Skip to Content

Purpose of the Release Strategy

The procurement department of a company consists of many buyers who are responsible for buying goods from the market. There is a hierarchy of people  like the operator or the buyer who creates the order and purchasing managers to supervise and control the procurement process. Since purchase order is a legal document and it goes outside the company to the vendor, it is very much important to control the process to avoid any errors or unauthorized transaction. When the Purchase order is processed further for goods receipt and invoice verifications, there will be accounting entries generate and it creates Accounts Payable entries (AP).
Because of this reason and legal implications of Purchase orders, it is very much required to control the procurement process by introducing approvals. For the same, SAP has provided a concept of release strategy.  In release strategy, there are different released codes which are used for designated users. The release code is a two character ID allowing a person to release (clear, or approve) a purchase requisition or an external purchasing document. The release codes are basically controlled via a system of authorizations (authorization object M_EINK_FRG). The user with specific release code assigned can perform a respective release in a purchase order. For example, the user who creates the purchase order is assigned the lowest level release code. When the purchase order is saved or checked, system will trigger the Release Strategy for that document depending on the defined criteria. In the purchase order which is required to be released by a higher level user, there will be a Release Strategy tab on header of the PO document. In this tab, system shows all the levels of release codes who are involved in approving the purchase order. Following practical example will demonstrate the purpose of release strategy and its implementation in SAP.
A company where there is following approval mechanism used in procurement department needs to have a release strategy in SAP.
  • If the value of Purchase order is less than 500.00 USD, it can be approved by a Purchase Manager and then can be processed further.
  • When the Purchase order value exceeds 10000.00 USD, in addition to the purchase manager, it requires an additional approval of Head of Department.
  • If the value of PO is more than 50000.00 USD, then it needs an approval of Vice President once it is approved by the Manager and then by HoD.
To achieve this, there will be four release codes created in the system.
  • Code 10: For Initial Status when the PO is created
  • Code 20: For Purchase Manager
  • Code 30: For Head of Department
  • Code 40: Vice President
Now with this requirement, following release code will be attached to each document depending on the value of the PO.
  • A Purchase order of value 345.00 USD will have only two release codes 10 & 20. First it needs to be released by user who is assigned release code 10 and then further release is required by the Purchase manager who has release code 20.
  • A Purchase order of value 12500.00 USD will have 10, 20 and 30 release codes. First release will be user with release code 10; second release will be by user with release code 20 and then final release by HoD who has release code 30.
  • Similarly a purchase order of 75500.00 USD, it requires 4 level of release.

Preparation of required objects for Release Strategy in SAP

Before we start configuring release strategy in SAP, we need to define the combination of parameters to trigger the release. This triggering criterion can be a combination of Document type and Purchasing organization along with value depending on which the number of release codes are assigned when the document is created. In SAP we have a run time structure with name CEKKO (Communication Release Strategy Determination Purch. Document) which provides all the possible list of fields using which a release strategy can be configured. To view all this fields of the structure you can use transaction code SE12. In SE12 screen, in the database field provide the structure name CEKKO and click on Display button.
Fig 1.png

Configuration of Release Strategy for Purchase Order

Creating Characteristics of each attribute of Selection criterion

Let us assume that we want to configure the release strategy based on the combination of three fields. These fields are Document Type (CEKKO- BSART), Purchasing Organization (CEKKO- EKORG) and Purchase order total value (CEKKO- GNETW). We need to create individual characteristic for each of this field and then group them into a release class. Please follow the steps given below to create characteristics.
 
SPRO Menu Path: SPRO: Material Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Edit Characteristic
Transaction code: CT04
Provide the characteristic name and click on Create button to create the characteristic. Give appropriate and meaningful name for each characteristic so that they become easy to identify in further process.
Fig 2.png
In Basic Data of characteristic screen, provide appropriate description. If you want to configure the release strategy for single document type, you need to select Single Values in Value Assignment block and if it is required for multiple document type then select Multiple Values radio button.
Fig 3.png
Now, the fields are to be referred from CEKKO structure, we need to provide the reference to this structure and corresponding field. Since this characteristic is created for document type, please specify the structure and field name given in the below screen.
Fig 4.png
 
