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SAP Best Practices And The SAP Discovery System

The SAP Discovery System is a wonderful sandbox. It puts an entire system landscape, and the functional components of the SAP NetWeaver platform, into one physical box. You can set it up and start experimenting with enterprise SOA in a matter of days. Disney had the system set up and was already using high level scenarios within the first month. And then came the next logical questions: How is the backend configured? What if I want to create a sales order? Or what if I want to create a cash sales order? So all these detailed questions are coming and now this customer needs to go into the backend system and understand how the business processes are configured. And that’s why the SAP Discovery System team created detailed documentation for the box using SAP Best Practices. What exactly do I mean by SAP Best Practices? Specifically, SAP Best Practices:

  • Are the sound foundation for prepackaged ready-to-use business solutions
  • Cover well-proven business scenarios that help to exploit the potentials of SAP ERP
  • Provide adaptable building block technology which enables you to implement and customize your solution in a very flexible way

Sales Order Processing and Purchase Order Processing This graphic depicts the scenario I’ll be talking about. It’s a standard SAP Discovery System configuration, but it encompasses two separate and very common business processes. First we utilize SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (XI) to access the SAP ERP system and create a sales order. Then we analyze stock, which goes to BW and extracts information from ERP. Request Quotation goes through portal, BI, MDM, but ultimately the quotations come from external services. This one does not touch ERP because it’s just using XI components to contact the external vendor. Then the goods are received, and we dive back into the ERP system. So we are running an order to cash and purchase to pay process on the SAP Enterprise Core Components (ECC) 6.0 ERP level that utilizes many of the other components that are provided. Now let’s say you want to create another sales order. But in this instance you want to include the receiving of the cash. Does the system support it? Will it work? How do you go about making this modification? Let’s find out. Go into the D: drive in the SAP Discovery System, in the folder BP_CDS (Best Practices CDs) and then into the Best Practices Guides. This is where all the documentation of everything configured in the SAP ERP system resides. (The box ships with baseline guides for the US, but we also have Best Practices documentation for all countries.) Now click on Index.htm to navigate all the options. Go into Solution Map and you’ll see the general ledger. You’ll also find localization information and a demo offering (similar to SAP Tutor). All of this documentation can also be found online. Go to http://help sap.com, and choose the SAP Best Practices tab along the top of the page. Under baseline packages, and ECC 5.0, you’ll see there is a localization for US, right here. This is the exact same thing that we have inside the box. The preconfigured scenarios are probably the most interesting area here, because it includes information on the predefined business scenarios that cover the key functional areas of SAP ERP, including extended sales order processing. You can also find a scenario overview and configuration guides, which give step-by-step walkthroughs of the configuration process. So if you like a particular scenario, this will show you how to configure it on your own development system. And this is done on the SAP ERP side, these are the core scenarios that have to be configured in order to get the entire system working. There are also business process procedures available. These teach you how to go through the process from inside the system. Creating a sales order, for example, and what is the material number to be used, the ship to party, pay to party, the plant and then the sales organization and distribution channel. By looking at this one document you will find all of the data necessary for creating the sales order in your own system. The UI is actually pre-mapped into the process itself, so the process integration part has all been added into the services as a default. The backend shows the true requirements and how it is being mapped, if you need that view as well. Configuration is normally done manually, and it can take a long time. But with the Best Practice Installation Assistant, most of the configuration can be activated automatically. And this is just a fraction of what is available within the SAP ERP section of the SAP Best Practices guides. Documentation and configuration guides for , Financial, Human Capital Management, Procurement and Logistics Execution are delivered inside as well. Most customers purchase the SAP Discovery System for blueprinting purposes, which means they experiment with a scenario and then want to realize it in their own development system. SAP Best Practices provides a working baseline from which to extend and even customize the scenarios. If there is a scenario that interests you – and there must be at least one here that does – dive into the documentation and go through the processes. Get familiar with one scenario that will have an immediate impact on your organization. For more information on the SAP Discovery System, visit our home page on SDN at https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/esadiscovery, or post your questions to our forum on SDN at SAP Discovery System

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