Make Your System More Available to Users with Key Figure Locking

  • by Ranjan Sinha, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM
  • February 15, 2009
Learn about the different locking options you can use in a planning area to eliminate the problem of locked data selections. See how you can share data with other users at the same time.
Key Concept
Locking prevents two or more users from accessing and changing data for the same selection at the same time. This prevents inconsistencies within the planning area. SAP SCM 5.0 has introduced the concept of key figure locking to allow a more granular control to locking within the planning area. It allows two people doing different planning functions to edit the same data selection at the same time. In previous SAP SCM versions only one user was allowed “change” access for a particular data selection at a time. Key figure locking allows the key figures to be different between the two users to prevent any inconsistency of data or changes overwriting one another. It also allows background processing to run while users are in planning books.

One limitation in SAP SCM previous to version 5.0 is that background processing had to be limited to hours when users were not working in planning books. Nightly processes had to rely on a mechanism that locks out users from the planning system to allow background processing to run without facing locking issues. In the absence of a locking mechanism, users could lock some data selections, preventing background processing from updating the same data selection. The background processes worked correctly on data selections that were not locked and did not work correctly on those that were locked. This caused inconsistent results and data integrity issues.

For example, suppose the sales history was being updated for all the products in a planning area through a background process. If the user was accessing data for a product A in change mode, the product’s sales history was not updated, whereas the other products were updated correctly. It was difficult for the users to know which data was correct without a complete analysis of the background process logs.

The locking logic in SAP SCM 5.0 and later offers more options. Its key figure settings, along with the Activate liveCache Lock setting, allow you to remove some of the constraints associated with background processing and make the system more available to users. Unlocking users also addresses the need of many SAP system implementations in which the nighttime windows available exclusively for background processing are becoming shorter, especially when users in multiple time zones are working on the same system.

Ranjan Sinha

Ranjan Sinha is a senior managing consultant at IBM. He has vast experience implementing SAP APO functionality in various industries, including electronic and chemical.

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