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In this blog I would like to share my ideas about roles (or the so called “Cockpits”) which are dedicated to the Wholesale industry: 

Business Background:

Especially Wholesale Distribution companies often consist of up to thousands of branches and brands that serve the needs of many customers. This also implies that a huge daily work load has to be processed by the employees of these Wholesale Distributors. It is therefore crucial for the overall performance and success of these companies to get this workload assigned to and done by the employees in the right order and the right time by making the right decisions.

Facing that background it is obvious that employees require an IT-system that provides a holistic and unique access to all the information and applications they need to accomplish their daily tasks in an easy and usable way. All the workload an employee is responsible for needs to be presented properly by a system which supports the decision which work item has to be processed next. The performance of the employee as well as the overall performance of the company is also provided by the system.

These requirements are covered by so called “Cockpits” – which is a more internal description. In fact technically spoken cockpits are roles with corresponding work centres and as such part of the business packages (portal content) of SAP ERP 6.0 / SAPNetWeaver.


A role in the portal enables users to access applications and transactions that they require to carry out the tasks of a particular role in the enterprise. The applications and transactions can be accessed as services in the portal, regardless of the back-end system in which they are located.

A role provides users with simple, direct access to the services that they use more or less regularly, regardless of the system in which the services are executed. A role can comprise several so calles work centers, which bundle the services for a particular task within a role. A work center is therefore the starting point for an employee’s work and from a technical point of view a workset in the business package.

As of SAP ERP 6.0 there are already a lot of business packages (portal content) / roles embedded. For the wholesale industry most important are the following ones:

  • Business package for the role “Buyer” (enhanced with SAP ERP 6.0 EhP 3)
  • Business Package for the role “Internal Sales Representative” (SAP ERP 6.0 EhP 2 and planned enhancements with SPA ERP 6.0 EhP4)
  • Business Package for the role of a “Warehouse Operations Manager” (new with SAP ERP 6.0 EhP 3).

Technical Infrastructure:

The technical infrastructure for using iViews can differ from role to role (e.g. in case when reports are also part of the role which data origins from the business warehouse). Therefore the following list refers to the business packages for the roles of the “Internal Sales Representative”, the “Warehouse Operations Manager” and the “Buyer” only:


  • SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.0
  • SAP ECC 6.0
  • SAP Business Information Warehouse 3.5
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 as recommended browser.
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