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SAP APO Interview Questions and Answers
Q.1 How can a planning version be frozen and unfrozen?
Ans A Planning Version can be frozen and unfrozen using Function Module /SAPAPO/TS_PAREA_VERSIO_FREEZE so that no further changes to the planning version can be done.
Q.2 What is Release Profile?
Ans Release Profile is used to release timeseries data from DP to SNP/PPDS. You need to define the DP Planning Area and timeseries key figure the data in which is released and the SNP Category Type (typically FA) to which data is released. You may maintain a Daily Buckets Profile it will define the number of working days (working days determined based on Shipping Calendar maintained for the location master) starting on and from the From Date if released online/ interactively or that many workdays of the planning horizon when release is carried out in background. The Period Split (blank, 1 and 2) field in the SNP2 tab of location-product master determines how demand plan is released to SNP from DP (how bucketed data is disaggregated to the workdays).
Q.3 What is the usage of Period Factor?
Ans Period Factor maintained in the SNP PPM or Transportation Lane determines the Availability Date of a Receipt element within a time bucket (period). The system determines the exact availability date/time of the receipt elements within a period, by adding a time interval (that it gets by multiplying the period factor with the period length) to the start time of the period. You can enter a factor between 0 and 1, where 0 is the start of the period, 0.5 the middle, and 1 the end of the period. When calculating the availability date/time, the system takes into consideration all weekdays, meaning that it does not take into consideration any days that have been defined as non-workdays in the calendars.
Period Factor used is .71 = 7×0.71 = 4.97 or 5 days from ptimizer of weekly bucket resulting in a Friday.
If Period Factor is not maintained in PPM or Transportation Lane then the User Period Factor indicator and the Period Factor value maintained in the Lot Size tab of the location-product combination is used. If this is not maintained a default value of 0.5 is used.
Q.4 What determines stock categories displayed in Stock on Hand keyfigure?
Ans The categories defined in Category Group ST1 (can be maintained in table /SAPAPO/APOCGC) determine the stock categories that are displayed in the Initial bucket in the Stock on Hand keyfigure. Subsequent buckets are dynamically computed.
Q.5 Does dynamic alerts show up in Alert Monitor?
Ans Dynamic Alerts do not show up in the stand-alone alert monitor. Network alerts are to show pegging relationships.
Q.6 What is the report to execute MASSD?
Ans The report for executing MassD in background job is MASSBACK.
Q.7 What is the shortcut to change location type in APO?
Ans Report /SAPAPO/CHECK_LOCATION_TYPE can be used to change location type (say from 1001 to 1002 or vice-versa) of existing locations in APO. The table to refer is /SAPAPO/LOCMAP. SAP does not recommend this process.
Remark: Can you check if this works – cos I think you need to use/SAPAPO/CHANGE_LOCTYPE
Q.8 How can a transaction be executed even when no authorization?
Ans SE93 – Transaction code for Transaction Code E.g. CRC1 Create Resource has txn code CRAH. So if you do not have authorization to create resource you can use SE93 and enter txn CRAH and then Test F8 button to go to the txn.
Q.9 How to copy a Process Chain?
Ans To copy a process chain to another process chain, goto the Process Chain you want to copy and then type copy in the tool tar and hit enter. It will allow you to copy the Process Chain to another Process Chain that can be modified as per user’s requirement, saved, activated and used.
Remark: To copy a process chain to another process chain, goto the Process Chain you want to copy and then type copy in the tool tar also… if you dropdown on the toolbad under process chain you have a copy option… but this looks cool
Q.10 What is the process to copy planning versions in R/3?
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Ans Use OLIX to first delete previous MRP planning versions. Then use MCB& to create the new MRP planning versions by choosing the appropriate version you want to create as ICO Version. The info structure in this case is S094.
Q.11 How to use create a planning book with two tables?
Ans To use two tables on one screen of Planning Book/Data View – select indicator next to the second-page title and give a name. An additional tab page is displayed in the Planning Book Maintenance wizard to define the keyfigures for the second table.
Q.12 Data load errors
Ans “I am getting the following errors in the data loads In APO Quality system during monitoring checks: This is a quality client copied system from the APO production system.
