Partner functions are terms that describe the people and organizations with whom you do business, and who are therefore involved in transactions. For example, when you create an Activity, based on Customizing settings, it automatically includes the partner functions activity partner, contact person, and person responsible. Partner functions are always assigned to partner function categories, which are hard-coded in the system.
The system includes commonly used partner functions, but you can also define your own.
To define partner functions in Customizing, choose Customer Relationship Management ® Basic Functions ® Partner Processing ® Define Partner Functions.
You use partner functions in transactions, in all areas of partner processing and in some areas of business partner master data.
· For example, you have a real estate business and define the function tenant to refer to your customers.
· Tenant is then displayed in the header and Partner tab page in transactions, and on the Buying Center tab page, when relevant.
· It appears in the Customizing settings for access sequences, partner determination procedures and partner teams
· It appears in business partner master data when you assign partners to partner functions as part of maintaining sales area-specific data, and when you enter excluded partner functions.
For more information in the SAP Library, see Master Data ® Business Partners ® Basic Functions in Business Partner ® Data Sets ® Data Set: Partner Functions and Data Set: Excluded Partner Functions.
When you define a partner function, you assign it to a partner function category. Therefore, the partner function consists of two basic elements: the new term itself and the category. The new term is your name for the function, and the category is the hard-coded key that allows the system to identify what the function means, and how to work with it. In some cases the functions have the same name as the categories to which they are assigned, but they need not.
In most cases, you also specify the business partner relationship category to which the partner function should correspond. Frequently, once you enter a partner function category, the system automatically enters the relationship category. It is able to do so because many partner function categories are hard-coded to correspond to certain relationship categories. If you use the partner function category undefined partner or relationship categories you have created yourself, you must enter the relationship category manually.
The following table shows several of the partner functions in the system, with the partner functions categories to which they are assigned, and the corresponding relationship categories.
Partner function category
Ship-to party/Service recipient
Is the goods recipient of
Is the activity partner for
Is the activity partner for
Is the employee responsible for
For a list of all partner functions and partner function categories in the system, see the Customizing activity mentioned above, Define Partner Functions.
To create new relationship categories in Customizing, choose Cross Application Components ® SAP Business Partner ® Business Partner Relationships ® Extensibility
For more information on undefined partner, see Undefined Partner and Is the Undefined Partner.
For information on blocking partner functions, see Blocking Partner Functions.
Partner functions are used mainly in transaction processing, and relationship categories mainly in master data. The correspondence between them (and the assignment of access sequences) allows the system to use business partner master data as a source for partner determination. Partner functions that do not correspond to relationship categories can be determined from other sources, such as the organizational model, or entered manually.
Partner functions in CRM often differ from those in SAP R/3; but you can specify how functions in CRM and R/3 correspond to each other.
In Customizing, choose Customer Relationship Management ® Basic Functions ® Partner Processing ® Data Transfer.
Your company sells televisions to a store called Hifidelity, and your sales people often talk to the store manager, whom you refer to as a retail manager. You ship the televisions to Hifidelity Storage, an affiliate responsible for Hifidelity's storage needs. You refer to Hifidelity Storage as a delivery location.
1. In master data, you enter Hifidelity as a business partner. Under Relationships you enter the store manager's name as is the contact person, and Hifidelity Storage as is the goods recipient.
2. In Customizing for partner processing, you define the partner functiondelivery location, and assign it to the partner function category ship-to party. The system automatically enters is/has the goods recipient as the corresponding relationship category.
3. You define the partner function retail manager, and assign it to the category contact person. The system automatically enters is/has the contact person as the corresponding relationship category.
4. You define a partner determination procedure that includes these two partner functions, and assign access sequences to them. In the access sequences, you have specified business partner master data as the source for partner determination.
5. You create a transaction, and delivery location and retail manager are displayed in the header and partner tab. You enter Hifidelity as the sold-to party. The system automatically enters the manager's name as the retail manager, and enters Hifidelity Storage as the delivery location.
The following illustration shows the steps described above.
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