Condition technique is THE most pervasive and a very flexible methodology used by SAP to aid the consultant in configuring complex business rules. Some modules ( SD, MM ) are more dependent on it than others. We are taking Pricing as an example here, but will not enter into the domain of Pricing (which is pretty large by itself ). This article is also useful for consultants working in other modules like FICO who might require an understanding of Condition Technique before they understand Pricing
What is Condition Technique
Condition Technique is an SAP configuration technique/methodology that is used to configure complex business rules. Consider it as a rules engine. For example, in SD it is used across multiple functionalities - Pricing, Outputs, Texts etc. In MM the same technique is used to configure Schemas ( Same as Pricing ).
Why is Condition Technique Used
Condition technique is used when a complex, ever-changing set of business rules need to be configured as generically as possible in the system. Nothing could capture the essence of this statement more than the complex rules that businesses use to Price their products/services. For example, in pricing, each organization has their own set of business rules including base price, margins, discounts, taxes, surcharges, deals/promotions, price lists etc. For a single system to be generic enough to cater to all of these complex needs is a challenge in itself and that is exactly what condition technique tries to solve.
Condition Technique at a Very High Level
There are 7 key components of Condition Technique. Not all of the components are used all the time. But it is beneficial to learn all of them just in case you want to solve complex problems like pricing. .
|Field Catalog||Field Catalog consists of all the possible set of fields that play a role in determining the business rules|
|Condition Table||Condition table is a database table that is created from a small subset of the field catalog as part of the customization.|
|Access Sequence||Access sequence comprises of a sequence of condition tables prioritized in a particular order.|
|Condition type||Each condition type represents a logical component of the condition technique. For example, excise tax could be one of the logical components of pricing and it could be represented using one condition type or a combination of multiple condition types.|
|Procedure||A procedure is a combination of multiple condition types. For example, in output determination procedure, all the sequence of condition types might exist - Like EDI, Print, Fax etc.|
|Procedure Determination||Finally the procedure is assigned to the final document type that is effected by the business rule.|
It may not make much heads or tails just yet. But continue to read and you will be surprised how simple and powerful this is. Condition technique could be learnt either bottom up or top-down. However, we are trying to explain it here using the bottom-up approach. Also, it is much easier to explain condition technique using a standard SAP functionality as an example. We will take the most complicated example/use ( Pricing ) and that way all of the aspects of the condition technique will be covered. The menu path to be followed is under [ SPRO -> Sales & Distribution -> Basic Functions -> Pricing ].