Split and Speed Up Your CO-PA Reports Using the Report/Report Interface

  • by Mitresh Kundalia, Director — SAP Practice, Quality Systems & Software
  • October 15, 2002
Has your PA report performance slowed down lately? The size of your database might be to blame. The report/report interface provides a way to speed things up by reducing the amount of report data it has to summarize.

You often hear business users complain, "Why does this PA report take so long? It used to work fine." The likely reason for this problem is that the database has increased in size over time to the point where it degrades performance.

You have a few options to improve CO-PA report performance, and FI/CO Expert has previously discussed two of them.1 I want to demonstrate another simple and handy technique: the report/ report interface — i.e., calling one CO-PA report from another. It is perhaps the most useful and under-used method of improving report performance. It has the potential to provide dramatic improvements, especially in big implementations with high volumes and many complex CO-PA reports. Furthermore, you can automatically link reports through the report/report interface using the split reports function.

An Example of a Report/Report Interface

I’ll begin with an example of a typical CO-PA report, Customers Gross Margin Analysis. Let’s say that this report (REPORT) has two drill-down characteristics: customer group and product group. The corresponding report form (FORM) has revenue, costs, and margin as columns. This form has appropriate general data selection criteria of period/year, record type, and company code. Assume that your company has 50 distinct customer groups and 1,000 product groups for the given selection criteria.

For this scenario, your current CO-PA report needs to summarize report data for every combination of customer group and product group. The system has to summarize report information into 50,000 distinct rows2 (50 customer groups x 1,000 product groups) before it can show the initial screen of this CO-PA report.

For the purpose of demonstration, I have taken a simple scenario. But, as you can imagine, in real- life with more complex report definitions and with many more drill-down characteristics, the system takes an unusually long time to retrieve the information, perhaps to the point where it times out.

Mitresh Kundalia

Mitresh Kundalia heads the SAP practice at Quality Systems & Software (www.QSandS.com). QS&S is a leading business and technology consulting firm that specializes in delivering superior IT solutions using SAP products. Mitresh is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert and has worked on various SAP assignments, including strategic planning, fresh implementations, upgrades, and post-go-live support projects. With an MBA degree in finance, Mitresh manages SAP projects with a special focus on customer-focused solutions, management reporting, profitability analysis, SAP General Ledger, and business intelligence. He is a regular contributor at SAP events and publications and technical advisor to leading journals.

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