Unleash SAP using the Microsoft Platform: Using BizTalk Server to Bring Two Worlds Together

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Published: February 2010

Authors: Chris Kabat and Naresh Koka, Principals at MPS Partners

Organizations today must contend with fast moving and ever-changing business requirements to maintain their competitive edge. A one-stop-shop for enterprise applications is becoming less possible and certainly less practical to IT organizations. It is very rare that a single Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can effectively meet all the business requirements of an enterprise.

To meet the need of their business, organizations often invest in new applications that offer expanded functionality. When these applications are not integrated, business units often fail to leverage the new functionality available to realize their objectives and work towards the organization’s mission. Many organizations choose SAP as a suite of modules to run their daily business. Large organizations especially use this popular ERP to move themselves towards standard business processes in areas such as Sales and Distribution, Material Resource Planning, or Human Resources.

Organizations that run their businesses on SAP face a number of different challenges. The well-defined robust business process that they purchased SAP for usually comes at a cost. It is very common that SAP must communicate in real time to several other systems and platforms in real time to achieve the productivity and agility goals. This process is certainly not straight forward, and can cost organization real dollars in implementation, training, and long term operational costs.

Using the business process provided by SAP alone will not generally provide the business value and productivity gains an organization needs to strategically differentiate themselves from their competition. Organizations need to integrate and interact with those processes in many different ways to achieve the greatest value.

This document will address how we can integrate, automate, and simplify these processes using Microsoft® BizTalk® Server and the Microsoft application platform. We will discuss the business value of such an approach within the context of a fictitious outdoor outfitter called Adventure Works. We will describe some business scenarios involving SAP interoperability and technical patterns for how their solutions can be implemented with an integration platform like BizTalk Server.

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