Enhance User Productivity with a Custom Search Help

  • by Rohana Gunawardena, SAP Practice Director, Exium Inc.
  • July 1, 2006
Take advantage of this underused option to add a custom search help without assistance from a programmer or the need for a developer key.
Key Concept
Standard SAP provides multiple search helps for customer look-ups but none that allow you to search by, for example, the VAT registration number field. You can easily create such a search help. Custom search helps can increase end-user productivity by simplifying common searches. Often access to transaction codes SE16 and SE17 is restricted because of Sarbanes-Oxley. Adding a search help is a good way to provide ad hoc look-up.
When users want a list of input values for a field, they can press the F4 key or click on the choose from pick list icon next to the field (Figure 1) to activate the SAP search help, referred to as a matchcode prior to SAP R/3 4.0. Providing additional custom search helps can improve end-user productivity by allowing users to find or cross- check required data more quickly. It can be a convenient alternative to creating a custom report or query for end users with the added benefit that it is available right where the user is most interested in the field.

I will show how a functional analyst can add a search help without the assistance of the ABAP or Basis teams and without a developer key. You do need to create a transport to move your search help to the QA and production systems. For this example, I will work with customer master search help.

If you are not familiar with basic search help terminology and processes, see the sidebar, “Terminology and Finding the Right Search Help”.

Rohana Gunawardena

Rohana Gunawardena heads the SAP practice division at Exium Inc. Exium is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve their strategic business goals. Exium specializes in delivering superior IT solutions using ERP systems, with a special focus on SAP products. Rohana has been working with SAP since 1992. During his career he has assisted multiple clients on detailed system correction projects, such as correcting inventory balances, controlling area reorganizations, retrospectively activating group currency, and optimizing inter-company accounting transactions. He has spoken at many SAP conferences and has published more than 20 articles in Financials Expert, SCM Expert, and SAPtips on various aspects of SAP. His presentations have focused on Financials module selection, the order-to-cash process, global rollouts, business segment reporting, cross-module integration, and the financial impact of SCM transactions. Rohana is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert. Rohana is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Previously Rohana has worked with the consulting practices of Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC.

Rohana will be presenting at the upcoming SAPinsider Financials 2017 conference, June 14-16, 2017, in Amsterdam. For information on this event, click here.

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