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Cloning is bad… and I’m not talking about Sheep, SAP transaction cloning

Alright, well, I just learned something the hard way. For those of you that know me, you’ll know I’m good at that =). Anyway, a few days ago I talked about the new SM/WM integration product I was working on. I was all excited because I almost finished a replacement for the MB1A, B & C transactions to perform material movements and auto generate the transfer order. Well, I took a short cut. I copied the transaction MB1A, and did my updates to that. Well, I finished my development, got it all working in my 4.7 development system. So, as my usual process, I moved the code to my ERP 6.0 system. Well, I got instant syntax errors because things have changed a lot between those versions. Naively, I thought this old transaction will never change. SAP transaction cloning certainly bit me in the butt.  It’s been around forever, so I can just copy it. WRONG!!! The code had a lot of enhancements (included enhancement points, changed forms, etc…). So… I’m back to the drawing board. I’m still going to generate the transaction, but now I need to build the entire front end.
Short story, there are no short cuts in solid developments. Anyway, I’ll keep you in the loop for my continued progress.
Thanks for Reading…

Starting a new Product – SM/WM

Like always, I just hate being bored, so I’m working on my next product that I think will take off. For those of your using SAP Service Management, you probably already know that Service Management and Warehouse Management have ZERO integration. Even though WM is fully integrated with production orders, which are very similar to service order, SAP neglected SM. Sometimes I think I picked the Red-Headed Step Child to specialize in… and as it’s turning out, it could be the best thing ever for me (as soon as my apps start getting into the market).
Well, this new tools is 2 phases. The first phase is create a universal WM helper tool. It will use the functionality of MB1A, MB1B, MB1C and add the ability to automatically create a Transfer Order from it. Simple, but according to my good friend and WM expert, Jeff, something many smaller companies would love. Especially if the same person who does the material movement also creates the TO. I’m nearly complete with this first phase.
Next up, will be integrate the SM orders the same way that production orders are integrated with WM. I don’t know if I’ve fully wrapped my head around how I’m going to accomplish this connection. I have 2 schools of thought and I’ll have to contemplate a little more before I start the coding. One option is to utilize user exits along with a custom configuration table. While this method can work, it is a little more intensive for a customer to implement. In order to avoid any possible overwriting, the customer would have to manually place this include into thier code. Not difficult, but not as easy as my other products. Option 2 entails a batch program that would need to run pretty often to pick up any demands released into the system from service orders and then generate the appropriate WM documents. I also need to spend more time understanding all of the pieces involved for production orders.
All fun stuff, and yet another learning experience. Special Thanks to my good friend Jeff Bass. without him, WM would just be another black box of SAP that I know nothing about. Jeff is an amazing teacher of this stuff. If you need WM help, check him out.