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Central Finance – Drill Down & Side Panel

Objective

The objective of this article is understanding on Drill Down and Side Panels functionalities in Central Finance. With these functionalities, the users, consultants and technicians can easily see the 1:1 relationship in documents from target to source (Drill Down) & source to target (side panel), thereby easing the job of analyzing without switching screens and doing multiple logins.
The below article would provide an insight on Drill Down & Side Panel, how they work and the usefulness of the same.

Introduction

Central Finance feats SAP S/4HANA’s real-time capabilities to replicate financial documents into the central instance as they are posted, giving a real time organization-wide finance view. The architecture facilitates that the Central Finance deployment is marginally disruptive to existing ERP systems while, at the same time, allows enterprises to win the benefits of SAP S/4HANA. There is minimal effect to the basic source systems which are Central processing can be instantly moved to the central instance achieving immediate rewards. Ultimately all finance functionality can be transferred into the central instance and the source financial systems turned off.

Drill Down

Introduction

When discussing Central Finance as a method to implementing SAP S/4HANA, one of the key discussion points is always around document tractability (especially sourced from multiple source systems) and the capability to drill-back to the source system. Normally, the documents posted in Central Finance have a different document number compared to the source document number they arrived from.This can make document comparison between source and target perplexing and arduous. Fortuitously, Central Finance has the capacity to drill-back to the source document from within the target system’s user experience using Remote Function Call (RFC). Moreover, with SAP Fiori 2.0 and SAP S/4HANA 1709 drill-back can now also be performed within SAP Fiori.

Benefits of Drill Down

Below listed are few benefits.

1. Rapid identification of the source system where the document was posted: In a landscape with documents coming from multiple company codes and source systems, the document relationship browser and drill-back functionality allows the end user to swiftly identify which system a particular document came from.
2. Seamless transition between target and source system: Follow SAP’s endorsement of setting up the RFC as current user with adequate security in the source system can entree the source document from the target systems document relationship browser. This averts the requirement for several logins or jumping screens to get from one session to another.
3. Direct visibility into the document level detail and relationship browser: By going back to the source document using drill down, the user has direct access to document level data along with the header information. Furthermore, the end user can now steer the document relationship browser within the source system to quickly identify if there are any other related documents (Controlling, Material, COPA, etc.)
4. Compare fields and values between source and target systems: Mapping certain fields (cost center, profit center, business area, etc.) is common when deploying Central Finance; hence, the end user can leverage the drill-back functionality to compare fields on the document.
Example, if the end user observes that the target system document has a cost center 900000 but when drilled back to source the cost center is 700000, an inference can be made that cost center mapping is active. This is tremendously valuable because the end user can also commence to familiarize themselves with the mapping thus improving the efficiency when investigating and comparing.
5. Leverage familiar transaction codes and processes: When executing the drill-back to the source system the end user is exposed to the exact same transaction and screen they were just using in the target system; therefore, there is no need to learn how to operate any new functionality. The Fiori drill-back is very similar to the GUI drill-back, and all the same functionality exists.

Drill-back using SAP GUI

Steps to execute the drill-back to the source system in SAP GUI:
1. Display the financial document (FB03) or a controlling document (KSB5) in the Central Finance system.
2. Go to Environment – Document Environment – Relationship Browser.
3. Once in the Document Relationship Browser, several documents and their relationship to the original document entered in FB03 will be displayed with their equivalent logical system.
4. The logical system linked with the documents informs what system the document came from.
5. By double clicking on the source document the GUI will drill-back to the source system and display that document.
6. The user could have with access to the original document and all its associated characteristics.
7. Go back to the the Central Finance system by using the green arrow.

Drill-back using Fiori Display Source Document Tile

Steps to execute the drill-back to the source system in Fiori:
1. Launch the Manage Journal Entries tile and fill in the required fields to open the document.
2. Click on the Related Documents tab – the layout is similar to the Document Relationship Browser.
3. Click on any of the source system documents (which can be identified based on the logical system) and then click Display Source Document.
4. A pop-up window is opened with the source system document and all its associated characteristics.
5. Additionally, navigation to the document relationship browser is possible just like in the GUI and drill down into the journal entry information by double clicking on any of the line items.

