Integrate ServiceNow and SAP

Create Incidents directly from SAP with all relevant information attached

Integrate ServiceNow and SAP

Learn how conveniently you can connect your SAP and ServiceNow systems using STA Ticket System.

The most significant feature of this integration is that the complete technical and business context is attached to all incidents created from SAP. This brings immense value for your support staff and helps them solve problems much faster.

This post will describe integration using both Inbound Email Actions and the REST API of ServiceNow to create incidents.

What is STA Ticket System?

It is an add-on for SAP systems that must be installed on the SAP application server. It extends the SAP GUI with a menu item that allows users to report errors directly from the screen where the error happened. It works with R/3 based SAP systems that use the SAP Netweaver platform (for example SAP ECC, SAP BW) and the latest S/4 HANA systems as well.

Create incidents from the SAP GUI

Your SAP end-users can report errors right from the SAP GUI so there is no need pick up the phone, write emails or to open a browser window and log into ServiceNow to create the incident manually. The process is simple:

SAP users can start STA Ticket System in the transaction where the error occurred using the System menu. After that, the main screen appears where they can enter a description of the problem and fill the ServiceNow fields. This part of the screen can be customized so you can include all your custom ServiceNow fields as well.

Press “Send” when finished to create the Incident in ServiceNow. The program will collect all relevant information regarding the SAP system, SAP user and currently running program and attach them to the generated incident in ServiceNow. It will additionally attach a screenshot, an authorization report for the current user and optionally a shortcut to the transaction where the error happened.

All this extra information provides enormous benefit to the service desk staff. There is no need to clarify every missing detail with the caller to be able to start solving the problem. This may save days of waiting for clarification for multinational companies especially if SAP support is outsourced.

Inbound Email Actions

ServiceNow can convert incoming emails to incidents, which is a great feature that allows a simple integration. The standard SAPoffice module is used for sending emails to a support address specified in a configuration transaction. That mailbox is polled by ServiceNow in regular intervals (every 1-2 minutes) and if an email arrives with a specific format, an Inbound Email Action will be executed. This Inbound Email Action will parse the incoming email and can populate the incident fields, short and long description and add all attachments of the email to the incident.

The REST API

The REST API of ServiceNow offers web services that can be called from our SAP add-on. This requires basically no configuration in ServiceNow and very little on the SAP side. You have to install an SSL certificate of your ServiceNow server in transaction STRUST and set up an RFC destination to the ServiceNow server.

You can get an overview of the REST API of ServiceNow here: https://developer.servicenow.com/app.do#!/catlist/c_GettingStartedWithREST-Container

Inbound Email Actions or REST API?

You can use both interfaces to create incidents from SAP systems. It depends on your service desk processes in place and on your infrastructure whether you should choose REST API or Inbound Email Actions.

Choose Inbound Email Actions if it is difficult to make a connection from the SAP systems to ServiceNow (because of firewalls etc.). Using SAPoffice to send emails also makes storing all error reports as outgoing emails possible, which is good for reference. A drawback of using emails is that the end user may not get an immediate error message if the incident cannot be created, because the incident may be created a few minutes after submitting it in SAP.

Choose the REST API if you want to use a fast and modern interface or if you do not have SAPoffice set up, which is required for sending emails from SAP. Additionally, users can immediately get a feedback if the creation of the incident was successful or not.

Alternatively, you can create incident by sending them as an email to a specified support desk mailbox (like [email protected]) and then technicians can process them. They may decide to create a incident from it (either manually or by forwarding the email to another mailbox monitored by ServiceNow to execute Inbound Email Actions) or classify it as user error and reply to the email. This is the approach which keeps your existing processes in place, so SAP users can’t create incident in ServiceNow directly.

Add your own ServiceNow fields

You can add your custom fields used in ServiceNow to the customer subscreen part of the main screen of STA Ticket System. Additionally you can implement any special business logic you require, like filling fields with default values etc. We provide a template that you can use right out of the box, simply copy and modify it to include your own business logic. Your own ABAP developers can do this or we can provide consulting services to implement everything you need.

Benefits

Having all information readily available in every incident that is created, you can expect a significant reduction in ticket resolution time. Additionally, since it is much quicker to submit an error report, your SAP users will have to spend less time on reporting problems from their valuable working time. All these result in a significant reduction of SAP maintenance costs as well as other indirect benefits, like less system downtime and job satisfaction.

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