Business partner roles plays a pivotal role in the identification of an account. The life cycle stage of an account covers the classification of an account in a structured way. Concept of BP roles and Account life-cycle in a nutshell below.
In this document, we focus on the concept of Account life- cycle stage and the configuration steps to achieve the functionality.
Business Partner Roles
Every Account can be assigned with roles like Sold to Party, Competitor or Partner etc. It’s always possible to assign multiple roles at the same time and this is reflected in the Account as a whole. In principle the Account Overview-Page doesn’t look much different whatever role is assigned. However, the role can have an impact on the assignment-blocks displayed within the Account Overview-Page. One good example is the Role Competitor. If the Account is classified with the Role Competitor assignment-blocks like Competitor Products or Competitor Opportunities will be displayed.
The Account Life-Cycle is very similar to the usage of the Business Partner Roles, but here exclusively one Life-Cycle Stage can be assigned at one point in time. In addition the transition from one Stage to the other can be customized. This means it could be possible to change the Life-Cycle Stage e. g. from unqualified Address to active Customer but not in the other direction. The Account Life-Cycle can also be used to display different header-configuration. This makes sense if the Account is in a very early stage requiring only some attributes to be maintained, as well as, in a later stage where more fields are mandatory.
The life cycle stage of an account is maintained within the account details and is available for all account categories (corporate, individual, and groups), but is not available for contacts and employees.
Below configuration settings should be available in system to run life cycle stage functionality smoothly
o Connection with back end ECC system via middleware, as once the life cycle stage is sold-to party, the account can be replicated to ECC.
o Middleware setting for replication of business partner.
o Defining the required life cycle stage. (Standard roles such as Prospect, Sold-to party etc. are available. These roles can be used as a part of life cycle stages.)
3. Configuration Steps
A) Back end configuration (SAP CRM GUI)
A.1 Define business partner roles
SAP CRM IMG menu
Cross-Application Components -> SAP Business Partner -> Business Partner -> Basic Settings -> Business Partner Roles
A.2 Define stages (roles)
You can create new roles based on your business required, and also assign new role categories to these roles. One can also use the standard stages provided by SAP.
A.3 Create new roles and role categories to make sure the stages assigned to an account are updated in the application table BUT100. They will be assigned to a role exclusion group in the next step.
A.4 Define life cycle
A life cycle technically corresponds to a role exclusion group. To define a life cycle, choose the activity “Define BP Role Exclusion Groups
SAP CRM IMG menu
Cross-Application Components -> SAP Business Partner -> Business Partner -> Basic Settings -> Define BP role exclusion group
Add the required roles in this section –
A.5 Assign stages to the life cycle and Define the transitions
Add the permitted transaction in this section. This will ensure the logical sequencing of roles. For example, when the account will be created, the life cycle stage is prospect. From prospect the user can set the life cycle stage as sold-to party only.
Note that only roles assigned to the role exclusion group can be entered in the fields “From BP Role” and “To BP Role”.
Business partner roles which are part of a role exclusion group cannot be maintained as normal roles in the “Roles” assignment block. If a role is assigned to a role exclusion group, it is not available on the CRM WebClient UI, but could be visible once the “Life Cycle Stage” field is displayed in the account application
B) WEB UI configuration
B.1 Enhancement of screen configuration
- Call transaction BSP_WD_CMPWB in the back end GUI, enter component BP_HEAD, and choose “Display”. (or this can be directly done from WEB UI screen)
- In the component structure, double-click the view BP_HEAD/CorpAccountDetailsOV for corporate accounts (for individual accounts the view BP_HEAD/IndDetailsOV, for groups the view BP_HEAD/GroupAccountDetailsOV).
- Go to the “Configuration” tab page and select the configuration in which you intend to display the “Life Cycle Stage” field. Switch to edit mode.
- Show the available fields and select the “Lifecycle” node.
- Expand the node and select the “Lifecycle Stage” field (if it is not available, select the field “BP Role”).
- Add this field to the configuration and position it as you like. Enter the text “Life Cycle Stage” as the field label, if it does not yet exist.
- Save your changes.
B.2 Once the above configuration is done, the life cycle stage field can be displayed –
Other relevant information
Besides providing the information indicating the current stage an account, the assignment of a life cycle stage also provides additional functions:
- Screen control: By implementing a BAdI, you can use the current life cycle stage as a criterion to hide or display additional assignments associated with account (corresponding to the functionality of the business partner role as used in the SAP GUI business partner maintenance, which provided screen control capabilities).
- Field modification: Dependent on the current life cycle stage, fields of the account details can be modified. This means that additional fields can be displayed, fields can be made mandatory for a certain stage, whereas input for the same field is optional for another stage, and so on. This is done by implementing a BAdI.
- Defaulting the “initial” life cycle stage when creating accounts.
- Searching for accounts by life cycle stages
- Replication of account to ECC, once the life cycle stage changed from prospect to sold-to party. (if CRM is a leading system for account creation)
- Delta replication of changes within the account
This document covers the basics of life cycle stage functionality and configuration steps in the back end GUI and WEBUI.