As soon as you enter the structure name and field name, system will generate a warning message “Format data taken from Data Dictionary (press enter)”.  This warning message indicates that the data type of the characteristic will be taken from the data dictionary of this structure in SAP.
Now navigate to Values tab and provide the document types which are required in this release strategy. For this example, we are taking document type NB which is Standard PO. Please see below screen shot.
Fig 5.png
Please note that in the characteristic values tab, these values are not available as a F4 selection. So they must be typed correctly and it should match exactly with the document types used.
We need to make sure that these characteristics are used only in class which is made up for Purchase order release. For this purpose we need to provide the restriction in characteristic. Provide class type 032 in the restriction tab to achieve this.
Fig 6.png
If the system is used in multiple languages and if it is required to maintained the characteristic description in multiple languages, then the same can be done from the description tab. Please navigate to Description tab and for each language and save your characteristic.
Fig 7.png
Finally Save the characteristic.
Using the same method creates another characteristic BP_PURORG for Purchasing Organization.
For third characteristic which is Purchase order Net value, we need follow the same steps except the below points:

  • When you mentioned the Structure name CEKKO and field GNETW for purchase order net value, system will ask for the currency since this field is related to numbers and net value of purchase order. Please mention USD as a currency for the characteristic.
  • If you have multiple criteria for different range of values, the same has to be provided in Values tab with a Multiple Value radio button tick in Basic data.
  • Since there will be intervals in the purchase order values, you have to configure the characteristic to allow the values in intervals. For the same please tick the check box “Interval Vals allowed” in Value assignment block in Basic data tab.
Fig 8.png

  • For this characteristic, the values are to be defined in intervals as given in below screen.

Fig 9.png

 

So this way we have created the following characteristics for our release strategy.

    

  • BP_DOCTYPE for Document Type NB
  • BP_PURORG for Purchasing Organization BP01
  • BP_NETVAL for Net Value below 100.00 USD and above 100.00 USD

 

Creating Class for Purchase order Release

Once we have all the characteristics ready with us, we need to group them into a class. Please see the below procedure to create the class.

   

SPRO Menu Path: SPRO: Material Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Edit Class

Transaction code: CL02.

In main screen of CL02 transaction, provide appropriate Class Name and click on Create button. Make sure that the class type must be 032.

Fig 10.png

In main screen of CL02 transaction, provide appropriate Class Name and click on Create button. Make sure that the class type must be 032.

In the detailed screen, provide appropriate description. In Same classification block please select Do not Check radio button.

Fig 11.png

Now the next step is to assign the earlier characteristics to this class. Please note that those characteristics are restricted to be used only in class type 032 which type this class is to be created.

Fig 12.png

Finally save the class. This concludes the first step for setting up the release strategy.

Define Release Strategy for Purchase Order

After the class is ready, the next is to configure the elements required in release strategy. Following elements are required.

  • Release Groups
  • Release Codes
  • Release Indicator
  • Release Strategies
  • Workflow

 

Configure Release Groups

Use following SPRO path for configuring these elements of release strategy.

   

SPRO: Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Define Release Procedure for Purchase Orders.

 

When you click on this option, system will give sub options to proceed further. Please select Release Group. Keep the cursor on Release Group and click on Choose button.

Fig 13.png

Click on New Entry button to create new Release Group. In new record, give appropriate Release Group name as BP, in Class field give our Class name which we have created in above step. Click on Save button to save your entry.

Fig 14.png

Configure Release Codes

Use following SPRO path for configuring these elements of release strategy.

SPRO: Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Define Release Procedure for Purchase Orders.

    

When you click on this option, system will give sub options to proceed further. Please select Release Codes. Keep the cursor on Release Codes and click on Choose button.

Fig 15.png

Click on New Entries to create the Release codes for our release strategy. Number of release codes depends on number of approval levels. Here only two release codes are created which are 10 and 20 for Buyer and Manager respectively. Please note that these release codes are to be created under the same release group which we have configured in previous tab. Click on Save to save your entries.

Configure Release Indicator

Use following SPRO path for configuring these elements of release strategy.

SPRO: Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Define Release Procedure for Purchase Orders.

When you click on this option, system will give sub options to proceed further. Please select Release Indicator. Keep the cursor on Release Indicator and click on Choose button.

Fig 16.png

This screen indicates release id for initial and released status. Release ID 0 indicates Blocked status and with release ID 1 it is Released status.  The field Changeable contains the parameter which will define how the system reacts if a purchasing document is changed after the start of the release procedure. Means once the order is released, we can still change the values in purchase order which will trigger a new release status. If the field is allowed to change, we can define the % of change allowed.

