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Anmol Bhat



EDI Difference between EDI and ALE IDOC

ALE Application Link Enabling

ALE supports the distribution of the business functions and process across loosely coupled SAP R/3 systems (different versions of SAP R/3). Connections from R/2 and non SAP systems is also supported.

ALE supportsDistribution of applications between different releases of R/3 Systems Continued data exchange after a release upgrade without requiring special maintenance Customer-specific extensions. Communication interfaces that allow connections to non-SAP systems. Coupling of R/3 and R/2 Systems.

ALE Architecture
It consists of an Outbound process, an Inbound process, and an Exception Handling process.. Outbound Process:
ALE Outbound Process in SAP sends data to one or more SAP Systems. It involves four steps. Identify the need of IDoc: This step starts upon creating a application document, can relate to a change to a master data object. Generate the Master IDoc: The document or master data to be sent is read from the database and formatted into an IDoc format. This IDoc is called as a Master IDoc. Generate the Communication IDoc: The ALE Service layer generates a separate IDoc from the Master IDoc for each recipient who is interested in the data. Separate IDocs are generated because each recipient might demand a different version or a subset of the Master IDoc. These recipient-specific IDocs are called Communication IDocs and are stored in the database. Deliver the Communication IDoc: The IDoc is delivered to the recipients using an asynchronous communication method. This allows the sending system to continue its processing without having to wait for the destination system to receiver or process the IDoc.

ALE Architecture
Inbound Process:
The inbound process receives an IDoc and creates a document in the system. Store the IDoc in the database: The IDoc is received from the sending system and stored in the database. Then the IDoc goes through a basic integrity check and syntax check. Invoke the Posting Module: The control information in the IDoc and configuration tables are read to determine the posting program. The IDoc is then transferred to its posting program. Create the Document: The posting program reads the IDoc data and then creates a document in the system. The results are logged in the

Exception - Handling process:

If any exceptions are caught between the transfer of the business document, status of the IDOC will be set to Error.

ALE Advantages
Integration with non-SAP systems: ALE architecture allows third party applications to integrate with SAP system. Reliable Distribution: Once message type created and the receiver of the message is determined, ALE delivers the message to the recipient. If there is any network problem it will buffer the message and delivers the message once the network is restored. It also ensures that the message is not delivered twice. Release Upgrade: Any of the distributed system can be upgraded to the new release of SAP without affecting the functionality. The ALE layer ensures backward compatibility of messages exchanged between systems.

EDI Electronic Data Interchange

What is Term EDI
Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the structured transmission of data between organizations by electronic means, which is used to transfer electronic documents or business data from one computer system to another computer system, i.e. from one trading partner to another trading partner without human intervention. It is more than mere e-mail; for instance, organizations might replace bills of lading and even cheques with appropriate EDI messages. It also refers specifically to a family of standards.

What EDI means for SAP

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) You use EDI if you want to exchange business application documents with an (external) partner system (for example, a customer or vendor). The SAP system sends EDI messages in IDoc format to an EDI subsystem, where they are converted to a universal EDI standard (UN/EDIFACT or ANSI/X12). This enables communication with non-SAP systems.

Architecture of EDI
EDI Architecture consists of EDI-enabled applications :They support the automatic processing of business transactions. The IDoc interface: This was designed as an open interface. The IDoc interface consists of IDoc types and function modules that form the interface to the application. The EDI subsystem: This converts the IDoc types into EDI message types and vice versa. This component of the EDI architecture is not supplied by SAP.

Advantages of EDI
Reduced data Entry Errors Reduced Processing cycle time Availability of data electronic form Reduced Paper Work

Reduced Cost
Reduced Inventories and Better Planning Standard Means of Communicating Better Business Processes Competitive Advantage

Difference Between ALE and EDI

ALE ALE is used to support distributed yet integrated processes across several SAP systems ALE is SAPu2019s technology for supporting a distributed environment EDI EDI is used for the exchange of business documents between the systems of business partners EDI is a process used for exchange of business documents which now have been given a standard format

Both ALE and EDI require data exchange. An Idoc is a data container which is used for data exchange by both EDI and ALE processes.

IDOC- Intermediate Document

IDoc (Intermediate Document) is a standard SAP document format. IDocs enable the connection of different application systems using a message-based interface. The use of IDocs has three main aims: Structured exchange and automatic posting of application documents. Reduction of the varying complex structures of different application systems to one simple structure. For example, the structure of an SAP application document and the structure of the corresponding EDI message according to the UN/EDIFACT standard. Detailed error handling before the data is posted in the application. IDocs can be regarded and defined on two levels: On a technical level and on an application level.

IDOC- Technical View

This view is defined by three different types of structure that are generated by the IDoc interface: Control record Data record Status record

IDOC- Application View

This view is defined by the segments of an IDoc. Segments are structures that are used for the interpretation of the field SDATA in the data record. An IDoc type is defined by the corresponding: Segments Attributes of these segments (for example, maximum number, hierarchical sequence, segment status)

Thanks a lot

ALE,IDOC Overview Prepared by: Anmol Bhat, Consultant SAP ABAP.