Exploring APIs in the SAP Universe

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explore APIs in the SAP universe

APIs in the SAP Universe

Overview

The SAP Business Accelerator Hub is a web application hosted by SAP to discover, explore, and test SAP and partner APIs (application programming interfaces) that are required to build extensions or process integrations.

APIs in SAP solutions use various protocols, documentation, and access mechanisms. Application and integration developers must have a consistent overview of the APIs available in the relevant SAP systems (deployed on-premise and in the cloud). Testing APIs and building prototypes also involves organizing access to relevant systems and tenants for developers.

SAP Business Accelerator Hub addresses these challenges by offering a central catalog of APIs, along with an integrated test environment in the cloud for easy testing. SAP Business Accelerator Hub covers APIs from SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP BTP, SAP Hybris, and more.

SAP Business Accelerator Hub therefore simplifies the development process and reduces effort for:

  • Application developers when building extensions (for example, when building extensions to applications within the same Line of Business), mobile applications, or Web applications.

  • Integration developers when developing process integrations to third-party systems (Application-to-Application [A2A] or Business-to-Business [B2B]).

SAP Business Accelerator Hub

The figure illustrates the entry screen offering various possibilities to find the content you need. You can switch between to the classic design using the slide control Switch to Classic Design.

You can use the Explore link to navigate to the different products, business processes and content categories.

Use the Resources tab to reach the:

  • Community, which provides access to the API and Integration communities. The users of these communities constantly engage in interactions about various trends around APIs and integrations. You can find recipes that provide best practices, samples, and reusable codes that serve as the starting points for your integration projects. You can also find blogs written by our partners as well as from SAP about various solutions available in SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
  • Getting Started area, to view information and resources to help you explore and learn more about SAP Business Accelerator Hub.
  • Partners with us page, which provides information needed for you to join the SAP Business Accelerator Hub partner program for publishing your content. Partners also have access to some of our best practices, standards, and guidelines that helps them in publishing their content swiftly, and with ease. After joining this partner program, you can explore and experience a rich and varied set of content that some of our trusted partners have published on the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.

Find integrations between different products using the Discover Product Integration link. SAP offers various integration scenarios not only for SAP products and solutions, but also for third party offerings.

For now, on this site you can browse content through 10 curated SAP products, namely:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud
  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP Customer Experience
  • SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP)
  • SAP SuccessFactors
  • SAP Ariba
  • SAP Concur
  • SAP Fieldglass
  • SAP Business ByDesign
  • SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP)

Explore the Content of a Product

You can explore the content of a product via different content categories:

  • Overview

    The overview of the product provides a short description of the product, for example the features of SAP S/4HANA. You can view the range of products that can integrate with the chosen product. Choose a product from this range to access the actual integration packages available on the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.

  • APIs

    Here you can find the APIs available for the product. Choose this tab to view the different SOAP, OData, and the Restful APIs that product has to offer. Also check out the various API packages (APIs grouped based on some common parameters) the product has to offer. To use the Try Out for APIs, and to Configure Environment for the APIs, you can use the current SAP Business Accelerator Hub, at api.sap.com.

  • Integrations

    Various integration flow artifacts, and value-mapping artifacts, as well as the integration packages (all artifacts required for integration between two products) available for this product. You are able to access details related to the Integration package, change logs, documentation, as well as check the complete integration flow and value mapping. For each integration flow and value mapping, you can also access related documentation in the collapsible side tab.

  • CDS Views

    CDS views for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud packages as well as the CDS packages.

  • Events

    Event objects for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, along with the Event packages.

  • Workflow Management

    Includes Visibility scenarios, Decisions, and Processes.

  • Business Process

    Solution Data Flow Diagrams, Solution Component Diagrams and Solution Value Flow Diagrams.

You can also explore Content classified via different content categories like:

  • APIs

    Find more than 2700 different APIs (REST, OData V2, OData V4, and SOAP).

  • Business Processes

    Explore Business Processes for faster and seamless integration.

  • CDS Views

    Explore CDS view content from SAP.

  • Data Intelligence

    Find and connect data assets to transform them to critical business insights.

