Month: January 2013

Home / 2013 / January

Web Dynpro – Using the Code Wizard

Well, I believe I mentioned it in a previous post, but I’m still struggling with the differences between BSP and Web Dynpro.  AWDP is a fun tool, and I like it the more I get into it, the learning curve is still killing me 🙂  Today the Code Wizard is one of my recent discoveries.

For example, I figured out the whole context model, why you do it, etc.  But I had a hell of a time figuring out how to get the value into or out of the context variables I created.  I finally discovered the Web Dynpro Code Wizard…  which, with a few clicks, generated all of the code I needed to read or set the context node.  So simple, yet I hunted on-line for an hour, and eventually found it in the ABAP Web Dynpro book I purchased.

It turns out, you click the wizard button, select the node you want to work with, then tell it if you want to read it, set it, append it, etc…  hit the green check mark.  And magically, all the code I needed was inserted into my method.  Who knew it could be that easy.  LOL.

Anyway, if you’re playing with AWDP, take advantage of the code wizard.  it won’t create your whole application, but it’s great at the little stuff =)

thanks for reading,


Basis – System License

I just discovered a very important, but very subtle thing.  SAP Hardware keys are case specific.  In order to use the system license, you need to enter it in correctly.

While to most of you, this doesn’t mean anything.  I just spent the last hour trying to get into the system I’ve spent the last month building.  I finally discovered that the license I created for the system had a lower case ‘W’.  The Hardware key used an upper case ‘W’.  UGH!!!  Anyway, as soon as I requested a new key, used the SAP* user to get back into the system, then used txn:  SLICENSE, installed the new file from SAP…  everything was great.  So, learn from me, hardware keys are case specific 🙂

I know this is a simple one, but take it from me, it can be important,

Thanks for reading,


Web Dynpro – Dynamically Changing the Web page Title

Well, as I begin digging into my first ABAP Web Dynpro program, I”m slowly starting to figure out what is going on.  Expect some posts on AWDP in the future, since it’s now becoming my latest hobby =)  Today’s challenge was dynamically changing the web page title.

tip number 1.  If you want to change the title of the web page, you know the title that shows up on the tab of Windows Explorer, you can’t do this dynamically until you have Netweaver 7.02 or later.  If you have at least this basis release, you can use the following command:

  wd_this->wd_get_api( )->get_component( )->get_application( )->set_window_title( wd_this->lv_title ).

Now the bad news is that if you don’t have 7.02 or later, you can only change it in the application description.

So, I just need to start tracking these little tidbits as I go.  As always, I’m learning things the hard way so you don’t have to.

Thanks for reading,


Service Management – Equipment Vs Functional Locations

I recently got a question on my linked-in account about the difference between Equipment Records & Functional Locations.  So I figured, what better way to answer it than to post it on the blog so everyone can see it :).  And it gives me an idea of what to write about, which some days is easier than others.  So equipment vs functional locations.

So, onto the question.  An Equipment Record and a Functional Location are very similar as far as SAP functionality.  They can both do pretty much all the same things, hold the same data etc.  The difference between these items is really more fundamental in terms of what they represent.

Equipment:  this is typically any piece of equipment, say an Iphone, a printer, a laptop.  They can be anywhere, with anyone etc.  Typically serialized, etc.

Functional Location: This is typically more of a permanent structure.  For example, this may be a punch press machine, a central office for your cable company etc.  A functional location is just that, a fixed location.  It can often contain equipment records (especially in the case of a central office, there may be racks, switching devices, fiber optic routers, etc.).  In my experience, I tend to see FL’s used much more in plant maintenance for items that are fixed in the plant.

If anyone cares to comment further, please add it to the post.

Thanks for reading, and please keep shooting me questions,


Variant Configuration – Using the Save Temporary

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately doing VC related stuff, which I’m sure you’ve guessed by my posts =)  My latest discovery has been the save temporary when you are inside of CU50 or a sales document.  This functionality allows you take a configuration you’ve entered, and copy the whole thing into another order, or another CU50 screen.  Rather handy, especially if you’re dealing with large models like I have been lately.

