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Customer Vendor Integration, it is a pre-requisite to migrate to S/4HANA. This means that the ECC t-codes to maintain customers and vendors (FK01/02/03, FD01/02/03, XK01, etc.) will disappear, and customers and vendors will be maintained through BP t-code, as Business Partners.

This takes place in a system conversion from SAP ECC to S/4HANA system, as the vendors and customers need to be synchronized as BP. In a greenfield installation, customers and vendors will directly be created as BP.

Business Partner is not a new concept for S/4HANA. It is a relevant object for SAP FSCM solution and CRM. In this case to maintain vendors and customers, acts as a shell to maintain customer and vendor tables.

Business Partner approach neither exists since S/4HANA. It was an option available before. The synchronization means that when you update a customer with t-code XD02 the changed will be reflected in the BP and vice versa, if you do a change using t-code BP, it will be reflected in XD02. The big change with S/4HANA as we said,  is that the old t-codes will no longer be available so it is mandatory to migrate to BP.

Of course that having this new objects, makes relevant new tables, but the important thing is that the old tables for vendors and customers still exists (LFA1, KNA1, etc.). Again, it is a shell to maintain vendors and customers. This means that the programs pointing to old customer/vendor tables will not be affected.

Why SAP does this?

* There are redundant object models in the traditional ERP system. Here the vendor master and customer master is used. The (mandatory) target approach in SAP S/4HANA is the Business Partner approach (Customer-Vendor Integration [CVI]).

*Business Partner is now capable of centrally managing master data for business partners, customers, and vendors. With current development, BP is the single point of entry to create, edit, and display master data for business partners, customers, and vendors.

*The specific tables for customer data (KNA1) and vendor data (LFA1) remain available and are not impacted.

 

As summary of the process:

1.Archive obsolete vendors and customers. This is highly recommended as will reduce the quantity of customers, vendors to be synchronized. (In some projects it is not possible as the company  does not have the archiving procedure set for customers and vendors). All non archived objects, will need to be synchronized as the installation process will check that.

2.Analyze the ranges. It is recommended that Business Partner ID and Vendor/Customer ID are the same, but this is not always possible as in SAP ECC is normal that customers and vendors have overlapping in ranges. You must plan the new ranges numbers if overlapping exists.

2.Implement pre-checks, Activate Business Functions and  Perform customizing.

3.Execute the Mass Data Synchronization program.

4.If data errors appear (and trust me, they will), be prepared to execute a data cleansing process.

5.Re-execute the synchronization cockpit until everything is synchronized.

Important considerations:

*Business Partner roles:

The synchronization will create the BP with 2 roles for each object:

  • For customers: FI Customer and Customer
  • For vendors: FI Vendor and Vendor

One corresponds to the FI area and the other one to the sales/purchasing area.

 

*Execution parameters:

In my experience, performance of the program is not great. For a small number of customer/vendors will not be a problem, but if you have hundreds of thousands of employee/vendors it can be an issue. However, increasing the number of parameter “Max. Processes”, the performance will improve.

For example, if you change this parameter to 10, the program will parallelize the batch execution, improving the timing. Of course this must be tested to find the optimal size as might depend on your system architecture settings.

*Ranges overlapping:

When there are ranges overlapping and you need to pick how to maintain vendors or customers numbers, SAP recommends to maintain customers as usually sales and customers are more important for companies than vendors  (of course, companies prefer to send invoices and collect money  than pay them).

 

Useful information about table mappings

 

 

 

Useful documents/articles

Simplification List – Top Items.pdf (From Marketplace)

S4 Conv. Guide 1511 FPS02 – Section 3.1.1.2.2

 

I strongly recommend this blog from an author that describes really well the configuration required

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/02/22/business-partner-customer-vendor-integration-s4-hana

 

This document offers a great description of the technical process to perform the customzing. It is applicable to 1610 too.

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25 Comments

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  1. K Anandh

    Dear Kristof,

    Appreciate in bringing out this detail.

    I have question. Does this change increases the data footprint for customers as well as vendors?
    For Example, in ECC, Customer data was stored in KNA1 and other associated tables.
    Now in S/4 HANA it is duplicating by Maintaining the same data in BUT000 and its associated tables for Business Partner along with KNA1 and its associated tables for Customer.

    What is thought behind this? Will SAP do more simplification in Customer Vendor data in the coming versions?

    Regards

    (0) 
    1. Monika Patel

      Sharing my understanding — in S/4HANA future releases “BP” is the Object that will continue to exist as per S/4HANA Architectural plan.  Currently Customer & Vendor objects are available to minimize the disruption for early S/4HANA Adoption.

      (0) 
    2. Ignacio Kristof Post author

      Hi, my thoughts on this is that as you said, the data footprint increases as some new information is added to the BP tables. However not all data will be duplicated.

