Integrating your SAP ecosystem with Liferay Portal

January 1, 2013


Organizations across industry verticals use various modules of SAP ecosystem (R/3) for their business operations and customer relationship. While the functional coherence of SAP provides tremendous benefits to automate their transactional and forecasting needs, often certain deployments remain unused from internal and external stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors etc.) due to the lack of features the solution has to offer from user interface perspective.

Opening the Portal

Liferay is the leading Open Source portal solution and offers a comprehensive set of out of box features to the enterprise. But more importantly Liferay follows open standards, and has a flexible architecture that avails the integration with mission critical enterprise solutions.

As per a leading IT advisory firm the reason for enterprise to consider Liferay is the functional excellence and ease of development and deployment at low cost. Being a lightweight, interoperable framework Liferay has a lot to offer as a pure-play portal solution.

Integrating SAP

Since the two solutions are of different nature (SAP – a proprietary and cohesive solution and Liferay – an Open Source portal solution) the communication between the two do require some esthesis.

Liferay Integration

We identify Liferay can be integrated with SAP in two ways
1) Through SAP Java Connector (JCo)
2) Web Services

SAP Java Connector (JCo): A middleware component that allows enterprise to integrate SAP compatible components and applications in Java. The system works through inbound (Java calls ABAP) and outbound (ABAP calls Java) calls.

Web Services: The integration can be either done using SAP Process Integrator (PI) or using web services to call BAPI and remote functions in the application server.

Advantages of Integration:

A Liferay based Portal over SAP ECC integration can offer the below set of advantages

  • Total Cost of Ownership: Reducing cost over license, implementation, and support compared to an alternative proprietary portal solution
  • Rich user interface allowing information at fingertips: Here Liferay portal acts as a window to your SAP solution for your employees, suppliers, partners, and customers. They can access information real time
  • Offers a plethora of out of box features like portlets for web publishing, collaboration, social networking, administration etc.

Hence, a Liferay – SAP integration can offer tremendous value for an enterprise in the form of user interface and experience over their existing SAP deployments.