Hands-on with Free Tiers: CDQ 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 public and commercial data sources. The result is faster processes and higher data quality for both new entries and ongoing maintenance of customer and supplier data.

I am Kai Hüner, responsible for the SAP-endorsed app CDQ First Time Right at CDQ AG. In this blog post, I will focus on how to integrate the free tiers of SAP MDG, cloud edition and CDQ in less than one hour, including a 30-minute coffee break. I will guide you through the setup and integration steps and present some data examples to highlight the advantages of using these two solutions together.

What is trusted business partner data good for?

Trusted business partner data is crucial for organizations, laying the groundwork for important operational and strategy-related decisions. The value of this data goes beyond its accuracy or timeliness; knowing its origin is also key. Understanding where the data comes from lets companies assess its dependability, making sure decisions rely on credible and authoritative sources.

When it comes to business partner data, which includes a variety of external data such as open data, paid data, shared data, and web data, the source of the data is especially important. For a full explanation of this topic, please refer to my blog post Value Creation with Trusted Business Partner Data.

Architecture: Trusted CDQ data in SAP MDG, cloud edition

Using CDQ as a data provider for business partner data in SAP MDG, cloud edition, enables access to multiple trusted data sources. The integration is facilitated through REST API endpoints available on the CDQ Cloud Platform. These features contribute to efficient central governance processes and offer integration pathways with systems like S/4HANA. For a comprehensive guide on how to set up this integration, you can refer to my blog post on First Time Right with Trusted Business Partner Data in SAP Master Data Governance.


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

Hands-on: Set up SAP MDG, cloud edition, Free Tier

The free tier of SAP MDG, cloud edition, has been detailed in several blog posts, such as those by Andreas Seifried and Christian Geiseler. For setting it up on your BTP account, the SAP Discovery Center offers an in-depth step-by-step guide.

An even more convenient method is using a Booster. With this tool, you can have an instance up and running in your BTP account through just five interactive steps. The process takes about 30 minutes in total: while your direct input is only required for about a minute, the automated service instantiation does take a while. You can simply start the process and enjoy a cup of coffee.


Booster for guided setup of an SAP MDG, cloud edition, Free Tier instance on your BTP

However, the subsequent sections will walk you through a minimal manual setup to provide a deeper understanding of the overall solution architecture.

Create a subaccount

Per the SAP Discovery Center, the free tier of MDG, cloud edition, is currently available exclusively on AWS in the Europe (Frankfurt) region. As such, I create the subaccount in the cf-eu10 region.


New BTP subaccount on AWS in region Europe (Frankfurt)

Add service plan to subaccount

To initiate MDG, cloud edition, within my subaccount, I must ensure that the subaccount has the appropriate entitlements. In the Entity Assignment section of my global account, I should see the free plan of the service listed for my newly created subaccount.

Required service plan assignment for the subaccount

If the service plan is not listed, I will need to add it from the list of generally available entitlements.


New entitlement of the SAP MDG, cloud edition, free tier service plan

Create service instance

I can now access my new subaccount and establish a service instance for SAP MDG, cloud edition. The service initialization requires about 30 minutes, the same like with the booster.


How to start an SAP MDG, cloud edition, service instance with a free tier plan

Finally, I see the newly created service instance active and operational, displaying a green Subscribed status.


Up and running SAP MDG, cloud edition

Manage service access

In a production setup, role assignments should follow a well-designed authorization concept, and I would use our corporate identity provider. But for the basic setup in this evaluation scenario, I am using the SAP default identity provider and my S-User as the administrator for the SAP MDG, cloud edition, service. To assign the needed role collection:

  1. Go to Security and then to Users.
  2. Choose my user.
  3. Click Assign Role Collection under Additional Options in the Role Collections section of the detail panel.
  4. In the popup, select only the MDG_Admin role collection and assign it.


Role collection management for the admin user

To access the SAP MDG, cloud edition, service, I click on the link found under Instances and Subscriptions within my subaccount. The first time I do this, I need to confirm the onboarding of my user in the Initial User Onboarding dialog. This process takes another few minutes.


Onboarding of the initial user for service administration

And there it is: My first glimpse of the SAP MDG, cloud edition, Launchpad! I see two tiles to maintain employees and related logs.


Initial launchpad view of SAP MDG, cloud edition

Configure user roles

By the icon next to Administration, I navigate to the Identity and Access Management and proceed to the Maintain Business Roles app. Here, I create two new business roles from templates SAP_BR_BUPA_MASTER_SPEC and SAP_BR_BPC_EXPERT. In the General Role Details, I then modify the default access categories, setting the write access to Unrestricted, and save the new roles.


