Power Automate Secure Custom Connector for SAP
Transports Company, a notable player in the logistics and transportation sector, recently embarked on a project to enhance its SAP system integration. The objective was to establish a more streamlined and secure connection between their SAP systems and operational applications, focusing on practicality and efficiency.
- Industry: Logistics and Transportation
- Organization Size: 100,000+ Employees
- Location: Multiple Global Locations
- Background: With a significant presence in the logistics industry, Transports Company has been adapting to technological changes to improve its operational efficiency and customer service.
The company faced challenges in integrating SAP systems with its operational tools. The existing process was inefficient and raised concerns regarding data security and compliance. The aim was to find a practical solution for SAP data interaction that could be integrated into their existing system.
The chosen approach was the development of a Power Automate Secure Custom Connector for SAP. This solution was designed to work within the company's Power Apps environment, offering a more secure and manageable way to access SAP data.
- Products and Services Used: Microsoft Azure, Power Apps, Custom Connector for SAP
- Solution Overview:
- Custom Connector Design: Developed to meet specific SAP data interaction needs.
- Azure Integration: Utilized Azure's security features for data integrity and compliance.
- Power Apps Integration: Enabled Power Apps to securely interact with SAP data, reducing direct API call risks.
Detailed Solution Architecture
The architecture of the solution is outlined as follows:
Power App UI / Power Automate Flows: These are the front-end components where users interact with the system. Power Apps provide the user interface, and Power Automate Flows automate the business processes.
Custom Connector: Acts as the intermediary between the Power Apps/Flows and the Azure services. It handles secure API calls to the backend services.
App Service 1: This Azure App Service acts as the initial proxy layer. It receives requests from the Custom Connector and forwards them to App Service 2. It also incorporates Azure Entra ID for user authentication, ensuring secure access.
App Service 2: Functions as a reverse proxy and WAF. It receives requests from App Service 1 and routes them to the appropriate Azure Functions. This layer is crucial for efficient request management and routing.
Azure Functions: These are designed to execute the business logic. Each function corresponds to a specific endpoint of the source REST API. They interact directly with the Source APIs and are secured using Azure API keys.
Source REST APIs (Source): These external APIs (e.g., SAP system APIs) are the final data endpoints. Azure Functions interact with these APIs, managing data retrieval and updates.
This architecture ensures a secure, efficient flow of data and processes, maintaining data integrity and compliance with industry standards.
The implementation involved:
- Developing the Custom Connector to align with SAP interaction requirements.
- Integrating this connector with the company's existing Power Apps.
- Ensuring the solution met security standards and data protection laws.
- Testing for functionality and security.
- Training staff for effective use of the new system.
Results and Benefits
Post-implementation, the company observed:
- Improved Efficiency: More streamlined SAP data processing.
- Better Security: Enhanced data security and compliance.
- Adaptability: The solution's flexibility to meet growing business demands.
- User Feedback: Positive responses from users, noting improved data access and ease of use.
This initiative marks a progression in the overarching digital transformation efforts of the Transports Company, paving the way for potential future expansions in digital integration. The expense app has been redesigned, transitioning from power app Templates to utilizing dataverse and SAP Z tables for enhanced data management.
The Power Automate Secure Custom Connector for SAP represents a practical approach to enhancing SAP system integration for Transports Company, demonstrating a viable way of leveraging technology to address specific business needs.