QAD Configurator Basics > Configuration Keys
  
Configuration Keys
When all the questions in the questionnaire are answered for a product configuration, QAD Configurator defines a new configuration used by the Variant Generator, which is a part of the questionnaire, to construct a new variant item, product structure, and routing.
The step from creating a configuration to generating a new variant is only automatic if you have defined a configuration key. You can choose to save the configuration as a description of a product configuration without generating the corresponding variant. It is quite possible, therefore, that some previous use of the questionnaire has produced either a configuration or a variant that matches the specifications of your present customer’s configuration requirements.
To avoid configuration and variant redundancies, QAD Configurator uses the configuration characteristics; that is, the answers to the questions. When a configuration exists, there can also be a variant that matches your current customer’s requirements. You can then decide whether to use the existing configuration or variant, or to continue with the questionnaire to create one.
To find a specific configuration, QAD Configurator needs a key to use as an index. Due to performance considerations and Progress limitations, it is not advisable to include the complete configuration description as the index. In most cases, only a subset of all the configuration elements, that is, the configuration details, is needed to uniquely describe a variant. You can use Configuration Key Maintenance to select the features that uniquely describe a variant.
Note: If a feature is added to or removed from an existing configuration key, make sure that you rebuild all unique variant keys for the configurable item.