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

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

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7 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) 

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