Ask the FI/CO Expert: "Is CATT the Best Tool for Changing Field Values in Master Data Records Automatically, or Is There a Less Cumbersome Way to Get the Job Done?"

  • by Laura Sigman
  • January 15, 2002
"Ask the FI/CO Expert" is a monthly Q&A column where readers can ask FI/CO Expert senior consultants questions on difficulties they've encountered using R/3 functionality. The question for this month's column concerns doing mass updates to accounting information on customer masters. A guest FI/CO Expert senior consultant from ICM America carefully details, step by step, how two SAP end-user tools, the Computer Aided Test Tool (or CATT) and the newer, cross-application Mass Maintenance Tool, can be used to create and change customer master and transaction data.
Key Concept

Dear FI/CO Expert,

Several years ago, our consultants used a tool called CATT to automatically create customer master data prior to our cutover. As I recall, this was based on a list we had prepared in a spreadsheet. It seemed so easy. I would like to use this tool again, as I have a "Sort Key" field setting that needs to be changed on all our sold-to customer masters.

At this point, I’ve been able to record and save a CATT. I’ve also prepared a spreadsheet that contains my data and has three columns, one for the customer number, one for the Company Code, and one for the Sort Key setting I want to change to.

Also, I was able to find the place in the transaction used to run a CATT where I could select my spreadsheet as the file I wanted R/3 to process (I used the "External from file" option).

Yet, when I try to execute the CATT, I only get the error message "Error 0022 reading external variants from file."

What am I doing wrong? And, is there another, less cumbersome, way to update this Customer Master data?

Stephen McCarthy

This month’s FI/CO Expert, Laura Sigman, Senior SAP Consultant, ICM America, fields a question from Massachusetts resident Stephen McCarthy. Stephen works for a high-tech software firm outside of Boston. He is in charge of the Credit Management and Billing functionality in the SD and FI modules for a recently upgraded 4.5B system. Stephen’s question concerns the functionality in R/3 known as CATT, and the difficulty he’s been having using it to do mass updates to accounting information on customer masters. Our FI/CO Expert guest consultant advises Stephen to try R/3’s "Mass Maintenance" Tool instead.
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your question! In short, the answer to your question is "Yes," there is another way to make mass updates to master data other than using CATT. I’ll touch on that in just a moment.

At the same time, why don’t I describe what is meant by CATT and its intended use? Then I’ll try to provide some pointers on your particular issue.

CATT — What Is It?

Laura Sigman

Laura Sigman is a Senior Consultant for ICM America LLC, specializing in cross-application integration scenarios and management strategies for system deployments, testing cycles, and end-user training. Laura has considerable experience in master data management, including configuration development, conversions, and transactional testing.

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