Partner Profiles and Ports

R/3 defines partner profiles for every EDI partner. The profiles are used to declare the communication channels, schedule, and conditions of processing.Partner profiles declare the communication medium to be used with a partner.Ports define the physical characteristics of a communication channel.If you define an ALE scenario for your IDoc partners, you can use the ALE automated partner profile generation ( → ALE ).

IDoc Type and Message Type

An IDoc file requires a minimum of accompanying information to give sense to it. These are the message type and the IDoc type. While the IDoc type tells you about the fields and segments of the IDoc file, the message type flags the context under which the IDoc was sent.

IDoc type signals syntactical structure :

A receiver of an IDoc must know the exact syntactical structure of the data package received. Naturally, the receiver only sees a text file with lines of characters.In order to interpret it, it is necessary to know which segment types the file may contain and how a segment is structured into fields. SAP sends the name of the IDoc type in the communication header.

The IDoc type describes the file structure. The IDoc type is defined and viewable with transaction WE30.

Examples of IDoc types are MATMAS01, ORDERS01, COND_A01 or CLSMAS01.

The message type is an identifier that tags the IDoc to tell the receiver how the IDoc is meant to be interpreted. It is therefore the tag for the semantic content of the IDoc.

Examples of message types are MATMAS, ORDERS, COND_A or CLSMAS.

The combination of IDoc type and message type gives the IDoc the full meaning. Theoretically, you could define only a single IDoc type for every IDoc you send. Then, all IDocs would have the same segments and the segments would always have the same field structure. According to the context some of the record fields are filled; others are simply void. Many antiquated interfaces are still working that way.Typical combinations of IDoc and message types are the following:

Message Type IDoc Type
Sales order, older format ORDERS ORDERS01
Sales order, newer format ORDERS ORDERS02
Purchase Requisition PURREQ ORDERS01

The example shows you that sales orders can be exchanged in different file formats. There may be some customers who accept the latest IDoc format ORDERS02, while others still insist on receiving the old format ORDERS01.

The IDoc format for sales orders would also be used to transfer a purchase requisition. While the format remains the same, the different message type signals that it is not an actual order but a request.Partner profiles play an important role in EDI communications. They are parameter files which store the EDI partner dependent information.Partner profiles define the type of data and communication paths of data to be exchanged between partner .

When data is exchanged between partners, it is important that sender and receiver agree on the exact syntax and semantics of the data to be exchanged. This agreement is called a partner profile and tells the receiver the structure of the sent file and how its content is to be interpreted.For any combination of message type and receiving partner, a profile is maintained .

The following information is defined with the partner profile.

• IDoc type and message type as key identifier of the partner profile
• Names of sender and receiver to exchange the IDoc information for the respective IDoc and message type .

• Logical port name via which the sender and receiver, resp. will communicate

The communication media is assigned by the profile.

If you exchange e.g. sales orders with partners, you may do this via different media with different customers. There may be one customer to communicate with you via TCP/IP (the Internet) while the other still insists on receiving diskette files.

Profiles cannot be transported :

They must be defined for every R/3 client individually. They cannot be transported using the R/3 transport management system. This is because the profile contains the name of the sending system, which is naturally different for consolidation and production systems.

Profiles define the allowed EDI connections :

The profiles allow you to open and close EDI connection with individual partners and specify in detail which IDocs are to be exchanged via the interface.

Profiles can also used to block an EDI communication :

The profile is also the place to lock permanently or temporarily an IDoc communication with an EDI partner. So you shut the gate for external communication with the profile.