You can use variables to reduce the amount of recurrent Customizing work in the planning environment. You achieve this by restricting characteristics to one desired value or value range using variables in a central place within a planning area. You can also determine these values by selecting hierarchy nodes or attributes. The setting of the characteristic value which you make in this way then becomes automatically effective in all places within the planning area where the selection for the corresponding characteristic is referred to the variable you have defined. You can also create variables for numeric values which have no reference to a characteristic.
The use of variables offers the following advantages compared to a direct entry of selection conditions for a characteristic:
· Reduced Customizing effort: You only have to make settings that should be valid in the entire planning area as standard (the same as variable definition) in one place, and transfer these settings per variable reference to all planning levels and functions of the area.
· Flexibility: You can set the valid selection for a characteristic individually for every user.
· Dynamic, automated adjustment of Customizing: You can have the selection determined by a function module, where you have complete freedom in the definition of selection values. In this way it would be conceivable that certain characteristic value combinations can only be planned within a certain time period, and the assigned function module automatically sets another combination at the end of this period.
· Simplified structure of planning layouts: You can mark up characteristic values that are transferred per variable with an offset. This leads, for example, to a drastic simplification of the maintenance of planning layouts for rolling planning over several periods, because with a period change you only ever have to update the value of the outgoing period and adjust all other periods automatically using graded offsets.
Variables that you define in the context of a planning area can be referenced anywhere within the planning area where a selection condition can be entered for this characteristic:
· In the planning level
· In the parameter groups of the user-defined planning functions for which the characteristics can be included in the list of fields to be changed (for example copying, reposting)
· In the formula editor of a formula function using the ABAP keyword VARV (variable value) and VARI
· In manual planning with column definition
The option of restricting characteristic values through variable replacement is not offered in planning packages.
You can create the following types of variables:
· CharacteristicYou select one or several characteristics from the characteristic pool of the planning area and enter with which values of these characteristics the variable should be replaced at the time of execution.
· AttributeFirst you select a basic characteristic from the characteristic pool of the planning area and then enter one or several attributes of this characteristic. You define the desired attribute values for each of these attributes. The variable then makes those values available for the basic characteristic that corresponds to the selected attribute values (for example all articles that belong to a selected article group as an attribute value).
· HierarchyFirst you select a characteristic from the characteristic pool of the planning area and then one of the BW hierarchies defined for this characteristic. Finally, you put together a selection of those values of the hierarchy-bearing characteristic that are contained in the hierarchy.
· Number You determine that the variable should be replaced at the time of execution by the number you defined. You use this type of variable where nondimensional sizes are used in BW-BPS (for example as a revaluation factor in functions of type revaluation or in formulas with the formula function VARV and VARI).
You can define any number of variables for every characteristic of the planning area. In addition, the possibility exists to assign several characteristics to one individual variable at the same time. If you assign a user to a variable defined in this way this results in the worklist of this user from a business view.
You want to define a variable that describes the worklist of an employee who is responsible for the sales planning of antidiabetics in two sales regions. To do this, assign the characteristics product group and region to a variable VPGRG with the replacement type “User-specific values”, and define the product group to “Antidiabetics” as well as region to the values “North” and “South”. Specify the names of the variable (VPGRG) as selection for both characteristics respectively in a planning level. When the employee executes planning functions within this planning level, these automatically work on the values of the product group and region characteristics defined by the variable.
The following special features apply for variables where several characteristics are assigned:
§ You can only assign a quantity of single values to the variable for every characteristic, but no value ranges.
§ You can only use the variable in planning levels, which contain all the characteristics which are also contained in the variable definition.
§ The indicator Restriction of selection required by user is automatically set by the system and cannot be reset by the user.
In addition to the reference characteristic, determine the replacement type and the required type of text replacement for every variable (except numeric variables).
The replacement type allows you to control the way in which the variable is replaced by a value or value range at runtime:
With this replacement type you enter a selection of values or value ranges for the variable. These are used standardized in the entire planning area for the replacement of variables.
With this replacement type you proceed as with replacement by a fixed value. You also enter the user for which the variable values should be valid. In this way you can make sure that the person responsible for sales planning sees the plan figures for all regions when he/she navigates within the planning area, while the processors responsible for individual regions are only offered the plan figures that fall within their area of responsibility. Users are distinguished by the user names with which they log onto the system.
If a characteristic is to be replaced with the user-specific values of a variable but no values are defined for the current values, the planning functions affected by this cannot be executed.
You have defined a variable VCOMPANY for the characteristic company, with replacement type "user-specific values", and entered different selections for the users SMITH and JONES. You have set a replacement with the variable VCOMPANYfor this characteristic in the planning level. User BROWN tries to execute a planning function in which company is contained in the list of characteristics to be changed. The system issues an error message because it cannot determine the companies for which functions are to be executed with user BROWN.
With this replacement type you enter one of the function modules you created to determine the characteristic value to be used dynamically when the characteristic is accessed while executing a planning function. On this basis of this the system can compile the content of the planning package and transfer it to the planning function for processing.
With this replacement type the system automatically determines those characteristic values for which the user logged onto the system has an authorization, and allows the user to make a selection from those values. The authorizations used here are the reporting authorizations from the BW system. This has the advantage that authorizations in reporting are automatically consistent with authorizations in planning, without any extra Customizing effort.
You can find authorization management in the SAP
menu at Business Information Warehouse → Business
Authorizations → Reporting
– Authorization Objects.
For more information, see Maintaining Authorizations.
Here you enter which of the various text types (short, medium, long) should be used to display the characteristic values in the column headers of the planning layouts of Manual Planning. If no texts are maintained in the logon language, the characteristic value itself is displayed instead. Here you can make the display of characteristic values mandatory.