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May the 19th be with you! May 19th marked a great day for our SAP MDG customers. After an entirely overbooked and extremely successful Ramp-Up that started in November, SAP MDG 7.0 was released for general availability. In addition, SAP Master Data Governance 7.0 SP02 (Feature Pack) was released to customers on the same day, and marks the new go-to release that from now on everyone who is  planning to install SAP MDG should consider.

The MDG SP02 (Feature Pack) is very easy to consume. Similar to SAP MDG 7.0, it can be installed on top of Enhancement Package 6 for SAP ERP 6.0 as well as on top of Enhancement Package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0. For existing installations of SAP ERP 6.0 EhP6 or SAP MDG 6.1, this means that you don’t need to upgrade to any higher Enhancement Package, but can just upgrade to SAP MDG 7.0 SP02 in that system.

What’s new in SAP MDG 7.0 SP02 (Feature Pack)?

The Feature Pack builds on SAP MDG 7.0. With that release, we firstly enabled faster search with SAP HANA, duplicate detection, cleansing and matching. We secondly provided better usability for all standard and custom-defined master data objects, and thirdly, we delivered a more flexible foundation for higher business efficiency and refined process control.

In addition to that, the Feature Pack now provides a further improved user experience and easy access for business users, for example, by offering device-independent SAP Fiori apps for master data request scenarios and real-time insight into governance processes by enabling “smart business” KPIs.

SAP MDG Fiori apps for master data requests

SAP Fiori apps enable request scenarios for multiple master data domains like Business Partner, Supplier, Customer, Material, Cost Center, and Profit Center. Business users can access these apps from their device of choice. They will then enter some basic data, optionally run a duplicate check to see if the master data already exists, attach supportive documents to their request as needed, and submit their request. This will trigger the creation of an SAP MDG change request, which is forwarded to the next person for completion or approval.

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Figure 1: SAP MDG Fiori app that allows business users to request a new cost center

SAP Smart Business for real-time insights into SAP MDG process KPIs

The use of SAP HANA is optional in SAP MDG 7.0. However, if you decide to run SAP MDG on top of SAP HANA SAP MDG uses SAP HANA’s capabilities, for example, for duplicate-detection and similarity-ranked search (for more details, see my last blog post on SAP MDG. 7.0). You can also make use of HANA being an in-memory, column-based database, and benefit from this in a multi-attribute drill-down selection that allows you to filter and analyze the intrinsic structures in your master data.

In the Feature Pack, we provide additional HANA-enabled values allowing for easy access, insight, and follow-up actions for the business. Since SAP HANA allows for fast access to aggregated data across multiple data sources, we enable fast calculation of key performance indicators, for example, to analyze the quality of SAP MDG’s governance process execution. This can be done to present the information in a Smart Business dashboard for real-time insight, and then to allow for follow-up and issue resolution.

The appropriate Smart Business content can be configured based on customer-defined HANA views. Examples of such key performance indicators include: the total number of change requests, the number of currently open change requests, change requests with the status final approval, long-running change requests that are still open, change requests with an exceeded processing time compared to an SLA, overdue change requests compared to due dates.

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Figure 2: Key performance indicators in SAP Smart Business showing process quality in SAP MDG

Improved user experience: highlighting changes and the undo / redo feature

The main purpose of the Feature Pack is to improve the user experience. Let’s look at one example in more detail: the highlighting of saved and unsaved changes. If you switch on this new feature for end-users, the system displays saved and unsaved changes in two different colors on the SAP MDG user interface.

When you create a new object, the system highlights all unsaved changes in a certain color. If you change an existing object, the system also highlights unsaved changes, but in addition, it also highlights already saved changes in a second color. These are typically changes that were made by a different person earlier in the change request process, or changes you made yourself, but that have already been saved. “Changes” in this context refer to those values on the screen that would change a master data attribute compared to the last approved version of the master data – that is, compared to the “active” master data in SAP MDG terms.

