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Author's profile photo Eric Mandley

SAP digital supplier network membership Transactional Rules Review

In this 4-part series, I’ll cover how Buyers can flexibly configure applicable business rules to enable supplier compliance to Buyer preferred processes e.g. requiring to send order confirmation, advanced shipping notice prior to allowing suppliers to send an invoice.


Part 1: How do transaction rules work in the SAP digital supplier network membership?

After a trading relationship has been established with a supplier in the network, buyers can use their ERP to generate purchase orders. When buying organizations enable their network accounts for invoicing, they specify invoicing business rules. These rules specify basic requirements of their invoicing process.  Each buying organization can set these business rules differently.

When the network receives invoices, it tests their contents against these business rules. If the invoice fails, it does not route to the Buyer. It sends email notifications to suppliers (not to buying organizations) and it does not send cXML status documents.

Buyers are responsible for enabling specific rules that cover how suppliers create these documents, as many rules determine the allowed values for certain fields.

Examples of some default transaction rules include:

  • Allow invoices to have additional quantities or line items.
  • Allow users to view invoices on Ariba Network from your ERP application.
  • Allow suppliers to send order confirmations for material orders.
  • Require the suppliers to create an OC before creating a ship notice.

Each buying organization can set these business rules differently.

  • The transaction rules relate to the format and content of:
    • Purchase Orders, Order Confirmations and Advance Ship Notices
    • Service Entry Sheets
    • Invoices (PO and non-PO), Debit and Credit Memos
  • The transaction rules can be set at three levels:
    • Default Level: Impacts all suppliers that the customer is transacting with.
    • Group Level: This is usually based on commodity or business process (subset of all rules).
    • Country Level: Impacts invoices originating from a certain country (subset of all rules).

A Suppler Group is a group of suppliers that you can choose to be subject to a unique sub-set of Transaction Rules. Groups are usually set up for differences in transaction method (e.g., Integrated suppliers), internal processes, different regions or other categories.

  • The rules either: (The goal is to try and keep the default rules as open as possible unless you absolutely need to require something.)
    • Require
    • Allow
    • Put a limit on something.
  • Rules are evaluated against each other:
    • Supplier Group rules override the default transactional rules.
    • Country rules are evaluated either against the default or group rules.
    • In the evaluation of country rules against higher level rules, the strictest interpretation of the rule is applied.

Conclusion: The above blog provides an overview of how Buyers can flexibly configure applicable business rules to enable supplier compliance to Buyer preferred processes. More information can be found at in the SAP Ariba Network buyer administration guide. Part 2 will cover our Rule Configuration Process Recommendations.

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      Author's profile photo Sean Thomson
      Sean Thomson

      Nice article. Did I understand correct that the responsibility to correct errors goes back to the supplier and not the buyer AP team?

      Author's profile photo Eric Mandley
      Eric Mandley
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, you are correct.

      In some cases, documents fail to reach the ERP system due to technical problems and Ariba Network marks these documents as Failed. Buyers can view the failed invoices in their Buyer network account.

      Invoice transaction rules ensure that the invoices you receive comply with your requirements for electronic processing and acceptance. Ariba Network evaluates these rules against online, cXML, or EDI invoices from suppliers. It rejects invoices that fail validation, so Buyers only receive invoices that are compatible with their procurement system configuration and business process requirements.

      Author's profile photo Sean Thomson
      Sean Thomson

      Makes sense. Great for AP and Finance teams!!