2.1 An illustration of interaction with SAP GUI
I will now take you through the steps of creating a purchase order (PO) using the standard SAP GUI interface to illustrate the points made above.
2.1.1 The purchase order user interface in SAP GUI
To illustrate the need for a more simplified user interface, let’s take a look at one of the most popular SAP transactions — creating a purchase order (transaction ME21N). A standard purchase order has two major components: a header and line item(s). Let us look at the header section first. Figure 2.1 shows the initial PO header screen in an ERP 6.0 system running on SAP GUI 7.40.
Figure 2.1: PO header screen in an ERP 6.0 system
While it may not be immediately obvious, the header section has 10 tabs each with a large number of fields. Figure 2.1 shows the fields on the Delivery/Invoice tab. Now let’s take a peek at the next tab, Texts.
Figure 2.2: Texts tab in the PO creation transaction
Figure 2.3 shows the third tab, Conditions.
Figure 2.3: Conditions tab in the PO creation transaction
Let us now move to the fourth tab, Address, as shown in Figure 2.4. As you can see, there are a lot of fields for entering data pertaining to the address of the vendor.
Figure 2.4: Address tab in the PO creation transaction
Figure 2.5 shows the fifth tab, Communication. This tab contains five fields for data entry related to how you communicate with your vendor.
Figure 2.5: Communication tab in the PO creation transaction
We now move on to the next tab, Partners, as shown in Figure 2.6.
Figure 2.6: Partners tab in the PO creation transaction
The seventh tab, Additional Data is shown in Figure 2.7.
Figure 2.7: Additional Data tab in the PO creation transaction
Our PO creation/journey is not yet complete but we are close. Let’s now shift our attention to the Org. Data tab shown in Figure 2.8.
Figure 2.8: Org. Data tab in the PO creation transaction
We will skip the next tab, Status, because you do not need to enter any data here. This tab contains informational data. Let’s finish our journey by looking at the contents of the tab on the far right-hand side, Payment Processing. This is shown in Figure 2.9.
Figure 2.9: Payment Processing tab in the PO creation transaction
Wait, we are not done. All the tabs that we have discussed thus far relate merely to the header of the PO. Each PO will have one or more line items. Let’s now move to the PO items screen. Figure 2.10 shows part of this screen.
Figure 2.10: PO line item entry
As you might infer from the horizontal scroll bar, there is a long list of fields that are available for data input. Each line item has specific items of information related directly to the item you are ordering, such as the quantity, net price, delivery date, etc.
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