Enhance Standard BAPIs for Purchase Orders and Sales Orders Documents to Meet Business Needs

  • by Michal Krawczyk, SAP Integration Consultant, BCC, Poland
  • May 21, 2009
Learn how to modify standard, predefined interfaces that provide access to processes and data in business application systems, such as SAP ERP 6.0, to address your business requirements. Learn how to use append structures to create or change most of your SAP ERP documents.
Key Concept

You use an append structure to create an enhancement for new fields that are not included in standard SAP objects. An append enables you to add custom modifications so you don’t need to register modifications with the use of an SAP object key.

In some cases, SAP ERP’s standard transactional documents, such as purchase orders or sales orders, don’t offer enough fields to meet a customer’s business needs. For example, certain header-level fields or line-level fields might be missing. If so, what can you do to address this type of shortage issue? One approach is to reuse an existing field or an additional attribute for a new purpose. However, this approach can be problematic if the new field is longer or shorter than the field you repurpose. Renaming the fields can also be problematic.

A second approach is to add the new fields to the SAP standard tables in a form of an append structure. This way, you can model the length, type, and names of new fields exactly as you need without any modifications of the standard SAP ERP system. On the other hand, if you use the first approach (i.e., reusing standard fields), the rest of the programs that already work with those fields will continue to work with them. With the second approach (i.e., append structure), you can insert, update, or delete values on your own (in screen exits, for example).

There is a third approach: You can use BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interfaces), which are standard, predefined interfaces that provide access to processes and data in business application systems, such as SAP ERP 6.0. This approach allows you to create or change most of your SAP ERP documents using append structures.

Michal Krawczyk

Michal Krawczyk is an SAP consultant for BCC Poland. He works with SAP XI/PI, ALE/EDI, CRM middleware, and other SAP interface-related technologies. He was presented the Top Contributor award in the XI/PI area on SDN in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and the SAP Mentor award in 2007. He has published more than 60 articles about SAP XI and MDM on SDN and has written a book about PI published by SAP PRESS. He is also an SAP Professional Journal author.

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