Monday, May 21, 2012

An introduction about IPC

SAP CRM uses IPC to determine pricing information when creating a business transaction, such as a quotation, sales order, service process or a contract. For example, the system automatically determines the gross price and the discounts and surcharges that are relevant for a specific customer or for a particular date, in accordance with the valid conditions.
From a technical point of view, pricing in CRM still use condition technique to perform pricing. Here you can find a link about condition technique and the process when determining the price.
If your company has already got ERP system online, you can direct download the configuration data to the CRM system using CRM middleware. The configuration data contains pricing procedure, condition type, access sequence. The condition master data can also be downloaded to the CRM side. If your company uses the standalone CRM system, the consultant will need to configure everything in CRM directly.
IPC(Internet Pricing and Configurator) is the core part of pricing. The IPC ensures integrated price calculation, regardless of whether prices are calculated for a business transaction in CRM Enterprise, in Telesales, or in SAP E-Commerce. I will post a new blog to make an brief introduction to IPC.
The CRM applications communicate with IPC using pricing communication structure. Usually, the standard structure field does not meet the requirement. We need to add custom field during pricing process. For example, we need to determine price according to product hierarchy which is not contained in the custom communication structure. In this case, we need to do some enhancement to pass custom field to the communication structure. SAP provide an BADI named ‘CRM_COND_COM_BADI’ for this purpose. I will also post a new article to cover this requirement.

SAP Internet Pricing and Configurator (SAP IPC) is used in numerous SAP applications to configure products through the Internet. SAP IPC belongs, technically speaking, to SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), but it can also be installed separately on its own database (“standalone”).
As of SAP CRM 5.0 the SAP IPC 7.0 is a component of the Application Platform (AP). Compared to the previous release that is SAP IPC 4.0, the technology has been switched to SAP Virtual Machine Container (VMC), which is part of the SAP Web Application Server (SAP Web AS) and SAP NetWeaver 2004s. Installation of a separate database is not required as SAP IPC 7.0 is moved to the SAP Web AS. This was done in order to use VMC.
IPC supports the same functionality like R/3 pricing and VC(variant configuration) and it is the first Java applicaiton that runs in the VMC(virtual machine container). It comprises below parts:
  • SCE Sales Configuration Engine
  • SPE Sales Pricing Engine
  • PME Product modeling Environment
IPC also contains an JSP application that is integrated into ERP ECO and CRM web channel. Use this JSP application, internet customer can easy configure an configurable material in the browser.

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