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What Is an Internet Transaction Server?

Kenneth W. Michael Wills
Kenneth W. Michael Wills

Developed by SAP, Internet Transaction Server (ITS) is a system application that marked the first concerted effort by the company to extend business applications to the Internet through a Web browser. This was accomplished by programming ITS to convert screens within SAP software into HTML, thereby enabling Internet-based technologies to interact with SAP software programs. Used as a middleware component, ITS allows a number of SAP programs within the R/3 group to access the Web. Due to a number of end-clients increasingly relying on remote computing, ITS was developed to help those customers meet their needs. Designed to link SAP with the global community through the Internet, the program has evolved to efficiently forward SAP software to the Internet.

Internet Transaction Server has the ability to handle a diverse range of Web technologies for accessing SAP applications. Using SAP GUI interface, both Web Transaction and SAP GUI for HTML are two such options. Leveraging RFC Protocol, Web Reporting, WebRFC and ITS Flow Logic are three more options. Internet Applications Components is an option as well that uses a template-based layout. While each technology uses a different approach, ITS is able to communicate with each technology and transfer the resulting information to a Web browser through ITS and a Web server.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

Simplifying the explanation, Internet Transaction Server maps SAP architecture to the Internet. Working from the Internet, a user will interact with Internet technology that in turn communicates with a Web server. From there, the Web server will interact with ITS to establish contact with the SAP system. ITS takes over from that point and works behind the scenes to transmit the required information back to the Web server and the user. Resulting from the ITS interaction is an HTML page presented to the user for each transaction screen, while incorporating a template when changes are made.

Solving the problem with R/3 Systems having technical difficulties in communicating with the Internet, the Internet Transaction Server thereby connects the two systems. Thus, ITS controls both the login procedure between the two systems as well as the information flow, while managing the information session. Considered a central component to mySAP Group, ITS benefits a number of SAP applications to include, among others, SAP ERP, SAP Enterprise Buyer Professional (EBP) and SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). For business, the main benefit of ITS is real-time integration of data housed in SAP applications, without having to duplicate that data.

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