- There is no PSA for info source LISVCIT and source system AP900.
- System error occurred (RFC call).
- Activation of data records is terminated.
Q.13 How do I fix these errors?
Ans You actually describe 3 different problems. To solve the first error, check that the InfoPackage is not loading directly into the InfoCube. Make sure that it is loading to PSA first before going into the cube.
- With errors 2 and 3, there seems to be a problem with whichever system is calling your client, and you should talk to your basis team to rectify RFC errors. If all efforts don’t lead to the desired results you probably will have to open an OSS message to SAP.
Q.14 Sales History for DP
“We are trying to remove the duplicate storage of sales history data in two places and the consequent system overheads of loads and other similar items. Is it always necessary to load sales history into APO or can it be stored in the central BW (non-APO) and referenced via a remote cube in APO?”
Ans Having the Sales History stored in APO does not necessarily mean that you have duplicate data. The central BW (non –APO) is the leading system where the Sales History is stored. The only reason why it is “stored” in the APO-BW is to load it into liveCache. Typically Sales History in APO is updated at the beginning of each planning cycle (e.g. over the weekend) and the previous weeks one is deleted.
- If you want to avoid having Sales Order History data stored in an InfoCube in APO you can use a remote cube in the APO BW. For example the Sales Order History Cube is maintained in the main BW System and a remote cube is created in the APO BW system based on the Sales Order History cube in the main BW system.
Q.15 No Entry for BW_USER in the table RSADMIN
“I am maintaining a source system in the Administration workbench of the APO by the Menu Supply chain planning-Demand Planning-Basic setting-Administrator workbench. Once I create source system type Sap-r/3 Manual creation selection and selected the R/3 Destination and logical system name from the Popup menu, the system indicates ‘No entry for BW_USER in the table RSADMIN is available’.
- When I check for details, the following information is given:
- ‘No entry for BW_USER in table RSADMIN available;
Message no. RSAR 059
Diagnosis: Missing entry in table RSADMIN
System Response: Process for creating a source system terminated.’
- I then went to the table RSADMIN. It is having entry for BW_USER as ‘Object BW_USER’ and further indicated: ‘Value ALLREMOTE’
- When I need to maintain another entry in this table, I plan to load the data from Sap/r3 Info structure to APO Info cube. For this I am going to do the following setting:
- Procedure: In Customizing> maintain Proposal for Users in the Source System: BW Customizing Implementation Guide -> Business Information Warehouse -> Connections to Other Systems -> Connection between SAP Systems and BW -> Maintain Proposal for Users in the Source System (ALE Communication).
- I am concerned though that I might encounter the same response from the system. How do I resolve this issue?”
Ans In a situation like this, you should check for the following:
- Verify if you have the BW_USER set up for both, the R/3 system and the APO system. They need to have the same password set for both systems.
- Double check if you do not have BWREMOTE user. If you don’t have it, go create a remote user (in IMG) and that will fix the problem. Depending on your authorization set-up, this task might have to be performed by your Basis or Administration team.
Q.16 Loading text and master data
“I have encountered some difficulties regarding uploading text and master data in BW Info Object. We want to create our own report on the BW embedded on APO (3.0).
- For example, 9ALOCNO has the code but contains no description nor attributes. What kind of activity is necessary for it to work in APO? Do I have to create a custom data source reading /SAPAPO/* tables?”
Ans No, you should not have to create a custom data source to read the /SAPAO/* tables. You should be able to load text since 9ALOCNO has a text table and in Interactive Demand Planning you then would be able to see both, the code and the text.
- If you are using the standard SAP APO object 9ALOCNO, however, then you will indeed have no attributes since this InfoObject doesn’t have attributes defined and hence you can’t load any attributes (codes or texts). What you could do, however, create a new InfoObject, i.e. ZALOCNO, as a copy from 9ALOCNO and add the attributes you need for you planning scenario.
Q.17 User Exit for /SAPAPO/TS_PLOBS_GENERATE
“In order to create Character Combinations (CC) in the background, it is possible to use the standard report “/SAPAPO/TS_PLOBS_GENERATE” on the basis of an info cube.
The report also offers obviously the possibility to use a user exit. However, I can’t find the right user-exit. Where can I find the right user exit?”