Business role for managing business partner master data

In the Maintain Business User app, I proceed to add the newly created business roles to my user.

Business role assignment


Try the business partner lookup

After refreshing the browser, thanks to my new business role, I see a new launchpad space titled Business Partner Governance. Finally, I can transition to the non-administrative apps.

Business Partner Governance apps with the Manage Business Partners app

Since the newly created SAP MDG, cloud edition, instance is not linked to any backend system, my initial search for CDQ in Switzerland, CH, yields no results. Then, the Look Up and Create button catches my eye. It sounds intriguing! However, when I attempt to use it, I encounter an error message indicating an issue with my data provider setup. Understandably, I have not set it up yet, but I will address that soon!


Initial business partner search with no results

Hands-on: Set up CDQ trusted data access, Free Tier

The free tier of CDQ First Time Right functions as a trial account for its lookup capability, offering a snapshot of how real-world data sources can be seamlessly integrated into SAP MDG. Due to legal requirements associated with various data sources, even open ones, we must obtain your explicit consent to our terms of use before granting real data access. For those interested in a deeper dive, we provide extended trial options. These entail additional legal approval steps, but you will find all necessary information on our website www.cdq.com.

However, even the free tier provides some tangible data, albeit synthesized from a test data source, devoid of provenance information and links to genuine data sources. If you are not yet a CDQ customer with access to our suite of APIs, you can easily use our social login feature with LinkedIn to set up a free tier account. Let me guide you through this straightforward procedure.

Create a free tier account

To explain how you can get a CDQ free tier account without having yet any commercial relationship with CDQ, I go to https://apps.cdq.com/sign-in-with-linkedin and use the social login option Sign in with LinkedIn. This way, a completely new account is created on the CDQ Cloud Platform, using my email and name how it is managed on LinkedIn.


Social login option for LinkedIn users on the CDQ Cloud Platform

In the upcoming screen, if I have not already logged in from prior use of the LinkedIn website, I will need to enter my LinkedIn credentials.


LinkedIn login screen for authentication

In the next screen, I will be prompted to authorize the use of my email, name, and photo by CDQ for the purpose of creating a new user on the CDQ Cloud Platform. While the request for my photo is a default setting from LinkedIn’s predefined scopes, CDQ neither stores nor processes this photo in any manner.


Authorization of CDQ to access LinkedIn data for automatic account creation on the CDQ platform

I click the Allow button and gain access to my new CDQ account on the CDQ Apps platform. An API key is automatically generated in the background. A dialog box appears, showing both the Client ID and Client Secret. I copy these credentials, confirm, and then close the dialog box.


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

Now I view the CDQ Apps launchpad. It shows three apps that are relevant for using the free tier evaluation.

  • Business Partner Lookup: This is a demo app that allows me to test the lookup feature without needing to integrate with SAP MDG. You can enter CDQ or SAP in the Name field to try it out.
  • API Key Management: This app is designed for managing API keys. If you generate a new key, the same dialog box with credentials will appear. You can use this feature in case you lose your automatically generated API key.
  • Content Pack Manager: This app lets you download metadata that can be uploaded into your SAP MDG as Business Configuration. More details on this are provided in the next section.


CDQ Apps launchpad with the free tier apps

Download content pack

CDQ offers a content pack that is compatible with the SAP One Domain Model (ODM) for easier integration with SAP MDG. This content pack adds more identification numbers, tax numbers, and legal forms than what SAP MDG provides by default. Using this pack, you can avoid manual setup and start using trusted business partner data more efficiently.

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

In my CDQ account, I go to the Content Pack Management app, where I generate and download the content pack to my local system. If you want to know more about this content pack and its file structure, you can check the Download content pack section in my blog post on First Time Right with Trusted Business Partner Data in SAP Master Data Governance.

Hands-on: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ

Connecting the free tiers of CDQ and SAP MDG is quite like setting up a production environment. For detailed steps on how to establish a communication system and scenario, as well as how to upload the content pack files for business configurations, please refer to my instructions on Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ in the previously mentioned post.

After completing these setup steps, I test the connection. I go to the Manage Business Partners app and search for CDQ in Switzerland, CH. A matching result appears from the CDQ free tier data source, labeled as CDQ.TEST.


Look up a trusted data record for a business partner


Lookup result with a match in CDQ’s free tier data source CDQ.TEST

Hurray, the evaluation setup is up and running now! Let’s have a look at some highlights of the solution in the following section.

Highlight: Seamless integration of tax numbers and identifications

In SAP ODM, there are two key types of identifiers for business partners: Identifications and Tax Numbers. Both are vital components of various business processes, requiring precise semantic mapping to external data. While SAP MDG allows for customized code lists, I strongly recommend sticking to default settings, especially for tax numbers due to their deep integration in tax-related processes.

