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3 Tips to Ensure Quality Business

Partner Master Data


by Ned Falk, Senior Education Consultant, SAP
May 15, 2007
SAPexperts/CRM
To prevent users from selecting the wrong business
partner role in transaction BP, learn how to turn off
business partner roles you dont need. Then find out
how you can limit the search further by using custom
business partner role categories that contain only
business partner roles that are related to your business.
This prevents potential errors in your master data,
which can cause additional errors in your SAP CRM
system.
Key Concept
Each business partner role contains a predefined set of
functions based on the business partners relationship to
your company. For example, you could have business
partner roles such as employee or vendor. The business
partner roles determine the fields you have available in
the SAP CRM system for the business partner. Business
partner role categories sort business partner roles into
groups, such as person or company.

Business partner roles are critical in your CRM project


they define the functions your business partners can
perform during CRM transactions. However, when you select
a business partner role for a new business partner, youll
notice that SAP provides about 46 standard business
partner roles.
When I recently created a business partner using
transaction BP, I noticed how easy it is to assign the wrong
business partner role. First, SAP CRM defaults to the
business partner role Business Partner General, a
business partner role that is not often needed. Second, the
number of options for a business partner role made it
difficult to decide which role was the most suitable.
If the default business partner role is not appropriate or too
many choices exist, it can cause errors in master data and
then errors in business processes. Ill show you how you
can hide unwanted business partner roles. Then Ill explain
how to set a new default business partner role to the one
that you use most often. Finally, Ill show you how to define
role categories to further limit the roles a user can select
when setting up a new business partner. I tested these tips
in SAP CRM 2005, but they also apply to SAP CRM 4.0.

Tip 1. Hide Unnecessary Roles

In my situation, the system had custom business partner


roles to differentiate between company employees, Internal
Employee (ZINTE) and contract employees,
Subcontracted Employee (ZSUBE). These custom
business partner roles rendered the standard SAP business
partner role Employee superfluous, so I wanted to remove
this option from the business partner role list.
To turn off this business partner role, follow IMG menu path
Cross-Application Components>SAP Business
Partner>Business Partner>Basic Settings>Business
Partner Roles>Define BP Roles. Double-click on the
BUP003 business partner role to access the details screen
shown in Figure 1. To hide the business partner role from
the selection list, click on the Hide check box and save.

Figure 1
Hide the standard SAP business partner
role Employee

Tip 2. Set a New Default Role


To set a new default role, the first step is to configure a
custom business partner role category, which allows you to
set a new default business partner role. In Figure 2, click
on BP Role Categories, then copy the business partner
role category BUP003 to your new business partner role

category ZPERS.

Figure 2
Create new business partner role category
ZPERS
Next, enter the new business partner role category ZPERS
for business partner roles, in my example ZINTE and
ZSUBE. Follow IMG menu path Cross-Application
Components>SAP Business Partner>Business
Partner>Basic Settings>Business Partner Roles>Define
BP Roles and double-click on ZINTE. Enter ZPERS in the
BP Role Cat. field.
Then repeat this for the ZSUBE business partner role
(Figure 3). With this setting, the system allows only
business partner roles ZINTE and ZSUBE for business
partners with the business partner role category ZPERS.

Figure 3
Assign the business partner role category
ZPERS to business partner role ZSUBE
I want the ZINTE business partner role to be the new
default business partner role for the ZPERS business
partner role category. In Figure 3, check the Std
Assignment BP Role>BP Role Cat. check box.
In the Interface Control section at the bottom of Figure 3,
the BP View has not changed from the SAP default
BUP003. The BP View field controls the available fields and
tabs to organize your business partner role, so your custom
business partner roles have the same fields and tabs as
BUP003.
Also, the Position field is 1. This Position field overwrites
the default alphabetical order of business partner roles in
the business partner role selection drop-down menu when
using transaction BP. By assigning the business partner
role the first position, you allow users to see this business
partner role first, making it easier to access. If no number is
assigned, then alphabetical order prevails.

Tip 3. Limit Choice of Roles


Configure a custom transaction to limit the users choice of
business partner roles to just the two custom business
partner roles ZINTE and ZSUBE. This further limits the
choice of business partner roles, which helps you avoid bad
data. To do this, create a new transaction code using
transaction SE93 (create transaction), then configure it to
create business partner roles only within the new business

partner role category ZPERS.


First, create a transaction code by copying a standard code
that is similar to what you need. SAP provides many
transaction codes other than BP to create a business
partner for example, BUA1 creates partners with the
business partner role contact person. However, you need to
create a new maintenance transaction for custom business
partner roles. You can view the delivered business partner
transactions by following IMG menu path CrossApplication Components>SAP Business
Partner>Business Partner>Basic Settings>Business
Partner Roles>Define Application Transactions.
By using these transactions as a starting point, the system
assigns an underlying ABAP object that by default bypasses
the normal BP transaction GUI where you have to select a
person, organization, or group. When you bypass the normal
BP transaction GUI, you can use your custom business
partner roles instead of the standard business partner roles,
such as Business Partner General. In my example, the
system proposes the ZINTE business partner role as the
default business partner role when you link the new
transaction code to the new business partner role category.
Ill use BUM1, Create Employee (BP), as a template to
make a new ZEMP transaction. Go to transaction SE93,
enter source transaction BUM1, and click on the copy icon
to open the copy dialog box (Figure 4). Enter the
transaction code you want to copy (in my case BUM1), then
give the new transaction code a name (in my case, ZEMP).
When you copy the transaction, the system copies over the
data to create a business partner with limited options for the
business partner role.

Figure 4
Use transaction SE93 to copy the BUM1
transaction
Now that you have a new SAP transaction, you need to
customize it to call out just your business partner role
category. Follow IMG menu path Cross-Application
Components>SAP Business Partner>Business
Partner>Basic Settings>Business Partner Roles>Define

Application Transactions and click on the New Entries


button to access the details screen in Figure 5.

Figure 5
Details of business partner application
transaction
Next, check the new ZEMP transaction (Figure 6). The new
ZEMP transaction defaults to business partner role ZINTE,
the standard for this business partner role category. If you
click on the drop-down menu in the Create in BP role field,
you can see that ZSUBE is the only other business partner
role available.

Figure 6
Transaction ZEMP

Note
To find out more about other configuration options for
business partners, including custom business partner
roles and screen changes, consider taking the CR100
class, CRM Customizing Fundamentals.