Configure Release Strategies

Use following SPRO path for configuring these elements of release strategy.

SPRO: Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Define Release Procedure for Purchase Orders.

When you click on this option, system will give sub options to proceed further. Please select Release Strategies. Keep the cursor on Release Strategies and click on Choose button.

Click on New Entries button and give your release group. After giving the release group, provide appropriate Release strategy and description.

Fig 17.png

Now suppose you want to keep only one level of approval for all PO below 100.00 USD and 2 level of approvals for PO greater than or equal to 100. To achieve this we need to have two release strategies. First release strategy will have only 1 release code and only value less than 100.00 USD is to be selected from characteristic BP_NETVAL. For the Purchase order having value greater than or equal to 100.00 USD, we will create another release strategy which will have both the release codes as we need two level approvals in this case. The following steps are demonstration of second release strategy (with 2 approvals). The same steps needs to be followed for another strategy.

In the given space give all your Release codes.

Fig 18.png

Now click on Release prerequisites button. In prerequisites screen, select prerequisites for each release code. In the given screen shot, we are saying there is not prerequisite for release code 10 and for release code 20 it is required that release id 10 has to be there. Once done, click on Continue button to save the settings.

Fig 19.png

The next step is Release statuses. Click on Release Statuses button. Here we are attaching the release ids for each operational step. From the below screen it is clear that when the document is created when both the release status are at initial condition.

Fig 20.png

When the first level of release is done means when it is released by a user having release code 10, the overall status is still Blocked. When the document is released by a higher level user having release code 20, the documents overall status will be Released. Once it is done click on Continue button.

Next step is to select the classification values for the selected characteristics in release class. Click on Classification button to proceed.

Fig 21.png

Here it is required to select all the values from all the characteristics. If you have multiple values in characteristic, you have to select the values which you want to involve in the release strategy. Select a characteristic row and click on Choose button bottom.

Please note it is also possible to directly mention the values here provided Additional Values option is enabled in your characteristic.

Configure Workflow

 

Use following SPRO path for configuring workflow for the above configured release strategy.

SPRO: Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Purchase Order -> Release Procedure for Purchase Orders -> Define Release Procedure for Purchase Orders.

When you click on this option, system will give sub options to proceed further. Please select Workflow. Keep the cursor on Workflow and click on Choose button.

Fig 22.png

Click on New Entries button to create records for involved users. Specify the Release group, appropriate release code and User ID in Agent ID column. Please make sure the user ids are specified with Agent type US which indicates that mentioned agent name is a User id of SAP. You have to create each line for each users who are involved in this process and should be attached to an appropriate release code.

This is the end of release strategy configuration. With this configuration, we are set to create a purchase order to test our release strategy.

Please note that if the purchase order is not released, buyers will not be able to print the Purchase Order. Also in Goods Receipts will be shown with Message no. ME 390 – Purchasing document XXXXXXX not yet released

Purchase Order with Release Strategy has tabs at the end of the Header. This allowed the buyers to check the release status of the Purchase Order.

The person with the release authorization has to use ME28 to release the Purchase Order.

—–End of Document ——

To report this post you need to login first.

78 Comments

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Jürgen L

    which meaning shall this value of <100.00  and >= 100.00  in your strategy have?

    it just says that any value lower than a hundred and any value greater equal 100 will control that this strategy is valid.

    You already explain “ For the same we need to have two release strategies.

    Why do you show it then as example?

    This is just misleading the freshers

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi,

       

      Thanks for your comment. I have also mentioned the reason for two strategies. Not because of difference in value but I want to attach 2 release code for the PO greater then 100.00.

       

      I have corrected the document with more easy explanation.

       

      Thanks for highlighting this and helping to enhance the usability of the document.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
  2. Mohsin Abbasi

    Hi Amit,

    It’s a nice document, that explain each and every step of Release strategy configuration. You have done in such a nice manner.

     

     

    Best Regards

    Mohsin abbasi

    (0) 
  3. Xinhua Fan

    hi Amit

     

    I have a problem about the release strategy

    In our SAP, sometime the PO will have not any release strategy if the PO amount is out of all strategies, and means this PO won’t to be got the approval,

     

    How to fix this and is there any settings we missed, thanks.

