EDI inbound process overview

The inbound process uses IDoc type, port definition, posting programs, service programs, and configuration tables. The inbound process components are specified in the partner profile and configuration tables.

IDoc Types

The EDI document to be posted has an equivalent message type defined in the SAP system. The message type is based on an IDoc structure.

Posting Programs

Posting programs are implemented in the system as function modules. A posting program exists for each message type. The programs are named with the following naming convention:

IDOC_INPUT_message type

These function modules have a standard interface for their input and output parameters. The function modules can handle one IDoc or multiple IDocs of the same type simultaneously.

A process code is assigned to each posting program. Because process codes are flexible, you can assign any processing type to a process code. A process code can point to a function module or a workflow. In the standard system, process codes always use the Processing by Function module processing type with the Processing with ALE service option.

The Port Definition

In the inbound process, the port definition specifies the name of the input IDoc file and the directory path where the file is located.

The SAP Business Workflow

SAP business workflow represents a sequence of customized steps (dialog and background) that are to be carried out for a process. The workflow management system is used to model the sequence, the information required to carry out the various steps, and the person responsible for the dialog steps.
In workflow terminology, if there is only one step in a flow, it can be implemented using a single−step task. A single−step task is technically defined as a task described by an object method.

If there are multiple steps, they are implemented as a workflow that contains multiple single−step tasks.

The Partner Profile

A partner profile specifies the various components used in an inbound process (partner number, message type, or process code), the mode in which it communicates with the posting program (batch or immediate), and the person to be notified in case of errors.

A partner profile is created for each business partner, and a record exists for each inbound message received from a business partner.

Service Programs and Configuration Tables

The inbound process is asynchronous and can be regarded as a sequence of several processes that work together. To link the components and provide customizing options for an inbound process, SAP provides service programs and configuration tables. The process flow for the inbound process describes the role played by each service program.(43.2)

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