Ans Use the BADI: /SAPAPO/SDP_MASTER exit for your purpose. This should solve your problem.
Q.18 Creating a new key figure for a planning book
“I started adding a new key figure in the planning book in DP by using BW admin (rsa1) but it doesn’t show in the interactive demand planning book. How do I create or add a new key figure in a planning book in DP?
I did try to go in /sapapo/msdp_admin and select my planning area to add new key figures in there but the system said that there are some active versions and that I can only go in display mode. How can I go in change mode?”
Ans If the 2 functionalities (“Administrator Workbench” and “Administration of Supply and Demand Planning”) required to create a key figure for a planning book are mixed, like in this question, you should watch out. It might either be because the questioner doesn’t have a strong APO Demand Planning knowledge or it is intended to be a trick question!
There are 2 possible solutions, depending on the purpose of the key figure. If the new key figure is only needed to show the result of a macro calculation but there is no need to save the result, you should use the auxiliary key figure within the planning book. No other points to watch out for and no other actions to be taken.
If the new key figure is supposed to hold data (as a result of a macro calculation or a manual input), which needs to be saved, you need to create a new liveCache key figure.
The first step is to create the key figure InfoObject in the Administrator Workbench (RSA1). It is not possible to assign a key figure to a planning book from the Administrator Workbench!
You will have to add the new key figure InfoObject first to the Planning Area before adding it to the Planning Book. To change the Planning Area you use the “Administration of Demand and Supply Planning”
- As of SCM 5.0 you are able to add – and even delete – a key figure from the Planning Area without deactivating it as long as the key figure is not in use in a planning book or macro.
- In any previous SCM version you will have to work around the fact that you can only chance INACTIVE Planning Areas. To deactivate the Planning Area you will have to delete the time series object, which will cause the loss of ALL planning data. In order to preserve your production planning data you will have to backup it into an InfoCube.
- AFTER the data is backed up, you can proceed to deactivate the Planning Area. Right click on the planning area and select “Delete Time Series Objects”. After confirming the warning message the icon next to the Planning Area will change from a green circle to a red square. The Planning Area is now inactive and you can add the new key figure InfoObject.
- After you have done the required changed to the Planning Area you can initialize a new time series and you can upload your planning data again from the backup InfoCube.-
- As the last step you enter the design of the planning book and add the new key figure to your planning book and planning view. After activating the changed Planning Book you will see the new key figure in your Planning View.
- Ideally this should be done in your DEV environment first and the changed Planning Area and Planning Book should then be transported into QA and Production. PRIOR to transporting you have to backup the planning data to avoid data losses!
Q.19 Characteristic drilldown
“In the data view of the planning book, we have a number of key figures. When I drill down by product, I get the first key figure and the product drilldown. From there, the next key figure appears and the list goes on.
- I would like to swap the drilldown between the characteristics and the drilldown. Is there a way to change the format so that I can drilldown by the product and show all key figures for each product instead?”
Ans This is very easy to achieve because all you have to do is change the pivot sorting. You can do this by right clicking on the name field of your planning table and select Pivot sorting.
- It might happen that Pivot sorting is grayed out. Then you have to make sure your header row is on and “Details All” is selected for a characteristic, you’re for you product. This is required before the system will allow pivot sorting.
- In previous APO versions Pivot sorting couldn’t be saved and the users had to set up their sorting every time they entered a planning book or loaded data. As of SCM 4.0 Pivot sorting can be saved user specific and as of SCM 4.1 even a Pivot sorting for key figures is possible.
- If your business process requires the users to drill down to the “work” level they either can use the interactive drill down functions via the head or the shuffler or you can develop a macro that would bring the user straight to the “right” level. In general you should test the performance of your drill downs.
Q. 20 Storage bucket profile
“We are required to carry out Storage Bucket Profile maintenance in Production system as the horizon of storage bucket profile is getting expired (data backup from planning area has already been taken into cubes). Can I transport it to production by defining a new storage bucket profile into the development system? Or do I have to define it in the Production system directly? If I can transport the storage bucket profile, what is the transaction code for that?”
