Contract grouping enables you to link several contracts as lower level contracts to one master contract so that consistency of data is guaranteed. When you link a contract to a master contract, data is copied from the master contract into the lower level contract. Changes to the master contract can be copied directly into the lower level contract.
Before you can use the contract grouping function, you must define the referencing requirements in Customizing for Sales and Distribution. Choose Sales® Sales Documents ® Contracts ® Master Contract ® Define Referencing Requirements and then perform the following activities:
Here you define which sales document types can refer to which master contract types.
In the referencing procedure you specify:
These fields must have exactly the same values in the master contract and the lower level document for the reference to be valid.
The values in these fields are always copied from the master contract into the lower level document.
The values in these fields are copied from the master contract into the lower level document, if the fields had the same values in both documents before the change was made.
You then assign a referencing procedure to each sales document type which is to use the contract grouping function.
First of all, you create a master contract in which you enter the data which is to apply for all lower level contracts.
You can use the master contract type GK which is delivered with the standard R/3 System. If you require additional master contract types, define them in the Customizing activity Define Sales Document Types.
You then create the contracts and link them to the master contract. You create the link by entering the number of the master contract in the header of each contract. You can search for suitable master contracts using a matchcode. Matchcode E enables you to search by partner.
In Customizing, yoiu can control that the system informs you during contract creation whether master contracts already exist for the customer. You can branch from the message dialog box directly into the list of existing master contracts and select a suitable master contract.
When you link a contract to the master contract, the system ensures the reference is valid by checking the following:
If the system determines that the reference is valid, it then copies the data in the copy and proposal fields in the master contract into the lower level contract header on the basis of the referencing procedure.
The system determines whether data which is copied into the lower level contract header should also be copied into the lower level contract items using the standard application logic. For example, changes to business header data are only copied into the items if the header and item fields had the same value before the changes were made.
If the system determines that the reference is not valid because the document types cannot be linked, it issues an error message. If the identical fields do not match, the system deletes the reference.
All contracts which refer to a master contract are listed on the overview screen of the master contract.
Changes to the Lower Level Contract
If you change an identical field in the lower level contract, the system deletes the reference to the master contract.
If you change a copy field in the lower level contract, the system overwrites the new value with the value in the master contract.
You can change proposal fields as required.
Changes to the Master Contract
In Customizing for Sales and Distribution, under the Define Sales Document Types activity, you control whether the system copies changes in the master contract into all the dependent lower level contracts automatically.
In both cases, the system proceeds as follows:
You can configure the referencing procedure so that the system issues a message in the lower level contract informing you of the changes which it will copy into the lower level contract from the master contract.
When errors occur, the user who changes the master contract receives a work item. When he or she carries out the work item, two sessions are opened. One session contains a list of all the changed data and a description of the errors. The lower level contract to be changed is displayed in change mode in the second session. When the lower level contract is blocked by another user, the system makes several attempts to access the contract. The work item is not initiated until the document is accessed.
See also:Creating Master Contracts Linking a Contract to a Master Contract