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Can I use SAP CRM middleware for XML communication between systems?

A reader who is planning to implement SAP CRM on SAP's Enterprise Portal seeks advice from Srini Katta on how to connect an R/3 system and non-SAP systems to CRM on the front end.

We are planning for an SAP CRM implementation on SAP Enterprise Portal. There are two non-SAP systems and one R/3 system in the system landscape at present, all of which need to be connected to CRM on the front end. Is it possible to use SAP CRM middleware for the XML communication between systems?
During an SAP CRM implementation, SAP CRM and SAP R/3 systems can be brought into the landscape using standard SAP middleware. In this way you can take advantage of standard out-of-box functionality. You can also look into an ASCI adapter or an XML adapter to connect non-SAP systems with SAP CRM. However, I recommend using the SAP XI interface because it allows greater flexibility and functionality, instead of an ASCI or an XML adapter, which has limited functionality.

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