The Variant Configuration Modeling Environment (PMEVC) is a powerful display, review and editing transaction in SAP VC. As a common entry point for all of these operations, it truly deserves to be in every VC modeler’s known set of tools. In today’s tech-tip, I will go over what information is available at a glance when using PMEVC, and will also show how PMEVC can save you time (and some headaches) when editing larger chunks of dependency code.
The PMEVC tool is the go-to place for a quick overview of every VC element tied to a material. When you fire up the transaction, you get an input screen allowing you to enter the material, class type and plant, as well as specifying the date at which the “screenshot” of the model is to be taken (in case Engineering Change Management was used, for example).
Initial Screen of Variant Configuration Modeling Environment
Once past the initial screen, you will see the material in a tree view. Drilling down one level shows you the configuration profile, dependency net, procedures, user interface and VC class for the material, like so:
configuration profile, dependency net, procedures, user interface and VC class for the material
While this does give a good overview of the assignments, the really useful stuff lies further down the tree. For example, you can drill down in the dependency net (DN JT_MONITOR in this case), then in the constraints themselves:
drill down in the dependency net
Doing so will give you a quick glance of the status of the element with a traffic light (1) as well as the class (2) and variant tables (3) referred to in its code, if applicable.
You can also do the same with the user interface (MONITOR CONFIG in this case). It will show you the different tabs in the UI and which characteristics belong in each:
different tabs in the UI
Note that you can also drill down in characteristics to see the entire list of values for it, or drill down in a class to see its assigned characteristics.
Editing VC elements
Using PMEVC is like having most of the VC modeling transactions handy at once. It allows you to do consistency checks, edit dependency code, change characteristic values and more, all this from the same interface. In the previous section, we had a look at the display features of the PMEVC transaction. The editing functionalities of the transaction, however, are what makes PMEVC really worthy of your toolbox.
For example, let’s say one of your models does not behave as it should during configuration: you know one of the characteristic values you selected should trigger the inference of another value, but nothing happens. One first good step to do is fire up PMEVC, drilldown to the dependencies and visually verify that all of them are active (green traffic lights). If not, you could just double-click the dependency, enter change mode (by clicking the pencil at the right of the element name) and change its status to released. As you can see, this is all done directly from the interface used to check your model, like so:
Visual of editing functionalities of PMEVC Tool in SAP
Although the Variant Configuration Modeling Environment is useful to change the status of VC elements, the editing functionalities of PMEVC go beyond that. Not only can you correct errors by editing elements, but you can also directly create new elements for your VC model from PMEVC. For example. You could add a constraint to a dependency net from there by double-clicking the net and entering change mode (again, the pencil at the right of the element name):
add a constraint to a dependency net from there by double-clicking the net and entering change mode
Finally, my personal favorite feature of the PMEVC tool is that it can really smoothen up the coding of dependencies with more complex logic (stretching on several lines). As you probably know already, the traditional editor for dependencies is a bit off-putting:
You need to type D in the line number to delete it, I to insert a new line, and when you arrive at the end of your code line, the editor does not skip to the next one. You have to click the other line and start typing again... These little annoyances (and others too) make so that when editing longer, more complex code, it can become painful after a while.
This is where PMEVC really shines. For example, instead of having to fire up CU22 in a new window to edit a constraint in the bulky editor, you can edit the code in a direct, friendlier way in PMEVC:
edit the code directly in PMEVC
You will even get a prompt for ECM when you enter change mode, which you can disable if needed. Just do your changes, hit save, and you’re done!
To sum it all up, PMEVC not only serves as a way to spot-check your models, but also allows for quick edition of any errors you might find, all the while providing a friendlier editor to change (and create) dependencies. If you have not really used it yet as a modeler, give it a try and see if it works for you!