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Applies to:


SAP MDM 7.1


Summary


Organizational boundaries are becoming thin incorporating external partners into the preview of enterprise MDM solution. It is inevitable to syndicate Master Data information to external parties like Business Partners, Vendors, Support Centers, Data Provides and many others. The ideal solution to do the data transformation and syndication of master data information specific to the needs of each external party is in the integration layer. However as a quick win solution, very often it is necessary to build a syndication solution within MDM for master data syndication to high priority partners. It is the complex demand on MDM than as it looks simple on the face of it. Master data needs in terms of specific attributes requirements are most likely differs for different external partners.


This document talks about as how such syndication requirements can be supported within SAP MDM as stop gap arrangement to achieve quick win.

Author(s):


Ajay Vaidya


Company:


Tata Consultancy Services


Created on:


09 September 2015


Author Bio


Ajay has been associated with Tata Consultancy Services (world-leading information technology consulting, services organization). He is handling the responsibility of Head of Item MDM Practice in TCS.



Introduction


Master Data Management solutions are widely accepted by organizations to maintain single integrated view of Master Data. Organization have been leveraging MDM solutions to enable data driven business growth.

Business environments are changing. Digital wave has enabled business to collaborate and grow collectively. Organizational boundaries are becoming super thin in terms of information exchange and information consumption.

Organizational boundaries are becoming thin incorporating external partners into the preview of enterprise MDM solution. It is inevitable to syndicate Master Data information to external parties like Business Partners, Vendors, Support Centers, Data Provides and many others. The ideal solution to do the data transformation and syndication of master data information specific to the needs of each external party is in the integration layer. However as a quick win solution, very often it is necessary to build a syndication solution within MDM for master data syndication to high priority partners. It is the complex demand on MDM than as it looks simple on the face of it. Master data needs in terms of specific attributes requirements are most likely different for different external partners.

This document talks about as how such syndication requirements can be supported within SAP MDM as stop gap arrangement to achieve quick win.

Typical MDM syndication view


Master Data Management solution acts like a heart pumping quality Master Data information to enterprise. At the same time it provides specific and filtered Master Data information to specific external parties.

As shown in the diagram below, MDM maintaining single integrated view of Master Data. MDM source master information from various sources and as well author/enrich within MDM solution. On the other side Master Data is consumed by various enterprise wide application and also Master Data syndicated to external parties.


Syndication Landscape jpeg.jpg


Let us consider for the illustration purpose, Business Partner A needs are critical and needs to be handled immediately on priority basis. Whereas other Business Partners needs can wait till the integration layer solution is deployed and available. In ideal situation, it is recommended that the Master Data formatting is done as part of the integration layer. However in certain quick win scenarios it becomes absolute critical that syndication needs for Business Partner A are taken care within MDM solution itself as a stop gap arrangement. Following section illustrate the data model to explain the scenario to be considered for this article.


Electrical Systems Master Data



Let us consider for illustration purpose scenario of manufacturing organization with electrical systems product line. Bulb and lighting is one segment of Electrical Systems.


Data Model.jpg

There are certain attributes that are common across all products as base attributes. Whereas there are category specific attributes that are applicable to products that belong to those specific categories.

Typically in normal circumstances when product master data information is syndicated to downstream business partners, all attributes are considered and published.

However it is very often seen that there would be restriction in terms of a specific attributes demand by external business partners. In such cases it is necessary to choose key selective attributes and consider those for syndication to external partner. Scenario become worst when there are different key base attributes that are to be considered for different category products. There is no straight forward way to achieve this filtering of basic attributes based on categories under consideration.


Consider a scenario where only following base attributes are to be syndicated for specific category products to external business partner.

Lifetime

Lamp Efficiencies

Color Code

Design Temperature

Lamp Wattage

Dimmable

Energy Efficiency Level

Resistor

Length

Color Designation

Halogen Lamp

Y

Y

Y

Infrared Lamp

Incandescent Lamp

Y

Y

Fluorescent Lamp

Y

Solar Lamp

Medical Lamp

Y

Y

As illustrated in above table, for Halogen Lamp based products, attributes “Color Code”, “Design Temperature” and “Resister” need to be syndicated to external business partner. Whereas for Medical Lamp product, attributes “Design Temperature” and “Resister” values are not supposed to be syndicated.

