Browse Prior Art Database

A Method of SAP Order Completion Checking

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000181827D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Apr-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Apr-14
Document File: 3 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A method of SAP order completion checking with conditional logic using proxy fields

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

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A Method of SAP Order Completion Checking

Disclosed is a method for implementing conditional checking of required data in SAP Sales Orders. SAP is a popular, heavily used Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. One function of SAP is for entry of customer orders, both manually by a customer sales representative (CSR) and electronically. Consequently, data input validation is a serious concern. Some of the data elements associated with a new order are required and others are optional. Required fields (i.e. data elements) must be entered before the order can initiate further processing (e.g. commit inventory or begin shipping process). If required fields are not entered, there is an error message but the order may be saved in an incomplete status. The incomplete status will prevent further processing until the missing data is entered and allows SAP reporting of orders in incomplete statuses. The designation of whether a field is required or optional is configured when the SAP run time characteristics are defined for the enterprise using SAP.

A limitation of SAP is that it does not provide the capability for some fields to be required or optional in a conditional sense. That is, depending on the contents of other fields, a particular field may be required. For example, an order that will post to "Service" revenue might require data that is not required for "Hardware" revenue. As another example, some customers might require specific information that will appear on documents further down the process while other customers do not require it. This type of checking is referred to as conditional completion checking. It is desirable that such conditional completion checking be enforced automatically so that the user is prevented from entering incomplete orders when the data is truly required and also so that the user is not required to enter unneeded data.

SAP does not provide an obvious vehicle for conditional completion checking. SAP provides the capability to add new data elements to a table. SAP also provides user exits where the corporation licensing the SAP software may write their own code which is embedded within the SAP application.

For each data field (say field-X) requiring conditional completion checking, create a new hidden data field (say proxy-X) which will be a flag indicating whether field-X was properly populated for the given conditions. The value of proxy-X serves as a proxy or substitute indicator for whether field-X is required or optional. The SAP incompletion procedure is then updated so that proxy-X is required to be populated. Code in an SAP user exit will populate proxy-X with a ' ' (blank) when field-X is empty AND it is required or 'Y' (data-present) when field-X is populated or optional. This population of proxy-X is done based on the conditional values of other fields. For example, when the material on the line item will post to service revenue AND the service projec...