5 minute read

Alternatives to the Seeburger PI Adapter

The standard maintenance of SAP Process Integration and Orchestration (SAP PI & SAP PO) releases 7.31 and 7.40 will expire on 31 December, 2020. The current release, 7.50, will thus become mandatory, which means that users of the Seeburger PI Adapter, whose regular maintenance will expire at the end of 2021, will have to take action.

The Seeburger PI adapter enabled EDI converter functions, the use of different protocols (such as AS2, SFTP etc.) and message splitting. Due to the end of maintenance, critical B2B functionalities (routing and mapping) will no longer be possible.

What are my options?

In order to guarantee future-proof operation, a corresponding migration should be planned and implemented in good time. There are several options:

1) Local EDI converter

It is still possible to use a local converter. However, this approach has many disadvantages compared to a cloud-based solution.

An on-premise solution requires significant internal EDI expertise. The ongoing maintenance of the converter must be carried out by the company itself, including installation of any updates that are due. This makes converter solutions vulnerable to new upgrades and changes. Scalability, future-proofing and reliable operation are therefore not guaranteed. The Seeburger PI adapter replacement currently demonstrates the problems that arise in this context.

Some difficulties also stem from the point of view of business continuity management. Converter solutions bear a one-point-of-failure risk, since systems are neither designed to be redundant nor can they be accessed via the cloud. Error management, as well as new mappings and routings, must also be handled by internal teams.

Although the costs for this are slightly lower in the short term, there are disadvantages in the long term compared to a managed EDI solution. For a detailed cost breakdown using an example, please read our white paper on this subject.

White Paper – Local EDI Converter vs. Fully Managed EDI

2) B2B add-on from SAP

Another alternative to the Seeburger PI adapter would be the B2B add-on developed by SAP itself. This is a fairly comprehensive solution for EDI-based B2B communication. It provides mapping functions (including mapping templates for EDIFACT ANSI X.12 and TRADACOM). EDI message splitting is supported as well as number range management and acknowledgement handling.

For data exchange with partner systems, SAP PI uses various communication paths and adapters with the SAP B2B add-on:

  • FTP or SFTP adapter to partners via VPN or internet connections
  • AS2 adapter to partners via the internet
  • OFTP(2) to OFTP partners (point-to-point connection)
  • X400 adapter to X.400 mailboxes

In principle, this eliminates some of the disadvantages of a local converter solution, but this option is not without its pitfalls, especially on the technical side.

Communication with value-added networks (VANs) is not possible out-of-the-box, which restricts companies in their B2B network. API connections are also not supported, which has disadvantages in terms of message transmission and seamless EDI integration. For example, end-to-end monitoring is only possible to a limited extent because the IDoc status is not converted correctly by default. A full text search in all types of EDI messages is also not possible.

The operating costs of the SAP add-on are roughly the same as for a local EDI converter, since EDI operation must also be carried out within the company itself. Complex partner setup and management must be implemented internally, as must new or updated mappings. The SAP B2B add-on also shows weaknesses with regard to e-invoice regulations. For example, there is no Peppol adapter, which must be implemented externally.

3) Fully managed EDI in the cloud – a future-proof solution

The Seeburger PI adapter alternative with the most benefits is a migration to a cloud-based, fully managed EDI solution. EDI providers such as ecosio take care of all EDI needs and ensure scalability and future-proof operation, including all mappings, error handling, partner onboarding and legally compliant e-invoicing. With such a solution pressure on internal teams is lifted and the continued efficiency of B2B connections is safeguarded.

Perhaps the most striking benefit of fully managed EDI is the comparative speed with which it enables partners to be onboarded, however. At ecosio, dedicated project managers take care of each individual customer and their entire B2B network, and have the necessary industry knowledge to react quickly to special situations. Extensive tests guarantee the operation of all communication links, while any errors that occur are automatically detected and proactively eliminated thanks to 24/7 monitoring.

The seamless integration of the EDI solution into the customer’s ERP system enables excellent user usability and message transparency (e.g. full-text search across all content). With just a single connection to the ecosio Integration Hub, all connections in a customer’s B2B network in all common formats and protocols (including VANs and Peppol) can be used reliably and e-invoicing is legally compliant.

Conclusion

The end-of-life of the Seeburger PI Adapter certainly means a change and challenge for some companies. But this change can also be a chance for companies and their B2B network. Cloud-based, fully managed EDI enables companies to experience all the advantages of EDI with minimal internal effort.

For more information on EDI and what you can do to improve your business’s B2B processes, view our white papers and webinars. Alternatively, feel free to contact us directly. We are always happy to help!

 

SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA are the trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE or its affiliates in Germany and in several other countries. 

most read

Keep on reading

2 minute read

How to Save an IDoc Parser Report to a Local File

In this short and simple guide we show you how to save an IDoc parser report to a local file in just a couple of easy steps.

6 minute read

How to Debug SAP Message ME161 - "The Notified Quantity Exceeds the Ordered Quantity"

Don't know how to fix SAP error message ME161 "The notified quantity exceeds the ordered quantity"? In this article we break it down.

7 minute read

SAP® EDI Project Roles - A Breakdown

Learn the various EDI project roles involved in achieving successful EDI integration in SAP systems and how the different roles interact.

3 minute read

How to create an SAP transaction code

Want to know how to create an SAP transaction code for an existing ABAP program so that you can easily call the program?

9 minute read

Alternative Solutions for EDI Data Exchange with SAP PI and SAP PO

Discover the three possibilities when it comes to implementation of electronic data interchange (EDI) in SAP Process Integration or SAP Process Orchestration (SAP PI/PO).

6 minute read

How to Set Up and Manage Automatic SAP Jobs

SAP jobs can be used to automate processes in SAP ERP so they can be carried out without user intervention. We explore the key features.

4 minute read

IDoc Status Change in SAP ERP

IDoc statuses are not always the clearest - particularly when errors occur. In this article we explain how to change IDoc status as required.

5 minute read

How Can I Add an Entry to an SAP Table?

In this article we show how to add entries to an existing SAP table - even if it does not have its own maintenance dialog.

4 minute read

IDocs in SAP S/4HANA: The Differences to SAP ECC 6.0

The change to S/4HANA also impacts the format of IDocs. In this article we explore IDocs in S/4HANA and the new and changed elements.

11 minute read

Migration to SAP S/4HANA - 5 Key Considerations

Are you prepared for migration to SAP S/4HANA? Discover the 5 key questions all businesses looking to upgrade to SAP's new ERP system should consider.

11 minute read

Exchange of Electronic Invoices with the SAP eDocument Framework

Companies have to increasingly implement e-Invoicing for different countries. This blog post explains how the SAP eDocument Framework can help you.

2 minute read

How Can You Save an IDoc from SAP on Your Hard Drive?

Wondering how to export IDocs as a file on your local computer? We created a handy guide!

We use cookies to provide an optimal website experience. You decide which one you want to allow. Depending on the setting, however, not all functionalities may be available to you. Data protection & imprint.