Case studies

GIS and SAP – Truly Integrated

GIS and SAP – Truly Integrated

GIS for non-GIS specialists – this is the motto of the Pfalzwerke Netz AG. AED-SICAD has implemented for the Pfalzwerke Netz the capturing of restricted areas within the SAP GUI to capture the areas of grid construction sites. Thus it is possible to capture graphical data without having to use a full GIS editing seat.

Background

Restricted areas define areas where grid construction projects are planned or are taking place. There are several advantages to save these areas within the GIS: The management can easily look up all information on important grid construction sites and check these within the right context. Furthermore, an important aspect is that these restricted areas are used within the UT Click-Before-You-Dig information service. For these areas, external construction companies must request special information due to the ongoing construction activities. Thus, these areas can be integrated into the automatic workflow for external information requests.

The restricted areas are typically first captured when planning and initiating grid construction projects. Typically, the employees who work in this area do neither have a full GIS editing seat nor do they have the necessary know-how to efficiently use a full GIS editing seat.

The Solution

In several projects AED-SICAD has demonstrated successfully that not only the graphical capturing of GIS objects can be integrated within the SAP GUI but also that it is possible to secure the transactions of GIS and SAP data in the background. The key technologies for this are the UT Integrator and the SAP frontend integration framework of AED-SICAD. Both technologies are ArcGIS-Server-based and allow the complete integration of the world of GIS with the one of SAP based on the SAP GUI.

The SAP Frontend Integration Framework

This framework by AED-SICAD which is based on the ArcGIS Server JavaScript API (Application Programming Interface) allows to integrate maps and GIS functions within the SAP GUI. Here it is important to recognize that both SAP and GIS functionality can be smoothly integrated and synchronized within the GUI. Thus system limits and fractures between systems are avoided.

The UT Integrator for Back End Integration

The UT Integrator is the core of the data integration between GIS and SAP. Based on standardized protocols (e.g. iDoc, SOAP, REST), data may be synchronized in the background. The synchronization and the transactions are secured. The data transfer can be controlled and administrated. Thus the UT Integrator is an Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tool which focuses on the specific needs of GIS (long transactions) and SAP (short transactions). The UT Integrator is certified by SAP for integration with SAP ERP.

Benefit

The GIS - SAP frontend integration at the Pfalzwerke Netz is a major milestone to allow for an easy and efficient operation of two critical enterprise IT applications. The benefits are clear: Project data and project areas can now be captured by the same employee. No special GIS know-how is required. The data are saved consistently in the SAP and the GIS database. Erroneous data entry can be avoided. And finally, of course also the actual time for capturing the restricted areas is greatly reduced.

“The integration of the capturing of the restricted areas within the SAP GUI allowed us to unify the process and greatly increase the acceptance of GIS functionality within the complete company“, says Dr. Silvia Schukraft, director of the Geographic Information Service at Pfalzwerke Netz. Obviously, this kind of implementation can also be extended to other areas and departments. Thus there are (almost) no limits to the continued quest for greater efficiency.

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