A Step Toward Understanding SAP S/4HANA Embedded PP/DS

  • by Caetano Almeida, Senior Support Engineer, SAP
  • January 17, 2017
Discover the new features introduced by the new SAP S/4HANA embedded Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). Learn the necessary master data changes and how to run PP/DS on SAP S/4HANA.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn:

  • An overview of the new embedded Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) functionality in SAP S/4HANA
  • Activation of embedded PP/DS in SAP S/4HANA, including master data and customizing changes
  • Differences between the old SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) PP/DS solution and the new embedded PP/DS in SAP S/4HANA
  • An overview of the main benefits of the new solution
  • Integration between embedded PP/DS and MRP Live
Key Concept
SAP S/4HANA Embedded Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling is available on SAP S/4HANA release 1610. This functionality introduces in SAP S/4HANA the advanced capacity planning and heuristics for materials planning that were available in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO).

SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) was originally designed to run on a separated installation and to use two databases, the APO database (APODB) and SAP liveCache. The APODB is a regular database in which master data and transactional data is stored, whereas liveCache is a database especially designed to handle complex algorithms and calculations that were executed by SAP APO heuristics. This approach allowed SAP APO to run in parallel with SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) without disturbing the business transactions.

The Core Interface (CIF) is responsible for integration between SAP APO and SAP ERP. The CIF integration happens by means of remote function calls (RFCs) and inbound and outbound queues where data is processed when received or sent. Data is frequently stuck on these queues, causing a disruption in the supply chain planning process.

SAP APO was always restricted to large companies due to the high costs of ownership and maintenance of the complex landscape. It means that small and midsized companies could not get the benefit of SAP APO functionalities such as finite capacity planning during the planning run or the material requirements planning (MRP) calculation in buckets smaller than days (i.e., executing MRP runs planned down to hours, minutes, and seconds of a specific date).

Now, SAP S/4HANA release 1610 offers embedded Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). In the new approach, liveCache was integrated in the SAP HANA database, which means that liveCache is now faster, since it runs in memory on SAP HANA, and you don’t need to maintain two different databases anymore.

In addition, the PP/DS transactions are executed directly in SAP S/4HANA, which means that you no longer need a separate installation to run SAP APO PP/DS transactions. The material master and the work center creation is also synchronous, which means that a material or a work center that has just been created can be immediately available for planning in PP/DS. It also means that you don’t need to maintain an integration model or to transfer the material master and work center through the CIF anymore.

Lastly, some SAP APO PP/DS functionalities were integrated with SAP S/4HANA. For example, MRP Live now can also plan PP/DS materials, and there is a single report to convert planned orders, whereas in the past, you had one for the SAP APO materials and another one for the ERP materials.

Activation of the Embedded PP/DS in SAP S/4HANA

In this section I explain the necessary steps to start using embedded PP/DS in SAP S/4HANA, such as checking the relevant business function and the customizing settings.

The Business Function

Embedded PP/DS was introduced by the business function SCM_PPDS_ON_ERP and it should be active by default on an SAP S/4HANA system. You can confirm if the business function is active by executing transaction code SFW_BROWSER and checking if the traffic light is green in the screen the system displays (Figure 1).


Figure 1
Green light for the business function SCM_PPDS_ON_ERP in the Switch Framework Browser screen

Caetano Almeida

Caetano Almeida is a computer engineer with an MBA in IT management. He has more than nine years of experience in production planning, with the last six years working at SAP Support, where he supports SAP customers and writes documentation and correction notes.

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