Of course, this feature also works in conjunction with SAP MDG’s editions. If you change an edition-based object, for comparison. the system uses the active value either from the validity period the change refers to, or from the previous validity period. In case the object did not exist before the validity period the change refers to, or if the object was deleted in the previous validity period, the system highlights unsaved changes, but does not highlight saved changes.

The system also highlights table rows that refer to changes you can only see when navigating from a table row to the details of a dependent entity. It also allows you to distinguish new rows from changed rows in a table.

When you move your mouse over a highlighted field, the tooltip of the field displays the previous value. If you change a value several times before saving it, the tooltip displays the active value and the last saved value.

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Figure 3: Highlighting saved and unsaved changes in two colors and displaying previous values in the tooltip

Another example of improved user experience is the new undo / redo feature. When you are processing a change request, the SAP MDG system records all your actions. For this, it collects exactly those actions in one “undo” step that are made in the web applications between two client/server roundtrips. Each of these steps carried out since you last saved the object can be undone. You can undo steps until you save or cancel. After having used the undo feature, you can use “redo” to recover your actions.

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Figure 4: New undo / redo feature allows users to take back their proposed changes step by step

Other usability improvements

There are further usability improvements provided with SAP MDG 7.0 SP02. Let me just mention a few of them briefly. SAP MDG for Financial Data now allows users to efficiently create general ledger account data for multiple company codes by copying existing data from one company code to a new company code. It also allows creating a new general ledger account and the corresponding cost element in one maintenance step. One other highly desired feature is that you can now still change the ID of new financial master data later in the change request process. Often, when requesting a new financial master data, the final ID is not yet known to the requesting user. To allow both flexibility to the requestor and adherence to corporate numbering standards, SAP MDG for Financial Data now offers the feature to use a preliminary key first, and change it to the desired final number in a later step in the creation process.

In SAP MDG for Customer or Supplier, it is now possible to change the account group within MDG’s single object maintenance user interface. With the Feature Pack, the standard delivery also provides dedicated role-specific user interface configurations for efficient processing by experts. These include a specialized user interface covering company code data for customers or suppliers, a specialized user interface covering sales area data for customers, and one for purchasing organization data for suppliers. Users navigate directly to the specialized user interface from their (workflow) inbox based on their role and based on the step in the change request process. This saves the users several clicks for navigating to the right screen within the full change request.

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Figure 5: Example of a specialized user interface covering sales area data for customers

SAP MDG for Customer or Material have also been enhanced. For example, there is an improved printing and an an enhanced copy function for material master data, as well as enriched integration with SAP PLM via Change Number and Material Revision Level, and a display option for thumbnail pictures in the SAP MDG Side Panel. The database search using SAP HANA was improved for material master data. The SAP Document Management System integration was improved. And the standard content was further enhanced: additional attributes are supported, such as storage location and the views containing material data for the warehouse. In addition, several enhancements of previously delivered material master data views are provided in the data model and the corresponding user interfaces.

As pointed out in one of my earlier blog posts, whenever we make additional investments in the MDG Application Foundation, the main focus is on extensibility, flexibility, usability, and ease of consumption. This means that we want to allow companies to create very flexible governance processes, with role-based user interfaces, but with very reasonable implementation efforts. One example of this in the Feature Pack is that we now provide customizing and configuration for all relevant SAP MDG user interfaces from one single place. A dedicated WebDynpro application is provided to manage all user interface configurations, for example, across single-object processing, multiple-record processing, and search. You can also copy a standard SAP user interface configuration to the customer namespace and configure it to your requirements.

Summary and outlook

You may have seen earlier documents about SAP MDG that describe how the focus of SAP MDG is on comprehensive master data ready for use in business processes by offering ready-to-run governance applications for specific master data domains. There, it is also stated that SAP MDG allows for customer-defined master data objects, processes, and user interfaces, and how it can distribute master data to SAP and non-SAP systems. SAP MDG is an important part of SAP’s Information Management portfolio that you might want to combine with additional tools like the SAP Information Steward for the monitoring of master data quality in all relevant systems and correction in SAP MDG, or like SAP Data Services for data quality services, validations and data enrichment.

