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Is the model extract certified by SAP?

Yes, the integration with SAP is certified. 

Does it require a SAP Basis team member to extract the model?

Usually not, at least for non-productive source SAP systems.  The typical user is a modeler or a modeling admin.  It helps to know the VC model parameters – Configurable materials, BOM Usage, Plant, whether to extract production-relevant BOM items as well as sales-relevant. 

What type of SAP authorization is required to extract the knowledge base?

Authorization to access specific VC master data function groups and tables is required, and usually already available to modeler/admin users. If necessary, the full list is available in a prerequisites document. 

What objects are extracted from the knowledge base?

All objects related to the root configurable material that are required for configuring outside SAP – including Materials, BOMs, BOM Items, Configuration Profiles, UI Designs, Object Dependencies, Constraints, Classes and Characteristics and Values, Variant Tables (definitions and contents), Variant Function definitions (but not the ABAP source code). 

Are there any special considerations that I have to look out for?

For a first extract at a company, there may be issues requiring adjustments, for example for customizations (SAP configuration, variant functions, user exits). These are infrequent and usually one-time, after which subsequent extractions go smoothly (automatically).

Will this extract interfere or slow down my SAP system?

There is a typically small load from read-only function module calls. In normal operation we haven’t gotten any complaints from Basis or other users.  

Does this extract application have to be installed on my SAP system?

For a quick evaluation we use a “zero-footprint” external Java application that does not require installation or usually any configuration in SAP. 

How long does it take to setup the extract application?

If a recent Java (7 or 8) is installed, and optionally SAPGUI, it is a matter of a small download and the application starts typically within two minutes. 

How long will the extract take?

Small models take seconds, larger models with many rules, large variant tables, large BOMs, etc. can take minutes to (rarely) a couple of hours. If complete production BOMs are not required, extract time can be greatly reduced. 

Is the extract secure?

Yes – the extraction itself normally runs behind your company firewall. Upload to an Avenue Server (in the Cloud) uses SSL (https). 

What is the output of the extract? XML? Database? Zip file?

Output formats and transformations / translations depending on the purposes of the extract – by default a Model View (documentation of the model) is generated, a Health Check report (critique of the modeling patterns used), and optionally a Compare report of the differences between model revisions from the same source at different times, or from two source system/clients, is provided.  Internally the application may use XML and relational database formats. The XML can be exported for special purposes. 

Does the extract support SAP VC, SAP IPC and SAP CPQ (SSC) knowledge bases?

Yes, all known SAP formats are supported by import including those, and “AP XML”, PDR, Avenue XML. 

Do I have to have any special software installed to enable the extract? Java?  If Java, what version?

We recommend the latest Java (8) but 7 is ok too. 

Will I be able to see the output of the extract?  View the model?

Yes, as PDF or HTML both with plenty of navigable hyperlinks. 

How many times has this extract been used?

Thousands of times by hundreds of users/companies. 

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