  • Events

    Explore all events in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub.

  • Integrations

    Explore more than 2000 Integration Flows and value mappings between different products.

  • One Domain Model

    Discover One Domain Model content for deep out-of-the box integration, easy extension, and consistent API’s across business processes for the Intelligent Enterprise.

  • Open Connectors

    Discover prebuilt connectors (for example: Amazon, Cisco, Citrix, Dropbox, Facebook etc.) for seamless integration.

  • Workflow Management

    Explore approx 100 Workflow content packages (for example: Decisions, Visibility Scenarios and Processes) from SAP Workflow Management.

You can also explore the following Business processes:

  • Acquire to Decommission

    Manage within Design to Operate all aspects of an industrial product as it is received, on-boarded, and maintained on-site.

  • Idea to Market

    Manage within Design to Operate all activities from a product idea to market readiness.

  • Lead to Cash

    Cover the entire business process from initial contact with a prospective customer, to order fulfillment and service delivery.

  • Plan to Fulfill

    Manage within Design to Operate the journey of a product through planning, manufacturing, and logistics.

  • Recruit to Retire

    Understand, manage, and optimize all aspects of workforce (employees and external workers).

  • Source to Pay

    Optimize, simplify, and effectively manage all spend processes and spend categories to drive business outcomes.

You can also explore Industries and Industry Cloud:

  • Automotive

    Deliver innovative solutions on the road to new mobility, while running a profitable automotive business.

  • Consumer Products

    Embrace intelligent technologies and next-gen business processes to deliver personalization with a purpose.

  • Engineering Constructions and Operations

    Convert bids into profitable contracts and deliver projects on time and on budget by digitalizing expertise and assets.

  • Industrial Machine and Components

    Engage customers by delivering personalized, smart products and solutions at scale and as a service.

  • Professional Services

    Meet client needs and generate revenue by blending data and processes and managing workers in the cloud.

  • Retail

    Give shoppers and consumers the products and personalized shopping experiences they want.

  • Utilities

    Inspire and shape a digital world by reinventing power generation, transmission, distribution, and retail.

Benefits of Using the SAP Business Accelerator Hub

Benefits of Using the SAP Business Accelerator Hub are:

Simplification
SAP Business Accelerator Hub is a one-stop catalog to find, learn about, and consume an ever-increasing number of SAP and selected partner APIs from different areas. As the repository is hosted and operated by SAP, it is always up to date and easy to access.
Streamlined development

SAP Business Accelerator Hub enables a streamlined development process by eliminating overhead and technical prerequisites by providing Web tooling and cloud-based services.

Reduced total cost of extension and development

Improves productivity by offering a comprehensive and easy learning and testing environment for developers. Easy consumption of APIs to develop SAP Fiori extension apps is enabled via integration with SAP Web IDE.

API Packages

Each API (application programming interfaces) package contains APIs or policy templates associated with the package. These APIs are available on the APIs section.

An API is a programming object that enables developers to use or extend the provided functionality in a service.

APIs are application programming interfaces (along with instructions and other documentation) made available by SAP to developers to access SAP services for the purpose of extending solutions, integrating them with other solutions, or building new apps.

The different types of APIs in the package include:

  • REST API

    A RESTful API is an application programming interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE data. It is also referred to as a RESTful Web service, which is based on a representation state transfer (REST) architecture.

  • OData API

    Open Data Protocol (OData) is a way to build a REST API. It allows you to create and consume RESTful APIs in a simple and standard way. The protocol allows Web clients to publish and edit resources (identified using URLs and defined in a data model) using simple HTTP messages. You can filter out OData V2 and V4 APIs using the filtering options available both when accessing APIs as a content type, and in a package as well.

  • SOAP API

    Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is an XML-based messaging protocol that allows programs running on different systems to interact using HTTP and its Extensible Markup Language (XML).

The new enhanced SOAP API viewer lets you view the SOAP web service, its ports, operations, and various models of an operation in a structured representation, thus improving the user experience of consuming SOAP APIs. While you are in the enhanced SOAP API Viewer, you can choose the View Details options available against each operation to know more details about an operation. The details of the operation are displayed in a separate pane, which you can expand, collapse, or close based on your requirement.

