First Time Right with Trusted Business Partner Data in SAP Master Data Governance

SAP Master Data Governance (MDG) enables the effective management, consolidation, and quality improvement of business partner data. SAP MDG, cloud edition, comes with out-of-the-box integration for trusted data from CDQ, offering reference data from various trade registers and other open and paid data sources. The result is faster processes and higher data quality for both new entries and ongoing maintenance of customer and vendor data.

I am Kai Hüner, responsible for the SAP-endorsed app CDQ First Time Right at CDQ AG. In this blog post, I will explain the integration of SAP MDG, cloud edition, and CDQ as a trusted data provider. Together, we will explore the architecture that supports this integration, walk through the setup process step-by-step, and illustrate the benefits with real-world examples.

What is trusted business partner data good for?

Trusted business partner data is pivotal for any organization, serving as a foundation upon which key operational and strategic decisions are made. Beyond the accuracy and timeliness of the data itself, understanding its provenance – or where it comes from – is equally crucial. Data provenance allows businesses to assess the reliability of their data, ensuring that they are basing decisions on information derived from credible and authoritative sources.

In the realm of business partner data, where multiple external data types like open data, paid data, shared data, and web data intersect, provenance plays a particularly salient role. For a more detailed exploration of this concept and its implications, see my blog post Value Creation with Trusted Business Partner Data.

Architecture: CDQ integration in SAP MDG, cloud edition

You can configure CDQ as a data provider for business partner data in SAP MDG, cloud edition. The subsequent solution diagram demonstrates how business partner data can be retrieved using CDQ from various open, governmental, and paid data sources. The diagram also details how this data flows through multiple integration options from SAP MDG, cloud edition, to the connected S/4HANA or Business Suite systems.


Integration of CDQ as a provider of trusted business partner data in SAP MDG, cloud edition

CDQ offers access to all its connected external data sources through a REST API. This is facilitated via two endpoints: Lookup Business Partners, which is used to search and retrieve potential matches, and Fetch Business Partners, which fetches detailed data for a selected match. The integration of these endpoints into SAP MDG, cloud edition, is accomplished using the component Look Up Reference Data. This component then avails its features to processes and applications under Central Governance through the Communication Scenario 0825. You will find a step-by-step walkthrough in the Setup SAP: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ section to guide you through this setup.

It is important to note that while this post does not delve into the integration between SAP MDG, cloud edition, and S/4HANA or the Business Suite, there are multiple pathways for such integrations. One straightforward method is direct integration using SOAP for a dedicated system. For more integration scenarios, including those extending beyond S/4HANA, Master Data Integration can be employed.

Setup CDQ: Service access and configuration

To set up connectivity to CDQ services in SAP MDG, cloud edition, I require credentials for accessing the services. In the upcoming subsections, I will guide you through the necessary configurations on the CDQ side. I am assuming you have access to the CDQ Apps based on a valid agreement. If you are not already a CDQ customer, I recommend checking out my blog post about our free tier option (coming soon) for evaluation.

Configure the lookup

The CDQ API endpoint Lookup Business Partners offers a range of configuration options to accommodate various use cases, such as feature flags and specific parameters. Within our service architecture, these settings and options can be grouped into one configuration bundle, which is then stored with a unique ID. This configuration, once established, can be linked to an API key. When the API is accessed using this key, the associated configuration is applied.

For the optimal integration with SAP MDG, cloud edition, specific configurations are essential. To do this, I navigate to the Business Partner Lookup Configurator app, where I initiate the creation of a new configuration.


Business partner lookup configurator in CDQ Apps

I assign a descriptive name to it for easy identification in the future. In this configuration, I activate two feature flags in the Features On field: Goldenrecord Inline and Goldenrecord Sorted. The significance of the Golden Record will be detailed in the upcoming Highlight: Even more identifiers with the Golden Record section. After finalizing these settings, I save the configuration.


Business partner lookup configuration details in the CDQ Apps

Create an API key and configure

I navigate to the API Key Management app and select Create New API Key. Next, I enter a descriptive name for this API key to easily identify it during future configurations. Upon confirming, a popup appears, presenting me with both a Client ID and a Client Secret. I will use these details for the connectivity setup in SAP MDG, cloud edition, in section Setup SAP: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ.


CDQ credentials for the outbound communication in an SAP MDG communication system

To ensure that the lookup service aligns with the configuration, I proceed by clicking See Details within the API Key Management app. Here, I select the lookup configuration I previously defined. With this, the lookup configuration becomes linked to the API key. As a result, every time the lookup service is requested through this API key, the two feature flags I activated are automatically applied.


Lookup configuration in the API key details

Download content pack

CDQ pulls information from various connected data sources and offers a wider selection of identification numbers, tax numbers, and legal forms than what is pre-configured in SAP MDG, cloud edition. To address this difference and eliminate the need for manual setup of these technical codes, CDQ has a content pack which complies with the SAP One Domain Model (ODM) syntax and semantics. This pack expands the existing code lists, ensuring users get a smooth experience with business partner data from trusted external sources right from the start.

However, discussing the details and customization options of this content pack is beyond the scope of this blog post. So, in my CDQ account, I just navigate to the Content Pack Management app, generate, and download a fresh content pack to my local system.


Content pack management app to download pre-configured metadata according to SAP ODM

Within the content pack, there are several Excel files containing metadata aligned with specific SAP ODM business partner concepts. In the Setup SAP: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ section, I will guide you on how to import these files as Business Configurations into SAP MDG, cloud edition.


