The quality of an IT system often stands and falls with the quality of the master data. Especially in SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), the latter can become extremely complex and require a lot of attention.
For fully automated planning using the SAP TM Optimizer, a well thought-out and maintained transportation network is required. Even minor errors can lead to a completely unexpected planning result.
In these cases, troubleshooting can become very time-consuming.
This also applies to the freight cost calculation, for which various complex master data objects must interact in SAP TM. With the already complex creation and maintenance of master data, the question arises again and again: In which system is the master data maintained, to what level of detail, and by whom?
Simplification of central master data maintenance thanks to distribution tool
The application developers need a set of master data for the developer tests on the development system.
On the test system, realistic master data is needed for functional testing before go-live.
For maintenance, realistic master data is also required on a maintenance system so that system behavior can be reasonably reproduced.
A SAP TM customer is faced here with the great challenge of maintaining the complex master data not only in one system, but in several systems and, at best, keeping them synchronized.
In previous projects, this repeatedly led to problems and high costs for master data maintenance. Customer-specific tools and various upload and download tools were used to try to minimize these. SAP’s new Cut-Over Tool, which we have tested for you and would like to present today, offers a simpler and more holistic solution for efficient and effective master data transfer.
Objective: Central maintenance and distribution of master data
From the described problem arises the objective to maintain master data as once as possible and in a central syste. From there it shall be distributed to other systems. This would offer the following advantages:
“Single-point-of-truth” for master data
Master data only needs to be created manually once
Fully comprehensive and realistic master data on maintenance systems
Multiple, time-consuming maintenance of master data is no longer necessary
Solution: SAP TM Master Data Transfer Tool
SAP has listened to a long-standing customer request for simplification of master data maintenance in a multi-system landscape. Since the beginning of the year, SAP has also provided a functionality for master data transfer. This can be used in migration projects from SAP TM 9.5 / 9.6 to S/4HANA as well as in the new implementation of an S/4HANA system.
The first steps to install the Master Data Transfer Tool
The Master Data Transfer Tool can be used as of S/4HANA 1809. It was developed on customer request and in cooperation with various customer projects. The release of developments and new functionalities was done on a monthly basis. SAP recommends implementing all SAP Notes dating back to at least January 2020 to guarantee full functionality.
As a start, the following two SAP Notes are essentially relevant:
Master Data Transfer Tool for SAP TM
Read the description of the transfer tool with all FAQs and further material here.
Compilation of available corrections for the SAP TM Transfer Tool.
This note lists all correction notes that have been published related to the SAP TM migration and distribution tool.
A short insight into the functionality of the Master Data Transfer Tool
The report offers various options, of which only the most important points are discussed below. In the selection screen, the RFC destination for the transfer as well as the migration object to be distributed is selected. Furthermore, various filter settings can be defined for the transfer and also for the transfer of changes. The simulation mode is a useful functionality for preparing and pre-testing the transfer.
When the report is executed, the RFC destination is verified and the objects to be distributed are selected. The transfer itself is automatically scheduled as a batch job.
The log of the distribution can then be called up via the batch job.
Automatically generated description
The question quickly arises as to which master data objects can be distributed and whether there are any restrictions. Currently, the Master Data Transfer Tool includes the following objects:
Our tip: Avoid errors from the beginning
Since master data is partly based on other master data, a predefined sequence should be followed during transfer. As a mandatory prerequisite for transfer and use of BOPF-based SAP TM master data, the key mappings for certain master data objects must be transferred first. In principle, the DRF is still used for the transfer of business partners, for example – but in order for the target system to be able to do something with the business partner ID of the source system, the transfer of the business partner key mapping is also required.
It is noticeable that not all relevant objects of SAP TM can yet be distributed using the transfer tool. Central elements such as TM and PPF profiles, conditions and page layouts are missing, as are TM-specific products and drivers. SAP is aware of the gap, but has not yet specified a date when these objects will also be integrated into the scope.
We are here for you
We have already used the transfer tool on several customer projects. The new functionality offers significant added value both during project implementation and during cut-over and productive operation. Basically, we recommend setting up the tool early in the project, testing it and realizing the benefits.
It is therefore worthwhile to take a closer look at SAP’s master data transfer tool in order to save effort and thus money. Are there still some open points for you? For more clarity, please contact us. If you have any questions about this or other topics in the blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager SAP Logistics
Consultant SAP Logistics