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Introduction to SAP ERP
SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is designed to assist an organization with the integration and management of business processes. The system deals with the problems of organising and executing the millions of transactions that are fundamental to many large businesses. SAP is the leader in the ERP market. SAP ERP is a very large system which incorporates over 30,000 tables, and 50,000 transactions. This tutorial is an introduction designed to assist you with familiarising yourself with the SAP ERP basics utilising SAP’s latest ERP release: S/4HANA. Traditionally SAP’s ERP system could operate on a number of different databases (Oracle. SQL Server. DB2 etc). However, SAP S/4HANA has been designed to take advantage of SAP HANA database’s in-memory capabilities.
SAP S/4HANA can operate on a variety of personal computers using different operating systems. You can access S/4HANA either through the traditional interface (SAPGUI) or the new interface (Fiori) built with HTML5 based on the UI5 standard. But no matter which equipment, operating system or interface which is used, there are some necessary requirements:
Log On details
Due to the value of the information stored in the ERP system it is necessary to control the access to the software. The SAP administrator would need to establish a user account for each user who intends to use the ERP system. Each user account is identified by a user name and requires a password for security. Each user account is also allocated a particular type of security profile which determines the data a user is allowed to view and change.
The other log on detail you require is the Client number. A Client is a set of self-contained tables required for processing transactions in the SAP system. A user in one client cannot change the data in another Client. You will need to know your user name, password and Client before you attempt to access the system. These can be obtained from your workshop leader.
Task 1: Logging on to the SAP System
There are various techniques to open SAP S/4HANA. For the purpose of these exercises you will access the ERP system via a web browser.
Logon to SAP S/4HANA. (https://m29z.ucc.ovgu.de/sap/bc/ui2/flp?sap-client=289&sap-language=EN)
The S/4HANA logon screen appears similar to the one below:
Input Areas of the Screen
Identify your log on details as bellow:
Users should end with a three-digit numeric string (e.g., LEARN-001, LEARN-002, etc.). This number is symbolized in the case study by ### and serves as a distinguishing feature of vendor master data, debitor master data etc.
Click to authorise your details.
A new screen will appear which allows you to enter a new password to replace the temporary one you were supplied with.
You now need to create a new password. You will be the only person who knows this password so it is important to create a password which is easy to remember. However, the ERP system has some rules about what it allows to be a password. These rules can be changed by the system administrator. But in general the following applies:
Passwords must be at least 6 characters.
Passwords are case-sensitive.
Passwords cannot start with a blank space, question mark(?). or an exclamation mark (!).
The password cannot be any of the previous 5 passwords.
Type your Current Password.
Type your New Password.
Type your new password aging in the Repeat Password field to confirm it.
Click to change your password.
After logging on to the SAP S/4HANA system the main screen appears.
Task 2: SAP S/4HANA Fiori Launch Pad
The SAP Fiori launchpad home page is the first page that users see after they have logged on. It is the main entry point to SAP Fiori apps on mobile and desktop devices. The primary place where a user will look for applications is the home page. The page features tiles that allow the user to launch apps and may show additional information. The page can be personalized and tiles can be added, removed, or bundled in groups.
Launch Pad Components
The launch pad screen has a number of screen elements you need to become familiar with:
Group Selection Bar
The tiles provide direct access to apps or content. They are similar to large icons and have a rectangular shape. The launchpad home page comes with a predefined set of groups and tiles. However, the user can also personalize the launchpad home page to reflect their individual roles by choosing from a wide range of ready-to-use tiles from the app finder.
Tiles differ in the content they display. They can contain an icon, a title, some informative text, numbers, and charts. The information that is shown depends on the function of the tile or app.
Icon Chart Number
The number of tiles visible on a page depends on the screen resolution. The tiles are placed below each other and are resized for smaller screens such as smart phones and tablets.
Groups are areas where related Fiori tiles are displayed. This assists the user to quickly move from one activity to a related activity.
Group Selection Bar
In the launchpad home page, tiles are usually clustered in groups. These groups are listed in an Group Selection Bar at the top of the page. When users select a group name, the page scrolls down to the selected group.
The Profile Icon provides access to the Me Area. This area provides a number of options for customizing your Home screen. It also provides a list of the most recent tiles or objects you have worked on.
The Search Icon allows users to find business objects such as materials or sales orders and tiles such as Leave Request or Current Accounts Balance.
SAP has an extensive Help documentation. It is essential that you understand how to use the Help documentation if you want to gain a better understanding of this system. SAP ERP provides different kinds of on line Help. You can access the Help documentation a number of different ways. There is web based Help at https://help.sap.com/doc/saphelp_nwpi711/7.1.1/en-US/dd/8e51341a06084de10000009b38f83b/frameset.htm :
The Help screen is divided into two sections. On the left is the Contents or main headings while on the right side the Help documentation appears.
Click Getting Started – Using SAP Software in the left pane.
A new window appears
Click V next to Getting Started to display the available topics.
Click V next to SAP GUI for Windows to display the available topics.
Click > next to Navigating in the SAP Window
Click Element of an SAP GUI Window to display the contents.
Click The Menu Bar to display the Help documentation.
Explore some of the other topics.
The Help documentation also includes an online glossary which can help you to understand some of the terminology used in the SAP system.
Click Glossary on the Help menu bar to move to this screen.
The Glossary screen appears:
SAP Help system enables you to search for particular topics.
After working with the Help files you would have encountered a number of ERP terms which are important to understand if you are going to understand how these systems operate.
Business Scenario: Grouping of business processes in a specific organizational unit that share some similar goals in the enterprise, such as purchasing, services, balance sheet preparation, production, personnel administration, and so on.
