You can find the basics of SAP Netweaver XI Exchange Infrastructure here. As mentioned earlier, SAP NW XI is helpful in connecting different vendor systems SAP or Non SAP systems which have been implemented on different platforms such as ABAP, JAVA, .NET etc. The SAP Netweaver Xchange Infrastructure (XI) has many components. Lets have a brief look at the components of the SAP XI and how these are used in the XI Integration process:
1. At the outset, the user needs to define the SAP systems in the systems landscape in 'SLD'. Once this is completed, one needs to define the interfaces in the XI Integration Repository at the design stage. It is important to note that the data in these different systems may not be in the same format. This description of the data will need to be defined in the data mapping.
2. The components, interfaces and mappings are defined in the 'Integration Repository' during the configuration phase of SAP XI, which determines the integration processes in the system landscape called logical routing. This is stored in the XI Integration Directory.
3. The next step in the XI Integration process is to transfer application specific content. This can be achieved using XML Schema for transferring messages between sender and receiver. IDOCs, files etc are used to determine the data structure.
4. So how does the entire process of SAP NW XI Integration work once it is setup? When an inbound message is received at run time, the integration engine of the integration server checks the configuration of the integration directory. The configuration data defined earlier is used to determine the receiver of the message. In that sense, the integration server acts as the central point of communication and distribution of XML messages.
5. Lastly, SAP XI 3.0 works in conjunction with the SAP Web AS Server 6.40. SAP now uses JAVA as a standard and Java administration tools need to be used to manage the Integration Directory and Repository.
I will discuss another important topic of connecting different systems to SAP Netweaver XI tomorrow.