SAP PI-Process Integration for Beginners


The objective of this tutorial is to make you understand the basics of SAP Process Integration or Process Orchestration. We will go through the basics of integration, why are we using the integration, what is system to system and application to application to application integration. What are the scope and use of SAP Process integration and what are the main features of this tool?

We will also discuss the different architecture available like a single and dual-stack. We will also discuss a couple of case studies to understand the real-time usage of the PI in a typical industry.

We will also touch base on the sample scenario and discuss in detail of each object and its usage. Also, step by step action needed by any of the developers or consultants once he gets the real timer requirement from the customer or function consultant.

What is SAP ERP?

The full form of ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning. If you take any industry, they must carry out a few standard business ss functionalities.  A few of the examples are Material Management, Sales and Distribution, Finance, Human Resources, etc. There are so many software in the market which are utilized by these industries called ERP software and the Vendor who supplies this software is called ERP vendor. i.e. SAP, ORACLE, Peoplesoft, etc.

Background on SAP AG

SAP is Germany’s multinational Company software company that makes enterprise software to manage the business operation and customer relationship management.

SAP was founded in 1972 by five former IBM employees with a vision of creating a standard application software for real-time business processing. SAP stands for Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing. Since its inception SAP has issued several releases, such as SAP R/1, SAP R/2, and SAP R/3.)

Companies’ best know software product is ERP-Enterprise Resource Planning which includes key business functions of the organization. The basic functionalities i.e. HR, MM, SD, FICO, etc These are called core business modules in SAP. SAP builds them as products and sells them in the market. In addition, to these core modules, there are few other modules that do not support business functions directly but are utilized for presentation and integration and these are part of the SAP Netweaver business suite.

Few to name are SAP EP (Enterprise Portal) and the SAP PI (Process Integration). All the business modules are developed in ABAP while EP and PI are developed mostly in Java. These modules are not executables, but they need to be deployed in an Application Server i.e.  ABAP Web Application Server for ABAP modules and Java Web Application Servers for Java modules.

 The first commercial version was released in 1973. Please see below for lists the major SAP releases and the release year

Lists the major SAP releases and the release year

Sap Netweaver

SAP NetWeaver is a technology platform that allows organizations to integrate data, business processes, elements and more from a variety of sources into unified SAP environments. SAP NetWeaver forms the technical foundation for a large number of SAP application landscape

SAP NetWeaver is called a central foundation for SAP software stack. It provides a flexible platform for other NetWeaver components such as Process Integrator, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Portal, and for ABAP and Java applications. Having the capabilities of  Service provision, Composition and Governance

Legacy System

While implementing the SAP ERP in a large business establishment, it is found that not all sections can be brought under the SAP ERP. Many of the business sections may have their own proprietary tools that are highly complex and may not be possible to be replaced. They run parallel to the SAP System. They are called the Legacy Systems. Then it becomes necessary to integrate between the SAP Systems and such pre-existing non-SAP Systems. This is where the SAP PI comes into play.

What is Middleware

  • Intermediary application
  • Enables communication and Data exchange between distributed applications
  • Can be described as “software glue”
With or without Middle-ware

Criticality of a Middleware

  • Multiple Systems are connected
  • Both SAP and Non-SAP application involved
  • Central HUB called ESB is much needed solution
Advantages of using Middle-ware

Service Oriented Architecture

  • Collection of services which communicate each other. i.e. Web Service technology
  • Process Integration is  SAP’s Service Oriented  Architecture
Service Oriented Architecture


Why do we need SAP PI/PO                         

In a large business establishment along with SAP ERP there are multiple other systems are also interact with each other i.e. CRM, SRM and FICO etc. To handle with such complexities SAP introduced Process Integration a platform to provide a single point of integration for all systems without altering the existing complex network of legacy systems.

This is a powerful middleware by SAP to provide a seamless end to end integration between SAP and non-SAP applications inside and outside the corporate boundary. SAP PI supports B2B as well as A2A exchanges, supports synchronous and asynchronous message exchange, and includes a built-in engine for designing and executing Integration Processes.

Main functions of SAP PI/PO

  • Connect
    • A2A (Application to Application)-Provides seamless integration between SAP and non-SAP applications within the organization and/or
    • B2B (Business to Business)- Outside the organization
    • It uses the adapter framework to integrate 3rd party solutions.
  • Co-ordinate
    • Defines a path/workflow for each business transaction that is integrated.
    • It ensures that each message is correctly delivered from the source to the target destination.
  • Communicate
    • Can translate files into any format whether an internal file format or any business to business integration standard

TO be Continued…till then please have a look at

Various Adaptors used in PI/PO

FILE Sender and Receiver & Content Conversion for Fixed and CSV

IDoc-AAE Sender and IDoc-AAE Receiver

RFC/JDBC/JMS/SOAP Sender and Receiver

Also have a look on few scenarios

Simple File to File Scenario

HTTP to SOAP Synchronous Scenario

SOAP to RFC Synchronous Scenario





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.