Understand the R/3 Classification System and How to Extract Classification Data into BW

  • by July Hartono, Alpha Net Consulting
  • September 1, 2004
The classification system in R/3 provides BW with characteristics that are similar to InfoObject attributes. Classification attributes are not delivered with the system, however, and must be created and maintained by end users. No predefined DataSources are available in BW for this highly customized data. The author explains the classification system and how to extract the data out of R/3 into BW.
Key Concept
The classification system in R/3 groups similar objects into classes as defined by criteria established by end users. Because the classification system is not application specific, classes of objects can be extracted, transferred, and loaded in BW and other applications with the appropriate extraction structures.

The classification system in R/3 often is a mystery to many BW folks, especially those of us who have never worked on an R/3 configuration before. The cross-application component in R/3, the classification system, is application agnostic and describes objects according to their characteristics. Consequently, similar objects can be grouped into classes based on criteria that the R/3 team defines.

The decision to use the classification system lies with the R/3 group and not all companies employ it. It is set up as part of the R/3 variant configuration process, and its use varies widely among companies. For some firms, use of the classification system is optional. However, companies that produce configurable products such as automobiles, which can have variants like paint, trim, or engine size, usually tap this functionality.

It’s up to the R/3 group to configure the classification system, but BW professionals need to have a basic understanding of the classification system so they can access the information it holds. They should know at the very least if their company uses it and how to extract data out of the classification system and into BW.

I will provide you with an overview of the R/3 classification system so you can identify its classes. Then I will show you how to build extractors designed to bring data from classes in R/3 into BW. I’ll also share a few tips and tricks. If you need comprehensive information on the subject, SAP offers courses such as WNAP45: Variant Configuration Part 1 & 2 for SAP R/3 4.7 and PLM 130: Classification.

July Hartono

July Hartono has more than six years of experience as an SAP BW consultant. Currently with Alpha Net Consulting, LLC, she has helped several large clients implement BW. Data conversion and extraction, development of custom DataSources, and data modeling are among her best skills. July received mySAP.com Delta Certification for Business Information Warehouse in 2003.

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