The basis of Variant Configuration is the product model, which defines all possible or legal configurations of a given product. In SAP, this is defined using a graphical environment like PMEVC, or a more powerful (if less user-friendly) set of transactions, such as CT04, CL02, etc. You can find a list of the most common transaction in our SAP Configuration Cheat Sheet here.
The program that guides users to a correct configuration is called a configurator. In SAP VC, the configurator is called with transaction CU50. A configuration will typically return:
- Bill of Material (BOM)
- Line items in a sales order
The Product Model consists of a structure (texts, questions and answers, layout) and logic. In SAP, the model is a material (Konfigurierbares MATerial, KMAT) that refers to a number of classes with characteristics that can hold values.
Logic is expressed as constructs that effectively state something like:
- This conflicts with that
- Selecting this hides that
- This equals that calculation
- Having this requires that
The SAP configuration logic is expressed using the following:
- Constructs: powerful but hard to read
- Selection Conditions: simple and easy
- Procedures: simple but hard to predict
- Preconditions and Actions: considered bad practice
A Bill of Material (BOM) is a hierarchical list of materials and components that make up a configuration. A Super BOM refers to both configurable materials (KMATs) and standard materials. A Super BOM may be constructed in multiple layers, known as multilevel configuration or nested configuration. Every layer can also have several BOMs attached.
Dependencies over characteristics control the BOM explosion, or how to break apart each assembly into its component parts. BOM instances are created for each configuration.
Pricing in SAP VC has a logical structure defined by a number of price procedures containing a list of steps, which through access sequences will trigger actual price contributions from matched price condition records.
Configit has the leading integration to SAP VC. Configit can extract all product configuration and pricing definitions and make them available in intuitive CPQ or product configurators – be they web-based or native, intended for the in-house sales force, resellers or self service through E-commerce. Configit’s integration will serve data back to SAP as orders, thereby keeping the data maintained in SAP, without rewriting rules.