A significant benefit of using CDQ’s trusted data integration is that it offers business partner records that are already mapped to SAP ODM. This includes both identification types and tax number types. For example, if you find a matching business partner with a value-added tax (VAT) number in an external data source, this information will be automatically mapped to the corresponding SAP tax number type code. To demonstrate this, I perform a lookup for CDQ in Germany, DE.


Various business identifiers for German business partner record

In the detailed view, under the Identifications section, the European VAT number is accurately mapped to DE1. Additionally, the German trade register identification number is mapped to BUP002. This also includes essential details like the name of the register court and the region, which are crucial for uniqueness in Germany. All of this is automatically mapped, eliminating the need for manual research to find the correct types and codes. How cool is that!

Finding matches for CDQ in Switzerland, CH, and Poland, PL, serves as more evidence of how valuable this automated mapping is. In these countries too, you will notice that the tax number and identification types are automatically mapped to the right SAP type codes. This shows how the system can handle different international standards with ease, making your work more efficient.


Various business identifiers for Swiss business partner record


Various business identifiers for Polish business partner record

Highlight: Uniform categorization of legal forms

Understanding a business partner’s legal form is crucial for global risk management. Legal forms are defined differently in various countries, adding complexity to this matter. Some data sources offer structured information on legal forms, while others include it informally as part of the name, and some do not offer this information at all. SAP ODM addresses this by providing a legal form attribute within a business partner’s organizational details. However, this attribute has limitations such as a two-character code and various namespace restrictions.

To tackle these challenges, we at CDQ have defined about 90 legal form categories. These categories link to the various legal forms and their abbreviations across countries. If you follow the instructions in section Hands-on: Connecting SAP MDG and CDQ for uploading the CDQ Content Pack into your SAP MDG, this information becomes part of your system.


Legal form categories managed by CDQ

In SAP MDG, the system allows only a two-digit code and a unified abbreviation for the legal form category. However, even with these limitations, you gain a standardized view of your business partners’ legal forms on a global scale.

Back in my SAP MDG system, after searching for CDQ in Switzerland, CH, I click on the matching result to view more details. Here, the legal form is displayed as Pub.Ltd.Co., with an associated SAP code of 02. This code universally represents public limited companies, capturing both Aktiengesellschaft and Société Anonyme in Switzerland, as well as PLC in Great Britain.


Legal form proposal for Swiss business partner

When I initiate the Create Business Partner process, a value help dialog for legal forms becomes accessible, displaying all the legal forms I had uploaded as business configurations from the content pack.


Value help dialog for legal forms

Next, I compare this with match record details for CDQ in Germany, DE, and Poland, PL. I notice that the German legal form AG, and the Polish legal form SP Z O O both fall under the same legal form category Pvt.Limited.Co. (private limited companies), represented by the SAP code 07. The uniform categorization simplifies the process of understanding and comparing business partners across different countries.


Legal form proposal for German business partner


Legal form proposal for Polish business partner

Highlight: One-stop-shop for identifiers from various trusted sources

For major corporations like SAP, the scope of identifiers extends further, encompassing options like the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) or Peppol directory identifiers for e-invoicing. While the free tier dataset offers just a glimpse through exemplary records, a search for SAP SE in Germany, DE, illustrates the significant advantages of integrating trusted data from CDQ. All essential business identifiers are automatically mapped to the data model of your SAP MDG.


Various business identifiers for large corporation, with EU VAT number, Peppol identifier, and LEI


Key takeaways

As the key takeaways, I want to emphasize the practical benefits of integrating CDQ’s trusted business partner data and SAP MDG. The free tier options for both services make it easy to test the systems without financial risk. Automated mapping of identifiers, like tax numbers, eliminates manual work and potential for error. This is a direct advantage for any company that needs accurate and efficient data management.

The ability to standardize legal forms across different jurisdictions is another strong point. With CDQ’s predefined legal form categories and SAP MDG’s robust data management features, you get a unified view of your business partners’ legal statuses. This aids in better risk management on a global scale.

The core strength of this integration lies in its deep linking of diverse data formats from multiple trusted sources. CDQ does the job of simplifying the data, and SAP MDG integrates this simplified data into your systems. This allows for enhanced features like new business partner creation workflows and data quality assurance.

Setting up an evaluation of CDQ and SAP MDG is a straightforward process. Within minutes, you can start experiencing these operational efficiencies and data accuracies for yourself. This integrated solution is a powerful tool for elevating your business partner data management.

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