How to reuse SAP IBP Planning Views in your applications
SAP Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP in short) is a tool often used to create planning views to show demand, supply, inventory, capacity, to name a few. The variety of options of filtering, aggregating, and visualizing operational data across products, locations, customer, etc. provide a better visibility for demand planners and decision makers. An Excel plug-in for Integrated Business Planning works as a medium between the cloud solution and the on premise spread sheet tool. A Web based planning view application in SAP IBP enables the visualization of planning views using the browser.
As a highly focused tool set for planning — SAP’s Integrated Business Planning vends into the operational planning part of the business deeper than other areas of the organization which are vital too. Other key areas such as customer relationship management or enterprise finance or sales and distribution do have SAP products which are very focused on its own expertise.
Although these products as well as products from competition are increasingly cloud based solutions — very less or nothing significant has been done yet to cross visualize key aspects of these applications. For example, if an account executive of a corporate is working in his Customer relationship management tool and he/she likes to see what is currently planned or what is the demand pipeline for this particular customer — they would have to login to SAP IBP and view the plans.
In 5 steps, I like to share with you how we are able to visualize web based planning views from SAP IBP straight inside SAP Cloud 4 customers, so you have a native look and feel of a single application fused in one screen.
For this example, imagine I am a Account Executive for a set of corporate accounts and I am using SAP C4C. From my list of accounts, I would like to navigate to the details of a specific customer details and investigate the sales data, call follow ups or contact details. In the same screen I like to have a tab which gets me the Planning details from SAP IBP visualized inside SAP C4C without the need to open a new SAP IBP window every time.
Applications running on different servers do have different domain names. Consider that this SAP IBP service is available on domain A and the SAP C4C service is available for you on domain B. To make the screens accessible across domains, one must make cross domain requests from the browser. A cross origin request is often considered as a man in the middle attack or even a click-jacking risk. However, there are provisions in the server side where one can white list domain names or introduce policy-based access for requests from other domains. The SAP UI5 framework provides mechanisms to address these requests
An administrator in SAP IBP can add foreign domains in a security application called — Maintain protection allow list. We use this app on the IBP side to whitelist the domain name of the SAP C4C service host. As shown below, all you need is the domain name and the port where the SAP C4C service is available for you.
Once this is done, as a demand planner you can go ahead and create a web based planning view which can be a generic listing of all customers or what ever you might feel that colleagues across your organization might be interested to see from a planning perspective. At the end, they would not be doing any planning here, rather they would use this view only as an additional information for making data driven decisions. One such planning view might look like the following — a web based view that includes customers, products, locations with key figures based on certain time periods.
The mashup tool itself has an in-buit code editor. In our example here, we would use the Port bindings for a HTML — URL based mashup type. The Port bindings allow us to get contextual information from SAP C4C. We use the Account details here for an example to get the account name or account ID from SAP C4C for which we like to mashup planning details from SAP IBP inside SAP C4C itself. The configuration for the HTML — URL mashup would look like as shown in figure 6.
The URL of the SAP Web based planning view is used as an input URL in the Mashup Authoring tool. This URL takes a few parameters such as account ID. The account ID from Cloud 4 customers would be retrieved via the port binding mechanism and available as a value for the URL parameter. This parameter is then passed on to SAP IBP web based planning view application where a filter is applied for the view automatically. In this way the planning view would filter the details for this specific account and display in SAP C4C.
Once this mashup is completed you can activate this in SAP C4C. As you open the Customers -> Accounts section, you would be able to see on the right-hand side — a list of accounts you might be responsible for. Click on any account to view the full detailed view.
From the User menu you would be able to adapt this screen using the “Start Adaptation” option. By clicking on this option, the detailed view of the account can be adapted to include or remove parts of the screen for a better customization. Add a new tab or consider an existing one in which you can add a new Mashup. In that tab or section, you can add a new Mashup as shown in Figure 7. Select the Mashup you have created in Step 3. Make sure it is of type HTML.
Once this is done you can close the adaptation perspective and refresh the screen. If you then navigate back to the Accounts section, then select an account and go back to the place you added the HTML Mashup — you would be able to see the SAP IBP Planning view which you have previously defined in the mashup. This would looking similar to the following screen in Figure 9.
I hope you would be able to replicate this simple yet a powerful, intuitive visualization. To enable this visualization certain adaptations were also needed on the SAP C4C side which are very generic. It is possible to embed not only the web based planning view from SAP IBP, but also other UI5 based applications from SAP IBP inside Cloud 4 customer or other products which support mashup possibilities.
Domnic Savio Benedict