If you look at SAP MDG 7.0 in particular, and at the recent Feature Pack, you’ll see that these enhancements focus on three aspects:

Firstly, SAP MDG now provides an even more flexible MDG Application Foundation that allows for refined control in the governance processes, leading to more flexibility and higher efficiency in the business. One example of this is the flexible Edition management for easier and more flexible scheduling of changes, a very intuitive access to the different states of master data that is valid in certain timeframes, higher transparency of past and planned changes, and a more granular control of replication timing. Another example is the parallel change requests combined with the concept of “interlocking”, which allows for many changes of the same master data object at the same time but without the risk of conflicting changes.

Secondly, enhancements to SAP MDG enable better usability providing easy access and insight for business people and allowing direct follow-up on found issues. We have looked at SAP Fiori, Smart Business, and several other usability improvements in this post. In addition, there are also the improved user interfaces for single-object maintenance, the cleansing case that allows for a reduction of duplicates during search or creation, and the multi-record processing function that allows changing multiple master data objects simultaneously in one single user interface.

Thirdly, as an option, SAP MDG can use SAP HANA for advanced duplicate-detection and search, or for multi-attribute drill-down selection. You can also use SAP HANA for efficient access to key performance indicators that are aggregated across multiple data sources to analyze the quality of governance process execution in your company.

We have already started the development of the next SAP MDG release. Stay tuned to read about more exciting enhancements and new capabilities as soon as we are ready to announce them.

You can find more information about SAP MDG on the SAP Master Data Governance page on SCN.

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32 Comments

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  1. Guru Subramanian B

    Hi Markus,

    Nicely written blog !!! Self illustrative.

    How ever from an usability standpoint I do have few queries with respect to MDG 7.0.

    • Is MDG 7.0 comes with standard UI5 screens for Vendor constants or Supplier scenario.
    • Also what is the under lying technology in Floor Plan Manager in MDG 7.0  – its still in WebDynpro for ABAP or UI5
    • Finally is there any new update being there in MDG 7.0 with respect to OData configuration in MDG 7.0 or its still similar to MDG 6.1

    Thanks,

    Guru

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    1. Markus Kuppe Post author

      Hi Guru,

      thanks for the feedback.

      The user interfaces in SAP MDG along the change request process are built using Floorplan Manager (FPM) for WebDynpro ABAP. They are not UI5, neither in 6.1 nor 7.0.

      In addition to those user interfaces, we created dedicated SAP Fiori apps for master data request scenarios for selected master data domains. These additional apps are UI5, same as all SAP Fiori apps.

      The Fiori apps will trigger an SAP MDG change request in the exact same way as if you would create it using the FPM-based user interface. You may of course use a different change request type for those triggered through a Fiori app if you like.

      In order to enable the new Fiori apps, we created dedicated new OData services for SAP Gateway in SAP MDG 7.0 SP02 (Feature Pack). You will find all the technical names of the UI5 Applications and OData Services in the SAP MDG documentation in the section => MDG 7.0 => SAP Fiori Apps for SAP Master Data Governance. Examples are MDG_CUSTOMER_SRV (OData Service) and MDG_REQ_CUST (UI5 Application) for the Fiori customer master data request. Other than these, I am not aware of any MDG-specific changes to OData configuration. The underlying SAP AS ABAP version, and therewith the SAP Gateway version, might of course be different in your SAP MDG 6.1 vs. SAP MDG 7.0 implementation (e.g. if you implemented it either on SAP ERP 6.0 EhP6 or EhP7).

      Best regards,
      Markus

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  2. Asidhara Lahiri

    Hi Markus,

    Very interesting blog , with a host of useful enhancements for MDG in this version.

    I have a couple of questions though.

    1. For the HANA view of the master data governance process KPIs – do we need Enterprise HANA for creating these views? Is this Smart dashboard available even if we do not have HANA db?

    2. For certain master data objects like Equipment/location etc, could you possibly share if and when SAP is planning to include them in the standard content (or through certified product extensions)?

