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Former Member

diff b/w conversions and interfaces

Hi Guru's,

What is the difference b/w conversions and interfaces

Thanks in advance

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4 Answers

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    Former Member
    Posted on Aug 22, 2007 at 01:37 PM


    Conersions are done one time. e.g: Customer Master, Vendor Master.

    Interfaces will be executed for multiple times based on the frequency. It may a sales order created in a day available in flat file. Those needs to be uploaded by end of the day.

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    Former Member
    Posted on Aug 22, 2007 at 01:38 PM


    The words were chosen for what they mean. A conversion means data that is converted from one format to another format and from one system to another. So when you first implement SAP, you are actually replacing some of your legacy systems, but you are not completely trashing the data. You still need some of that data from the systems that are being replaced. So you pull the data out of your legacy systems and put them on some files. You then want to load that data into your new SAP system. That is when you write some programs which will read that data and load it into SAP. Imagine you had a home grown purchasing system. You are now replacing all that with SAP. But until SAP goes live, you want to keep using your home grown purchasing system. So during go live, you want to transfer the POs from your legacy system to SAP. Now a PO in your legacy system may not have the same fields as a PO in SAP. So you convert the data.

    Interfacing is connecting two or more different entities. In our case, it is connecting one or more systems with SAP. Now extending our previous example, you are replacing some legacy applications but there are some applications that you don't want to replace yet. You need to somehow pass data back and forth between SAP and these remaining systems. Data may be going one way or the other way or both ways. You will still need to do some data transformations/translations etc to make the data understandable to the receiving system. This will continue as long as you want to keep the systems running alongside SAP.

    In short, conversions are written to load data into SAP onetime. These are typically file based.

    Interfaces are written to exchange/update/send/receive data between SAP and other systems on an ongoing basis. These can be in many forms, file based, idoc based, real time(business connector, XI etc are useful in this), xml, and the list goes on.

    interface is primarily used when we are transferring data from /to R/3 from another system.

    This link will tell you all about Interfaces -


    Check these links also





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    Former Member
    Posted on Aug 22, 2007 at 01:45 PM

    Conversion, converting legacy system data into SAP data. Meaning that it is mainly a one shot deal, for example bringing your customer master to SAP from the legacy system, converting the fields used in legacy to the fields and values used in SAP.

    Interface, a program or group of programs that handle the passing of data from one system to another. These programs work together to export the data from one system and import into a target system, maybe these programs run once a day, maybe twice, may every hour throughout the day. It is a good way to keep the data in two or more systems in sync with each other.

    Interface programs are also data extract program. Data is extracted from SAP into a flat file and transferred to other external systems like UNIX, mainframe.

    In data extracts, the file layout is designed and this layout should be in synch with other external systems.

    Conversion : Data from External system to SAP.

    e.g LSMW, BDC, ALE/iDoc, BAPI etc

    Interface : Data from SAP to external system

    e.g. Reprots, ALE/IDOC etc

    Interface: it is a program that performs communication with External system from SAP.

    There are two types of interfaces:

    1. Inbound Interface: External system sends the data to SAP

    2. Outbound Interface: SAP sends the data to External system.

    Let's take a scenario:

    There are two Systems SAP ERP and Seibel CRM

    Scenario1: Whenever an Order is created in Seibel CRM system it has to be transferred to SAP where the Order confirmation, Delivery and Billing will be performed. This can be enabled by using IDOC as inbound interface.

    Scenario2: Whenever a New customer is Created in SAP ERP this customer data has to be transferred to Seibel CRM using Outbound IDOC / RFC.

    Basically interfaces are implemented using RFC, BAPI, ALE/IDOC.


    Migration of data from Legacy system before GO Live (One time data transfer).

    So Conversions are always INBOUND interfaces.

    Conversions are performed using Batch input(BDC), LSMW and BAPI.



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    Former Member
    Posted on Aug 23, 2007 at 05:16 AM

    very helpfull

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