Keep Track of Components with the Reuse Library

  • by Anurag Barua, Independent SAP Advisor
  • July 15, 2006
The reuse library is enhanced starting with Enterprise Release 4.7, making it a handy mini-knowledge warehouse that can complement other knowledge management tools.
Key Concept

The reuse library (transaction SE83) has gone through various makeovers in standard SAP R/3. In Release 4.5B it served as central storage for the then new ABAP List Viewer (ALV). Given that ALV is a technical tool, the reuse library was designed primarily for developers and still has a pronounced technical bent. In Release 4.6C it was unveiled as a one-stop shop that facilitated learning (via documentation, examples, and samples) and access (e.g., via links to programs and function modules) to SAP technologies such as InfoSets, ALE/Docs, and ALV. Starting with R/3 Enterprise Release 4.7, the reuse library was significantly enhanced, making it versatile with respect to creating and maintaining your own reuse products and libraries. It still retains some of its technical bias but a non-technical person can leverage it as effortlessly as a technical one.

All SAP users should now have access to it without developer rights, unless the enterprise’s security needs have dictated that the Basis or security administrator create a security role or profile around it that might prevent or restrict access.

Organizing and maintaining the components of a product or application is an important activity in the lifecycle of any SAP implementation from inception to the post-production phase. Numerous tools and technologies, including third-party solutions, aid this activity.

In some of the latest SAP releases, including R/3 Enterprise 4.7 and mySAP ERP 2004 and 2005, project stores such as Solution Manager and applications such as Document Management System (DMS), Knowledge Warehouse (KW), and Records Management — all neatly packaged as “Knowledge Management” and possibly delivered via the SAP NetWeaver Portal — can satisfy most of your needs when maintaining project deliverables. Other available repositories include the ASAP stores and IMG. One other tool — the tool into which I’ll dive more deeply — has been available for several years and is often overlooked by project, implementation, and maintenance teams. It is the reuse library.

When Should You Use the Reuse Library?

The reuse library is not a substitute for KW, Solution Manager, the IMG, or any third-party solution. I recommend using it for the following purposes:

  • Create your own library of documents that are available on the Internet. By organizing these documents in a hierarchy and making them available in one place, you and others can conveniently reuse them.

  • Augment SAP-provided libraries with additional documents that are relevant to this library using transaction SLIBN. (You don’t modify the standard SAP library, but make a copy and save it with a different name.)

  • Create and change reuse products (using transaction SLIBP). This enables you to organize the components of an application. This is useful if you build your own application and want to provide users with single-point access to every aspect of this application. You can provide links to the related documents, examples of the technical components, and the actual program objects.

I’ll focus on two transactions: SE83 (reuse library) and SLIBN (maintain reuse library). I’ll discuss the other related transaction, SLIBP (maintain reuse product), in a subsequent article.

Anurag Barua

Anurag Barua is an independent SAP advisor. He has 23 years of experience in conceiving, designing, managing, and implementing complex software solutions, including more than 17 years of experience with SAP applications. He has been associated with several SAP implementations in various capacities. His core SAP competencies include FI and Controlling FI/CO, logistics, SAP BW, SAP BusinessObjects, Enterprise Performance Management, SAP Solution Manager, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and project management. He is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider conferences and contributes to several publications. He holds a BS in computer science and an MBA in finance. He is a PMI-certified PMP, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and is ITIL V3F certified.

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