Use Clusters to Access Infotype Texts

  • by Rehan Zaidi, Senior SAP Technical Consultant
  • December 15, 2004
The infotype texts are not stored in the same manner as other fields of an infotype. Rather, they are stored in the form of clusters. The handling and storage of such fields are entirely different from other infotype fields. Learn about their storage architecture and the basic code that makes them accessible.
Key Concept
The HR module uses clusters for storing information in a variety of areas. Clusters provide numerous advantages. They are best for storing long texts and notes related to infotypes, such as infotype texts, which are stored in table PCL1.

A challenging task for HR developers is to access the stored texts for records of infotypes in the Personnel Administration (PA) module or Recruitment submodule. Users may store additional information related to a particular infotype record in the text portion. This information varies in length and sometimes consists of multiple lines, making it unsuitable for storage within an infotype table field. One such example is the comments about an employee’s appraisal.

Users may ask for this text to be displayed in their reports. Most users (and functional consultants) have a common misconception that these texts are stored just like other fields of the infotype.

However, they are not stored in standard transparent relational database tables like other fields of an infotype. Rather, they reside in clusters stored in a separate database table PCL1. The storage architecture of this table is different from the primary infotype table PANNNN. The infotype text resides in table PCL1 in compressed form.

Rehan Zaidi

Rehan Zaidi is a consultant for several international SAP clients (both on-site and remotely) on a wide range of SAP technical and functional requirements, and also provides writing and documentation services for their SAP- and ABAP-related products. He started working with SAP in 1999 and writing about his experiences in 2001. Rehan has written several articles for both SAP Professional Journal and HR Expert, and also has a number of popular SAP- and ABAP-related books to his credit.

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