Final Words

Drilling back from the CFin system to the source system can be realized through GUI or Fiori Launchpad. This functionality helps to equip the users with visibility and transparency into financial documents and the originating system. This capability to see the source document data in aggregation with the system it originated, all while being able to drill-back into the system with the click of a mouse is priceless for the enterprises with multiple source systems.
Important to note that the idea of shared services seems ideal, but there must be relevant controls and security in place to safeguard and access to the information only as per requirement.

Side Panel

Introduction

Ever wondered what analyzing financial documents in SAP would be like without the arduous requirement of flipping from one screen to another and logging on and off onto multiple systems? Well, now you no longer must. This is a complete game changer.

Side Panel functionality enables end users to access Central Finance documents to the line item level in the reverse direction (The downstream Central Finance document details from within the originating document in the SAP source system). This can be done using SAP Net-Weaver Business Client (NWBC) and Central Finance Side panels. A side panel is an added screen to the right of the screen that comprises the key transaction that the user is running.

CHIPs

A CHIP (Collaborative Human Interface Part) is a summarized piece of software that, along with other CHIPs, delivers functions on the side panel of the Web Dynpro ABAP Page Builder. In simpler terms, CHIPs facilitate access to snippets of data, such as the attributes of a cost center, the expenses on an internal order, or a note created to document a posting. The CHIPs are categorized information that sit on the side panel. These CHIPs are views which are populated throughout the Side Panel that can cover a variety of data. These can be leveraged to display financial document information from the CFin system while being on the source system transaction or vice-versa. By leveraging the use of NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC), Remote Function Calls (RFC), and CHIP’s, FI document level data and Central Finance master data can be retrieved and displayed as a side panel.
Along with the standard Central Finance solution, there are two side panels and thirteen CHIPs delivered as per the below list:

Master Data CHIPs

The mappings between source and target systems for key master data like GL accounts, customers, vendors and cost centers can be viewed using master data CHIPs.
The master data CHIPs add value because the end user can view the mappings directly in the source system and does not need access to the target system to see the mappings. This mapping view is nearly real time.
The master data displayed via the CHIPs appear with a blue hyperlink allowing the end user to drill-down and display the master data record itself.

Below is the screenshot on how side panel looks like in the source system:

Mapping in Side Panel:

Clearing Status in Side Panel:

Key Features

1. Side Panels are accessible in both the source or CFin system. Each CHIP displays a collection of information depending on the transaction code and system (source or target) being accessed.
2. In the source system the FI document header CHIP will display the header information for the corresponding document in the Central Finance system.
3. In the Central Finance system the information displayed in the FI document header CHIP will reflect the header information stored in the source system.
4. By comparing the document headers (source vs target) the difference in the documents (document number, master data & cost object – in case mapping is active) can be observed.
5. Using the Account Mapping CHIP the account mapping between source and target can be determined.
6. In case Central Payment is active, the Clearing Status CHIP reflects the status of that document in the target system.

Pre-Requisites & Authorizations

Implementation of note 2598448 is a pre requisite for Side Panels.
Note 2685507 gives the details for required roles and authorizations related to Side Panels.

Setting Up Side Panels

The below are the outline steps for setting up Side Panels:

1. Set Up Roles
In the Central Finance system, role menu from the role SAP_SFIN_CFIN_SP_MENU can be copied to all the roles in the source systems to access the side panels.

2. RFC Connection
Set up an RFC connection from the source system to a Central Finance system. The side panels are based on WebDynpro, therefore, a HTTP or HTTPS connection (type H) besides ABAP connection (type 3) are needed.

3. Assign users
Side Panels will be available only to the users for which any one of the below authorizations assigned. Assign users in all systems for which the side panels should be displayed. All users requiring access to side panels must have a user created in the CFin system. Different roles can be created to enable access for different objects:
• Web dynpro application configuration FINS_CFIN_SP_ACDOC to use FI Document side panel.
• Web dynpro application configuration FINS_CFIN_SP_MD to use Master Data side panel.
• Transaction FINS_CFINS_AIF to open AIF cockpit from side panel.

