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Introduction to Preliminary Component

A preliminary item is a new item category introduced in the Maintain Bill of Material app as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202 release. A preliminary component is a BOM item without the assignment of a material.

For maintaining a bill of material, you need a component material. However, in the early engineering phases of the product lifecycle, you do not create the component material in advance. The focus is on structuring the BOM rather than material assignment or material definition.

At SAP, the component material creation is done in the Product Master Data app, which can be in a different system altogether.

To overcome this dependency, we've introduced a new item category Preliminary Item (P) (does not have a material assigned), and a new field Preliminary Component.

Figure 1: Displaying Item Category – Preliminary Item (P) and Preliminary Component field


Step 1: Create Preliminary Component

In edit mode, create a new row with the item category as Preliminary Item (P), add other attributes to the BOM, and save.

Note that the Preliminary Component isn't linked to the Product Master Data app. The Component field is not mandatory anymore for the preliminary item.

Figure 2: Displaying the Preliminary Item row with attributes

Step 2: Convert Preliminary Component

Assume that you're in the production or assembly phase, you need to assign a material to the BOM. To do that, you've to convert the preliminary component to stock or non-stock item category.

In the edit mode, you select the row with the preliminary item as the item category and choose the Convert Item Category option on the UI.

Figure 3: Displaying the Convert Item Category Option

Then, choose the component to which the preliminary component must be assigned and the item category as stock or non-stock item from the Convert Item Category dialog box.

Note that if you want to convert to a non-stock item category, the Component field is not mandatory. Then, you should have the Price data maintained in the BOM item.

Figure 4: Displaying Convert Item Category dialog box

The system converts the preliminary item category to the selected item category and a component from the Product Master Data is assigned to the preliminary BOM component.


In this blog post, you've learned how to create and convert preliminary components in the Maintain Bill of Material app.

Learn More

To see how this feature works, check out this video.

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