      Of course that tables BUT000 (BP General Data), BUT100 (BP roles) BUT020 (BP adresses) will increase the number of records.   Other information will also be stored in BP tables; bank details (BUT0BK), Tax numbers (DFKKBPTAXNUM); contact persons (BUT051) Other set of information will continue in the same tables.

      If will try to get a deeper detail for you.

      I do not have information in further simplifications. As Monika mentioned below, original tables will continue existing to avoid disruption. But also, I will give a second review to this specific point and let you know if my thoughts change.

      Thank you.

      (2) 
      1. Harish Prakash

        Hello

        Please can you suggest some ideas with regard to Authorizations.

         

        FK*, FD* XD* MM01/02/03 is now handled with BP tcode. In buiding roles how we can restrict exactly for Finance, Material, Sales etc.

        How we can do the creation, edit and display only restrictions.. please could you provide some inputs…

        Thanks

        Harish

         

        (0) 
  2. Amitabh Chakravorty

    Hi Kristof,

    I am working on S4 Hana system. During invoice creation against the BP,am getting an error ‘Specify either address number or address handle’

    The BP has been maintained with BP General and Customer(FLCU01) roles. Standard address maintained.

    Any idea why this error is coming

    Amitabh

     

    (0) 
    1. Ignacio Kristof Post author

      Hi Amitabh, no. I have not seen this error before. Were you able to resolve it?  According to some reads I’ ve done in another blogs, could be related to some inconsistencies between CRM and ECC.

      (0) 
  3. Chirdeep Rastogi

    Hi Kristof

    What remediation steps we can carry out if we miss to do these suggested migration steps and complete the migration from FCC system to S/4 HANA 1610?

    Regards

    (0) 
    1. Ignacio Kristof Post author

      Hi, well it depends on what you missed. You may be able to delete the business partners, run consistency programs after deletion and re-run synchronization.  But really depends on the issue you are facing or what you missed.

      (0) 
  4. Kiran SAP

    do we need to update first general view and then extend it to customer and FI roles ? Or we can directly create ship to or sold to roles without updating the general view.

    (0) 
    1. Ignacio Kristof Post author

      Well, really this happens automatically when you run the synchronization cockpit. Really, when you run the program for vendors and customers, it will first create the General Role and then it will assign the customers or vendor roles. Thank you.

      (0) 
      1. Kiran SAP

        Thanks. If i am creating manually using BP transaction code, can i not create customer view or FI view directly instead of general view as this view is meant for updating addresses which becomes mandatory when we create customer view and FI view directly.

        (0) 
  5. Angela Aguilera

    Hi Kristof,

    Given the scenario that we need to allow the customer/ vendor to be taken over by the business partner, is it possible to externally assign the business partner ranges? Currently, the business partner are automatically generated, is there a way to assign external number range?

    Thanks a lot!

     

    (0) 
    1. Jeremiah Serrano

      Hi Angela,

      First you need to define the number ranges and groupings.

      You can refer to this IMG path: Cross-Application Components > SAP Business Partner > Business Partner > Basic Settings > Define Number Ranges

      You can refer to this IMG path: Cross-Application Components > SAP Business Partner > Business Partner > Basic Settings > Define Groupings and Assign Number Ranges

      After this you can create the BP with the external naming convention based on your customization of the number range by selecting the grouping you’ve configured.

      Let me know if you have questions.

      Jeremy

       

       

      (0) 
      1. Angela Aguilera

        Hi Jeremy,

         

        Thanks for your reply. We will be migrating existing customers and vendors from an SOH system to an S/4 HANA system then pattern the business partner number assignment from another company. We are thinking to use these SAP notes:

         

        440526 – SAP BP: Migration of existing customers and vendors

        789559 – BP Cleansing: Avoid unrequired internal number assignment

        440919 – Direct input: BP creation via ext. partner number

         

        Are you familiar with a process similar to this one?

         

        Thanks in anticipation,

        Angela

        (0) 
    2. Ignacio Kristof Post author

      Thank you Jeremiah (friend and colleague 🙂 ) . You are right, what you just need to do is to:

      1.Define the range and flag it as external.

      2.Define groupping and assign it to the range.

      3.Assign gorup of vendor/customer to groupping in point 2.

       

      I assume that what you may want to do is to maintain the same number that customers/vendor have today as the BP number. With the settings above, the synchronization program  should maintain the same numbers.

      Thanks and best regards.

       

      (1) 
      1. Sudarshan Survepalli

        Thanks for the explanation Ignacio Kristof. This is a great blog.

        One question, if there are outbound/inbound idocs for customer and vendor master data, can you please explain how they are impacted. Are these interfaces deprecated or will they continue to work with out any impact?

        Regards

        Sudarshan

        (0) 
        1. Ignacio Kristof Post author

          Hi Sudarshan, Let me share the information I have:

          (0) 

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