In practice, DERIVATION RULES are often used to derive a characteristic from a characteristic value of another characteristic. This type of derivation is often applied, for example, to derive a higher level characteristic, such as the continent (e.g., Europe) from the characteristic value (here Germany) of the country characteristic. However, in our simple example, we merely want to derive the customer group characteristic from the customer characteristic via derivation rules, for example: customer group KG2 is derived from customer K3.
Let us look at the derivation via derivation rules for the customer group characteristic (user-defined). First, we have to define a step (here step 18) in the derivation strategy.
Derivation strategy for derivation rules
After selecting line 18, click the magnifying glass. The following screen appears (Figure below).
Example of a derivation rule for the customer group
As the source, the fixed characteristic customer is sufficient; as the target, enter the user-defined characteristic customer group. As the target is a characteristic that you have defined yourself, in the same way as for the characteristic kind of product and product group described above, you have to maintain characteristic values via transaction KES1 (see Figure below).
Rule entries for the customer group derivation rule
If you now create a CO-PA document, you will see that the customer group characteristic (user-defined) was derived with the characteristic value KG1 for customer K1 (again via simulation with KE21, see Figure below).
Evidence of the derivation of the customer group
If, when defining the derivation rules, you select in the attributes that the system should always report an error if no values are found in the rule, the SAP system will implement this attribute strictly — meaning that under some circumstances, you will not create a sales order or billing document. Therefore, check whether the parameter issues error message if no value found is deactivated in the attributes (see Figure below).
It is also important that, regardless of which method of derivation you choose, the characteristic values for the user-defined characteristics are defined in CO-PA, otherwise an error will occur.
Attributes of the rule definition
In this segment, you have become familiar with the important settings for characteristic derivation. In the next topic, let us discuss how to valuate the value fields.
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