Migrating JDE Data Objects to SAP

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We will soon be migrating from JDE to SAP.   How should we proceed?   The question where we perceive complexity is with Media Objects.   Can you offer some advice?

A Media Object is a file or text attached to a JD Edwards record. Media objects can be text, images, files or shortcuts. (Ref)

So that, as the questioner already knows, it is a very “mixed bag” of data. I would agree with him, that in technical terms this is likely to be a large sticking point.

Firstly he should look at making the problem just go away. I would suggest talking to the Programme Manager and the process team and highlight the attachments as a considerable challenge on top of that of configuring and running the SAP system. He/She will hopefully engage with the issue, look at what the attachments are in business terms and why history is required from a new process design perspective. In 4 out of 5 projects luck will be with the questioner and the Programme Manager will take the risk equation in hand and just declare the legacy attachments out of bounds for migration, backed up by a moth-balled JDE implementation if they do ever need to be accessed. So that the JDE record itself is migrated, if even that level of history is required on SAP, and potentially a single attachment is created in all cases where one or more previous items existed with a standard text such as, “This historical record formerly had attachments that may still be viewed on the frozen JDE instance”.

The main thing is to take the question outside the technical team and treat it as a project risk rather than something he has to hold onto and solve personally. My own experience is that SAP migrations are risky, costly and driven by very specific aims such as better control of finances. The delicate cost, benefit and risk balance of the migration often dictates that items such as attachments must be left behind along with very large volumes of history, because they are not directly associated with the sought business benefit or future operations, but are just an archive. For example, it is common practice to migrate open purchase orders only, and leave those already filled behind. This is often allied with deliberate business tactics to drive open business down such as pre-ordering and filling the warehouse.

But let us say that the questioner is unfortunate in this case, or manages to minimise the number of such records significantly as above, but is still challenged to move some of the attachment data.

The key questions in terms of SAP migration would appear to be:

1) How do we get the attachments out?
2) How and where do we put them back into SAP?

I feel what he should be looking for is some kind of JDE reporting facility, perhaps bringing alongside something like Oracle BI Publisher (which integrates well as Oracle own JDE) Then he can use the notion of “publishing” the Media Object attachment to a relatively neutral format such as PDF rather than trying to migrate or convert it at the data level. The reload task is then one of re-attachment, not of worrying about BLOB (large binary object) fields, their internal document formats and the like.

If he really does need to put his hand “in amongst the cogs”, which I do strongly suggest you avoid, a third party tool may be of use in unpicking the JDE data structures. There appear to be several here at EverestSoft.  (Note that this is not a recommendation. I have not used any of these tools myself)

But really – why would he do that? The Objects are attached “documents” to start with, so publish and reload makes complete sense, if indeed he has to migrate this data at all.

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