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Integrating Variant Configuration with CRM and R/3

Middleware is enabled in SAP-CRM and integrated with backend R/3. In R/3 configurable products are created through variant configuration and in SAP-CRM configurable products and associated pricing is maintained in IPC (Internet Pricing Configuration) and PME (Product Modeling Engine). There are basic differences in the product behavior & product modeling principles in Variant Configuration in R/3 and IPC/PME in CRM. Configurable products in R/3 are downloaded into IPC as Knowledge Bases (KBs), however, for creating IPC compatible KBs, the products in R/3 should comply to the modeling principles prescribed by IPC/PME. These KB objects are transferred to CRM through runtime version generation.Product replication from R/3 to CRM (IPC/PME) is proving to be an issue, this requires product remodeling in R/3 and enhancements that to be developed in CRM side.

Following are the possible errors that may rise during product replication from R/3 to CRM and possible solution:

1. Writing of model values back to Sales documents.

This is carried using structures like SDCOM, VCSD_UPDATE in reference characteristics to write back the captured values to R/3 documents. In CRM the changed values are not analyzed and have only read access to input parameters for reference characteristics.With the implementation of customized tables and fields in SAP note# 545206, this error can be ignored during run time version generation.

2. BOM explosion settings

All Configuration Profiles with the None/Single-level setting must be converted to Multi-level (Tcode-CU42). There should be no specific problems or performance penalties introduced by this change. For permitted combinations of configuration profile please refer to SAP note# 148778.

3. Dependency Usage-Actions-Procedures

Actions are obsolete for a reason – they are inefficient and potentially ambiguous.  Actions must be recoded as Procedures, and augmented with the same conditional logic needed by Procedures. Actions must be converted to Procedures, with appropriate option during run time version generation (Tcode-CU34).

4. Dependency Allocation-Procedure

Current modeling practice is all procedures are assigned to characteristics and its values. This has to be modified and has to be assigned to configuration profile or to BOM item, since CRM supports dependencies assigned to configuration profile or BOM, unlike R/3.

5. Multiple configuration profile-for each material

 Configuration profile has to be maintained depending on the class type (general SAP class type 200 and 300, however class types can be configured). Each configuration profile will have its own KB run time version and R/3 supports this functionality with a pop-up dialog box.However in CRM this technique introduces significant challenges, because must select a particular KB run time version. To implement this technique CRM is required to customize the prompt for proper selection of KB object.

6. Data type restriction

Characteristics with data type Currency and Time cannot be used in CRM/IPC, however it is supported in R/3.

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