Talend integration with SAP - 7.3

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Data Governance > Third-party systems > Business applications > SAP components
Data Quality and Preparation > Third-party systems > Business applications > SAP components
Design and Development > Third-party systems > Business applications > SAP components

Talend integration with SAP

This article explains how to use SAP with Talend.


SAP SE (Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing) is a German multinational software corporation that was founded in 1972 by former IBM engineers Wellenreuther, Hopp, Hector, Plattner, and Tschira. SAP refers both to the company and to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. SAP comprises several fully integrated modules, which cover every aspect of business management.

SAP architecture

This section describes the architecture of SAP.

The design of the SAP NetWeaver Application Server aims to provide an exceptionally high level of robustness and maintainability for the applications running on it. SAP based the architecture of R/3 on a three-tier client/server model.

Presentation Server

The presentation server is a program named sapgui.exe usually installed on the user's workstation. To start it, the user double-clicks on the icon or chooses a menu path. The presentation server then displays the R/3 menus in a window commonly known as the SAPGUI, the user interface, or simply the interface. The interface accepts input from the user in the form of keystrokes, mouse-clicks, and function keys, and then sends these requests to the application server to be processed. The application server sends the results back to the SAPGUI, which formats the output to display it to the user.

Application Server

The application server is a set of executables that collectively interpret the ABAP/4 programs and manage the input and output for them. When the application server starts, these executables all start at the same time. When the application server stops, they all shut down. The number of processes that start when you launch the application server is defined in a single configuration file called the application server profile.

Database Server

The database server is a set of executables that accept database requests from the application server. These requests are passed on to the Relation Database Management System (RDBMS). The RDBMS sends the data back to the database server, which sends it back to the application server. The application server then sends the information to your ABAP/4 program.

SAP modules

The section lists some important SAP modules.

Finance Modules

  • FI: SAP Financial Accounting
    • FI-GL: General Ledger Accounting
    • FI-BL: Bank Accounting
    • FI-AP: Accounts Payable
    • FI-AR: Accounts Receivable
    • FI-AA: Asset Accounting
    • FI-CA: Contract Accounting
    • FI-LC: Legal Consolidation
    • FI-TV: Travel Management
    • FI-SL: Special Purpose Ledger
  • CO: SAP Controlling
    • CO-PC: Product Costing
    • CO-OM: Overhead Cost Management
    • CO-OM-CEL: Cost Element Ledger
    • CO-OM-CCA: Cost Center Accounting
    • CO-OM-ABC: Activity Based Costing
    • CO-OM-OPA: Overhead Orders and Projects Accounting
    • CO-PA: Profitability Analysis
    • EC-PCA: Enterprise Controlling/ Profit Center Accounting
    • EC-CS: Enterprise Controlling, Consolidation System
  • TR: Treasury
  • EC: Enterprise Controlling
  • IM: Investment Management
  • PSM: Public Sector Management
  • RE: Real Estate Management
  • PS: Project System
  • SEM: Strategic Enterprise Management

Logistics Modules

  • MM: Materials Management
  • PP: Production Planning and Control
  • SD: Sales and Distribution
  • PM: Plant Maintenance
  • LE: Logistics Execution
  • EHS: Environment, Health and Safety
  • QM: Quality Management
  • CS: Customer Service
  • LO: Logistics General
  • PLM: Product Lifecycle Management
  • WM: Warehouse Management

SAP third-party integration

This section explains how to integrate Talend and SAP.

Although it has the necessary modules, SAP cannot cater to all the information needs of a business by itself. In order to meet the custom requirements of a business, SAP needs to integrate with other systems. Data conversion and enrichment from/to SAP from other data sources is a very common use case.

There are several ways to integrate Talend and SAP:
  • Using BAPI calls
  • Using Talend SAP RFC Server to process IDocs
  • Using Talend components to access SAP tables

Using BAPI calls to integrate Talend and SAP

Talend supports reading and writing based on Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPI). This BAPI feature allows users to import the BAPI structure into the Talend Repository as part of the Metadata. Talend supports the following structures:
  • Single Input
  • Structure Input
  • Table Input

Using Talend SAP RFC Server to process IDocs

Talend SAP RFC Server is a module used to receive and send IDocs. Talend supports all IDocs structures in Talend Data Mapper. Talend SAP RFC Server is able to process several IDocs at the same time.

  • tSAPIDocReceiver

    The tSAPIDocReceiver component connects to Talend SAP RFC Server, which receives IDocs in any format after authentication to SAP Gateway. This data can be extracted with Talend Data Mapper and used by any other Talend component.

  • tSAPIdocOutput

    The tSAPIdocOutput component can upload IDoc datasets in XML format to SAP System.

There are more Talend SAP RFC Server components that support SAPBW and SAP HANA. The tSAPBWInput component works via the JDBC (Java Database Connectivity) API. More features and functionalities are always being added to the Talend products to support SAPBI and BW.

Using Talend components to access SAP tables

This section explains how to use Talend components to access SAP tables.

Talend offers many components which can leverage the RFC functionality. Talend does not support direct communication with SAP tables, it requires the generation of SAP Open SQL.


  1. Read the readme.txt file located at TalendInstallDirectory>\studio\plugins\org.talend.libraries.sap_******\resources.
  2. Install the Z_TALEND_READ_TABLE module.
    This is done by the SAP admin. With Talend Custom RFC Module, the caller can get more than 512B of data, which is the default limitation for the RFC module in SAP.
  3. Set “api.use_talend_z_read_table” to “true” in the SAP Properties for the tSAPTableInput component.
  4. Import the SAP Table metadata into Talend Studio.
    Once the metadata is retrieved, the same metadata can be reused for multiple jobs in the project.