Last year, one of our clients asked us to connect their SAP ERP system to the DB eSchenker web service interface. Purpose of this project was to submit delivery data (addresses, sizes and volumes, handling units, dates) in order to book transports automatically instead of doing so manually in the DB Schnenker portal. Since our client was already using our EDI converting framework Contux, we decided to use it (again) as middleware between the ERP system and the eSchenker web service.
As you can see in the image above, we used standard shipment IDocs to export the data from SAP ERP. Much like with other interfaces, we worked with the IDoc XML file output, since the number of messages per day is rather small. Nothing was extended in or added to the ERP system's output. Only the message definition and the conditions records had to be customized directly in SAP. Mappings (custom incoterms, handling unit types, format conversions) where completely moved to Contux.
In Contux, we build a simple message transformation to map the IDoc data to the input structure of the DB eSchenker service and to map certain fields (values used in SAP to values using in eSchenker). We also added a new adapter to call a SOAP web service from Contux. This was implemented using basic Java libraries.
After only a few days of implementation and testing, our clients were able to move the new interface to the production environment. Since then it has served them well and reduced the costs for transport registration dramatically. We also have a few ideas for extending the current solution. For example, it would be possible to directly print the registration papers from the Contux system.
If you would like to take advantage of our expertise in the design and implementation of EDI interfaces, maybe even with setting up an interface to DB eSchenker in your environment, please don't hesitate to get in touch.