Flow Builder Plus: the business insight, Part I
In my previous post Flow Builder Plus: the technical highlights | SAP Blogs , I explained the technical highlights of Flow Builder Plus, a.k.a. Flow Builder 2.0.
In this post (maybe several posts follows), I will try to explain the business insight about the enhancement or inventions.
The first and most important change in Flow Builder Plus is, Flow Builder Plus now allows to save flows from Accounting Documents by different business purposes: Cash Position Flows (flows without Chain Tracing) and/or Liquidity Analysis Flows (flows with Chain Tracing).
The business insight for introducing such change are as following:
- Granularity of Flows is different in Cash Position and Liquidity Analysis;
Granularity of Flows from Accounting Documents in Cash Position is significantly smaller than in Liquidity Analysis part.
A typical use case could be, the amount split. Via chain tracing in Liquidity Analysis part, the origin amount of the start item can be split into lots of pieces respect the document relationship. However, the Flows for Cash Position will keep the origin amount in the flow.
The granularity of flows also mapping to the dimension for flow generated. One typical example could be, a Cash Position flow for payment may not have Customer/Supplier information fulfilled, because there is no chain tracing in place. However, the Liquidity Analysis Flow will fetch all required information, and perform inheritance for Account Assignment fields before saving it to storage. If the payment clears an voice, the Liquidity Analysis flow will have Customer/Supplier information detected. Therefore, Liquidity Analysis flows will contain more rich information than original accounting document item.
In old Flow Builder, a.k.a. Flow Builder 1.0, system will generate one set of flows – Liquidity Analysis Flows based on the assumption that retrieve Position information from Liquidity Analysis flows shall be fine. Theoretically speaking, Flow Builder 1.0 is correct, Flow Builder Plus is compatible with old Flow Builder but provides more flexibility here:
- Customer who cares only Cash Position, will save data volume of flows as well as a much better performance.
- Customer cares majorly Liquidity Analysis can use the same setting as Flow Builder 1.0;
- Customer cares Cash Position and Liquidity Analysis both, can sperate the storage based on their requirements after go through all insights.
- Update Frequency is different in Cash Position and Liquidity Analysis;
The update frequency for Cash Position part is unconfigurable in Flow Builder Plus, it always be ‘Close to Real Time’. The flexibility for controlling Update Frequency for Liquidity Analysis Flows is provided by customizing.
It is quite common that customer compares the Cash Position of Bank Account with G/L balance. The implicitly requirement behind is, the posting which influences the G/L balance shall influence the Cash Position at the same time.
In Old Flow Builder, there is only one set of Flows. It cannot distinguish the update frequency at all. Flow Builder Plus, will update Cash Position Flows in ‘Close To Real Time’ way (triggered by event), but update Liquidity Analysis Flows on demand. It will result into the scenario that several minutes cost in analyzing the flows which caused the delay of Cash Position figures. Without doubt, generating Liquidity Analysis flows by chain tracing costs more time than Cash Position flows.
- Tolerance of data integrity is different in Cash Position and Liquidity Analysis;
As mentioned above, it is quite common that customer will compare Cash Position of Bank Account with G/L balance. The accuracy of the Cash Position normally is the top priority, therefore there is nearly zero tolerance of data integrity issues in Cash Position flows.
On the other side, Liquidity Analysis flows, which normally used for reporting and analysis, may have a different tolerance here. And there are also lots of tools here help on rebuilding Liquidity Analysis flows for reporting purpose.
With the business insights above, hope you can understand the business driven facts behind. Also, with two sets of data, it provides more flexible choices for your to meet your business requirements, by a robust, less-error way.
Then, how to configure it in system?
There is one new customizing ‘Source Application Accounting’ introduced as a sub-step after One Exposure activation:
Once you activate source application ‘BKPF’, you can use this customizing as the sub-step:
- Three Accounting scope:
- Cash Position Only
- Liquidity Analysis Only
- Cash Position and Liquidity Analysis
- Company code
- (BLANK). Default one for all company codes.
- Company code. Specific company code.
- Update Mode.
- Not relevant. This mode reserved for ‘Cash Position Only’.
- Close to real time. This is the default one.
- Deferred – Delta Table Update. Keep the entries in delta table, and run Flow Builder manually for Liquidity Analysis.
- Deferred – No Delta Table. It is the mode which likes classic LP. There is no real-time integration at all, everything is manual – you manually run Flow Builder to the manual-selected documents.
When there is no entries maintained, the system will use following default value (same as old Flow Builder):
- Accounting Scope – Liquidity Analysis Only
- Company Code – (BLANK)
- Update Mode: Close to Realtime
With the default value above, Flow Builder Plus will be automatically triggered, just like old Flow Builder.