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi,

       

      Please make sure that your characteristic BP_NETVAL (used above) have the value of all larger value beyond a certain number. Here I have taken last value as >= 100 means all values beyond 100 will be considered for release strategy.

       

      So check in your characteristics for Values.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
      1. Sowmyesh Maniyar

        Dear Amit,

         

        I am new to this thread & SCN forum & I read this document completely, This is very very well explained and has covered all the aspects required for the configuration. Could you please upload the same kind of document for RFQ & Service Entry Sheet as well.? It’ll indeed be a great help. Please do reply back.

         

        Regards,

         

        Sowmyesh Maniyar

        (0) 
      2. Timo Rietveld

        Hi Amit,

        In our organization we have 176 different release strategies. Still it happens we create PO’s that do not match any of the release strategies. I would like to build some kind of a final release strategy, just for the exeptions that were not foreseen. How can I achieve this? (In a some other ERP system I know I could build a release strategy that is always applicable and I could give it the lowest priority. But I missed the priority thing in SAP.)

        Thanks!

        Timo

        (0) 
  4. Dhwni Patel

    Hi Amit,

     

    This is a wonderful document which gives all the minute details required to understand the release procedure. Inspite of not being from MM background i could understand this concept very well and i appreciate the efforts taken by you to write this document

     

    Keep up the good work

     

    Regards,

    Dhwni Patel

    (0) 
  5. Krishna Kishor Kammaje

    Well written, thank you.

     

    As I understand, since we are going to have two release strategies, In the Classification screen, one will have ‘>=100.00 USD’ and the other will have ‘<100.00 USD’ isn’t it?

     

    Also, what happens if more that one release strategies match the PO?

     

    Thanks

    Krishna

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi Krishna,

       

      If there are multiple strategies matching the PO, then I would say there is some thing wrong in strategy building. It should not happen in actual practical scenario.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
  6. Sinead Ryan

    Hi Amit,

    I really like your document and I have a question for you.  Historically (6 years +) some release codes were used on our SAP system. Following changes to the system 6 years ago these release codes were no longer used in any valid release strategies. I need to create some new release strategies and codes now to reflect changes in the organisation structure. Can I re-use some of the old release codes rather than setting up new ones?

     

    Regards,

    Sinead

    (0) 
    1. Jürgen L

      If you have archived all your documents where the old codes have been used then you can certainly re-use them.

      If that is not the case, then better leave them untouched. A change in customizing does in general only affect documents created or changed after, but if you read the discussions about changes in release strategy in SCN, then you can know that quite a lot people still change old documents and wonder that they go again under approval.

      (0) 
  7. Sinead Ryan

    Thanks for your reply.

    We want to use the release codes in new release strategies. The old release strategies that was used for these Purchase Orders will not be re-used. These “old” release strategies can no longer be used (I think they no longer have a class / characteristics assigned to them, if that is the correct way of describing it).

    Is your advice stil lthe same?

    Regards,

    Sinead

    (0) 
  8. Siew Tim, Colin Cheong

    HI Amit,

    You may need to set the start of the lower end of the value checks with 0.01 instead of 0.

    Sometimes, when a FOC PO is raised, it is blocked and need to be released.

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi,

       

      Thanks for the comment.

       

      Its a general document focusing on concept. If business needs this, we can set accordingly.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
  9. Timo Rietveld

    In our organization we have 176 different release strategies. Still it happens we create PO’s that do not match any of the release strategies. Apparently there are still combinations of characteristics that were not foreseen. What would be the convenient way to solve the many escapes that we experience in our release strategies? Or isn’t there an easy way and should I create a set of release strategies for every exception?

    How do other companies approach this?

    Regards,

    Timo

    (0) 
  10. Anil kumar

    Dear Amit,

     

    I am new to this thread & SCN forum & I read this document., This is very very well explained and has covered all the aspects required for the configuration.

