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Author's profile photo Fabian Berlin

How to keep SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) customizing in sync with SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA

Very often, SAP customers implementing SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) need to synchronize, at least, two customized systems in order to keep business processes that span across multiple systems consistent. In most cases, the customizing data are maintained on the operational SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA system and distributed to the SAP MDG system.

Instead of doing the work manually in each system, you can automate this process. SAP Solution Manager offers two technical solutions for this:

  1. Customizing Distribution and
  2. Cross Landscape Distribution (short XLD).
Criteria Customizing Distribution Cross Landscape Distribution (XLD)

• SAP Solution Manager

• Required function modules in target system are part of SAP_BASIS

• SAP Solution Manager Add ST-OST (Focused Build)

• Requires package /SALM/CHARM_XLD_MS on development systems

Technology RFC-based: Changes will be automatically distributed using an RFC connection and written into a transport request in the target system Transport-based: Changes will be automatically put in a transport of copies, imported directly into the target system and reassigned to a target transport request
Status Published in 2001, no new development since 2008, only maintenance by SAP Published in 2016 as standalone enhancement in SAP Solution Manager add-on ST-OST, currently in development und maintenance
Change Request Management Not integrated Integrated in SAP Solution Manager Change Request Management (ChaRM)
Distribution options • BC Set enabled customizing (ca. 80% of all customizing) – List of distribution objects can be defined to customizing table line level

• Transportable customizing – List of distribution objects can be defined to customizing table line level

• Workbench objects can be distributed by development package

To make it short: Customizing distribution is the old technical solution. Cross landscape distribution (XLD) is the new one. In order to use XLD, you have to work with SAP Solution Manager Change Request Management. Now the question is:

How does XLD work and look like?

Customizing distribution is very well known in the SAP community. But how does XLD work and look like?

The distribution process looks like this:

Source: own illustration

1. Definition of distribution group

The first step is to define which objects you want to keep in synch between the SAP ERP and the SAP MDG system. For this, you define a distribution group in Solution Manager which includes a list of all objects to be distributed.

2. Customizing change is stored in transport request

You do your customizing changes as usual in the development system and store it into a transport request.

3. Distribution is started via ChaRM change document 

Once you have done your customizing, you start the distribution. Cross Landscape Distribution offers a wizard-based and an automated distribution variant (see graphic below with the two buttons “Cross Landscape Distribution” and “Automated Cross Landscape Distribution”).

With the button “Automated Cross Landscape Distribution” you start a background job that will manage the settings defined in the distribution group to be transferred to the SAP MDG system.

SAP is currently working on a solution to get the automation done without pressing a button (see the following blog post and related comments).

4. Direct import into SAP MDG DEV

The job log gives you detailed information about how the distribution works. The job

  • reads the original transport ERPK900299
  • moves all objects out of the distribution group to a temporary transport of copies and imports them directly into the MDG system
  • creates a new open MDG transport (MDGK900378) reassigning all objects from the temporary transport (ERPK900301).

5. Synchronized transport between SAP ERP and SAP MDG

When you use the automated option, you benefit from the fact that one Solution Manager change document contains both transports (ERP and MDG). Like this, you can ensure that you import the transports at the same time to the test and production systems.

In case you forgot to press the “Automated Cross Landscape Distribution” button, there is a check that you started the distribution for all released transport tasks. If not, you will receive an error message and you cannot release the original ERP transport.

Like this, you make sure all relevant changes are distributed.

Conclusion and recommendations

The big advantage of Cross landscape distribution (XLD) in comparison to classical customizing distribution is the reduced effort for transport management when working with ChaRM on two different systems. In addition, you benefit from the fact that you can synchronize all transportable content and not only BC set enabled customizing.

However, you miss some functions of Customizing Distribution like the locking of customizing in the target system or comparing customizing between source and target. If needed you have to implement these functions in parallel.

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      Author's profile photo Daniel Ilg
      Daniel Ilg

      Hi Fabian,

      thank you for the good blog post. We are currently also planning to distribute it via SOLMAN. I have two more questions about this.

      • XLD bulled point (4)

      When is the TOC started? As soon as the affected object is recognized in the transport or as soon as the affected ERP transport has been released?

      • MDG related transport

      Are both transports independent? And how do I ensure that they are transported (in time) for both target systems?


      Thank you


      Author's profile photo Fabian Berlin
      Fabian Berlin
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Daniel

      thanks for your questions.
      • XLD bullet point(4)
      The distribution is started when you trigger it via button in CRM web UI. As of ST-OST SP7 you can trigger the automation automatically via status change.
      • MDG-related transport
      When you are using normal changes, you can transport both transports with one change document. This way the release of transports and the imports into the subsequent systems can be triggered at the same time.

      In case you are using urgent changes, it is not so easy to keep both systems in sync. When using urgent changes, you need to have one change document for MDG and one for ERP. In this case one change document can be already in production whereas the other one is still in development.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo EUNICE TAGGART


      We are currently in the midst of getting MDG operational with S4 and we have had challenges in getting our S4 data sync with MDG. We have used the SAP delivered list of objects (200+) but I am wondering if there is a list to be used to set up xld. This is a manual tedious process. We are having issues and I am trying to determine where they are. Any advice on how to trouble-shoot this and set up the correct list for our distribution group?


      Thank you!



      Author's profile photo Fabian Berlin
      Fabian Berlin
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Eunice

      That is correct. There is some work to be done to get the right list set up.

      We did the following:

      1. We started with the SAP delivered list of objects as you did.
      2. An MDG consultant added additional entries and even removed some.
      3. Mapping: SAP Solution Manager requires a very technical format. Therefore, we needed to map the list out of step 2 to fit to the format required for the Solution Manager distribution list. To get these entries right we checked existing table entries of table E071K in the S/4 and in the MDG system. - Take care when using the asterisk (*) in this table. Columns "object type", "table name" and table key can be used without problems with a *. Column "object name" is better to be left empty. -
      4. Activation of the distribution.
      5. Fine-tuning: changes according to feedback and errors.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo EUNICE TAGGART


      Thank you for your help with this. We now have a distribution group for all the tables we believe we need.

      Now we are concerned about finding a way to compare the contents of the tables database to database. Do you have any techniques or procedures on how to compare the contents of the tables we have identified from MDG and S4? We are concerned that now that we set it up our row counts are not matching. I am thinking there is no easy way to do this?