4. Configuring the Back-end
a. Activate ICF services (node sap/bc/nwbc)
b. Log on to SAP GUI on CFin system
c. Choose Favorites – Add other objects.
d. Choose Web Dynpro Application.
e. Enter WD_GLOBAL_SETTING in the Web Dynpro Application field, and then choose Continue.
f. Double-click the new entry in your Favorites folder to run the Web Dynpro application.
g. Choose Change.
h. Activate the following parameters:
WDSIDEPANELREMOTECONSUMER
WDSIDEPANELREMOTEPRODUCER
i. Choose Save Data to save the changes.

5. Configuration of Front End
a. SAP GUI 7.20 patch level 9 or higher is required.
b. Install NetWeaver Business Client on Client Computers

6. Customizing
For each side panel there is one catalog with the same name containing all the CHIPs for the side panel. You can create your own side panels and add one or several of the provided CHIPs to it. You can also combine the Central Finance CHIPs with other CHIPs on customized side panels. In addition, you can remove individual CHIPs from the predefined side panels via Customizing.

Architecture

Side Panels always run on Central Finance system no matter of the system they are being accessed from.
Hence, the RFC’s in the Central Finance system pull data from both the source and target systems.
Due to the presence of multiple components like NWBC, RFC, source and target systems with security roles, the architecture of Side Panel can be very complex.
There are two approaches for Side Panel architecture:

1. One-System:
The assembly of Side Panel is within the core application itself. Therefore, this system architecture is known as ‘one-system’ because there is a single application system which hosts the side panels. In this architecture, the Application and the Side Panel are collated in one system. NWBC reads data directly from the Central Finance system for the GUI transaction, RFC calls, and security roles.
It can be said that all the data required to fill the CHIPs in the source system would be fetched from the application and this includes the target system data like document (header, item level), master data, mapping, etc. Also, the required roles & authorizations, RFC calls are read from the application system.

Below is the figure on how one-system architecture looks like:

2. Side by side:
The side panel application runs in a role system while the Central Finance is another system. The date for the roles and CFin system is read from different boxes. In this approach, the NWBC reads data from the CFin system and the Role system for security roles. In this case the GUI transactions and subsequent RFC calls are executed in the Role system and reads data from the application (CFin) system. While in the one-system architecture both GUI transactions and RFC calls are executed & read data from the same system. It can be said that all the data required to fill the CHIPs in the source system would be fetched from the application system and this includes the target system data like document (header, item level), master data, mapping, etc. Also, the required roles & authorizations, RFC calls are read from a separate Roles system.

Below is the figure on how side by side architecture looks like:

Additional Use Cases

Side Panels can be used for several other resolves other than comparison of documents & data:
1. Side Panel can be used for error checking in documents which could arise due to missing configuration or master data between source & target.
2. Side Panels are intuitive to include the Application Interface Framework (AIF) errors in the message area of the Side Panel.
3. AIF reprocessing can be done directly thru a button in the header CHIP directly from the source system.
4. Display of Sales and Distribution (SD) or Materials Management (MM) documents by displaying the SD invoice in VF03 or the MM invoice in MIR4, their corresponding FI documents and clearing status in the Central Finance system can be displayed.
5. Enables the various business units to analyze the source system data from within S/4HANA.

The side panel functionality delivers instant worth to the end users by linking and displaying source and target documents side by side. The side by side display offers the end user with immediate visibility and transparency into the data without the bother of flipping screens or logging on to multiple systems. Also, the side panels equip the end user with tracability and audit ability of the master/transnational data being replicated to Central Finance.
In this era of financial transformation, Side Panels are another value-driven functionality that can be leveraged by consultants and end users alike.


References & SAP Notes

https://help.sap.com/viewer/26c2d5e366bc44c1a98f2a9212a0c49d/1809.000/en-US/b999637864ac4dc081b1b40e0be75413.html

Screenshots from SAP Demo Landscape

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