Content pack with metadata according to SAP ODM business partner


Excel files in the content Pack with legal form (left) and tax number (right) metadata

Activate data sources

I then navigate to the Global Settings app and select the Reference Data Source Management section. Here, I activate the desired data sources. While some data sources only require accepting the terms of use, others need credentials from third-party providers. There are many configuration options in the app for managing these data sources, but I will not cover them in this blog post.


Global account settings to manage terms, credentials, quotas, and status of trusted business partner data sources

Setup SAP: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ

With a newly set up instance of SAP MDG, cloud edition, credentials for my new CDQ account, activated external data sources, and the downloaded content pack from CDQ, we are all set to integrate everything. Let’s get started!

Setup communication between SAP MDG and CDQ Lookup

With the credentials from my new CDQ API key in the backpack, I head back to my SAP MDG, cloud edition, to set up CDQ as a data provider. In the Administration launchpad space, I proceed to Communication Management and create a new Communication System named CDQ _DEMO, specifying as the host.


Communication system to access the CDQ API

For outbound communication, I establish a new user with the User Name and Password authentication method. I set the Client ID of the CDQ API key as the User Name and use the Client Secret as the Password.


Client ID and Client Secret of the CDQ API key as User ID and Password for the outbound communication

Next, I create a new communication arrangement using scenario 0825, tailored for integrating the necessary CDQ services.


Communication arrangement for CDQ integration

Within the arrangement details, I choose the communication system I created earlier. This action automatically configures the outbound user with the CDQ credentials.


Communication arrangement with CDQ communication system and outbound communication user

Install the content pack

I now return to the MDG, cloud edition, launchpad and start the Upload Business Configuration app.


Management app to upload business configurations from the content pack

For each object, such as legal forms or identification types, the process of uploading a business configuration consists of three steps. I begin by selecting the object name TB019, which corresponds to legal forms.


Object selection for business configuration upload

Moving to the second step, I attach the Excel file TB019.xlsx (aligned with the object selection) by simply dragging and dropping it into the designated area of the app.


A file from the CDQ content pack as business configuration data

During the third step, the app checks the contents of the file. If the structure matches the expected template, it displays all items from the uploaded file in a list. I scroll to the bottom of this list, click on the Review button, and then press Deploy located in the lower right corner.


List of business configuration data from the content pack ,ready for deployment

After confirming a Request for Change Recording, I receive a deployment log in a confirmation dialog. The metadata from TB019.xlsx now updates my MDG, cloud edition, instance with the legal forms provided by CDQ, which facilitates the display of relevant fields, value selectors, and more. I repeat this process for identification types using V_TB039A.xlsx file and its associated object name.

How to: Lookup trusted business partner data

And here we go: In the Manage Business Partners app, when I look up CDQ in Germany, I get matches with business partner data from various trusted data sources!


Look up trusted data for a business partner


Lookup result with matches from various trusted business partner data sources

Hurray, the integrated solution is up and running now! The figure shows the search result for CDQ in Germany (DE) with 5 found reference records. Under the company name of each item, the prefix of the record ID indicates the data source for the corresponding record. For instance, DE.RC stands for the German Register of Commerce, DNB represents Dun and Bradstreet, BVD denotes Bureau von Dijk, and AT.FON refers to Austrian FinanzOnline. The first item is marked with GR, Golden Record, a consolidated version of the data from all other records using a prioritization logic.

Highlight: Identifiers from various sources mapped to SAP ODM

One of the key highlights of this solution is that the identifiers of various data sources are mapped to SAP’s standard tax categories and identification types. These mappings can be customized to comply with corporate standards, but they also work out-of-the-box for most used identifiers. In the example, the ID of the German Register of Commerce is mapped to BUP002, which is the SAP identification type for business register numbers. And, additional information such as the responsible institution is mapped to the corresponding SAP ODM field.


Identification type BUP002 according to SAP standard

Highlight: Even more identifiers with the Golden Record

As the search result for CDQ in Germany (DE) shows, multiple relevant reference records for a particular business partner may appear across various data sources. The Golden Record feature addresses this issue by consolidating information from multiple sources into one consistent record, with a prioritization of data sources that is customizable and country-specific. As shown in the figure below, the European VAT number is included with information from the German Register of Commerce and mapped to the SAP tax category DE0.


Tax category DE0 according to SAP standard

Integrated data sources are not limited to German or European authorities, but include a variety of sources from around the world. For example, the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) in the following example is just one of many IDs that can be accessed. Trusted data sources from various US state registers, Brazil, Australia, and other countries are also available.


Several identification numbers and tax numbers from various trusted data sources in the Golden Record

Key takeaways

SAP MDG provides a robust framework that ensures data integrity, paving the way for businesses to make informed decisions grounded in accurate and current data. One of its significant advantages is the capability to incorporate data from external sources, broadening the scope and reliability of the data available.

Our collaboration with SAP MDG is a prime example of this integration. At CDQ, we have pioneered the Golden Record concept, a method that consolidates data from multiple sources into a single, dependable record. Complementing this, we provide a Content Pack, designed specifically to align seamlessly with SAP’s One Domain Model.

The synergy between SAP MDG and external data providers, exemplified by the CDQ integration, elevates the potential benefits businesses can achieve from their data. It complements the role of SAP MDG in creating a trustworthy data governance environment.

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