Are SAP’s REST/JSON APIs Real?

What This Article Covers

  • The Question on REST/JSON APIs
  • The Consistency of Open APIs + Indirect Access?

Introduction

SAP has been telling customers that they are bringing out a large number of REST/JSON APIs. In this article, we will review the likelihood of these APIs becoming prevalent.

The Question

In recent discussions with SAP they have talked about web services becoming more standard and even mentioned 3000 REST/JSON APIs that are available on the platform (not sure which version?) and that is certainly a technology that my team has been ready for and would like to leverage.

That said, I’m not seeing signs of the many APIs that were reported.

Have you seen any research on SAPs ability to deliver this technology? Is it still in the works? Is there any customer adoption?

The Analysis

This plan has not been brought to my attention. But there are several reasons to be skeptical.

SAP’s History of Restricting Integration

SAP has always made it difficult to connect to SAP. This is a premeditated strategy designed to direct companies to SAP products. SAP has made numerous statements about making integration easier over the years, but it has tended to stay the same. This is one of the reasons that companies that use SAP have such a high IT overhead. Not only is integrating to SAP difficult but simply extracting data from SAP is more difficult than any other ERP system, because SAP does not allow customers to direct access tables, as do all other ERP vendors.

The Consistency of Open APIs + Indirect Access?

If SAP is opening up technically, why are they closing down access from the legal side?

Every one of those 3000 APIs is a potential indirect access violation.

According to SAP, SAP account executives are “not trained on indirect access,” so they can introduce the APIs one month, and then an “indirect access expert” can show up a year down the line and say “these connections are all indirect access violations, and you owe us $XXX.” There is no what to know if that would actually happen. SAP applies indirect access selectively.

None of my customers are using these APIs, and SAP is always introducing new things, so if they are new, we don’t know if they will take. This is the official site/pages for the APIs

Conclusion

There are articles going back to 2013 on SAP APIs, and if they are not “a thing” by this time, they probably won’t be.

So it sounds fishy. But this can be researched to find out. If the response requests for real information is that “its coming” then its probably fake. This is yet another example of how SAP account executives tell so many lies to prospects from and from so many dimensions.

References

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_smp304svr/helpdata/en/7c/0a4f017006101484238a3b00c4d5d0/frameset.htm, and it looks pretty thin.

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