In this blog series, we want to give you an introduction into SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing. We will answer the following questions:
- What is SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing?
- What are the building blocks and data flows?
- What are the system prerequisites?
What is SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing?
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing is the name of the solution that offers two business services on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP):
- Variant Configuration service
- Pricing service
The configuration and pricing services (CPS) provide variant configuration and sales pricing functionalities with high compatibility to the back end. This allows customers to create new digital, omni-channel business processes in the cloud, while preserving their investments in that area in the digital core.
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing is a public cloud solution (software-as-a-service). Hence, it is always up-to-date. Customers don’t need to worry about scalability, and its internal technical complexity is hidden.
As shown in the illustration above, the service works on master data and customizing maintained in the back end. We support ECC and S/4HANA private as well as public cloud editions (more details in the chapter “System Perquisites” below).
The services are commercially offered in three flavors according to three integration scenarios that are currently available:
- Add-on for SAP Commerce Cloud
Here, the focus lies on doing product configuration in a cart via the Variant Configuration service. The add-on offers the configuration UI, related Commerce Backoffice settings (e.g. to connect Commerce to the services), and further integration aspects like sending the configuration results with the order to the back end.
During the configuration, the Pricing service is used to calculate surcharges depending on the chosen options.
- Add-on for SAP CPQ
Here, the configuration and pricing services are used to bypass SAP CPQ’s own engines for configuration and pricing. With that, configuration and pricing models can be created in SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA and can also be used in SAP CPQ, instead of re-modelling them again in SAP CPQ and map them when sending the quotes to the back end.
- API-based integrations
For customers that want to build custom integrations, own applications on top of the services, or want to integrate them in other applications than SAP Commerce Cloud or SAP CPQ.
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing on SAP Help Portal
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing on Discovery Center
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing on API Business Hub
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing on SAP Store (for API-based integrations)
What are the building blocks and data flows?
- The Variant Configuration service needs a knowledge base: a collection of all LO-VC configuration data (like characteristics and rules) for a certain product model (configurable material).
- The Pricing service needs pricing procedures, condition records, currency exchange rates, etc. as known from SAP ERP SD pricing.
- The Variant Configuration service and the Pricing service are using SAP HANA smart data integration (SDI) for data replication from an on-premise or private cloud back end; connected via the SDI Data Provisioning Agent.
- Consuming applications need materials, business partners, etc., which are loaded from the back end e.g. via SAP Cloud Integration; connected via SAP Cloud Connector or reverse proxy.
- Consuming applications call the Variant Configuration service during runtime to configure VC product models.
- Consuming applications call the Pricing service during runtime to calculate prices of products and calculate surcharges based on selected options.
- Consuming applications send sales documents with price details and configuration results to the SAP back end, e.g. via SAP Cloud Integration.
What are the system prerequisites?
Before starting, make sure that you have all required versions of the software you are integrating. For that please refer to SAP Note 2711932!
Supported back-end versions:
- SAP ERP with the following minimum Support Package Stacks:
- EHP5 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 SPS14
- EHP6 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 SPS15
- EHP7 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 SPS09
- EHP8 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 SPS02
- SAP S/4HANA on-premise
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition/private cloud edition
- SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud with activated scope item 22T
To exchange data between a cloud solution and the licensee’s local on-premise SAP ERP back end, SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing also comprises the SDI Data Provisioning Agent, which is part of SAP HANA smart data integration. The SDI Data Provisioning Agent is an on-premise application that is to be installed and operated locally in the customer’s on-premise landscape.
For data exchange with SAP back-end systems, using a third-party runtime database obtained from SAP, such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle, certain restrictions apply according to the applicable on-premise license agreements for the third-party runtime databases.
One such restriction is that the licensee may not access these databases directly via systems or technologies that have not been licensed specifically for the use with such runtime databases. Therefore, the corresponding SDI Data Provisioning Agent LogReader Adapters provided with SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing may not be used to directly access, or replicate data from, such third-party runtime databases licensed from SAP.
For third-party database licenses not obtained from SAP, please refer to the respective license agreements on the available options for data exchange via direct database accesses.
For more information about interoperability and maintenance rules for the Data Provisioning Agent, see SAP Note 2546811
With that, you have a good first overview about all the involved components and data flows.
In later blogs, we will go into more details:
- What is the Variant Configuration service?
- What is the Pricing service?
- What is the extension concept?
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