SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) enables you to implement cross-system business processes. The aim of the Exchange Infrastructure is to integrate different versions of SAP and non-SAP systems implemented on different platforms (Java, ABAP, and so on). The Exchange Infrastructure is based on an open architecture, makes uses of open standards (in particular those from the XML and Java environments) and offers services that are essential in a heterogeneous and complex system landscape: Namely a runtime infrastructure for message exchange; configuration options for managing business processes and message flow; and options for transforming message contents between the sender and receiver systems.
Related: Check Patch Levels of XI/PI System
The infrastructure is tailored to general standards so as to remain open for the integration of external systems. At the center of the infrastructure is a message-orientated communication that uses HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). The application-specific contents are transferred in messages in freely defined XML (eXtensible Markup Language) schema from the sender to the receiver using the Integration Engine. The structure of a message is therefore determined by the interface data structures used.
The central concept is that, during the design phase, all interfaces required are initially developed independently of a platform and made available in the form of a WSDL description (WSDL: Web Service Description Language). Using this description you can, for example, define mappings between interfaces without this having an effect on an existing system landscape. All design phase data is saved in the Integration Repository to be implemented later in a particular system landscape. In this second phase, configuration time, you can select components, interfaces, and mappings saved in the Integration Repository that are appropriate for your system landscape and business processes and assign them to each other in logical routing. The result of this configuration process is saved in the Integration Directory and you can call and evaluate it from the Exchange Infrastructure runtime.
The integration knowledge of a shared process is therefore saved centrally in the Integration Repository at design time and in the Integration Directory at configuration time. In this way, SAP Exchange Infrastructure follows the principle of Shared Collaboration Knowledge: Information about a shared process need no longer be accessed in each of the systems involved, but called centrally instead. This procedure considerably reduces the costs for the development and maintenance of the applications shared.
The Exchange Infrastructure enables you to do the following:
· Develop cross-system applications that exchange a multitude of system messages using the runtime infrastructure and synchronous or asynchronous communication. Develop new platform-independent interfaces or connect existing interfaces to the runtime using adapters.
· Produce a bird’s eye view of the business processes by using Business Scenarios and derive the interfaces and mappings required from them.
· Adjust message values and structures for the receiver using mappings.
· Centrally maintain the message flow between logical systems in the system landscape using logical routing.
· Connect the logical receiver to a technical system using end points; this system can be exchanged easier using this abstraction level (technical routing).
· Control access to your system using logon data.
· Describe your system landscape as the foundation for the description of your cross-system business processes by using the System Landscape Directory.