What are IDOCs and how you can use them

Dmitry Kaglik

November 4, 2019

SAP

1 Comment

IDOC, or Idoc, or IDoc. This is an abbreviation that every SAP consultant hears from time to time. What is this?

It is an Intermediary Document, a format of data exchange between different systems introduced by SAP. You can use IDOCs to exchange information between different SAP systems within a landscape, between your and external SAP systems, between your SAP system and external non-SAP system, and even within SAP system itself.

Each IDOC has its own type and logical message specification. These are IDOCs metadata – they describe the structure of IDOC, fields, their types, levels of records etc. SAP delivers a large number of IDOC types for standard processes, but of course you have an option to create your own IDOC types for your own purposes.

SAP Expert has already written about different ways to use IDOCs. Let’s recap these and see how SAP standard IDOCs can help you in your processes.

Aligning of SAP master data

There is a number of IDOCs that allow you to send and receive master data. SAP Expert wrote in details about information exchange for Cost Centres, Profit Centres, their hierarchies, Internal Orders, Banks and so on. There are also standard IDOC types for vendor, customers and other master data objects.

Posting an invoice

You can exchange invoice information with your counterparties in IDOC format, and SAP Expert mentioned IDOCs as one of the methods to post vendor invoices.

Post sales data

IDOCs are widely used to exchange information between ERP system and Retail-specific systems like POS via POS DM, CAR and so on. Of course, you can use the same approach even if you are not in Retail industry, but still manage sales in an external system.

Send payment information

Some banks allow you to transmit payment information in IDOC format, and SAP Expert mentioned IDOCs as one of the methods to pay your vendor.

Receive bank statement

If you can send payment information via IDOC, it sounds logical that banks can enable electronic bank statement delivery via the IDOC mechanism too. And some banks provide you with this possibility. SAP Expert mentioned IDOCs as one of the methods to import EBS in your SAP system.

Do you use IDOCs in your system? What processes do you support with them?

Maybe you need help with IDOCs? Ask SAP Expert for help!

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