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SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain is usually integrated with various systems with different data. To integrate data in SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain, internal technical objects called “Master data types” must be predefined.

You can use master data types to represent categories of information and segment planning data. A typical example of their use would be a company that wants to analyze and use information about the product, customer and location master data types.

There are a few master data types which can be created. You can see detailed explanation with examples of each master data type used in time-series planning area below:

Simple master data type:

A Simple Master Data type represents one independent master data element in the supply chain. Product, location, currency, customer, resource, and so on are examples of simple master data types.

Changes in simple master data can be tracked using personal data indicator, but you need to be very careful with performance in this case.

If necessary, Simple master data can be changed manually from excel add-in

Reference master data type:

Reference Master Data Type is master data type that refers to another master data type. It does not contain actual master data but simply refers to the data contained in its underlying Master Data Type. It is required when the underlying data is the same but can play different semantic roles and you want to avoid loading the same data twice. For example, consider “Source currency” and “Target currency” when we are talking about exchange rate. Data-wise a target currency is also a source currency. So, one could model “Source currency” as an independent Master Data Type whereas “Target currency” could become a Reference Master Data Type, which refers to master data type “Source currency”. Of course, this is optional as the master data type “Target currency” could also be defined separately from “Source currency” and a separate set of data could be loaded.

Reference master data can’t be changed from excel add-in:

Compound master data type:

A Compound Master Data Type is used to store attributes that belong to multiple Master Data Type Keys. For example, MRP type can be an attribute of the combination of Location and Product and can be maintained via the master data type “Location Product”. There is a foreign key relationship between the keys of the compound and the referenced master data types with individual keys.

Based on the Planning Area Settings if an attribute of a compound master data is chosen as mandatory then data will not be loaded for a key figure unless a corresponding master data entry exists in the compound master data type. It can be very helpful for master data fixing, especially at the beginning of the project.

Changes in compound master data can be tracked using personal data indicator, but you need to be very careful with performance in this case.

If necessary, compound master data can be changed manually from excel add-in

Virtual master data type:

Virtual master data types are used to create a join between two or more master data types and doesn’t store any data. A virtual master data type can be built by joining simple or compound, but not reference or other virtual master data types through a join condition, which can be a common attribute of different master data. Virtual master data usage is very limited and complex calculations.

This master data type is usually used when an attribute of one Master Data Type should be available for another. For example: The master data type shown below has an attribute “Product manager” which is maintained at DFU Id and Location country level. This attribute should be available for all Products and Locations in the planning levels.

To achieve this, we need to join 3 simple master data types Product Manager, Product and Location based on DFU Id which is maintained in Product master data as well as in Product manager and Location country which is part of Location master data.

Virtual master data can’t be changed from excel add-in manually. Final table will consist all root attributes from the master data types which you are trying to join.

By using virtual master data, you can avoid the duplication of data in your database because you cannot load data into a virtual master data type manually. You need to make sure you load data into the referenced master data types that the virtual master data type is based on.

There is also another one master data type called "External" but it is not part of time-series planning area thus it is not described in this blog post.

As you can see, master data types in time-series planning area are very powerful and can be very complex, that's why it is not necessary to integrate all the data from somewhere, sometimes it is easier to join it directly in SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain which, of course, can help you to cover some of the requirements.