Ans It is common practice to activate the “Storage Bucket Profile” several years out prior to a go-Live – exactly to avoid this situation. The activated horizon should give you about 10 years of planning horizon where there wouldn’t be a need to carry out a “Storage Bucket Profile” maintenance. When setting up the storage bucket profile keep also your intended planning horizon in mind.
- If you have reached now the point in time to carry out a Storage Bucket Profile maintenance, however, it also might be a good moment to analyze a possible upgrade to the latest release._
- If a Storage Bucket Profile maintenance can’t be avoided, however, you can use the standard transport connection for DP and SNP using the transaction /SAPAPO/TSOBJ. You will also have to transport the planning area from dev to Prod plus all the relevant details like MPOS, Storage buckets, and planning buckets. Planning books will also get transported if you do not remove them manually from the transport request.
- If you don’t want to transport the new settings to your productions system you also could just change the storage buckets directly in production. Depending on your system set-up you might have to “open” it for this step, which might not be an option.
- In general I would suggest being consistent: transport as much as possible and do as little changes in the production system. As of SCM 5.0 you also have several new options when performing transports.
Q. 21 Inputting a Macro Note
“How can I enter or attach a note to a macro in APO 4.1 Macro Workbench or MacroBuilder?”
Ans A rather simple question which is a little tricky to answer. In the Macro Workbench, select the row with the Planning Book/View that contains the macros for which you want to create notes for so it is highlighted. Now do a right click and select “Display Macros” from the menu.
- Now the screen splits and in the bottom half you see your planning book with all the macros in it. Right click on the macro for which you want to attach a note and select “Edit Macro Note”.
- The screen splits into half, this time vertically, and on the right side you have now the chance to enter a note about the macro. Edit your note and don’t forget to save before you leave the screen using the button “Close All” ( )
The question is only referring to attaching a note to macro and not to a cell in the planning grid! To add a note to a cell to the planning grid you load the data, right click to the cell you want to add the note and chose “Display Note”. On the bottom of the screen a window appears where the user can enter his notes or read other users notes. An icon as well as the cell color (standard setting) will indicate if the cell contains a note.
Q. 22 Proportional Factor
“I need to set the proportion factor between a pack size (level higher) and product for the entire forecasting period.
Example: Under pack size, PK1 give 100% for product A for months 1, 2, and 3 and 100 % for product B for the remaining months. This will help me so that after every monthly forecasting run, the plan numbers are disaggregated to the correct product (i.e. the active one for that month).
- I can make the changes directly to the proportional factor key figure to achieve the above result but the problem is that every month, the proportional factors will be regenerated (i.e. new sales month included) and because of this, the percentage settings will be lost.
- Can anyone suggest a clean approach to handle this problem? I need the end-user to maintain this and not the IT maintenance team. If I need to use macros, can you please give details on how it should work (i.e. the logic)?”
Ans There are two possible ways to approach this:
- Create a new key figure that will hold your proportional factors and make your changes in it – or simply just the values that you don’t want APODPDANT to overwrite.
Then copy this key figure back into APODPDANT using a copy macro. Every time you regenerate your prop factors, remember to run a background job that will re-copy the manually adjusted proportional factor back into APODPDANT. Don’t keep your APODPDANT key figure row open for editing. Keeping only the manual proportional factor key figure open to edit should be enough.
- Instead of having macros copying values back and forth you also could try to disaggregate APODPDANT as well as the key figures you want to disaggregate based on a manual maintained “new proportional factor” (NPF) key figure. That way you only use APODPDANT as a reference and copy it to NPF using a macro only when and on whatever you want it. All changes are made in the new proportional factor key figure.
Q. 23 How many database into APO system?
Ans SCM APO have 2 databases.
1. Data Base server- master data stored.
2. Livecache server- Transnational data stored.
The first one is in BW as Info Cubes and second data is stored in Live Cache. The data stored in Live Cache is used for planning and processing during transactions. Cubes are only for storing data and backing up data. The whole reason for making APO as a different server (box) is to make the process of simulation faster using Live Cache memory database which is faster than accessing the data stored in tables in other ECC module.
Q. 24 How to find out one organization using multi-org or single org?
Ans If i am not wrong looking at the company code available on the system will tell us weather its single or multiple organisation