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Change Pointers

by Gary Byrne

September 7, 2011

While looking through articles for an index project this week, I came across Rajen Iyer's article titled "Distribute Critical Data Among Multiple SAP Systems by Using Change Pointers." Although this article was published two years ago, it still seems relevant today, especially as businesses begin to implement and integrate various SAP BusinessObjects GRC 10.0 applications.

In his article Rajen uses the example of an SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) source system and an SAP Global Trade Services target system. As a prerequisitie, master data (product, pricing, and bills of material) is required from the source system, and preliminary checks might also be needed. Rajen explains that "[w]hen this master data is defined in the SAP ECC system, you might want the information to flow to SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services as well. SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services might be interested in only a limited amount of information (e.g., the material number, type, description, and unit of measure), but not all the information SAP ECC stores. Change pointer can enable you to identify only the data elements that are of interest, capturing the information and periodically transferring it from SAP ECC to SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services. You can periodically schedule a transfer of the data from the source system to the target system by making use of the communication, distribution, and application services with ALE [Application Linking and Enabling]."

The article explains steps for configuring SAP ECC for activation and setup of a change pointer, describes the process of setting up communication in SAP ECC for ALE and Remote Function Call (RFC), and outlines the steps for configuring SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services so that it recognizes the source system's (SAP ECC's) data.

After reading this article, I'm left wondering what mistakes can happen when an SAP system is being configured for change pointers. Is configuration for change pointers for SAP BusinessObjects GRC 10.0 applications easier because the solutions have been moved to the ABAP platform?  Please feel free to add your comments about this issue here.

Please also join Rajen in a live Q&A this Thursday, September 8, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT.  Rajen is Kryaa cofounder, a GRC Expert author, and a logistics and SCM expert.  He will be taking questions in a free one-hour Q&A in Insider Learning Network’s SCM Forum. Register today for a bonus download of Chapter 1 from his book Effective Pricing in SAP ERP, cowritten with SCM Expert and Capgemini senior manager Suresh Veeraraghavan. 

Ask your specific questions on optimizing your pricing configuration — balancing custom configuration against SAP standard settings, securing pricing data, integrating, and other pricing issues.  Register now for all the details.

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