     

    here i have taken the Purchase group instead of Purchase document as a characteristic


    now i face the below error…

     

    Basic checks Release strategies Release strategy PU for release group 02 is inconsistent Release strategy ZY for release group 02 is inconsistent Release strategy 04 for release group 04 is inconsistent Release strategy M1 for release group PI is inconsistent Release strategy S2 for release group RG is inconsistent Release strategy S1 for release group VS is inconsistent Release strategy Z1 for release group Z1 is inconsistent Release strategy ZG for release group ZG is inconsistent

     

    with regards

    Anil

    (0) 
  11. Marcus Alves

    Hi Amit,

    Very usefull Doc. I have a doubt regarding it. If I wanna avoid reset a PO release when a field have changed, how can I manage which fields will be relevants for PO release strategie ?

    i.e.

    My user have requested that a specific kind of PO have no new PO release requested when the Payment Conditions (ZTERM) at the header or IVA code at the item line (MWSKZ) have changes, for example .

    I understood that KZFAE is related to this question, but how could I know which are the fields associated to the each KZFAE value ?

     

    Regards

    M.V.Alves.

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi Darshak,

       

      The PO release can retriggered by amending the PO with additional qty received before you perform GR.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
  12. Chandan Gurav

    Hi amit,

    I have one doubt. You have added 3 characteristics for your example, So when we try to create PO , Will system check like

    ” PO which having Doc Type NB + P.Org BP Retl Pur Org + Having total PO value as 100$”

    Then only it will go for approval.

    Am I right?

    (0) 
    1. Amit Tunara Post author

      Hi Chandan,

       

      Yes, you are right. These parameters work as a prerequisites to trigger the release strategy in purchase order.

       

      Regards,

      Amit

      (0) 
      1. thavaheer patan

        Hi Amit,

         

        We have three plants called 001,002 and 003. In three plants three members(our managers) are having SAP_ALL profile. Now i want to restrict them for particular plant because they is to see only their plant related POs and they is to release their POs only. So is there any way to restrict them for plant level (in Release Groups,Release Strategy..etc..).

         

        Regards,

        Patan Thavaheer.

        (0) 
        1. Jürgen L

          You shouldn’t ask your questions in a comment section. In comments you should talk about this document. Making some suggestions, praise the quality, critic, asking about clarification on the content etc.

          you have already asked your question in the MM forum. Posting it everywhere is nothing else than cross posting which is violating forum rules.

          (0) 
  13. ' MoazzaM '

    Hi

     

     

    Nice and easy to understand document and I am testing release strategy with the help of this document. Thank you for sharing man.

     

     

     

    Thank$

    (0) 
      1. Dhinesh Thirugnanam

        Hello Amit,

         

        The document is really nice.

         

        I have one question related to that document,based on the screenshot from your’s, you have Buyer and manager.If the Buyer has approved the PO and it is in pending status with the Manager.

        In-between say,the buyer changes the Header / Line item text and save’s the PO will the PO workflow re-trigger from the first?

         

        Normally for Qty and Price,config can be setup.But for the Text field that config can be done?

        (0) 
  14. Chandan Gurav

    Hi Amit,

    If i want a release strategy to get triggered for 10 user ids for lets say on release code 01, then how can i achieve this??

    (0) 
  15. praveen y

    Hi Amit,

    i have requirement is same as Chandan Gurav

    If i want a release strategy to get triggered for 10 user ids for lets say on release code 01, then how can i achieve this??

     

    Please advice me on this.

     

    Thanks &Regards,

    Praveen.

    (0) 
  16. NAGARAJ A

    Hi Amit,

       

               As per the  document i done the configuration.After this config I checked it me29n

     

    release Strategy tab missing what i done mistake.


    Thanks in advance,

    Nagaraj

    (0) 
  17. Jan Kaniewski

    Dear Amit,

     

    I am totally fresh SAP user. After reading your very helpful manual for Relase Strategy I have a question. I am wondering if it is possible to automatically create Accrual for amount in just released purchase order?

     

    Thank you in advance!

    Regards,

    Jan

    (0) 
  18. Martin Povolny

    Hello,

    very nicely described process of setting up the Release strategies.

    I have one specialty. I need to setup release strategy for the PO changes in a way to kick in again only if the PO total value increases and reach new release strategy limits. Is that doable? I was trying all combinations of release indicators, but no success. Do I miss something?

    Thanks for any feedback
    M.

    (0) 
  19. Madhu sudhan Naidu

    Hi

    Can you suggest any t code for releasing two or more purchase orders at a time, some time in month beginning we have 100 or more Purchase orders for authorisation, it takes lot of time to do one by one, so can you suggest

     

    (0) 

Leave a Reply