Chapter 7. Core Interface

In Chapter 5 we took great pains to illuminate the intricacies of supply chain master data in APO, which is necessary to form the skeletal foundation of any supply chain model. Nonetheless, most organizations that will adopt APO will already be using SAP’s R/3 product for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and the majority of the supply chain master data employed by APO is already maintained in R/3; therefore to maintain it in APO would be needlessly redundant. To minimize this problem, SAP provides the native Core Interface (CIF) that links these two powerful tools. Even for the (likely rare) cases where APO is deployed in absence of R/3, a similar master-data core arrangement will likely prove both necessary and desirable.

APO is most of all a decision support system. It is true that the PP/DS module has capabilities and features that are so close to purchasing and production control as to straddle the line from decision support to transactional management, but this is a relatively small part of the larger corpus of APO functionality. APO’s sister product, SAP R/3, meanwhile, is expressly designed for enterprise transaction management. APO is usually expected to be deployed, therefore, in support of the supply chain transactional functions of R/3, but it can nonetheless be deployed in lieu of R/3 as a decision support system (DSS) for either a legacy transactional ERP system or a transactional ERP system from another provider. In any case, as a DSS, APO ...

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