Basic Concepts of SAP Business Warehouse and BPS

Planning is usually executed along organizational structures.Modeling of planning processes also involves the definition of planning processes according to a planning scenario (e.g. sales planning, cost planning,…). In the planning framework work packages must be defined for different users with different responsibilities, planning strategies must be set up in order to consider the course of events and the inter dependencies of different steps.

BW-BPS offers different types of user interfaces. There is a separation between the user interface for modeling purposes and the end-user interfaces.The modeling interface is called planning framework.End user interfaces are called Planning Folders (for Excel and ABAP list viewer planning layouts) and Web Interfaces (for web planning layouts and Excel Web Components)

The planning framework is a modeling environment that can be used to build any type of planning. It delivers elements that may be used to create the building blocks for specific sub-plans. In BW-BPS those building blocks are called planning objects.The assembly of planning objects in the context of a specific sub-plan is called a planning application.

Planning applications cover one or many sub-plans (e.g. Sales planning or Sales and Profitability Planning).

Planning applications can be
-custom-built (using the planning workbench of BW-BPS)
-prefabricated (using SAP delivered planning content based on BWBPS)
-ready-made (e.g. cost center planning in CO-CCA)
-Regarding the differences of planning applications in R/3 and BWBPS 

Planning Area in the BW-BPS Framework

The planning area is the database for planning models.In the planning area all organizational structures and planning tasks related to a specific planning process can be set up.It corresponds to one Info Cube (Basic Planning Area) or multiple Info Cubes (Multi-Planning Area) and may be seen as an enhancement of the Info Cube in order to be able to plan.

The planning area comprises:

Attributes (of planning area) - Connection to BW via Info Cubes
Data Slices – Locking of specific characteristics against changes Variables
Master data – all characteristics and key figures of the corresponding Info Cube
Characteristic relationships – procedures to check, derive or propose valid combinations of characteristic values.

Planning levels determine the granularity on which data is planned They also may be used to define the hierarchical orders of the planning model – e.g. in a top-down scenario one planning level just includes the product group and the other planning level includes the product group and the product.Planning functions and Planning Layouts are depending on exactly one Planning Level.In addition planning levels may include selections of characteristic values (e.g. product group: water, juice)

The flag "Selection in package" determines whether characteristic values are selected in the planning level or in the planning package (e.g. for personalization)selection of characteristic values in the planning level is used, when the same selection applies to several planning packages. (e.g. Fiscal Year: 2010 is to be planned by all planners)selection of characteristic values in the planning packages is used when different selections are needed on one planning level (e.g. one planning package for country DE another planning package for country FR). Compared to the data selection in BW queries, planning levels may also be used for the execution of automatic planning functions, where no columns and rows are defined.

Planning Package in the BW-BPS Framework

The planning package is a subset of the planning level (requires setting "selection in package" in planning level)

Planning packages are always assigned to exactly one planning level. One planning level can contain several planning packages. 

Individual restrictions can be made using a planning package (e.g. single product group according to responsibility) for personalization 

If no package is defined at least one ad hoc packages needs to be created. 
Ad-Ho c-Packages can be created automatically. All planners can use this package at the same time and modify its selection based on their needs. (data which is used by another user is locked)

Ad-hock-packages reduce the customizing effort for users who work within the planning framework.
If no planning package specific selection is necessary (full selection on the planning level, personalization using variables), at least an ad-hoc-package must be created. In order to execute a planning method, the selection of a planning package is mandatory.
Ad-hock-packages can not be deleted.

