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Tax Exemption Certificate:   Maintaining the tax exemptions based on exemption certificates issues by the local, state and federal governments was a challenge before EHP1. I know some companies that paid hefty penalties when they allowed tax exemptions without proper verification. There is clear ROI of EHP1 if your company deals with customers that seek tax exemptions as tax exemption application supports exemption certificate.  Tax exemption certificate feature is available as part of the SAP CRM billing and Tax Transaction Engine (TTE). System allows period based, amount based and onetime tax exemption certificate functionality. You can maintain exemption reasons and reason codes in the application. You can setup the validity of tax exemptions for certain products or services.  You assign the tax exemption certificate in the sold-to party account and system automatically picks up the tax exemption based on the preset criteria when you create an order.  You can setup a manual application of tax exemption after verification if necessary.  The billing run picks up the tax exemptions if any from the orders and no redetermination happen.  All invalid tax exemption certificates will be removed from the billing document. The billing checks the type of tax exemption and process accordingly (Ex: the billing engine ignores the tax exemption certificate in the subsequent billing document if it is one time tax exemption only).  The billing engine accumulates the exempt amount and links the billing documents with exempt for audit trail.

Enhanced Data Retention Tool (DARTX):  It’s great that your customers received tax exemption based on exemption certificates which are duly verified.  However the tax audits are random and tax authorities can potentially audit taxes that are filed in the past based on the agency laws. The period could be three years or more.  This means a company has to be ready for a possible tax audit. SAP has built tool similar to the tools that auditors use to extract, create retain and store set of data that is pertaining to audit at a later date.  This tool was originally developed for ERP and then they have enhanced the tool to be used with SAP CRM and GTS systems and called DARTX.

Performance improvements in One order object: Prior to EHP1, the total value on the header was calculated when an order or contract is opened.  In the process all the item values were called and cumulated which caused big hit on the performance. SAP made fundamental changes to improve significant performance improvement. With EHP1, a table holds the total values and no calculation happens when you display an order or contract.  The same was true with the order status which was derived based on the sum statuses of the line items when an order or contract is opened. Now the derived header status is stored in a table avoiding the redetermination when an order or contract is opened.

Asynchronous save:  Prior to EHP1   the save operation was synchronous and the user has to wait until the save is done.  System took considerable time to save a large order or contract with several 100s of line items.  Now the update or save is done asynchronously.  Users are no more required to wait until the save is completed.  You may have question that what if there is an error during the save process.

An express email is triggered to the user who called the update or save process on order or contract when an exception occurs.  The express mail is sent to the user email id.

Item search in large orders and contracts: In some industries the sales order and service contract could have 1000s of line items. Imagine the challenge of locating a particular line item for an update or review. It is no more a challenge with the item search functionality delivered with EHP1. The search is similar to the advanced search. There is BAdI available to enhance the item search further

Large transaction mode:  Pre EHP1, all the line items are loaded and displayed in pages when a contract or order was opened in the WebClient UI. This consumed considerable time to display the order or contract.  With large transaction mode the items in the first page are only loaded and the further pages will be loaded as the user navigates to those line items. By this way the order or contract is loaded much faster.  A user handling large orders and contract will see decent performance improvement with this mode. In customization you can setup threshold of the line items to designate an order or contract as a large transaction. 

Date rules and their calculation:  Previously the logic behind date rules is defined using XML rules parsing.  In EHP1 direct ABAP processing replacing the XML parsing made the calculation faster and hence the performance of an order or contract.

Kernel BAdI’s: the most frequently called BAdI’s are switched to the Kernel BAdI’s. The code from existing BAdI’s should be moved to kernel BAdI’s.   This paved the way for a huge performance improvement.

BDOC Generation:  Have you ever read schedule lines in an order? If yes, I don’t need to say how painfully slow it was. It is history now. EHP1 improved the reading with a secondary index.

Buffering of middleware parameters:  you would notice significant performance improvement if your company is using SAP CRM for order generation and SAP ERP for order fulfillment.  Remember the message “the transaction is locked “message while replicating the order from SAP CRM to ERP? Sometimes, it seemed like the order is locked forever. The process was slow as the CRM system was reading the middleware parameters from the database each time a replication is done.  In EHP1 the middleware parameters (Table SMOFPARSFA) is buffered.  Significant performances after you install the EHP1 in an integrated scenario.

I will continue to the part-IV of the blog  highlighting  the services functionality improvements.

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