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Data from mySQL to SAP

I am currently working on an ecommerce project. My client is setting up his accounting and order processing through a SAP software. Our goal is to transfer the data from our mySQL database to my clients SAP. The SAP end has not yet been set up. I am wondering if setting up the transfer of data is typically handled by whoever sets up the SAP or is that not usually taken care of by them?
Would you be able to tell me the level of involvement I would have to be in this situation or what information would be needed from me in order to complete this task with the SAP provider?
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fobgraphics
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fobgraphics
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jonvaughanCommented:
What middleware/ Environment are you using ?

There will be a level of SAP programming required depending on whether you can use the standard RFC (Remote function calls) or BAPIs (Business APIs).
You can forget about doing anything directly with the DB - everything in SAP has to go throught he Application / Business Logic layer. You will need some SAP expertise to do this, it is not something that you can do by following documentation - however this kind of thing is usually done by the SAP expert.

For Order entry it is possable to use IDOCs for an async passing of data - again it depends what kind of middleware you are using.

What is the actual task that needs to be done ? what data are you passing ?

Jon
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fobgraphicsAuthor Commented:
The data that will be passed will be all the data needed from the accounting dept. Basically, item numbers, quantity, price, shipping info, cc #'s, etc. etc.
What middleware would you recommend for this task? Again, my clients SAP has not yet been implemented so my goal is to supply information that will get him up and running quickly with an efficient transfer of data. Something that is also reliable, there will be heavy traffic so a lot of data will be transferred.
Are there companies that specialize in implementing the middleware applications as well? If so, who would you recommend?
How long does this process usually take?

Thanks,

Bill
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jonvaughanCommented:
Whatever environment you are using, there is a SAP "Connector" that you can use.

There is a .NET connector that integrates through visual studio, there is a Java one.
There is also a SAP Middleware that can be used such as XI (Exchange Infrastructure) or SAP Business Connector.

Most of the other Middleware /  EDI / E-Commerce products will also have specialised SAP Adapters. ie WebMethods, SeeBeyond, IBM MQ Series, Gentran.

The implementation will really depend on what skill set they have for the SAP implementation. Some ABAP consultants have experience in this area ( which is what i do ) - for any SAP implementation there will already be some programming resource attached.

If you are using J2EE or .NET to build the e-commece side then perhaps you should build the connection using the Java or .Net connector.

As to which is best - it is impossable to say from here - I can only give you some of the possabilities. If the Client is using a Consultancy for the rest of the SAP implementation then they would obviously be able to recommend something for this space too.

Cheers
Jon
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fobgraphicsAuthor Commented:
In your past experiences can you recommend a strong and efficient shopping cart software that works efficiently in conjunction with the SAP system?
What in your opinion has proven its flexibility and compatibility in its data transfer?
I have experience in using the open source php shopping carts but am curious as to what your opinion is on those?
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jonvaughanCommented:
SAP actually has that functionality built in - there is an Online store.
I implemented it in version 4.5 about 5 years ago and it worked - however it wasn't that fliexible.

Things have moved on a long way since then.
If you client is just putting in SAP now then they will be implementing version 4.7.
In 4.7 web enabling transactions is extreamly easy. The netweaver components will allow you to create the application within SAP either in SAP BSPs ( Business Server Pages) or impemented in Java within SAP itself.

I am not sure about what is present in 4.7 SAP standard - but I would expect a Shopping Cart to be present in some form already.

Jon
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