The purpose of this blog is to give you a quick overview on the consulting solution which is available now to govern retail article data using MDG.

MDG as a solution has been validated to work with the IS Retail system for more than a year now, but so far the content (data model, UI and logic) available on MDG framework, was only for  customers, suppliers, BP, Finance objects and materials.Customers could of course build their own article data model and UI on top of the MDG framework, but were left with a lot of open questions around the architecture to follow, how the UI should be modelled, etc. and had to deal with complexities of bringing the retail business logic into MDG. On top of this, the effort and time involved to build a model as complex as the one in SAP IS Retail was  too much and not really suitable for customers who wanted to get it running quickly.

Now with the new consulting solution which is offered, we will be able to govern also retail articles using MDG’s powerful data governance and enrichment platform.

The solution, which is in its second version now, not only provides the article data model  and  UI  for staging and governing retail articles, but also benefits from  its tight integration with the IS Retail system to provide the business logic and customization settings already done on the retail system. This way, the data quality is enforced exactly when data is captured in the governance process , ensuring that data governed in MDG, is fully compliant to your retail business rules when its replicated to the IS Retail system.

What is the architecture?

For those of you who are familiar with the MDG architecture , MDG for Articles uses a ‘reuse’ architecture, which means the solution is able to fully leverage the IS Retail customizing logic including concepts like reference handling, which is an integral part of the IS retail system and is automatically able to  replicate into your retail tables after governance.

In short the architecture is kept aligned to the architecture of the other MDG domains like MDG for Materials , Suppliers etc.

The solution uses the underlying MDG framework to provide the governance functionalities like change documents, workflow, customizable UI , tight
integration into the business rules framework for additional validations and defaulting  etc. And of course the architecture is extensible, so you are able to extend the pre-delivered content with your landscape specific extensions on the data model and the UI

Feature Highlights:

   

  • Data governance for structured and unstructured Retail Article types including Single, Generic, Set, Prepack and Display
  • Supports the reference handling logic of the IS Retail system
  • Support for Full Products , Empties and BoM (for structure articles)
  • Characteristics handling and variant creation.
  • Data views for Basic, Purchasing, Listing and Logistics (more views to come)

Article Detailed Screen.png
Figure 1 : Showing the Article Change Request screen with some of the fields and the article image on the side panel.

The overall idea of this consulting solution is to make it easier for customers to use MDG for their Retail master data and decrease the time to value.  The solution attempts to cover all the complexities around designing the architecture and core retail functionality on top of the MDG framework, so that you can focus on your business specific requirements and not worry about bringing in the core retail logic.

Hope this information was useful and if you have questions feel free to post them on the blog or write to me with your queries.

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16 Comments

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    1. Dilip Radhakrishnan Post author

      Hi Joni

      Thanks for pointing out, have been super busy and couldn’t provide an update here on SCN. Will post a updated blog with the latest details shortly.

      Thanks

      Dilip

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    1. Dilip Radhakrishnan Post author

      Hi Evgeny

      As a first step you will have to deploy the consulting package to get the MDG Retail data model , UI, retail business logic into the system. Once you do this you will be able to create retail articles using MDG.

      Beyond this the rest of the config like WF, rules, UI, etc are all the same like in other MDG domains, same skills, same steps and same architecture.

      Hope this answers.

      Rgds

      Dilip

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      1. Evgeny Parfimovich

        I have working retail ERP(EhP6), and managed to configure stadard MDG. But it only allows to work with non-retail materials. Do I need EhP7 to work with retail?

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        1. Dilip Radhakrishnan Post author

          Like mentioned in the blog about, MDG-A (MDG for Retail) logic and content is only delivered via a consulting package (the features of which are described above in the blog), so you will not be able to create articles without this content.

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          1. Ted R

            Hi Dilip,

            With the consulting slution, does it interact with GDSN aswell.I am working with a retail client and We are receing data from GDSN aswell.What is the process to integrate GDSN with MDG ?

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            1. Dilip Radhakrishnan Post author

              HI Ted

              MDG-A does have a import framework where you can bring data from outside.

              But having said that, MDG cannot process GS1 data format directly and is also not designed to do it (we also don’t plan to build this capability into MDG-A)

              The SAP IS Retail system already has the GDS Inbound capability which can be used to bring in data from GS1 and to stage and process this. So we recommend customers to leverage that capability for working with GDSN.

              One potential approach could be to have business rules configured into the IS Retail -GDS Inbound framework to see which of the article records you bring in from GS1 requires governance. So GDS Inbound will filter out only those articles and for those articles invoke the MDG-A import API to trigger change requests. For articles which do not need any governance, GDS Inbound will directly write them to the IS Retail tables (from the GDS Inbound staging area).

              In the end , the active table(not staging) used by MDG-A, GDS Inbound and IS Retail are one and the same. So you are always sure that you have only one consistent set of Article data (a single source of truth for your entire landscape)

              Hope this helps

              Dilip

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  1. Vijay Gunalan

    Hello Dilip – Does this retail add-on support retail articles like generic/variant, pre-pack & displays? How integrated is Merch hierarchy and product hierararchy management. I would appreciate your inputs.

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    1. Dilip Radhakrishnan Post author

      Hi Gunalan

      Yes it does support all those articles. The creation of the MC itself is done on the IS Retail backend but when you create a new article you can use that MC (like you would on a MM41 screen). You could also like this to a article hierarchy during the creation/change proess.

      hope this clarifies.

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