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SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) came into existence with SAP acquiring Outlooksoft in 2007.  From then BPC has come a long way over these years. The first product of SAP BPC was SAP BPC, version for the Microsoft platform. After that SAP created a BPC version for the SAP NetWeaver (NW) platform and launched another product called SAP BPC, version for SAP NetWeaver.

As mentioned above, until the release of SAP BPC NW/MS 10.0, there were only two BPC variations: SAP BPC for MS and SAP BPC for NW. With the advent of the 10.1 release, three product variations were introduced, which are:

  • SAP BPC 10.1 NetWeaver (NW) Standard model
  • SAP BPC 10.1 NetWeaver (NW) Embedded model
  • SAP BPC 10.1 Microsoft (MS)

SAP BPC 10.1 NetWeaver (NW) Standard:

  • SAP BPC 10.1 Standard is same as it as predecessor i.e. SAP BPC 10.0 (Standard).
  • SAP BPC 10.1 Standard is designed in such a way that it can be easily maintained by finance or the business users.
  • The BPC objects: Dimensions and Models are utilized for holding.
  • Master data are loaded to BPC dimensions and the transaction data are loaded to BPC models.
  • Like its ancestors, the BPC 10.1 standard solution is also based on BW technology i.e. when data is saved in BPC it will get stored in the BW system under the namespace /CPMB.
  • The HANA database (DB) is not mandatory for SAP BPC 10.1 NW standard and it can operate on myriad of databases such as SAP Sybase, Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server etc.
  • The BPC Model will act as the reporting layer and the Excel client is the EPM Add-In or Analysis for Office (AO) EPM Plug-in.
  • Task and data security configuration are maintained in BPC.

SAP BPC 10.1 NetWeaver (NW) Embedded:

  • SAP BPC 10.1 Embedded can be considered as an evolution of BW-IP. BW-IP + BPC flexibility led to the advent of SAP BPC 10.1 Embedded.
  • SAP BPC 10.1 Embedded is IT centric, thus maintenance requires deep technical knowledge. Still finance / business users own and can update / modify certain objects E.g. Dimensions, BPF and Workstatus configuration etc.
  • Unlike SAP BPC 10.1 standard, this version directly uses the BW objects to hold data.
  • Characteristics are used for hold master data and data providers like ADSO, Composite provider etc are used to hold transaction data.
  • HANA DB is mandatory for SAP BPC 10.1 Embedded
  • Bex Query acts as the reporting layer and the recommended excel client is Analysis Plugin.
  • Task securities are maintained in BW layer and data security is maintained through the combination of DAP and BW Analysis Authorization.

SAP BPC 10.1 Microsoft (MS):

  • SAP BPC 10.1 Microsoft is a minor update of SAP BPC 10 Microsoft with the user interface based on new web client technology: HTML5 and the introduction of new advanced consolidation monitor.
  • Like SAP BPC 10.1 standard, IT does not always need to involve in the configuration of SAP BPC 10.1 Microsoft solution.
  • The BPC objects: Dimensions and Models are utilized for holding.
  • Master data are loaded to BPC dimensions and the transaction data are loaded to BPC models.
  • SQL Server DB is used to save data.
  • BPC Model will act as the reporting layer and the excel client is EPM Plug-in.
  • The task and data security configuration are maintained in BPC.

In addition to the above three flavors, with the release of SAP S/4 HANA in 2016 introduced another flavor of BPC, which is called as SAP BPC optimized for S/4 HANA.

SAP BPC Optimized For S/4HANA:

  • SAP BPC optimized for S/4HANA is an add-on to the S/4HANA solution.
  • SAP BPC optimized for S/4HANA accesses transaction data in real time (ACDOCA table) thus eliminating the need for data replication.

  • This will be the optimal solution for the organization which are running on S/4HANA Finance.
  • For storing planning data: ACDOCP or Infocube can be used.
  • The advantages of using Infocube over ACDOCP are:
    • Provisional Master Data
    • Audit log
    • Comments
    • PAK can be used
  • Separate installation of SAP BW system is also not necessary as it runs on the S/4HANA system itself (Embedded BW, not to be confused to BPC Embedded).
  • It comes with pre-defined planning models for easy and quick adoption with various planning templates and BW and HANA content.
  • The delivered business content for planning are:
    • Cost Centre Planning
    • Internal Order Planning
    • Project Planning
    • Profit Centre Planning
    • P & L Planning
    • Market Segment Planning
    • Balance Sheet Planning

The latest addition to the BPC family is SAP BPC 11. This tool has evolved with the introduction of SAP BW/4HANA. BW/4HANA is the latest SAP BW solution which provides real time transactional and analytical processing environments.

SAP BPC 11.0 for BW/4HANA:

  • It is the latest release of BPC and it is exclusively for BW/4HANA. Unlike BPC optimized, BPC 11.0 is a standalone solution.
  • BPC 11.0 supports both standard (classic) and embedded models.
  • The EPM Plug-in and Analysis for Office (AO) plugin shall be used for BPC standard models and embedded models respectively.
  • With the deeper integration with SAP Analytics Cloud, the SAP Analytics Cloud web client can also be used for planning and analysis on BPC data.
  • The SAP Business Explorer (BEx) is not supported any more. Queries are now defined in SAP BW, Edition for SAP HANA in the BW Modeling tools (BWMT).

Conclusion:

As discussed above, totally there are five versions of BPC that are currently available in the market and customers should choose a suitable version according to their existing infrastructure and planning needs.

If  customers do not have the SAP platform or a matured SAP platform, it is advisable for them to use SAP BPC 10.1 for Microsoft.

If customers have a mature BW system running on HANA, they should go for SAP BPC 10.1 NW Embedded. And if the existing BW system is not running on HANA, SAP BPC 10.1 NW Standard would be an ideal choice.

If the customers have S/4 HANA, SAP BPC Optimized for S/4HANA would be the right choice. If the customers have deployed BW/4HANA to harvest the benefits such as high performance in-memory processing, SQL based enterprise data warehouse (EDW), the latest user interfaces and simplified data structures, they should go for SAP BPC 11.0 for BW/4HANA.

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  1. Badrish Shriniwas

    Nice summary of history of SAP’s planning and Consolidation. From EVDRE to Analysis for office, Microsoft Server to HANA and on-premise to cloud, it has been a constant journey of innovation.

    (1) 
  2. Raghupathi Reddy

    Sai – Good explanation. What about Consolidation? Your explanation was centered around Planning ONLY.

    SAP also was talking about Consolidation table – ACDOCC but not sure about Consolidation Functions in Current versions of BPC

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    1. Sai Vigneswaran S Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Raghu.

      As you said Real time consolidation in BPC optimized for S4HANA is facilitated through the consolidation journal ACDOCC. It is an extension of ACDOCA with additional consolidation specific attributes such as group, flow etc. But business rules, consolidation monitor and ownership manager are still accessed through BPC web.

      When it comes to BPC Classic and Embedded NW version, all the all the consolidation related features and configuration are very similar, including business rules, journal, control and ownership management. However as mentioned above, the data model is different.

      In BPC Classic, a BPC model of type Consol will be created and it will generate an infocube in the back end and in the other hand in Embedded, Actual ADSO (Read Only), Plan ADSO (Writable) , composite provider and Agg level are created in BW and they will be associated to the BPC Consol model.

      And another major difference is BPC standard provides both periodic or YTD storage and periodic or YTD display, BPC embedded only can store data periodical since basic InfoProviders in BW don’t store aggregated data.

      Thanks,

      Sai

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