Sales and Operations Planning (PP-SOP)

The ALE scenario for Sales and Operations Planning (SOP) is an important application in which information structure distribution is used.

Sales and Operations Planning (SOP) covers various activities including the specification of medium term and long term sales volumes and the approximate planning of the production activities that are required to meet these volumes. The enormous amount of data involved means that this is not a highly detailed form of planning with exploded bills of materials and scheduling via routing, but rather a rough estimate of the feasibility of the proposed plans.

The principle of SOP

SOP can be done at the level of finished products or using product groups. Any combinations of materials or even of product groups themselves can be grouped together into other product groups.

The exact breakdown is done at the level of the material and the plant.

A comprehensive description of SOP can be found in the function description for "the SAP production planning system".

In the ALE distribution scenario for SOP there is both a central planning system and decentral systems that can also perform planning tasks:

This planning mechanism allows the entire planning to be viewed in the central system.

Concurrent SOP planning


SAP delivers standard information structures. The customer can create any information structures he wishes based on these.

The SOP data can only be distributed between information structures that are identical across the different systems.

Distribution Reference Model

The approximate sales volume planning is performed plant by plant.

Distribution Reference Model for SOP

Structure of IDocs

Since customers design their own information structures, the IDoc structure also has to be flexible.

A message type is defined for each information structure that has to be distributed. The IDoc type is always the same.

An allocation table defines which actual fields correspond to which general IDoc fields.

The optional segments shown are there for customers who want to send several key figures. Since there is a technical limit to the amount of data a segment can accept, the number of segments required depends on the quantity of data.
Segments that are not required in the IDoc are omitted. (For example: A customer uses 10 key figures for data exchange. Only one key figure segment is constructed, because the upper limit for the amount of data in the segment has not been exceeded.)

Master Data to be Distributed

Control Data to be Distributed

The control data that has to be distributed for this scenario is detailed in the ALE Implementation Guide.