How to: keeping master data aligned across the SAP landscape

Dmitry Kaglik

September 23, 2013



As SAP Expert already wrote, there are several systems usually present in the SAP landscape. At a minimum, you should have Development, Test and Production.

In a green field SAP implementation project, there are some master data objects that you start to create long before a Production system may be installed. And these objects remain more or less static during the whole lifecycle of the system. I mean objects like GL Accounts, Profit Centres, Cost Centres, sometimes Internal Orders.

Some SAP configuration steps include these objects, for example automatic account determination. It means that it is very important to have these objects aligned between all the systems in SAP landscape.

Even if your project is not green field, it is important to have master data intact to run proper tests in Test or Development systems prior to moving changes to Production.

How can this be achieved?

Of course, you can ask someone to monitor all the changes and maintain the alignment of the systems. But this is not the way out, as you can understand.

There are SAP standard tools for that, specifically IDOCs. There are special types of IDOCs and even standard SAP transactions to distribute General Ledger accounts, Cost Centres, Profit Centres, Internal Orders, Banks.

Master Data Distribution
Master Data Distribution

You can find them in the SAP Easy Access menu under Tools – ALE – Master Data Distribution branch. Here is a quick list of transactions for you:

  • Banks – FI08
  • GL Account – BD18
  • Profit Centre – KE77
  • Profit Centre Group – KE79
  • Cost Centre – BD16
  • Cost Centre Group – KAVB
  • Internal Order – KOA1

As a prerequisite, you need to configure ALE between your systems. How? Talk to your Basis team, or ask SAP Expert!

SAP Expert would like to make some comments on how to use these transactions.

  1. The direction of master data distribution depends on the stage your project is in. At the early stage, during implementation itself and soon after it goes live, it is easier to distribute from Development to Production. In a mature system, when processes are stable, it is better to distribute from Production to Development.
  2. You can schedule distribution transactions to run periodically. That will allow automatic alignment of master data across the systems.
  3. Don’t forget that IDOC may fail, so you also need to monitor incoming IDOCs in recipient systems, analyze the reasons for failure, and try to eliminate them.
  4. Don’t forget that you need to distribute to at least two different systems, Development + Test or Test + Production, depending on the direction of your master data distribution. Schedule each transaction twice with a different Target System.
  5. If you distribute Cost and Profit Centres, don’t forget that you also need to distribute Cost and Profit Centre standard hierarchies. Standard hierarchy technically is just a group – use relevant transactions.
  6. You need to schedule distribution of Profit Centres to run before Cost Centres to avoid failures.

Do you want to know more about SAP Master Data distribution? Ask SAP Expert the question you’re after.

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