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.