    Thanks and regards

    Asidhara Lahiri.

    (0) 
    1. Ingo Rothley

      Hello Asidhara Lahiri,

      I copy the answer for the first question from the mail we exchanged – HANA is required for the SAP Smart Business KPI dashboard. HANA is a prerequisite to create the views. This can be done with a side-by-side approach with SLT replication or with integrated
      stack.

      Find here the link to the RKT session on the feature pack:  

      https://websmp210.sap-ag.de/~form/sapnet?_FRAME=CONTAINER&_OBJECT=011000358700000881762013E

      On your second question: we are currently planning on the mentioned EAM/PM objects for co-innovation together with a dedicated partner. Because the process is ongoing I cannot reveal details and dates, but the plan is to deliver a certified product extension that includes those two objects already in this year.

      Best regards,

      Ingo

      (0) 
  3. Kiran Kumar Reddy

    Hi Markus,

    Thanks for the blog.

    I have a question regarding Vendor Like UI in 7.0. Is the functionality for creating/adding Contact Persons available on this UI in 7.0?

    Thanks & Regards,

    Kiran

    (0) 
    1. Birgitta Bruegel

      Hi Kiran,

       

      the feature to create / add a Contact Person also in the Vendor Like UI is not yet
      available in SAP MDG 7.0 (SP02), but we plan to provide this in a future
      Support Package or release of SAP MDG.

      Best Regards,

      Birgit

      (0) 
  4. shankar singh

    Hi Markus,

    thanks for the blog,I have few question

    1.Search cleansing case is provided in BP governance,customer and suplier governance not in Vendor UI and Supplier UI’s,any reason for that.

    2.Any docs for cleansing cases.

    regards

    shankar

    (0) 
    1. Markus Kuppe Post author

      Hi Shankar,

      I am not totally sure what you are referring to.

      The way to access “Search Cleansing Case” is via the role menu – in standard for example via > Business Partner Governance > Change Requests > Business Partner Processing > Search Cleansing Case, or also identically via > Customer Governance > Change Requests > Customer Processing > Search Cleansing Case.

      This menu structure is not related to the user interface configuration, like for a “BP-like” UI or a “vendor-like” UI.

      Best regards,

      Markus

      (0) 
      1. shankar singh

        Dear Markus,

        thanks for your quick reply,if we want to use the Vendor Like UI then with cleansing features,will this be possible.

        regards

        shankar

        (0) 
        1. Markus Kuppe Post author

          Again Shankar,

          cleansing cases are not related to a specific UI configuration in the change request processing. Cleansing cases can be created from search result lists or based on duplicate detection results.

          I would recommend to re-read my blog on SAP MDG 7.0 (see the link at the very top) which touches the topic very briefly and to carefully read the documentation that Ibrahim linked above.

          Best regards,

          Markus

          (0) 
            1. Markus Kuppe Post author

              Hi Pravin,

              The merge of a few duplicates via the cleansing case does not require SAP MDG 7.0 to run on top of SAP HANA.

              Best regards,

              Markus

              (0) 
  5. Pravin Bhute

    Hi Markus,

    Very informative and at a glance. Thank you.

    Had a quick question on BCV side panels. In MDG 7.0 innovations blog you mentioned that BCV CHIPs fetch open PO, Open SO info dynamically, how does that happen in real time info if we are using MDG Hub which is on a different box? Are there any other dependencies ?

    Regards

    Pravin

    (0) 
    1. Markus Kuppe Post author

      Hi Pravin,

      The deployment as a hub or co-deployed with an operational SAP ERP system does not create dependencies here. The BCV side panel user interface will be executed on the SAP MDG hub system. The content can be fetched at run-time from remote systems, though. You could for example display sales orders from a remote operational SAP ERP system related to the customer you are currently changing in the SAP MDG hub.

      Best regards,

      Markus

      (0) 
  6. sridhar gardas

    Hi Markus,

    Very useful information

    Quick question regarding the new enhancements:

    1.     In SAP MDG 7.0, the mass data import has also been improved, in particular for loading data into MDG’s “flexible mode” models, like for financial master data and custom objects.

