Integrating ServiceNow with SAP Solution Manager

To date Fruition Partners has run more than 50 implementations of ServiceNow, many of them being global deployments within major international companies. And everybody knows that the big guys run SAP (humm… should I say it like that?). SAP always plays a significant role in the IT landscape of companies where it is implemented and supporting SAP keeps usually quite some people busy in there! Then we were asked several times to interface SAP with ServiceNow and would like to share with you some of our experience on this as we feel more and more demand… Hot stuff!

First of all let’s put on the table that we never made 2 times the exact same integration! As there are not 2 same implementations of SAP or of ServiceNow! Companies have their own ways of doing and they need to design their processes to best fit their business. Here some examples of the scope and functions we were requested to develop when interfacing ServiceNow and SAP Solution Manager (SolMan):

Customer 1

  • Synchronous and bidirectional interface of ServiceNow’ Service Requests to SAP. From an end user perspective it consist in the creation of “Support Requests” in SAP SolMan directly from the Service Requests Catalog of ServiceNow. Statuses are fed back from SAP SolMan to ServiceNow.
  • Similarly as above with Problems in ServiceNow spawning Support Requests in SAP SolMan.

Customer 2

  • Bidirectional asynchronous interface in the Change Management area, ServiceNow manages the whole governance of the change process (workflows) while SAP SolMan manages the execution of SAP changes (transports).
  • Development of a matrix of possible status changes which manages the validation of incoming messages.
  • Error management of the interface via ServiceNow Event Management process using the “Retry Policy plugin”.

Customer 3

  • Creation of Incidents directly from SAP GUI “Submit a Support Message” (via SAP SolMan), asynchronous unidirectional transfer to ServiceNow.
  • Bidirectional asynchronous interface in the Change Management area. Change Requests and Change Tasks are sent from ServiceNow as Support Messages in SAP SolMan to manage the SAP implementation process of changes. Implementation statuses are reflected back in ServiceNow.
  • Nothing to do with SAP SolMan but we also implemented an interface with SAP HCM which is the users’ referential for this company (where AD does not contain all users data needed in ServiceNow).

Technically, all interfaces were implemented using Webservices. The following ServiceNow plugins were used:

  • System Web Service.
  • Scripted Web Service.
  • Static WSDL Web Service.

The use of which one was depending on the skills of SAP people on customer side. Some customers did use SAP PI as middleware while others did interface directly with the SAP SolMan system.

Attachments were allowed in objects transferred between the 2 systems. These were handled with 2 different approaches:

  • As separated calls from SAP SolMan using the default ServiceNow Attachment Creator.
  • Coming as variable part of the main XML message obliging ServiceNow to parse the XML Doc and to make separated calls to Attachment Creator mechanism.

Obviously the idea is not to get too technical but to pass the message that integration with SAP is not taboo anymore. It is a mastered discipline that works productively today at several customers.

For more details do not hesitate to contact us at info [at] aspediens.com.

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