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What should be the right way to handle your master data with SAP applications.

Most of us will probably say: just use SAP Master Data Managemet. But is that answer

clear? Should we have no doubts when we hear it ? I believe there are still many

questions you need to consider even if you want to utilize MDM with your SAP systems.


Those of you who tried to connect different SAP systems (like ERP, CRM, SRM etc.)

in pre-MDM era know that SAP has put lot of effort to facilitate that with the creation 

of many special programs/reports or even whole middleware (CRM). Can we use it

together with MDM? The question remains open but I will try to put a few arguments 

for and against of doing that.


The demo landcape can look like shown below.  




Three SAP applications ERP, SRM, and CRM need to use vendor data. Both CRM and

SRM have special prgrams that make it very easy to get it from ERP and ERP can be

connected with MDM directly. 




  • no need to use create interfaces from MDM (via XI) to all systems – just use standard reports
  • if you already have ERP – MDM connection working no need to change anything in MDM – XI flow   
  • changes to master data distributed from MDM are additionally validated in ERP
  • there is no need to expect any additional performance issues with XI as this scenario will have the same amount of messages like it had when only ERP – MDM flow was in place   



  • if you have any special fields that do not exist in standard you need to create them in two systems (MDM and ERP) and not only in MDM 
  • if you need any special fields you need to change programs in many systems and not only in source and target systems


On the other hand our landscape can look like that: 



In the second case every SAP system is directly connected (probably with the use of

Exchange Infrastructure) with MDM – so with SAP’s true Master Data Management solution. 




  • if you need to have any non standard fields you only need to create them in MDM’s repository and in target system – no other system which doesn’t utilize them is involved
  • you can also use utilize some standard interfaces and predelivered XI content to create/update vendors(business partners) in all SAP systems




  • when adding new systems to your SAP landscape you will not only need application specilist (CRM, SRM) but also someone who knows MDM and XI
  • in some cases XI performance will have to be considered – if it’s used extensively for other flows  
  • there is no additional validation like the one mentioned in ERP system in the first approach  


As you see there are always some advantages and disadvantages for any choice.

I ‘d like to encourage you to post your comments to this blog – which approach did you

take with many SAP systems and MDM. Maybe there is even another way to go with

that sort of integration.   

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  1. Andy Silvey
    Hi Michael,

    after conquering XI you now move into MDM.

    I look forward with interest to learning about MDM from your blogs in the same way that I have learn’t so much from you about XI through your blogs.

    All the best,

    Petr Solberg (Pseudonym).

    1. Michal Krawczyk Post author
      Hi Petr,

      MDM is quite well described in blogs so you can
      start reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      but feel free to comment any of my blogs ๐Ÿ™‚
      I will try to make them as “developer friendly”
      as possible ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Former Member

        Hi Michal,

        You just mentioned the vendor master data.

        What is about the material?

        The SRM application also has Middleware.

        We have a case recently below:

        The background information of the customer is :

        1. This is a big enterprise having about 20 branches.
        2. They built an central SAP MDM system in the headquarter.
        3. They implemented decentralized SAP ERP and Non-SAP ERP in different branches.
        4. The implemented SAP MDM is just manage 4 companies’ master data now but planned to roll-out to all of the branches.
        5. MDM is the master data management center(Control: Master data application, Workflow & distribution ) in the 4 companies which MDM was implemented.
        6. There is only basic view data of material in the SAP MDM.
        7. There is no purchase organization data of vendor in the SAP MDM.

        What is the better way of the master data synchronization we suppose to use in this case? We should suggest master data synchronization from MDM -> ERP -> SRM or MDM –> ERP / MDM -> SRM ?

        If you have document explaining the standard design of integration or system architecture between SAP ERP-SAP SRM-SAP MDM, please kindly help to send us a copy.

        Thanks for your great support and best regards.


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