SAP Business Blueprint is a vital part of SAP implementation exercise. A well-defined business blueprint may set the foundation for successful implementation of the subsequent SAP implementation phases; provided that the necessary project success factors are in position. This chapter clarifies some of the concepts behind SAP Business Blueprint. It explains and views the ERP solution as an integral component of the design process. It outlines different aspects of SAP business blueprinting from technical infrastructure enablement, while setting the solution landscape, to the details of business process defi- nition. It points out how the SAP Solution Manager facilitates (business process) architecture-driven implementation through tight integration with ARIS Business Architect for NetWeaver. It details ways of moving toward Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) utilizing Enterprise Services, and an approach for generating Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) models using Web Services Description Language (WSDL) imported objects for analysis.
In the past, it was implied that the task of SAP Business Blueprinting may be conducted independently of the solution landscape. The solution landscape was set and configured after the Business Blueprinting phase of the SAP implementation lifecycle, that is, during the Realization (Configuration & Testing) phase. In a sense, the design was independent of the solution landscape. This approach may also be considered as the pre-SAP Solution Manager practice.
After the introduction of SAP Solution Manager in January 2002 (Oswald, 2002), the solution landscape became an integral component of the Project Prep and Business Blueprint phases. The SAP Solution Manager is a complete solution lifecycle management tool that facilitates SAP implementation, as well (Prior, Hommel & Vonkarey, n.d.). Assessment and design of the enterprise is one of the major activities accomplished during the Business Blueprinting phase. While some still favor using the tools and methodologies prior to Solution Manager, such approach may also force reassessment of the enterprise during the Realization Phase.
The following discussion focuses on three areas on the enterprise pyramid (see Figure 1): enterprise architecture, applications and services. Strategic, Communication and Technical Infrastructure levels are outside of the scope of this discussion.
Enterprise pyramid (Source: Adopted from mySAP Business Suite: Service Provisioning, Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture, 2006, p. 7)
This chapter discusses that the modernized approach for SAP Business Blueprint may be driven by the technical configuration of the solution landscape, hence the layout and foundation for the organizational design are set from the start. The discussion also covers the challenge of pre-developed enterprise architectures that reflect semi-system enabled enterprises as enterprises move toward a fully modernized environment. It points out how the SAP Solution Manager facilitates (business process) architecture-driven implementation through the tight integration with ARIS Business Architect for NetWeaver, as well as describes how to move toward Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) utilizing Enterprise Services, and how to develop complete and consistent architecture traceability up to the strategic level.
Sap Business Blueprint
A comprehensive approach to the SAP Business Blueprinting is necessary to design a solution that accurately reflects the enterprise landscape. This implies that the Business Blueprint to include the solution landscape configuration and to support Enterprise Services development. Such an approach makes the design of the enterprise operation and the solution landscape fully complementary.
To support this notion, the topic of SAP Business Blueprinting will be discussed in terms of enterprise architecture, application and services.
A Business Blueprint process can be applied based on the guidelines provided by SAP; however, this chapter discusses the development of Business Blueprint from a practical SAP implementation project perspective.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Service-Orientation: describes an architecture that uses loosely coupled services to support the requirements of business processes and users. SOA is a design for linking business and computational resources (principally organizations, applications and data) on demand to achieve the desired results for service consumers (which can be end users or other services). A paradigm for organizing and utilizing distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains. It provides a uniform means to offer, discover, interact with and use capabilities to produce desired effects consistent with measurable preconditions and expectations. (Source: OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards)).
SAP Business Blueprint: Business Blueprint contents and objective: is detailed documentation of the results gathered during requirements workshops…documents the business process requirements of the company…better understand how the company intends to run its business within the SAP System.
Business Blueprint development process: project team gathers requirements and conducts conceptual design of the solution.
Funds Management: area is a unit for disbursement of funds, while a controlling area is where costs and revenues are collected. Then follow profit, cost, and business centers, which are used for internal purpose for creating balance sheets and income statements.
Enterprise Services: are “a standards-based way of encapsulating enterprise functionality and exposing it as a reusable business service that can be combined with other services to meet new requirements. Enterprise services, defined by SAP and its partners and customers, can be assembled together to compose new applications or enable new business processes.” (Source: Enterprise Services Wiki, Service Oriented Architecture)
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): is a style of software architecture that uses services as the fundamental building blocks. SOA “A software architecture that supports the design, development, identification, and consumption of standardized services across the enterprise, thereby improving reusability of software components and creating agility in responding to change.” (Source: industry term.) (Source: SDN Enterprise Services Wiki, Service Oriented Architecture)
Business Blueprint technical content: documents the business processes...to implement…create a project structure in which relevant business scenarios, business processes and process steps are organized in a hierarchical structure…project documentation…(Extracted Source: ASAP Implementation Roadmap, 2006).
SAP System Organization Structure Components: Company: is a unit for which legal financial statements are created.
Plant: is a production or a service providing entity. It could be referred as a storage location, shipping point, or work center. A plant may also have a warehouse for managing materials. Warehouse in a plant allows segregation of materials by storage bins. (Adapted from: ASAP Implementation Roadmap, 2006).
Company Code: is a legal entity within a company having external financial reporting obligation. There could be one or more company codes for a company. Normally each company code within a company uses the same chart of accounts.