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Former Member

Difference between background search and cross catalog search in SAP SRM

Hi Experts,

I have some question:

1) What's the difference between the parameter function=background_search and cross catalog search in SAP SRM.

From my point of view:

Cross catalog tick mark - gives the possibility of searching across catalogs...

function=background_search makes is possible to use transparent catalog instead of normal punch out

My developer see it like this:

Cross catalog means => function=background_search - he sees is the same functionality. If you tick mark the "cross-catalog" , then the system are going to use BG=background_search functionality and then the system automatically add this parameter to request.

2) Do I need to distinguish between Transparent Punch Out and normal Punch Out in SAP, or is it a task for the catalog provider?



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    Former Member
    Sep 10, 2012 at 03:02 PM

    Hello Jimmy,

    In order for Background Search to work you have to activate Cross- Catalog Search in customization of Catalog. Please find details below on both Cross- Catalog search and Background search. Background search is mainly used for search cross supplier catalog and for that your supplier has to enable the feature on their side as well, which most of the supplier do not.

    Catalog Serach;

    Enables the selected catalog to be searched by a keyword search that expands over all catalog Web Services having this indicator.

    In the navigation tree of the Customizing transaction, double-click Integrated Call Structure.

    Background Search :

    In order to avoid the situation where a user searching for a particular product has to search multiple catalogs in sequence, a Cross-Catalog Search has been introduced as of SRM 3.0. The user enters a search term once in the SRM Server application and this term is transmitted to all catalogs that support the function when the catalogs are called up. The SRM Server displays the search results from all catalogs in a list and the user can select individual products from here.

    In order to trigger the function, the following parameters are transferred to the product catalog on call-up:






    <Search term>

    The product catalog replies with a HTML page that contains the search results in OCI format. All search results must be accessible on this page without having to use a scroll function

    since the page is evaluated automatically. The form from this page may not be sent automatically to the return URL (in contrast to validation of a product).

    A prerequisite for this function is that the flag Search Cross-Catalog is set in SRM Server Customizing for the relevant catalog

    Also, please find few scn thread on discussion about the same.

    Hope this will help clear your understanding.

    Thank you


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    • Former Member

      Hello Ritesh etc,
      Thank you for answering me, now I have an additional question regarding the OCI and functition=Background_Search / Cross-Catalog Search. I have attached a sequence diagram showing my assumptions.

      Normal OCI catalogue search involves the user’s browser e.g.

      1. The user presses a link in SRM where the HTML FORM action attribute has the service provider marketplace URL 
      2. The user’s browser submits the request to the service provider marketplace 
      3. The user interacts with the service provider’s marketplace by searching and adding items to the shopping basket.
      4. The user checks out and a HTML FORM with the action attribute with the SRM system URL is returned to the user’s browser
      5. The browser (automatically via JavaScript) submits the HTML FORM to SRM
      6. SRM can create a PO

      Background_Search / Cross-Catalog Search is different as the user never sees the service provider marketplace. Can someone please explain the interaction, as the OCI documentation is lacks important details?  

      I’m assuming below is the flow:

      1. The user enters the search string in SRM
      2. SRM sends the search request to the service provider marketplace as a submitted HTML FORM 
      3. The service provider returns the result…

      How is the result returned, and should of course meet OCI specifications.

      As a HTML FORM which SRM must parse e.g.

          <input type=”hidden” name=”NEW_ITEM-QUANTITY[1]”>1</input>
          <input type=”hidden” name=”NEW_ITEM-PRICE[1]”>9.95</input>

      Or as a submitted HTML FORM? E.g. the body of the HTML response.

      NEW_ITEM-QUANTITY[1]=1& NEW_ITEM-PRICE[1]=9.95&...