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  Business Partner Role (BP Role)


Rights and obligations that can be taken on by a business partner in different business transactions.


You can use the business partner role to carry out a business classification of a business partner.

The basis for the definition of a business partner role is a business transaction. The attributes of the BP role depend on the particular transaction involved. The data that is available for a transaction also depends on the business partner category .

Example Example

End of the example.

Transactions and Associated Roles


BP Role


Sold-to party

Delivery of goods

Ship-to party

In addition to the central BP roles, there are application-specific roles. For example:

  • Contract partner and installer for utility companies

  • Sold-to party and ship-to party for CRM Enterprise

You can create a business partner in one or more BP roles. Central data such as name, address and bank details only has to be created once.

The BP role General Business Partner is automatically assigned to a business partner. Depending on the function of the business partner in question, you can also select the following BP roles:

  • Contact person

  • Employee

  • Organizational unit

  • Internet user

You can group roles together in a role grouping, which you can then select in the dialog. For more information, see BP Role Grouping .

You can use the following functions to display and edit BP roles in the dialog:

  • Overview of all roles assigned to a business partner

  • Deletion of a role assignment

  • Time-based validity of a role assignment

  • Where-used list for a role (for example, in an application)

    The where-used list allows you to check whether it is possible to delete the assignment of BP roles to business partners that form part of a business partner relationship. If the relevant role categories are defined at the level of the relationship category and form a prerequisite for creating a relationship, then the assignment cannot be deleted.

The following figure provides an overview of the different elements of the role concept and how they fit together.


For more information about the BP roles concept, see the Implementation Guide (IMG) for Business Partner .


An extension of the BP roles to include customer-specific attributes is possible. For more information, see the Business Data Toolset .

Make the necessary settings for the BP role in the Implementation Guide (IMG) in Customizing for Business Partner under Start of the navigation path Basic Settings Next navigation step Business Partner Roles End of the navigation path .


You are an employee in the sales department of the company Smith plc. You have made contact with Ms. Lopez at Hansen plc.You would like to send her information about your existing products.You create the following business partner master data:

  • A master data record for a business partner with the name “Hansen plc.” with the BP role Prospect , for which you define the required validity data.You create the central data and the address.

  • A master record for a business partner with the name “Ms. Lopez“ with the BP role Contact Person , as well the role’s validity. You create the central data, the address and the relationship “is contact person of” at Hansen plc.

Three months later, Hansen plc places an order. The invoice needs to be sent to the parent company, Hansen and Sons, to be settled. You create the following new business partner master data:

  • You delete the role Prospect and assign the role Sold-To Party to Hansen plc. This role is valid from the day of the order. You create sales and shipping data for a specific sales area.

  • A master record for a business partner with the name “Hansen and Sons” with the BP roles Bill-To-Party and Payer . You create the central data, the address, the bank details and the billing data.