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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

As you might have already seen the Announcement: B2B adapters for SAP NetWeaver PI that SAP plans to release some B2B adapters for SAP NetWeaver Process Integration. It is time for sharing some further details: These B2B adapters will be provided as comprehensive B2B Add-On allowing to run B2B processes as part of an existing SAP NetWeaver PI based integration hub or as dedicated B2B integration hub. It comes with a set of B2B protocol adapters, converter modules and B2B infrastructure services for serving the B2B/EDI integration needs of most industries.


Just FYI: In addition to the B2B add-on SAP intends to deliver an SFTP adapter and adapter module for PGP encryption, too.

Technical architecture

The B2B Add-On runs on the SAP NetWeaver Process Integration Adapter Framework, based on the Java Connector Architecture (JCA). Accordingly its capabilities are being used for enabling the common message delivery options (best-effort, exactly-once, exactly-once-in-order), an automatic retry mechanism and information logging. The configuration of B2B adapters, monitoring and operations is done in the same way as for other adapters of SAP NetWeaver PI. The B2B Add-On runs fully in the Java stack and supports all valid deployment options of SAP NetWeaver PI (ABAP + Java, Java only).

Product availability and supported releases

The B2B Add-On will be released for SAP Enhancement Package 1 for SAP NetWeaver PI 7.1 and SAP NetWeaver PI 7.3 at the beginning of Q2 2012 (date is subject to change). A version for SAP Enhancement Package 1 of SAP NetWeaver PI 7.3 will follow at a later point in time.

Product components

Now, let’s take a closer look at the scope of the B2B Add-On for SAP NetWeaver Process Integration. The B2B Add-On comprises of three building blocks:

B2B protocol adapters

The B2B Add-On comes with three adapters supporting specific B2B/EDI messaging protocols:

  • AS2 adapter
  • OFTP adapter
  • X.400 adapter

AS2 adapter

AS2 enables companies to exchange business documents securely and reliably over the Internet as defined by RFC 4130. AS2 is based on HTTP and S/MIME.

  • Transport Protocols: HTTP and HTTPS (w/o proxies)
  • Message level security: Message de- and encryption, signing and verification
  • Authentication of partners: Via URL, AS2 sender, AS2 recipient, message subject, message ID, signature and encryption via, X.509 certificates and RSA private keys 
  • Acknowledgements: Message disposition notifications synchronous and asynchronous for inbound and outbound communication
  • Character set conversion
  • Support of dynamic attributes


OFTP adapter

OFTP was introduced by the Odette organization to enable secure, reliable electronic message exchange (point-to-point or indirectly via a VAN). OFTP2 is a specification for secure document exchange over the Internet, ISDN and X.25 networks.

  • Supported OFTP versions: OFTP1.x and OFTP2, certified by Odette
  • Transport protocols: TCP/IP,  ISDN (X.25) for transport via RCAPI & Funkwerk ISDN Routers
  • Authentication: Via cryptographic handshake or against the Odette trusted services list
  • Encryption: SSL encryption of the transport layer with client authentication. CMS encryption, signing and compression of the messages
  • Acknowledgements: End to end responses (optionally signed)
  • Automatic exchange of certificates with partners
  • Character set conversion
  • Support of dynamic attributes

X.400 adapter

The X.400 adapter is used for VAN based communication using the P7 Protocol to connect to X.400 mailboxes.

  • Transport protocols: TCP/IP (w/o SSL), support of SOCKS5 proxy
  • Authentication: Content-based sender determination as multiple partners and message types might share one mailbox
  • Document content: IA5 text, binary and bilaterally defined body parts, general text extended body parts
  • Acknowledgements: Delivery, non delivery report, submission reports
  • Configurable poll schedule (per weekday, time-dependent)
  • Configurable maximum number of messages per poll
  • Support of dynamic attributes

Converter modules

The B2B Add-On contains a set of adapter modules allowing to convert native EDI messages into EDI XML messages and the other way around. In addition to that a plain text module is being provided for handling custom B2B message formats in the same way. This content conversion is beneficial as SAP NetWeaver PI is optimized for processing XML messages.

The converter modules can be used together with any transport protocol adapter for inbound and outbound communication. They support all common message type and versions of the following B2B/EDI standards:

  • ANSI X.12
  • Odette
  • VDA
  • Plain text

The conversion rules are maintained in tables. A maintenance tool is being provided allowing you to modify or create conversion rules as needed. Additional features are as follows:

  • Syntax check of inbound B2B/EDI messages (optionally)
  • Ability to generate XSD definitions which can be imported into the Enterprise Services Repository (for designing service interfaces, mappings)
  • Test features for validating EDI messages and generating sample EDI messages
  • Automatic detection of message type and conversion direction at runtime
  • Maintenance of number ranges for automatically inserting continuous counters into outgoing EDI messages

B2B infrastructure services

In addition to the technical connectivity, message handling and processing specific B2B/EDI related infrastructure services are being delivered ensuring a secure and professional integration B2B/EDI message exchange with your business partners, such as:

  • Security through key management: Digital certificates and keys are centrally managed in the key store views of the SAP Java application server.
  • EDI numbering: Generation of  transmission numbers to insert automatically continuous counters into outgoing EDI messages
  • Acknowledgement handling: Generation and handling of acknowledgements compliant with respective B2B/EDI protocol standard.
  • Archiving of B2B messages: Adapter module extending basic archiving functionality which is built into the AS2, X.400 and OFTP adapter. In and outgoing messages can be stored on the file system with more information (e.g. IDoc number in filename, archiving per business partner, etc.).
  • B2B mapping functions: A library of specific mapping functions needed for EDI/B2B communication. Besides, some basic mapping templates (EDI <-> IDoc) are being provided for testing purposes.
  • EDI splitting of inbound messages: This service requires a bit more explanation than the ones above: The EDI separator is an adapter is used for splitting inbound Electronic Data Interchanges comprising of multiple messages. Depending on the EDI standard splitting is done on the following segments:
    • EDIFACT – split per service string advice (UNA,) interchange header (UNB), message header (UNH) segment
    • ANSI X.12 – split per interchange control header (ISA), functional group header (GS), transaction set header (ST) segment
    • VDA – split per start segment

In addition to that the messages can be filtered by parameters like message type, version, sender, and receiver. Character set conversion is supported, too.

You might wonder how the EDI Splitter Adapter is used and how it works? Let’s take a look at the single steps performed in SAP NetWeaver PI:

  1. Electronic Data Interchange comprising of multiple B2B messages received by any technical adapter of SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration
  2. Outbound EDI Separator Adapter splitting Electronic Data Interchange into single B2B messages
  3. Single B2B messages received by SAP NetWeaver Process Orchestration and mapped to corresponding internal message format (IDoc, Enterprise Service)
  4. Optionally acknowledgement generated and sent to business partner
  5. IDoc/Enterprise Service sent to receiving application