The ERP Connector implements communication processes between Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 and mySAP™ ERP that rely on the Service for Enterprise Data Maintenance (EDM) and the Project Data Service (PDS). A component in the mySAP ERP solution exports data that is imported into Project Server and vice-versa. A server-based instance of the ERP Connector controls communication between the systems.
In consideration of data security, an administrator initiates actions on the sending system. Data from mySAP ERP is pushed through the Export Services component on mySAP ERP, not pulled by the ERP Connector on Project Server. The push architecture satisfies an important requirement for many businesses, that mySAP ERP maintain control of the data. One result of this architecture is that you can modify the solution starter implementation of the ERP Connector to conform to any human resources or finance application.
Figure 1 shows the high-level architecture of the ERP Connector. Project Server and mySAP ERP each generate XML files that contain the data to be exchanged, and drop the files in the shared directory that is configured for the Service for EDM. The Service for EDM monitors the file drop directory and initiates a transaction when mySAP ERP drops an XML file in the directory. The ERP Connector logs all results into the system event log.
Note ERP Connector does not use XML files when it exports actual reported hours from Project Server to mySAP ERP; instead, it exports actual hours using a comma-separated value (CSV) file.
The ERP Connector consists of two main components:
- Export Services are installed on mySAP ERP.
- ERP Connector PDS Extensions are installed on Project Server.
Figure 1. Architecture of the ERP Connector
Depending on the type of transaction, mySAP ERP triggers the corresponding Export Service to produce the requested data, and sends an XML file to the drop directory of the Project Server system. When the Export Service drops a PDS request file in the folder, the Service for EDM processes the file. The PDS request files have the following
format, where ERP Connector PDS Extension Method is one of the PDS extensions installed with ERP Connector:
The Service for EDM identifies the file as a PDS command and sends the XML request to the PDS interface of Project Server. The PDS itself determines whether the command is an extension and sends it to a built-in PDS method or the correct registered ERP Connector PDS extension.
ERP Connector PDS Extensions
Several PDS extensions are registered by the ERP Connector. Each extension controls a specific kind of data, such as the following:
- mySAP ERP Human Capital Management data (human resource, or HR)
- mySAP ERP Financials CO and PS subsystems data (internal orders and project/task accounting)
- Exported timesheet actuals
For more information about the PDS extensions for the ERP Connector, see PDS Extensions .
Each PDS extension in the ERP Connector logs its own results. The PDS extensions for each module create entries in the Application event log of the operating system. You can use the Windows Event Viewer to see the ERP Connector event log entries. The HR module also creates an XML error log that enables data corrections and reprocessing without requiring a new output from mySAP ERP.
You can manage the ERP Connector configuration and execution through an ASP.NET administration options page that you add in the Admin center of Project Web Access. The ERP Connector administration page includes configuration of field mapping, synchronization of schedule, and other settings. The ERP Connector stores configuration data in a separate XML file. Figure 2 shows a generalized UML diagram for the connector for mySAP ERP Human Capital Management.
Figure 2. Generalized UML diagram of the connector for mySAP ERP HCM
Note The ERP Connector sample in the solution starter does not implement access security to the administration ASP.NET pages. A developer for Project Server can implement additional security features, for example, by using the Project Server Security Object .