SAP is a proprietary system designed to run line-of-business applications to manage a large variety business functions. This means that users must work with proprietary interfaces to manage SAP data. SAP, which is an integrated product, allows corporations to graphically map and manage their business processes into an integrated whole.
One of the latest versions of SAP, R/3, is object oriented. This allows SAP system designers to create COM interfaces to support a variety of programmable interfaces supported by COM via the DCOM Connector for SAP. The DCOM Connector for SAP aids in integrating the functionality contained in distributed environments.
The run-time instances of business objects or remote functions provided in the R/3 application are available in MTS as COM objects using the DCOM Connector. The DCOM Connector is installed in the MTS in the form of components within a package and allows developers to create and administer COM objects.
The SAP R/3 DCOM connector is fashioned around the multi-service layer architecture and contains an R/3 application server that exposes the SAP business objects and remote functions that can be called from components within MTS. These objects and functions are mapped through COM via a DLL. Clients can make calls to those components through MTS, which communicates with the R/3 application server and makes the communication transparent to the client application.
In the DCOM Component Connector, ABAP objects (BAPIs) are mapped onto COM interfaces and visa versa. (ABAP stands for Advanced Business Application Programming Interface.) BAPIs is a term used to represent objects that have a guarantee not to change. It stands for a well-defined interface to processes and data of business application systems. Also, the SAP Business Object Repository (BOR) is integrated with the Microsoft Repository (XML Repositories). The solution is scalable because the components can be installed and distributed as often as needed and connections are pooled to R/3's Remote Function Calls (RFCs). When Windows NT clients are used, security is provided in the context of MTS. Optionally, Windows NT user IDs can be mapped to R/3 security for a single logon. All Tables and Structures are represented as ADO recordsets. There is automatic marshaling via RDS. At the core, OLE DB is used to and from map ABAP tables. ADO is the interface to OLE DB. The DCOM Connector automatically generates proxy and stub components for objects. The next version of the DCOM Connector will support 2PC and outbound calls, and requires COM+ Services.
The DCOM Component Connector provides the following benefits for corporations: