What's a BAdI, and What Can It Do That a User Exit Can't?

  • by Frank Bulacher, Manager of SAP CH, Alstom Switzerland
  • September 1, 2003
Business Add-Ins (BAdIs) have been around since BW 2.x, but are little understood. They offer significant advantages over user exits in most cases, however. The author describes those advantages and gives a quick step-by-step overview of how you create a BAdI.

 

A Business Add-In (BAdI) is an enhancement of the well-known user exit that you can use in BW 2.x and higher, as well as in SAP R/3 4.6. Despite having been available for a few years, BAdIs are not well known or used a lot. This is likely to change, given SAP's approach toward using BAdIs from SAP BW 3.0 on. For example, SAP recommends the use of BAdIs with the transformation library in BW 3.x.

If you are part of a functional team, you might never work directly with a BAdI. Nonetheless, it is important to know about this system feature so you understand how it might be used in the appropriate situation. BAdIs give technical teams more flexibility in using the same ABAP code (BAdI) for different levels of the company. For example, you could use the same code for each country during a global rollout. With a user exit, new code would be required for each country.

To review, user exits are points in the SAP program code where you can add a custom program to derive and exchange (upload, download, change, and so on) data with the standard SAP program, thus extending the functionality of standard SAP. In BW, user exits are used mainly in routines that are part of transfer and update rules.

BAdIs do not make user exits obsolete. Your existing user exits will still work after an upgrade as long as none of the objects (e.g., fields and tables) the program uses have changed. You also do not have to open an SAP Software Change Registration (SSCR). The same holds true of BAdIs after an upgrade.

Frank Bulacher

Frank Bulacher is manager of SAP CH at Alstom Switzerland. He has worked in BI for more than 14 years in the United States and Europe. Prior to that, he was a consultant in data warehousing and SAP FI/CO. His career has taken him to top-tier and boutique companies. Frank is a graduate of the University of Augsburg in Germany and the University of Wales in Swansea, UK, with majors in banking and computer science.

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