REST and OData APIs support different HTTP methods:

  • GET

    The GET method requests the server to retrieve the data of the specified resource. For example, in the Reports API of the Concur Expense package, the GET /expense/reports method retrieves all reports.

  • POST

    The POST method requests the server to accept the entity or data enclosed in the request as a new subordinate of the Web resource identified by the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). For example, in the Reports API of the Concur Expense package, the POST /expense/reports method creates a new report.

  • PUT

    The PUT method requests the server to store the enclosed entity or data under the supplied URI. If the URI refers to an existing resource, it is modified. If the URI does not point to an existing resource, then the server creates one with that URI. For example, in the Reports API of the Concur Expense package, the PUT /expense/reports/{id} method updates the report specified by the URI

  • DELETE

    The DELETE method deletes the specified resource.

  • PATCH

    The PATCH method modifies or applies partial modifications to a resource.

If you want to use any of these APIs productively, you must have the licensing for the product these APIs belong to.

Integration Packages

Each integration package contains integration content.

You use the SAP Business Accelerator Hub to discover prepackaged integration content to solve the integration challenges in specific business scenarios. The integration content contains artifacts that are bundled in an integration package. The SAP Cloud Integration Web UI provides a modeling environment that allows you to design and deploy integration content at runtime.

SAP delivers prepackaged integration content that enables integration developers to get started quickly. These integration packages are created for some of the commonly used business processes. This content usually comprises a set of integration flows, value mappings, and other integration artifacts that cover a standard integration use case.

The different types of integration artifacts you can find in the package include the following:

  • Integration flow: A graphical representation of how the integration content can be configured to enable the flow of messages between two or more participants using SAP Cloud Integration to ensure successful communication.

  • Message mapping: A set of rules for producing target XML from the source XML according to your business requirements. These rules define the relationship between the source XML tags and target XML tags.

  • Value mapping: Allows you to map different representations of an object to each other.

    Value mappings are useful when performing a dynamic value lookup of an object that has different representations in different contexts. In value mappings, you map these different representations of an object to each other by setting mapping rules in a value mapping table.

SAP One Domain Model

The SAP Business Accelerator Hub is the central entry point to quickly consume the SAP One Domain Model in your browser. This integration provides easy access along with all other APIs in SAP Business Accelerator Hub.

SAP One Domain Model is a single and coherent domain model for SAP's intelligent suite, spanning the digital core and all SAP Cloud line of business applications. With its harmonized domain model for objects that are distributed throughout the different applications, SAP One Domain Model provides a basis for a consistent view on master data across the entire, hybrid landscape. By mapping objects to a central domain model, SAP One Domain Model enables applications to synchronize with each other although they speak different languages, aligns configuration and transactional data, and sets the foundation for integration and extension scenarios.

SAP One Domain Model is used as payload for the SAP Cloud Platform Master Data Integration service as well as for any APIs or events where configuration, master, or transactional data are exchanged. The consumers of SAP One Domain Model, such as integrations, partner extensions, and mobile applications can use OData V4 to access the data in the model of the underlying SAP Enterprise Suite regardless of the actual implementation within the respective applications or without causing data inconsistencies between applications.

Business Process Implementation Packages

Each Business Process Implementation Package represents an Intelligent Enterprise Implementation of the Business Process.

The following SAP reference business processes are covered:

  • Source to Pay

    Covers strategic and operational procurement, from finding the source of supply to procuring as well as receiving the goods and services.

  • Lead to Cash

    Lead-to-Cash provides an end-to-end scenario, which manages all aspects of your experience, from the initial interaction to order fulfillment and service delivery.

  • Recruit to Retire

    Understand, manage, and optimize all aspects of the workforce (employees and external workers).

  • Design to Operate
    • Plan to Fulfill

      Manage, within Design to Operate, the journey of a product through planning, manufacturing, and logistics.

    • Acquire to Decommission

      Manage, within Design to Operate, all aspects of an industrial product as it is received, on-boarded, and maintained on-site.