This table illustrates a simple case of selective filtering of syndication attributes based on product category. However in reality such needs could get complex. The ideal solution to manage such needs are in integration layer. However in some cases for critical and urgent requirements one may have to generate syndication export directly from MDM system for specific key and critical Business Partner needs as a stop gap arrangement.


SAP MDM Solution


There are three aspects to be considered while defining a stop gap arrangement solution in SAP MDM.


  1. Copy attributes reserved for syndication purpose. These attributes are replica of the product base attributes. However values for these copy attributes are set as reflection of original base product attributes based on the category under consideration. This can be done automatically using “Auto Workflows” and “Branch Assignments”
  2. Define Branch Assignment rules to copy original attribute values to copy attributes only for specific category level branches. For other category branches it would not have any value copied.
  3. Define automated workflow to be triggered when product information is either created or updated. In this workflow, execute the various defined assignments. This automated workflow will ensure that whenever product attributes are changed, corresponding copy attributes are updated accordingly as per category under consideration.

SAP MDM Solution Behavior


Let us view as how these above three aspects translates into necessary behavior.


DM1.jpg


For Halogen types of Products “Color Code” should be copied from original “Color Code” value to another “Color Code” (SP_Color_Code) value that is specific reserved for product data export purpose.


When Product Manager changes Color Code value from 380 to 400.

DM2.jpg

As soon as “Color Code” value is changed, it runs automated workflow behind the scene and updates the SP_Color_Code value. However it does not update the Resister Ohm value as it is not supposed to be syndicated to external business partner.

As shown in following diagram, a workflow entry is listed as completed. This is the automated workflow instance that ran and set the various filtered attributes including Color Code value applicable to Halogen Lamp products.


DM4.jpg

Let us see another example where “Color Designation” of Medical Lamp products are copied automatically to SP_Color-Designation using workflow and branch assignment.


DM6.jpg

As soon as “Color Designation” value is changed to Ultra Soft White, it gets automatically copied to syndicating attribute “SP_Color_Designation”.


DM7.jpg

As part of the syndication process, all the replicated attributes (listed as SP_*) can be selected to map in the export items. Depending on the Product Category, the values would appear in the export or remain empty. Syndication process is not discussed in this article as it is the standard syndication process.


SAP MDM Configuration


Product tables holds the base product attributes. UNSPSC Taxonomy defines the various category levels and category specific attributes. Attributes starting with “SP” as reserved as copy attributes to be considered for syndication to external Business Partner.


Product 1.jpg

Taxonomy is defined with various category specific attributes and their association with various categories. Linked indicates that specific attributes are associated with specific categories.


Taxonomy1.jpg

Assignments are defined for various copy attributes. As illustrated, assignments are defined for Color Designation, Color Code, Design Temperature and Resister along with Branch specific assignments.


AS1.jpg

For “Color Designation”, branch assignment can be added by right click on base assignment and selecting specific branch of specific taxonomy.


AS1-2.jpg

As illustrated, for base Color Designation assignment, the Assignment Field is set to “SP_Color_Designation”. Further define branch assignment with formula defined to copy original “Color Designation” value.


AS2.jpg

Similarly base assignment and branch assignments are defined for “Color Code”. The copy attribute corresponding to Color Code is set with value from original Color Code attribute for the products corresponding to product categories Halogen Lamp, Incandescent Lamp, Fluorescent Lamp and Medical Lamp.


AS3.jpg

Workflow is defined to execute all these assignments when either product is created or updated.

workflow1.JPG


workflow2.JPG



Summary


Selective filtering of Syndication attributes are often required to build immediate stop gap arrangement as a quick quality solution. Business cannot always wait till integration layer is establish and available to use. Very often such key critical syndication requirements need to be considered as part of MDM configuration. SAP MDM supports this need by using automated workflows and branch assignments.


Related Content


SAP MDM Console Guide

SAP MDM Data Manager Guide

Key Capabilities of MDM

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