    Q: Is this similar to DIF? If so what exactly has changed which makes SAP say that functionality has improved?

    2.     The integration scenarios have been enriched, for example for exchanging customer master data with SAP CRM, or for distributing SAP Configuration data that is managed in custom-built MDG objects and processes.

    Q:Is this Configuration data regarding reference data such as countries or more complex ones such as plants, company codes which are managed in T005 table?

    (0) 
    1. Michael Boettcher

      Hi Sridhar,

      1 … A: Actually it is using DIF – which was not available with out of the box content for financial master data and now is also easier to implement for custom objects.

      2 … A: It can also be used for more complex objects – but depending on the object and the scope of the attributes that should be maintained centrally the implementation might have to include additional steps. Like the handling of an address attached to the object.

      Hope this helps …

      regards,
      Michael

      (0) 
  7. Javier Rubio

    Hi Markus,

    Regarding to highlighted fields, do you know if is it achievable to highlight fields when there is an error? since you can not navigate from the error log straight to the error, is there any way to highlight the error so the user does not spend a lot of time searching for the field?

    Thank you,

    Javi

    (0) 
    1. Ingo Rothley

      Hi Javier,

      highlighting is only intended to visualize the “delta”. From the error log we do have navigation capabilities, but not for all kind of errors / all fields.

      The errors we capture in the MDG framework on field level are hyperlinked and you can navigate directly there by clicking on the message in the error log.

      If errors come from calling backend logic we normally do not have the reason on field level.

      BR Ingo

      (0) 
      1. Javier Rubio

        Hi Ingo,

        thank you for your replay.

        but how does the hyper-link know that it has to navigate to the error field?

        if i am raising an error in the badi for validation ( either custom field or standard field ) how do i link the error to the field itself?

        thank you,

        Javi

        (0) 
        1. Ingo Rothley

          Hi Javier,

          do you have an example for us – depending on the domain, if it is possible to do a 1:1 mapping to the backend and also which badi you are using the solution might look slightly different. We do not have a one fits all API for this …

          BR, Ingo

          (0) 
  8. Sanjay Shah

    Hi Markus

    Thanks for blog

    Can you throw some more highlight on

    One other highly desired feature is that you can now still change the ID of new financial master data later in the change request process. Often, when requesting a new financial master data, the final ID is not yet known to the requesting user. To allow both flexibility to the requestor and adherence to corporate numbering standards, SAP MDG for Financial Data now offers the feature to use a preliminary key first, and change it to the desired final number in a later step in the creation process

    Here need one clarification can it possible to assign internal numbers for financial objects at the requestor step and later on Master data steward can update with correct number .

    Now it seems that finacial objects are required fields for respective UI like GL account,Cost Center,Profit Center,Cost Element.

    Also Can it possible to add duplicate check for description fields for Finance Domain as well?

    (0) 
  9. Shahid Noolvi

    Hello Markus,

    In a discussion today, I was told that SAP MDG 7.02 supports Create using template option for Customer data model.

    This was available for MDG F, but I have not seen this for customer, is there any note or patch that needs to be applied to use this functionality.

    Your inputs on this please.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Shahid Noolvi

    (0) 
    1. Ingo Rothley

      Hi Shahid Noolvi,

      your information is almost accurate. We introduced (what we call) a “copy” option for Business Partner, Customer & Vendor with the latest MDG 8.0 (which is currently in RampUp).

      You can trigger a copy to a new e.g. Customer from the search results list.

      Within a record we also added the feature to copy organizational data to one or many new company codes / sales organizations / purchase organizations. Which fields are copied can be controlled using so-called “copy-profiles”.

      The good news for you: Functionality is also included in MDG 7.0 SP03 and with some additional effort you can also downport to MDG 7.0 SP02. Please have a look at note 2020896 (https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/2020896).

      Best Regards

      Ingo

      (0) 

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