Identifying Data Model Simplifications in SAP S/4HANA

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Check some data model simplifications for SAP S/4HANA Sales

Data Model Simplifications for SAP S/4HANA Sales

Simplifications to the Data Model for SAP S/4HANA Sales

Examples are shown of data model simplifications in SAP S/4HANA Sales.

The data model used in SAP S/4HANA has been simplified drastically when comparing it with the data model used in SAP ERP. For the Line-of-Business (LoB) Sales the biggest changes are the following:

  • Elimination of the VBUK and VBUP status tables:

    Status fields have been moved to the corresponding header and item tables: VBAK and VBAP for sales documents, LIKP and LIPS for deliveries, and VBRK for billing documents.

  • Simplification of the document flow table VBFA:

    A new functionality/screen has been created called the Process Overview. It combines the document flow and the status information. The process overview was first used in the Sales Order Fulfillment Monitor app.

  • Field length extension of the SD document category field:

    The VBTYP (Char1) data element has been replaced by the VBTYPL (Char4) data element.

  • Elimination of redundancies:

    • Document index tables VAKPA, VAPMA, VLKPA, VLPMA, VRKPA, VRPMA are no longer used.

    • Rebate index table VBOX is no longer used; see SAP note 2200691 - SD rebate: Simplifications in SAP S/4HANA for more details.

The key benefits of these simplifications are a reduced memory footprint, increased performance of SAP HANA queries, and functional scope enhancements through extended field lengths.

Elimination of status tables

Status tables like VBUK are eliminated. That is what the figure shows.

In SAP ERP, the status values for a transactional document are not stored in the document tables themselves, but in the tables VBUK (for header data) and VBUP (for item data). To get status information about process documents (like sales orders), you need additional selects on the tables VBUK and VBUP. A select is a programming statement used to get data that is obtained from a table. In short: in SAP ERP, where the table structure is not optimized, multiple selects are needed to get all of the relevant data for a document. SAP S/4HANA avoids these multiple selects by using a simplified table structure where status information is now stored in the relevant header and item tables:

  • For sales orders, VBUK information is moved to VBAK.

  • For deliveries, VBUK information is moved to LIKP.

  • For billing documents, VBUK information is moved to VBRK.

Note
This move from VBUK to the relevant header and item tables is also referred to as denormalization of the data model. It leads to a leaner database table model, easier program code, and more robust programs since no additional selects or joins are needed anymore.

Storing Pricing Results

A screenshot is shown of the contents of table PRCD_ELEMENTS, and the fact that it now replaces table KONV.

Another simplification related to the data model used in Sales in SAP S/4HANA, is the way pricing results are stored.

For SAP ERP, customer feedback indicated:

  • Several field lengths within the table structure where pricing result are stored, are too small. Examples: counter ZAEHK, condition rate KBETR, and base value KAWRT.
  • The level of precision of the rate or base field is too small, since the number of decimal places allowed for these fields cannot deviate from the number of decimal places allowed for the assigned currency.

And also: in SAP ERP a cluster table was used to store pricing results. Cluster tables are no longer supported in SAP S/4HANA. Switching from a cluster table to a transparent table in SAP HANA disables intrinsic cluster table buffering.

This leads to the following simplifications/optimizations in SAP S/4HANA:

  • The pricing results are stored in a new table structure called PRCD_ELEMENTS, with enhanced field lengths and the possibility to deviate from the assigned currency’s number of decimal places.

  • The new PRCD_ELEMENTS table is encapsulated using a new access class (no direct updates to KONV anymore).
  • A core data services (CDS) view called V_KONV_CDS is provided as a fallback for read-only access to the SAP ERP pricing results table (KONV).
  • KONV is kept as the communication structure, with DZAEHK and KOLNR as the field length extensions.

This provides the following benefits:

  • Enhanced persistence/storage of pricing results in SAP S/4HANA in PRCD_ELEMENTS
  • The possibility to functionally use the various field length extensions

For more information, check the simplification item catalog for simplification item S4TWL - Data Model Changes in SD Pricing. SAP note 2220005 - S/4 HANA: Data Model Changes in Pricing and Condition Technique contains as an attachment the so-called cookbook for customer adoption with the name Required Code and DDIC Changes for Customers using Pricing and Condition Technique in SAP S/4HANA. In this document, all details related to this simplification and its impact can be found.

Check Data Model Simplifications in SAP S/4HANA Sales

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