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Component documentation Business Partner Master Data (LO-MD-BP)  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


The following types of business partner are defined in the ERP system:

     Partner type customer

A customer is a business partner with whom you exchange goods and services. Two types of customer are defined in the ERP system:

     Internal customers (own sites)

     External customers

     Partner type vendor

A vendor is a business partner from whom goods and services can be procured. Two types of vendor are defined in the ERP system:

     Internal vendors

Normally you only maintain distribution centers as internal vendors.

     External vendors

You select external vendors from companies offering an assortment of goods and services on the market, with the help of guidelines drawn up by your Purchasing department.

     Other partner types

A contact person is an example of another business partner in the ERP system.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

Data on business partners is stored in master records. The system uses this data in a number of business transactions, proposing the data in the appropriate fields when, for example, you create sales or purchase orders.

Implementation Considerations

Storing the master records centrally and making master data the only source of information for all system functions means that you enter data only once. If a business partner changes address, you enter the new address once.


Because customers are also debit-side business partners in accounting, customer master records are used in Financial Accounting and Sales and Distribution.

Because vendors are also credit-side business partners in accounting, vendor master records are used in Financial Accounting and Purchasing.

Because sites are customers from the point of view of delivery, each site has a customer master record. Sites use purchase orders to order goods from external vendors. A distribution center is a site that is also an internal vendor, as it supplies merchandise to other sites.

Additional Information

For additional information on business partners, see the following sections of the SAP Library:

FI Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable

SD Basic Functions and Master Data in Sales and Distribution

MM Purchasing


Business Partner Master Data


     Cross Application

CA Mass Maintenance



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