Chapter 2. SCM Architecture

In its earliest versions, APO was sold as an independent software application built on a data basis of SAP’s BW software platform (Business Information Warehouse) and integrated with SAP R/3 via a native Core Interface (CIF). Starting with version 4.0, current versions of APO are now distributed as one application within a much larger software platform of enterprise tools falling under the common label of Supply Chain Management (SCM). At the time of this text’s writing, SCM 4.1 is in general distribution and SCM 5.0 is in ramp with the expectation that SCM 5.0 will be in general distribution by the time of publication.

Besides APO, SCM 4.1 and 5.0 contain these other considerable enterprise business applications: Forecast and Replenishment, Inventory Collaboration Hub (ICH), and Event Management (EM). Furthermore, SCM remains built on the BW data basis that APO started with and retains its connection to R/3 via the CIF interface (Exhibit 2.1). R/3 itself, as part of a wider re-platforming project by SAP, is now distributed as the Enterprise Common Core (ECC). We’ll discuss R/3, its re-platforming, its relationship to APO, and the role of the CIF in integrating the two applications shortly. There is some word, too, that in future enhancements of SCM, SAP will do away with the CIF in favor of XML, but presently, even in 5.0, the CIF remains fundamental to APO’s data integration design and we will treat it here accordingly. Note, though, that where the CIF ...

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