Complete the Data Cycle with Automatic Retraction to Transactional Systems

  • by Matt Christensen, Director of Enterprise Performance Management, PRAGMATEK Consulting Group
  • May 15, 2006
Do you have planning process results data in SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI) that your transactional system could use? Is the transactional system putting you to work as you extract it from BI manually? Here’s how to implement automated retraction to have your system do the legwork of maximizing your existing data for you.
Key Concept

Business Planning and Simulation may become the source system for information that needs to be considered within other SAP transactional systems. Rather than extracting this information and manually loading it into the transactional system, you can build automated retraction. This empowers end users and enables multiple retractions as further data is created and revised. SAP provides several standard retractors, and you have the option of building a custom retractor when necessary.

One of the primary questions that arises when considering or developing a Business Planning and Simulation (BPS) solution is “How does it fit with my transactional systems?”  This should indeed be a key consideration, as the stated goal is the reduction of cost and effort by streamlining processes, centralizing data, and simplifying the user experience.

When transactional processes use the results of the planning process, it is a great advantage to be able to push information from SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (BI) back to an SAP transactional system, such as R/3, mySAP ERP, or mySAP CRM. This process is called retraction. Some examples of this include pushing labor activity costs back to Cost Center Accounting (CO-CCA) for ongoing product cost controlling, creating newly approved capital projects automatically in Project System (PS), and enriching CRM Business Partners with additional marketing attributes.

SAP provides several standard retractors for planned financial expenses. However, to retract plan expenses into modules such as CO-CCA or PS, you may need to build a custom retractor to gain the functionality you require. This will likely be the case if you are retracting master data or transactions that affect actual financial results. You can easily develop custom programs to enhance the retraction of plan data or retract the results of your BPS data collection into master data or actual accounting modules as well.

In my previous article, “Automate Your Data Compilation Processes with BPS - It’s Not Just for Planning,” I introduced the concept of collecting actual time entry and allocations using BPS functionality. While this information would be available immediately for analytical reporting, it may still be desirable to recognize the transfer of expenses within your ERP (R/3 or ERP Central Component [ECC]) accounting modules. For example, you may need this information to complete profitability analysis allocations at period close. To facilitate such reporting, you can configure the system to retract the results of time collection to the R/3 system. I cover this particular example in detail in the “Custom Retractors” section of this article.

Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen is the director of Enterprise Performance Management at PRAGMATEK Consulting Group in Minneapolis. He has more than seven years of experience implementing a broad set of SAP financial modules, including configuration and development in R/3, Business Information Warehouse, and Strategic Enterprise Management. Matt holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA in finance.

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