Modeling of Planning Structures

  1. The planning level in BW-BPS determines a subsection of the Info Cube.
  2. It corresponds to a drill down level in a query.
  3. Key figures will be aggregated over all characteristics that are not in the planning level.
  4. The structure of a data record is determined by the Info Cube! When saving in any level every characteristic in the data record will be filled with a value.
  5. Delta records will have the value '#' (not assigned) for all characteristics that are not in the level.
  6. In the example above gross sales shall be planned across all regions for one division (beverages) and one product group (water).
  7. The selection defines on which level the entry of data will be allowed.
  8. The grid shows how the slice of the Info Cube looks in a flat table.
Aggregation and Planning Levels

  1. In BW-BPS data can be created on any aggregation level of an Info Cube.e.g. the Info Cube includes the characteristics product group and product – a user can enter data on the aggregated level (product group) or on a detailed level (product group, product).
  2. If the data is entered on a detailed level it can always automatically be aggregated. If the data is entered on an aggregated level it can either be distributed to a more detailed level or just stay on the aggregated level.
  3. If data is stays on an aggregated level, it is "not assigned" to some details (e.g. product) 
  4. Not assigned values may be distributed to detailed planning levels using distribution functions or manual assignment.
  5. The example illustrates these effect
  6. The Info Cube in the example includes the characteristics product group, fiscal year and the key figure amount.
  7. First table: Planning level contains product group, fiscal year and amount, the planning package is restricting the characteristic values for product group to water and juice and the fiscal year to 2010
  8. Second table: Planning level contains fiscal year and amount only and shows the aggregated amount entered in the first table. The amount is changed.
  9. Third table: planning level contains Planning level contains product group, fiscal year and amount, the planning package is restricting the characteristic values for product group to water and juice and the fiscal year to 2010. As a change was made on an aggregated level,there is an "unassigned value" (#) remaining regarding the product group.
  10. The possible next step would be to decide whether the not assigned value should be distributed to the different product groups or remain on not assigned. 
Not Assigned Values

Delta records will have the value "#" (not assigned) for all characteristics that are not in the level.
Note: # (not assigned) is always treated as a regular characteristic value and can be used in the same way.
Note: # (not assigned) can be used, where you intentionally want to leave a part of the values not assigned
Example: Target value for net sales in

Planning Method in the BW-BPS Framework

  1. Planning methods cover the different ways how data may be generated or manipulated using BPS
  2. Manual planning comprises the planning layouts that are used for manual data entry.
  3. The same planning layout may be used in the SAP GUI environment and in the web.
  4. Planning layouts are defined as ABAP List Viewer layouts or Excel layouts (converting from Excel to ALV is just setting a switch)
  5. All Excel and ALV layouts can be published in the web
  6. Excel layouts may be rendered on the web using Excel Web Components
  7. Planning functions are methods that automatically change data.
  8. BPS delivers generic planning functions that range from copying, distributing, deleting and others to a formula builder which can be used to create calculations according to a company‘s individual business rules.
  9. Planning functions are two-fold: the planning function and parameter group(s).
  10. The planning function defines the basic settings of the function (what characteristics and key figures are the basis for the function?) – e.g. Datasets shall be copied from version 1 to version 2, then the planning function will get the information, that version is the basis for the copy.
  11. The parameter group defines, which values should be used to execute the planning function and which conditions are applicable. For the copy that would mean from version 1 to version 2.
  12. The separation of planning function and parameter groups allows to reuse planning functions for  multiple purposes (e.g. one parameter group to copy from version 1 to version 2, another parameter group to copy from version 2 to version 3) 

Plan Data Selection and Data Buffer

  1. Planning methods in BPS work on data which is temporarily stored in a buffer called planning buffer
  2. Each user who works in BPS writes data into a personal buffer
  3. All data in the buffer is locked against changes by other users.
  4. Whenever a planning function is called, subsets of data are used from the buffer. If they are not already in the buffer, the data is called from the transactional Info Cube.
  5. The subsets that are called into the buffer depend on the data selection of the planning package and the planning function. (e.g. package includes countries Germany and Spain but the planning function only changes or creates data for Spain, then only a subset including Spain is called into the buffer.
  6. Whenever a user chooses to save data is written into the Info Cube. In order to do so, deltas are calculated.
  7. Even when a save was carried out the data remains in the planning buffer. Only upon leaving of the planning application the data is released from the buffer and available for changes by other users.

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