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Well, as far as I know it really depends on the ERP you're punching out from. SAP uses OCI structure in order to punch out to the catalog site whereas Oracle iProcurement uses cXML or Oracle native XML, but not OCI at all.
I don't know about a generic ERP. The customer should tell you which method his ERP uses to make the request. In case a generic uses both (just guessing, no idea at all) I would go for the OCI method. It seems to me clearer to understand, and very easy to test (actually it's just an HTML file with a POST method and you pass all the needed parameters). The cXML is not hard to test, but mainly hard to figure out how to build the test file. I got to create a cXML test file just to simulate you're punching out from Oracle, but then you need to "catch" the communication between the request and the host (Ariba Network acting as a hub before let you in all the way to APC) with a web debugger such as FIDDLER. The documentation is also a handicap: I found SAP OCI documentation very easy and intuitive whereas Oracle has a bunch of guides, but it's hard to figure out the communication between the three entities involved.
In short, cXML testing is doable, but if you're given both choices (OCI and cXML), I'd definitely go for OCI.
Hope this helps.
i was just asking in general . Not related to any specific ERP..
i came aross about the modes of using communication protocols in Ariba.
One Step Mode & Two Step Mode.
One Step mode is being prefered by OCI punchout in where in procurement system that use bowser URL for initail set up, authentication as well
as buyers to complete their shopping cycle . In this case if something get fails at any step then there is no way to track that at which step it was failed, it was failed due to authentication step or registration step or failed due to some other reason.
Two Step mode - this user cXML where the communication mode is divided into two steps.
step one - the initial set up, registration and authentication. once these steps are done step two starts.
step two - in this case a new browser window opens and where buyer can complete their shopping cycle.
in two step mode we can easily track about the status..