    • Idea to Market

      Manage, within Design to Operate, all activities from a product idea to market readiness.

Note

Note that more than one implementation package may be offered for a single business process, for example, cloud-only or hybrid implementations.

Package Structure

The business process implementation packages description comprises Solution Data Flow Diagrams, Solution Component Diagrams, and Solution Value Flow Diagrams.

Solution Value Flow Diagram

A Value Flow Diagram describes a Business Process Implementation from a pure business perspective and explains how value is created in an enterprise. It lists the business activities that can be executed to deliver a flow of values. Also, a Value Flow is cross-functional, meaning it can include resources from different organizational units.

Each business activity refers to one or more Solution Process Flow diagrams. Selecting the [+] symbol leads to corresponding diagrams.

The Solution Process Flow Diagram depicts the standard process flow of the business process variant. Leveraging the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 2.0 standard, Solution Process Flow Diagrams comprise a structured control flow of Application Activities. They clearly define integration points across components (using Message Flows), which link to all relevant run-time relevant artifacts such as APIs, workflow extensions, Integration Flows, etc.

The Solution Process Flow Diagram depicts the standard process flow of the business process variant. Leveraging the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 2.0 standard, Solution Process Flow Diagrams comprise a structured control flow of Application Activities. They clearly define integration points across components (using Message Flows), which link to all relevant run-time relevant artifacts such as APIs, workflow extensions, Integration Flows, etc.

Solution Data Flow Diagram

Data Flow Diagram is an Enterprise Architecture Diagram that gives a better overview on the distribution of classic data.

The Data Flow Diagram above shows the flow of activities in SAP Applications to support Lead to Cash.

Solution Component Diagram

The Solution Component Diagram depicts all solution components needed to implement the business process variant.

The Solution Component Diagram above gives an overview on the software products, their groupings, and interrelations.

Workflow Management Packages

A Workflow Management package allows you to digitize workflows, manage decisions, gain end-to-end process visibility, and configure processes in a low-code approach. It also enables you to build, run, and manage workflows. Users have the possibility to digitize and automate the decision making process.

Workflow management packages provide a single view of the process, enabling process excellence, process transparency and process transformation. You can configure the process flow without the involvement of IT to improve process efficiency.

Each Workflow Management Package consists of:

  • Decisions

    A decision is a business logic required for automating a business decision scenario. It consists of a collection of policies which constitute a set of business rules. It gives the flexibility to provide a customized and easy-to-use interface to the business users to directly manage rules without exposing these technical details.

    You can also integrate rules with different business data, services, and solutions in SAP, to obtain much more efficient outcomes; depending on the decision path you choose.

  • Processes

    A Process artifact contains process templates and steps that are used to configure the different process variants based on business needs. These Process variants are based on business variations, levels of complexity, and provide flexibility to the business users to customize the process steps to adapt to the changes in the business.

  • Visibility Scenarios

    A Visibility Scenario artifact contains cycle time, performance indicators like incoming change requests per day, and actions triggered by the system or business users. Overall, the Visibility Scenario depicts an entire lifecycle of a Business Process.

The figure illustrates an example of a workflow management package.

Small Tour of the SAP Business Accelerator Hub

SAP Business Accelerator Hub

As an example of the API Business Partner, we want to show the essential features using the classic design. We are looking for the Business Partner (A2X) and find the appropriate interface.

Explanations about the bullets:

  1. Here we find the different entities of the OData interface. We are on the A_AddressEmailAddress entity.

  2. This entity has the following URLs and http verbs to access the data.

  3. Here you can test the interface against a sandbox.

  4. Here we find code snippets to call this interface in different languages.

  5. This is the API key to call this interface from the outside.

  6. Here we can download a client sdk in Java that was created from the API Doc.

  7. Here we find the API documentation according to openAPI.

Interface Call in customer own systems

We can configure the interface, if available on your system, against your own system.

To do this, we use the Link Configure Environments:

Now we can try each verb and URL on this client to retrieve the data from our own system:

The figure shows the screen to enter the required data.

Find and Use SAP Interfaces That are Listed in the SAP Business Accelerator Hub

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