The important questions to be asked when partners are processed in transactions are –
1. Which partners are mandatory in a transaction?
2. Should the partners be determined automatically or entered manually?
3. What action in the transaction should trigger partner determination?
4. Should the partner determination happen at the item level also?
5. Should alternative partners be proposed for partners already saved or for empty partner functions?
These questions will be answered by partner processing. The following are the elements in partner processing –
Partner Function Category – Used by the system for identifying the partner function and the business partners who carry out the responsibilities. Predefined by SAP and cannot be changed or created. Partner function categories can be defined as predefined “classifications” to which partner functions are assigned.
Partner Function – Describes the partners used in the organization. Each partner function belongs to a particular partner function category. Partner Functions are defined at spro -> Customer Relationship Management -> Basic Functions -> Partner Processing -> Define Partner Functions.
Partner Determination Procedure – Set of rules which control the working of business partners in transactions. It can be assigned to a transaction type and an item category. A partner determination procedure consists of procedure user, partner functions and interface settings. Partner Determination Procedures are maintained at spro -> Customer Relationship Management -> Basic Functions -> Partner Processing -> Define Partner Determination Procedure.
Access Sequence – Search strategy for determining the data sources for partner determination and the order in which to search for. Partner Determination Procedure combines partner functions and access sequences (and also contains more information). If no access sequence is maintained for a partner function in a partner determination procedure, then the partner can be entered manually. Access sequences are defined at spro -> Customer Relationship Management -> Basic Functions -> Partner Processing -> Define Access Sequences.
Partner functions and access sequences are created in customizing and partner determination procedure combines both of them (in addition to having additional information). This partner determination procedure is then assigned to a transaction type and / or item category. So the sequence will be Access Sequence -> Partner Function -> Partner Determination Procedure -> Transaction Type or Item Category.
When a transaction of a particular transaction type or item of a particular item category is created, the partner determination procedure assigned is used to automatically determine partners for the partner functions in the partenr determination procedure using the access sequence. So the sequence will be Transaction Type or Item Category -> Partner Determination Procedure -> Partner Functions -> Access Sequence.