Keeping data in sync is not a trivial task, especially when transaction data is involved, as it changes quickly. There is a constant risk that older versions will overwrite the current ones. The Interface Extensions Framework eliminates this problem by ensuring the correct sequence during data transfer using SAP board tools.
When companies with complex system landscapes migrate to S/4HANA, they usually prefer a wave-by-wave approach to avoid risks. In such a scenario, it is not unproblematic to keep the master data permanently synchronized during the changeover. Although the standard offers two technologies - serialization and queuing - that can be used to address this problem, in practice the two do not work together. This means that users can choose either one or the other in the standard.
To get around the problem, CONSILIO has developed the Interface Extensions Framework solution, which keeps master data in sync using integrated SAP technologies. The system is structured like this: The CONSILIO solution basically works according to the master-slave principle. The master is a leading new system that transfers data changes to the slave systems - in the case of an S/4HANA migration, these are the legacy systems. However, the subordinate slave systems do not process the data objects, but only receive them. The SAP specialists implemented this solution by technically linking the serialization and queuing technologies contained in the SAP standard.
The solution covers all the requirements of a company. This means that sub-objects can also be synchronized if required. The reason for this is that a material master consists of different views - such as the sales, purchasing or production view. This makes it possible to extract individual building blocks of a master record and transfer them automatically - such as the header information. In this way, a certain part of the data can be kept up to date throughout the company, whereas the data is defined individually for each system. This method has a positive effect on the implementation of intercompany processes.
Master data is the basis for business operations. They also form the basis for transaction data. Since transaction data changes at high frequency - up to every hour - users are confronted with the overtaking problem. A typical question that always arises is: Which data is the most recent? Since only the delta is ever transmitted during the transfer - the system works incrementally - it is not enough to look at just one data record to assess whether a data object is up-to-date. Due to the high frequency of changes and the numerous interdependencies between the data, there is a very high susceptibility to errors. Manual, subsequent correction is very difficult due to the complexity.
CONSILIO has taken on this challenge and, with the smart combination of serialization and queuing, has created a quasi self-repairing system. An example to illustrate this: If, for example, an order is received and triggers an error due to missing master data, the order is automatically placed in a queue. All subsequent changes etc. related to the order are also added to the queue by the system. If the missing master data is now added during the next file transfer, the system compares the objects in the error log against the new data to be transferred. If all prerequisites are met, the queue is automatically processed.
In practice, serialization is responsible for the sequence of master and transaction data. For example, a bill of materials is based on the material master - the same applies to a purchase order. Serialization thus ensures the correct order of the objects and queuing is responsible for the queue. This ensures that all subsequent data records within a data object are held back until the source object is available. This procedure has the advantage that the synchronization does not have to be stopped at any time. Numerous projects have also shown that this method works very cleanly and reliably even with very short change sequences, and the combination of the two creates a self-repairing scenario.
However, the solution also has its limitations - for example, when transferring mass data. Since the processing time of the mass data change is very high here between transfers, problems can occur in the system. But the CONSILIO experts have two solutions up their sleeves for this as well: Either users set the cycle time high or they suspend the cycle for the time of the mass data change and transfer the mass data changes separately to the corresponding systems.
The CONSILIO Interface Extensions Framework offers the possibility of a self-repairing system. This can be used in various scenarios such as in an S/4HANA crossfield approach: