pages/sharepoint/power-forms-html/), has been used to design the material master views in sharepoint. The following views were created in sharepoint:
Figure 3: Accounting Data
Using BPC Powerforms is very easy to force all kind of necessary checks on data integrity, before being able to save the record. In this example only material number is checked not to be null.
Talend job incorporates 4 sub jobs as described below:
- Monitors connection issues with SAP and post them in the error log table.
- Get material master data from sharepoint.
- Find next available material number in SAP.
- Post material in SAP.
Material number can use external or internal number range in SAP. In case the material number is using internal number range, then an additional Bapi (BAPI_STDMATERIAL_GETINTNUMBER) has to be used in order to find the latest material number available in the system.
To save the material master in SAP, BAPI_MATERIAL_SAVEDATA, is used with the “document” feature enabled. The document feature enables the use of bapi input / output parameters as xml documents rather than as table.
The execution results are monitored (when online), using tlogrow components and are shown in the execution window.
Material master in SAP has been created based on the selection used during bapi configuration.
In the next page, material accounting data are shown: