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Welcome to the galaxy of Demand Planning (DP)! Yes................ and I whole-heartedly mean it-DP of APO (Advanced Planning & Optimization) module in SAP is a beautiful galaxy!!

Actually, you think you don't know DP, but the fact is: Everyone knows DP. I asked a child 'who created the world......or galaxy......or else universe-for that matter?', and the innocent one told, ‘GOD'. And now, I shall ask you who created DP area in APO, and even a small ‘child' in SAP (like me) would say, it is ‘SAP'.

Age of the world-SBP of DP

Do you know how the world started? Initially, God thought of what should be the interval of time for which this newly ‘getting created' world should exist and what is the survival-type (for example, camel can remain without water for almost 4 months in our planet ‘Earth'!) of the several living things that go in the newly ‘being created' world. And, if not exactly, at least in the similar way had the SAP thought of DP.............she (SAP) might thought of how (survival-type) and for what interval, the storage (living) has to go with respect to a datum (a living thing) coming to the DP area (galaxy); and the consequence for this is the ‘Storage Bucket Profile'(SBP)-representing the depth of the data....i.e. it is an answer to: ‘In what time-buckets (survival type) will several datum (living things) coming to area of DP (galaxy) have to be stored within the range of dates specified (time-interval which God has decided for the world in the DP Galaxy)?' Aren't you clear? short, SBP gives to you the answers for the two questions:

  1. What is the time-period of the world?

  2. What is the survival-type of living things that come into this world?

So, if DP is galaxy in this vast universe, then what is ‘world'? Yes.............& when you know the synonym of ‘World' in DP, you will appreciate that. But for now, keep going.......with ‘world' in mind and not the ‘galaxy'. But I told ‘Galaxy' for DP for which you will yourself come to know in a little time.

Where to live in this world?-Live Cache of DP

So, now, you have the details of the way living things survive..........but, how should the galaxy be....................I mean, where should these living things have to exist...................what is the ‘storage area' for these living things?'-this resulted in the memory called ‘Live Cache' in DP, and a planet which we now call ‘Earth' in the ‘Milky Way' galaxy!

And note: Earth is not the only place where the living things survive in this galaxy. There are other places (So, they are also part of ‘Live Cache') still unknown in this very ‘Milky Way' galaxy itself, where the living is happening..........and GAC (German Aerospace Center)/NASA would be the best to tell you the details.

Planning Object Structure

‘Hey, you have been saying only the survival-type of the living things, but what living things will be there in this galaxy, where do they live in the ‘Live Cache' of the galaxy?' The answer for this is the creation of ‘Planning Object Structure(POS)' in DP-where we mention the details of all the data (living things) that goes into the Live Cache. So, if a person is taking birth in this earth-a small part of Live Cache; his details like name, place of birth, parent's names...........these type of details will go in POS..........and SAP calls these type of details in DP as ‘Characteristics' and the values for these characteristics will become one Characteristic Value Combination (CVC)-for example, if ‘Name', ‘Birth Place', ‘Father' form 3 characteristics, then values for these characteristics, say, ‘Guru Charan', ‘Bangalore', ‘K Mohan Rao' will become one CVC, and this way, we can have many number of CVCs. So, POS is nothing but the stored thoughts of GOD about the data that goes into the LiveCache-you can say!

Planning Area

‘Then, what about the other varying details like Guru Charan's IQ, his income...........for which the figures are constantly changing once he is inside the Live Cache?' Yes, these details are represented in numeric values and these are changing...........and we (I mean, the DP Consultants) call these as ‘Key figures'. To store this data, we have the ‘Planning Area (PA)' in DP-it is here where actually the planning (i.e. Demand Planning) takes place. And ‘Earth' or you can say ‘World'-is one of the finest examples for the PA. And did you get it now........why I had been saying DP as 'Galaxy'? A ‘Galaxy' can have several worlds-I mean, several ‘planets where the living is possible'-the same is the case here: there can be as many planning areas as required!

To create this world of PA, the prerequisites are the SBP and the POS ................. Why? ..............because, without knowing the time-period for which the galaxy exists (SBP) and without knowing the details of what the living things come into this galaxy, how shall ‘God (SAP)'-who actually is very precise-proceed with the construction of the Earth, which is a sub-set of the ‘Milky Way' galaxy?!! This is like trying to play cricket without forming any team at all-think how disorganized the game would look like!

Planning Area Initialization

And once, after all the ground-work is done w.r.t. how the Earth (PA) should look like, the work is initialized and the same is being done in the DP-initializing the PA-meaning,‘to create the physical space in the Live Cache for each of the key-figures in association with all the CVCs according to the periodicity and the interval defined in the SBP'.

Planning Book and Data View

‘Vow, now, our God has created the world-I mean the planet Earth! So, is he now thinking of any other ‘detail' in this planet?'-the answer is ‘Yes', and the consequence for this is the creation of ‘Planning Book' in DP (i.e. various types of living things in the world). Didn't understand? No probs........just proceed..........

Initially, when God (SAP) created the planning area of Earth, human beings were not present. Some living things like ‘Dinosaurs'-for example, are present. So, a planning book is dedicated to these living things-say, in the name of ‘Dinosaurs', and slowly, as the time passed, ‘Human Beings' came into picture and a planning book in the name of ‘Human Beings' is dedicated to them.

‘There is a concept of ‘Data View' in DP, what is this then?' Go like this: ‘A Planning book is like a set of different data views'-just like a normal book(Planning Book) is a set of many pages(Data Views). The ‘Data view' is the place where you view the data based on some selection.

For example, say, God created some 1000 dinosaurs initially with names (HE kept!) D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, ..........., D1000 and HE placed all these living things at all the different places, say, P1, P2, P3, ..........., P50 in this world. Now, in the planning book, HE wants to know the behavioral details (Remember? These are keyfigures.) of D998, then, HE will select the ‘characteristic value' as D998, loads the data in the data view, and then, HE (God) will be able to view the key-figures of D998 at all the places P1, P2, P3, ......., P50. On his wish, HE will also be able to view the data at a particular place. All these different kinds of views are possible in the data view by the power of the drill-down option we have in DP!

In simple words,‘Set of things grouped together makes up a planning book.' And ‘Showing the behavior of these ‘set of things' is a data view'.

And note, any number of data views can be associated with a single planning book!

Time Bucket Profile

Hope you remember what SBP is.......Uh? In a similar way (though not precisely), we have TBP-the ‘Time Bucket Profile'-representing how the data has to be viewed in the data view for a time-interval i.e. we tell how the data view should show the data within a range of time-say, for example, I want to view the one-year data as: month-wise up to 3 months, week-wise for the next 8 months, and then, for the remaining 1 month, the data should be viewed in days. This way, a data view is always associated with one or the other TBP (one-to-one mapping), otherwise, it is meaningless!

Now, some time after the start of the ‘Planning Area', God assumed we don't need ‘Dinosaurs' in this place (Live Cache) and hence stopped them from creating. Slowly, they diminished from the PA of the earth. This is what is the concept of ‘Obsolete CVCs Deletion' in DP and new CVCs will be created frequently based on the demand the planners see for a particular characteristic (this characteristic might be ‘Product'-just to understand!)-and this is in line with the way ‘Human Beings' came into picture in this world, who initially were not present! So, there is a TBP defined for ‘Dinosaurs' and another TBP defined for ‘Human Beings'...........and so on......meaning, their existance in this time-interval. And a good unfortunate example is that: Tigers in this PA are in a short period of time becoming ‘Obsolete CVCs':-(


"In the galaxy of DP, if I have created many worlds (Planning Areas), and if each world has got various Planning Books, is it possible that a planning book (say of Dinosaurs) which is associated with one world of PA can also be associated with the other world?"

The answer is big ‘NO'-why? Answer yourself.

So, in simple words, what we can say is:

One Galaxy (DP area) - Many worlds (Planning Areas) Right

One World (PA) - Many 'types of living things' (Planning Books) Right

One living thing type (Planning Book) - Many worlds (PAs) Wrong

One Planning Book - Many behaviours (Data Views) Right

One Data View - Many Planning Books Wrong

But.... point: ‘what Demand Planning basically is?-Creating Forecast, right? Then, what is God doing here; he is not creating any forecast?' Good Question, but think again. ‘How many earths are there in this Universe? Is it only the planet Earth present in this universe?'............ who knows? God would have created many earths like this in many parts of the universe and in many parts of our own Galaxy! May be HE is taking some of that kind of ‘other Earth' as the base for the variation in the population of various types of living things in this ‘known Earth'!

So, it is this way, the architecture of DP might initially be thought by the folks at SAP and the configuration was done for the same-Is it right? Only those who built and are building this DP area have to say....

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And please don't think this is everything of DP.........there are many areas in DP still need to be covered, but this info just gives a very small intro to how the DP architecture is; and from this idea, your continuation of study of DP would be absolutely fruitful, I bet! However, I would soon come up with the technical side of DP-topic by topic, and it would really be helpful! Believe me, you can become DP consultants in a short period of time-it is ‘actually' easy!