What is Middleware?: The middleware is the mechanism in CRM that enables the replication, synchronization and distribution of data in the CRM system and with other systems. It links together the various types of data producers (mobile clients, R/3 back-end systems, Business Information Warehouse, etc.) within a CRM landscape, and provides all components with the necessary information.
What does the landscape of CRM and it’s integrated systems look like?: An SAP CRM system could be integrated with ECC (R/3 system) as a backend system, for e.g. replicating products, customers… but also configuration data. SAP CRM also has integration with BI for sending data, that then can be transformed into BI reports. SAP CRM has an integration with SAP APO for checking the availability of products directly in the sales order. It also has integration with CRM Web UI for displaying the screens. Integration is also there for synchronizing data to and from mobile clients and also Integrated functionalities in the interaction center, such as telephony systems and E-mailing.
How are the integrated systems connected?: : Exchange of data between CRM and external systems is performed via adapters. They are able to map and convert data between various formats.
Plug-In (PI): : For a connected SAP R/3 (ECC) backend system a Plug-In (PI), installed on the R/3 system, acts as a counterpart to the R/3 adapter in CRM. This Plug-In transfers as well customizing data as master, transaction and condition data, in either delta (changes only) or initial mode.
XIF (eXternal InterFace) Adapter: : A 3rd Party system connects via the XIF (eXternal InterFace) Adapter. It transfers data from and to the system usually via http(s), SOAP and XML documents or via RFC and IDocs documents.
queued Remote Function Call: : The qRFC (queued Remote Function Call) is a mechanism of an in- and outbound queue that distribute data that is transferred from and to CRM. Also in R/3 an in- and outbound queue take care of the data distribution.