Displaying the Search Result

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify catalog user group

Using Search Functionality Work

"Marco, now that we have begun implementing our catalog strategies, how will users search the catalog, and find more information about the items they want to purchase?"

"Ajay, items will be available for users to search for and purchase through SAP Ariba Buying. Let's discover how customers can search for products in the Catalog."

How does the search functionality work?

Catalog provides you multiple filter options for a more specified result.

Search Box

The search box shown below can search all items in the catalog. You can search based on name, description, part number, supplier name, and more.

Search Functionality

When using the search bar, there are various functions that can be applied more efficiently to find what you are looking for:

  • Stemming: Search for battery

    Results: battery batteries

  • Boolean: "or" operator allows you to search two or more options.

    Exclude operator "-" will exclude terms from results.

    Example: paper or plastic bags

    Example: cable - USB

  • Partial Word: Trailing wildcard searching is automatic.

    Want to search for polyethylene

    Just type poly

  • Fuzzy Spelling: Similarly spelled results will be returned.

    Search for Monitors Results: Monitors

Image below displays a basic catalog search for "batteries".

Here are some of the search functionalities that let you search for your desired item.

Search and Relevance

Relevance determines the display order. Higher ranked items display towards the top of the results.

Relevance is determined by:

  1. How closely words in the catalog match the search terms

  2. Lowest relevance field value of the item in the catalog file

  3. Items from preferred suppliers

  4. The line item number in the catalog file

Catalog re-indexing updates the relevance .

Refining Search Results

  • Accessible on left side of page
  • Selections in effect until changed
  • Custom catalog fields are selectable through this menu
  • Provides guidance for the search process
  • Refinement counts help to provide "sense of what is in catalog"
  • Narrows a search result set
  • Supports parametric types

Sort Search Results

You can sort your search results by:

  • Name
  • Price
  • Best selling
  • Relevance ( how closely result matches your search results) - This is the default sorting method

Overview of Favorite Items

Categorizing items to favorites allows you to quickly recall chosen items.

Characteristics of Favorite Items

  1. Favorite items can be grouped.
  2. Favorite items are searchable.
  3. Catalog Managers can make public favorites visible to all users or users with a specified group assignment.

Figure below shows how favorite items are displayed and managed in a folder.

Explaining Punchout Catalogs


Punchout catalog items are hosted on the supplier’s own website where you can select items for purchase. Once the PunchOut session is completed, the selected PunchOut catalog items will appear on your requisition as line items. All PunchOut catalog item searches are performed on the supplier's website.

  • When PunchOut catalogs use the supplier’s website, there is more complex configuration, and suppliers must have the infrastructure and tools necessary for PunchOut transactions.

  • cXML is freely available and is well documented for suppliers.

PunchOut Process Flow

  1. First, the user selects a PunchOut item in the SAP Ariba Procurement solution catalog. This selection sends a request to the SAP Business Network to establish a connection with the remote catalog.

  2. The SAP Business Network authenticates the buying organization and forwards the request to the supplier’s PunchOut site.

  3. The supplier sends back a URL of a webpage on the supplier’s PunchOut site designed specifically for the buyer. The procurement system redirects the user to this URL. The remote shopping site appears in the user’s window and the user begins shopping.

  4. After shopping, the user clicks the site’s check out button, which moves the contents of the shopping cart from the supplier site back to SAP Ariba Procurement.


Suppliers must be registered on the SAP Business Network in order to establish punchout items.

PunchOut Catalog Display

This is how PunchOut Catalog items are displayed in the catalog interface, by drilling down to the category, or getting a search result.

Two Levels of PunchOut Catalogs

Let's explore each of the two levels of PunchOut Catalogs to understand how users will interact with these items in the purchasing process.

PunchOut Level 1

  • The Catalog interface shows a link to a supplier’s external website. Users click a Buy from Supplier button, and punch out of the Catalog interface, to the home page of the supplier’s site.
  • The user searches the supplier’s site for items, adds the items to the shopping cart, and returns to the SAP Ariba application.
  • The supplier uploads typically a single-line, comma-separated, static index file to the SAP Business Network.
  • Catalogs are maintained by suppliers on their website.
  • Level 1 PunchOut allows:
    • Dynamic quotes—User can work with their sales person, obtain a quote and have it loaded as a SKU on the PunchOut website for easy and accurate ordering.
    • Real time information—Like pricing and availability
    • Item configuration—"Build your own" with custom pricing.

PunchOut Level 1 Catalog Display

When you click the Buy from Supplier button, you are taken to the main landing page of the supplier’s website, where you search and add items to the website’s shopping cart, then return to SAP Ariba.

Level 1 Advantages

  • Provide real-time inventory and pricing (if provided by supplier).
  • Leverage the supplier’s website, any features, and rich content that may be there.
  • Can utilize E-Quotes or custom configurations from suppliers site.

Level 1 Disadvantages

  • The user must know which supplier to buy the commodities from—cannot do an SAP Ariba search and get specific results.
  • The user cannot create favorite items (on SAP Ariba interface).
  • Each site has a different look-and-feel that users need to learn.
  • Supplier controls the content and pricing. Audit for contract compliance is manual, outside the system.
  • Complicated for suppliers to set up.

PunchOut Level 2

  • The Catalog interface shows search results like a CIF catalog, then users click a Buy from Supplier button, and punch out of SAP Ariba to the supplier’s site directly to the specific item or category they chose.

  • Supplier uploads a CIF-like, static index file, with a line for each SKU, to the SAP Business Network.
  • Catalogs are maintained by suppliers on their website, and they maintain the index file sent to SAP Ariba (can be automated).
  • Level 2 PunchOut allows -
    • Searching in the SAP Ariba application for items - results are returned for both static and PunchOut catalogs—you don’t have to know who the supplier is before you start the purchase.
    • Real time pricing and availability (if provided by the supplier).
    • Punching in at aisle level, shelf level or product level (for example: aisle—optical media, shelf—DVD-R, product—maxell DVD-R part 5435).

Catalog Types - PunchOut Level 2 View

The system punches in to the supplier's site, directly to the specific item. The site presents current pricing information, availability—anything the supplier has programmed into the website.

Level 2 Advantages

  • User searches in SAP Ariba interface, gets results and can compare items side-by-side—CIF or PunchOut.
  • User can create favorites (in SAP Ariba interface).
  • Provide real time inventory and pricing (if provided by the supplier).
  • Leverage supplier’s website and any features and rich content that may be there aisle, shelf or product level.

Level 2 Disadvantages

  • More complicated to set up—must make modifications to a Level 1 site.
  • Supplier has to maintain the PunchOut index file for each SKU, upload to customer to keep current (can be automated).
  • If pricing is required in the index file, when the user punches out to the site, the current price of the item may be different.

Synopsis of PunchOut Level 1 versus Level 2

PunchOut Catalog (Level 1)

In Level 1 - PunchOut catalogs are represented as a link to a supplier website. Users add items while on the supplier website and then check out, returning the items to the SAP Ariba requisition. Items cannot be added to SAP Ariba favorite groups.

PunchOut Catalog (Level 2)

In Level 2 - PunchOut items appear within the SAP Ariba Catalog. To add the item to the cart, users PunchOut to the supplier website directly to a specific item, one at a time. Items can be configured on the supplier site. Items are added one at a time to the cart.

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