Organisational Units: An organisational unit represents any type of organisational entity found within a company, for example, subsidiaries, divisions, departments, or special project teams. These organisational units need to be mapped in the SAP ERP system as they are the locations where the various Business Scenarios occur. Some of the possible organisational units are displayed below:
The types of organisational units mapped in the SAP system will depend upon which Business scenarios are going to be used. Some units are only relevant to certain SAP modules.
List some of the Organisational Units you would find in a university.
Master Data: Business Scenarios involve various objects such as customer, vendors, products, employees etc. Data which describes these objects is referred to as Master Data. This data describes the various objects stored within the SAP system. This data usually remains unchanged over an extended period of time.
A Master Data object, such as a customer, can be used by more than module. Each module may only be concerned with certain aspects of the Master Data.
List Master Data objects in a Student Administration system
Transactions: are application programs which execute a business processes in the ERP system. They usually result in the interaction with master data objects such as creating a customer order, posting an incoming payment, or approving a leave request. The majority of processing the SAP ERP system is related to transactions. For example the diagram below illustrates a Transaction the interaction between the Master Data objects of Customer and Material in the creation of a sales document.
Document: A data record that is generated when a transaction is carried out and contains all the predefined information such as sales document, order, pay slip etc.
Reports: Program which reads certain data elements and displays them in a list. SAP has extensive reporting facilities which enables users to access and display the data in various formats.
Task 3: SAP S/4HANA Navigation
Master Data Navigation
An ERP system stores vast amounts of data about the various objects used in different business processes. To display the data you require from such a large system there are various navigation techniques you need to become familiar with. SAP S/4HANA includes a number of tools which can facilitate this navigation.
This exercise requires you to find the Master Data for a particular product. The product we are interested in is referred to as Deluxe Touring Bike. The Master Data referring to a product is called a Material Master. To display the Material Master for a product:
Click on the Group Selection Bar to display this Group
Click Fiori tile to start this transaction.
The Display Material: Initial Screen appears:
The screen requires the details of the Material you want to display. If could remember the details you can type directly into the Material field. Notice that the material field has an * which indicates that it is required information for this transaction to occur. Often it is difficult to remember the Material’s details so you would need to search for it. In this exercise you want to search for a material (product) called “Deluxe Touring Bike”,
There are usually thousands of different products in the ERP system, a facility called a matchcode can make the search a lot easier. A matchcodeis a method of finding a certain piece of data when you do not know the specific number of that record.
To access the matchcode tool for a particular field you click the icon of the relevant field
Click to display search dialog box.
You will notice there are numerous ways to search for a Material. We want to search by Material description.
Type Deluxe*Bike*in the Material description: field to display all materials that have a Material Description that includes bike.
You are able to replace letters and numbers by using wildcards. A summary of the different types of wildcards can be seen below:
* and +
Characters you do not know
Exactly one character
Searches for everything
Starting with z
Containing the character string sale, such as rvsale07
Containing an f as the second-to-last character, such as rmlogifa
Starting with rp, ending in sch, and containing any three characters in between, such as rp012sch or rpinvsch
Click in the dialog box to accept this option and display the search results.
There are a number of products that satisfies the Matchcode.
Click Deluxe Touring Bike (Black) (any one) to select it.
Click in the dialog box to accept this option and to move to the next screen.
Notice that the ERP system has automatically places the material number in the Material field.
What is the Material Number for the Deluxe Touring Bike (Silver)?
Now that the relevant Material Number has been found you can display the Master Data for the product.
Click or press <ENTER>
The Select Views dialog box appears on screen. The Material Master stores a large amount of data depending upon which Business Scenarios it is involved in within the organisation. The costing data about a material would be of little interest to someone responsible for its storage in the warehouse. The Select View dialog box allows the user to select which data from the Material Master will be displayed.
From this dialog box it is evident that there is a large amount of information available about a product. We are going to assume that you are assigned to the purchasing department and therefore only require details relevant to this area.
Click next to Plant Stock to select this view of the data. You will need to use the scroll bar to display the other possible views.
Click or press <ENTER>
Often products may be used at more than one organisation level in a large corporation or produced at different plants within a country or around the world. To display the product details which are relevant to you, an organisation level will need to be indicated.
Click *Plant field to insert the cursor.
Click to display a list of possible entries.
This displays the Plants that are responsible for the Deluxe Touring Bike (Silver).
Click DC Miami to select it. (MI00)
Click to insert automatically insert the Plant number in the Plant field.
Click or press <ENTER> to display the product details.
You can see from this screen that no stock is available for this material. However, you would like to know the price which this bike sells for and its weight. This data is stored in the Accounting and Basic Data views.
You will notice that the required Views do not appear on the View toolbar. You can display the Views available by clicking on the toolbar
What is the price and weight of the bike?
Click to close this transaction and return to the Home screen.
Sometimes when you click on to return to the home screen. This message pops-up:
Whenever you finish the task based on the steps provided in tutorials and this message come up, just click on OK to navigate to the Home screen.
There were a number or new ERP terms you were introduced to throughout this exercise. These are important to understand. As a summary explain the following terms:
It is important that when you have finished working with SAP S/4HANA that you log off correctly. This will protect data but more importantly it will prevent others from unlawfully using the system under your name.
Click profile icon on the Titlebar to exit SAP ERP.
A dialog box appears asking to confirm your actions:
Click to exit the system.
You have now completed the introductory tutorial for SAP ERP: S/4HANA. As you become more familiar with the system you will find alternative ways of doing things. We have only covered the basics and there is a lot more to learn.
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