Flattening the Learning Curve for the Overlooked PU12 Interface Toolbox

  • by Graham Wong, Co-Founder, HR Focal Point
  • June 15, 2003
The SAP HR module is delivered with PU12, an interface development framework that is often overlooked because of the learning curve associated with its use. The author, using the example of a master data interface designed to extract employee data for an employee directory, explains the major concepts and flow behind the technology.

“Think of PU12 as one big user exit.” This is the response that I most often give when I am asked about the Interface Toolbox, more commonly known as PU12 for the transaction code that invokes this functionality.

SAP HR implementations, like all SAP implementations, almost always require interfaces to both internal and external systems. The SAP HR module is delivered with PU12, a fully supported1 interface development framework that is often overlooked because of the learning curve associated with its use.

In fact, R/3 project team management and development staffs often opt for the familiar over the new. It is more likely that an HR interface will be developed using standard ABAP because of the larger knowledge pool and the relative scarcity of experienced PU12 developers. This choice requires the developer to reinvent much of the HR business logic and functionality that is already delivered and tested in the PU12 application. Whatever interface is created will most likely require maintenance and re-writes to support newly requested standard SAP HR features and any new SAP-delivered functionality.

PU12 provides a framework of user exit-like functionality that automatically adheres to the most important HR process and data model concepts. The developer/user is freed to concentrate on requirements for data conversion and file layout, as well as complex features such as change validation and retrocalculation support, without having to worry about the technical implementation.

Graham Wong

Graham Wong is a consultant and co-founder HR Focal Point, an SAP and technology consulting company. He has been working with SAP applications and technology since 1994. He holds bachelors degrees in commerce and French from the University of Virginia as well as a master's degree in management information systems from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

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