Now, the functionality is a bit temperamental, at least on the system that I’ve been working on, so if you haven’t used it before, here are something to keep in mind.

1.  When you save the configuration, I recommend going right back to display it.  Just to make sure it really saved a copy (I use the save as variation, so I can tell what I’m copying).

2.  After you create your saved configuration, save your quote or sales order.  It doesn’t seem to keep your saved copy, unless you save the document you were working in.

3.  Be sure the KMAT’s match, or you won’t see your saved configuration.

4.  I can’t really tell how long the saved configurations will last.  It seems to only stick around long enough to add it to a single document (now if you have multiple lines on a quote for example, you’ll be able to add it to all those lines).  But it seems that upon saving whatever you copied it to, the saved configuration is gone.  I guess that’s why it’s temporary 🙂

In any event, don’t be surprised if you need to go back to the original document you want to copy from multiple times before you get it “just right”.  And as always, if anyone can give me some better ideas of how to use this, please comment.  I love to learn new tricks 🙂
thanks for reading,


Variant Configuration – Using the Interface Design

Well, much of my consulting life has revolved around the Variant Configuration interface design functionality.  While, I’ll be the first to admit, that I am extremely happy it now exists (life was a lot uglier back in 3.0F when it wasn’t there).  I am very annoyed with the lack of functionality.  Take my current mission.  I’m working with a very large model (400+ characteristics) and i”m trying to arrange it into a more useful structure.  This can only be done with the interface design, especially since I’m using the class hierarchy to inherit cstics (I have at least 2-3 levels in every class).

So, what I’ve done is using a combination of tabs and sequence, I’ve arranged the cstics the way I want them.  This is great.  What sucks is that it took me a couple of days to do it.  Mainly because of some missing functionality.  Part of this post is a call for help if you know a better way to handle it :).

1.  There is no way to search for a specific characteristic when building the interface design.  You have to page through until you find it.
2.  When you get the cstics onto the design, you can only select and move one characteristic at a time.  this causes me headaches when I want to move 4 cstics a few pages up, I have to do them 1 at a time.

3.  if I’ve used a cstic in another interface design (like a tab for example), I still see the characteristic in my list for the sequence.  So I have to remember that it’s been used elsewhere.  Not the end of the world, but still a hassle.

One little thing I have found is that if you use the class hierarchy, the interface will at least list them by class (now the order you’ll have to figure out), but everything for one class will be listed, then the next class, and so on.

So, this has been my little venting on the interface design.  I hope someone can comment on something I missed 🙂

Thanks for reading.


Blogging – How it paid off for me!

Well, I’d love to say that my blog is directly driven thousands of dollars in sales to me…  it hasn’t happened, yet.  However, what my blog did for me was provide me a bunch of useful information that needed.  You know how I keep telling you that I use my blog is my digital notebook?  Well, that’s exactly how I used it this past week.

Yet again, I needed to build another SAP system, so that I have a place for contractors to develop.  Well, once again, I needed to build a system from scratch because the one I have is “quirky” to say the least.  If I hadn’t done so much development and master data loads, I’d probably scrap it and use a copy of the new system I just built…  but oh well.

Building a new system meant that I needed to start from scratch.  That meant installing a printer (I had a blog post on that), seeing what files I needed to do the install (I had a post on that), generating a solution manager key (I did a post on that too), configuring STMS (you guessed it)…

So, all my blogging directly benefited me.  I didn’t have to dig through cryptic notebooks.  Since I write for you guys, it forces me to document my thoughts properly…  not in my half awake code language that I tend to use for taking notes.  Great for 30 mins for now, any longer, and I have to stare at it for an hour to figure what on earth I was even writing about.

So, no money yet, but it saved me a ton of time.  If you haven’t already, start your digital notebook today.

thanks for reading,


Web Dynpro – Initial Challenges

Wow, I have to admit, I thought after going through a book and doing some exercises, I’d have no problem converting a BSP application to Web Dynpro.  Was I ever wrong!!!  The learning curve is steeper than I expected.  It is very different, and admittedly, I haven’t wrapped my head around all the concepts of how it works.  But, if you know me, you know that I just keep plugging till I figure it out =)

Initially, I set the goal of “simply” creating the initial login page.  Even that has been a challenge.  I haven’t quite figured out how I can layout a page the way I want.  For example, I’ll have a common header and footer for every page.  I found an application that seems to do just that (or close enough for my initial go-around), but digging through it to figure out what’s happening has been challenging.  I’ve been battling a cold as well, so that certainly makes my brain a little more foggy than usual, but I expected it would just fall into place…  well, not there yet, but I’m still hacking away.

Second was to recreate my navigation tree on the left side of the application.  This again is used for every single page, and pretty much drives the entire application.  This again I thought would be simple.  I did it in BSP, how hard could it be?  Well, pretty hard it turns out.  I’m working to understand the “Context” right now, which if I understand it correctly, is like variables, so my next mission is figure out how to populate the Context variables I created.  The funny thing is that once I grasp the Web Dynpro concepts, it should be a piece of cake because I’ll be able to reuse all of the ABAP methods I originally created for the BSP, just move the data to Web Dynpro…  This will be an ongoing post topic for me, so if you happen to be a Web Dynpro guru, and you recognize something, throw me a bone in the comments.  I’d really appreciate it.

Anyway, that’s all for today.  Thanks for reading,


All I want for my Birthday is another Sale!

So if I just wish hard enough, will it happen?  How does the old saying go, wish in one hand, S*#t in the other, see which one fills up first.  🙂

the answer to that is obviously no, so what do you do to get that next sale.  Since I’m no expert, I just keep doing what other successful people are doing.  the first thing we are focusing on this year is trade shows.  There is a big SAP MFG conference in March this year that we are shelling out big bucks to be a part of.  We’re investing a lot in this because this is where our potential customers will be.  So if we can showcase what we have, we stand to collect a lot of business.

The second thing, invest in our product offering.  I’ve been spending a crazy amount of time building our super production application.  this is where I have to trust my partner.  I’m not a production guy, but he is.  He says, if we build this, they will come (and spend a lot of money on it).  In addition, I’m upgrading my original application to Web Dynpro.  Even if people don’t need it, they love the latest and greatest.  While Web Dynpro has been around for a while, it’s still relatively new for many customers.  So why not try to wow them with fancy buzz words 🙂

Finally, keep on keeping on…  I’ll continue to write my blog posts, I’ll continue sending out emails, I’ll continue building bigger and better auto-responders to find more 2nd customers.  And most of all, I’ll keep working…  So while I might take tonight off to enjoy time with friends, rest assured, I won’t be taking many nights off for a while.  If want to make it, you gotta work your ass off for a while…  then you can relax (just a little).

Thanks for reading,


ABAP – Using the SCREEN structure

lately in my development activities I’ve spent a lot of time developing screen.  One of the pieces of our latest product is a high end configuration screen to give the user as much control as they want for the final product.  Now as many of you know, I have no formal ABAP training, but it’s amazing what you can learn from books, the internet, and just good old trial and error.  Well, one of the things I’ve been using a lot is screens.  If you’re a developer, I’m sure this is old hat, but to me this has become invaluable.  In a previous post, I talk about how important it is to be consistent in naming your screen elements.  Today I’m going to step back and talk a little about the SCREEN structure.

For me, some of the big things I wanted to be able to dynamically control is if the element is visible in SE51 and if you can change it.  For this, there are simple fields in the SCREEN structure:

  • Invisible – setting this to 1 make the field disappear from the screen
  • input – setting this to 1 makes the field editable.

Now the big thing to remember is that if you are doing something dynamic, like I’ve done using tables to control the settings, you must lock the changes in.  Locking them in is very simple.  MODIFY SCREEN.  That simple statement, locks your changes in.  If you forget it, you’ll spend a lot of time being frustrated, wondering why the element isn’t behaving like you’re telling it to (believe me, I know this from experience.  ha ha ha).

Thanks for reading,