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Background documentation SAP Authorization Concept  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure

The SAP authorization concept protects transactions, programs, and services in SAP systems from unauthorized access. On the basis of the authorization concept, the administrator assigns authorizations to the users that determine which actions a user can execute in the SAP System, after he or she has logged on to the system and authenticated himself or herself.

To access business objects or execute SAP transactions, a user requires corresponding authorizations, as business objects or transactions are protected by authorization objects. The authorizations represent instances of generic authorization objects and are defined depending on the activity and responsibilities of the employee. The authorizations are combined in an authorization profile that is associated with a role. The user administrators then assign the corresponding roles using the user master record, so that the user can use the appropriate transactions for his or her tasks.

The following graphic shows the authorization components and their relationships.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

Explanation of the Graphic



User master record

These enable the user to log onto the SAP System and allow access to the functions and objects in it within the limits of the authorization profiles specified in the role. The user master record contains all information about the corresponding user, including the authorizations.

Changes only take effect when the user next logs on to the system. Users who are logged on when the change takes place are not affected in their current session.

Single role

Is created with the profile generator and allows the automatic generation of an authorization profile. The role contains the authorization data and the logon menu for the user.

Composite role

Consists of any number of single roles.

Generated authorization profile

Is generated in role maintenance from the role data.

Manual authorization profile

To minimize the maintenance effort if you are using authorization profiles, do not usually enter single authorizations in the user master record, but rather authorizations combined into authorization profiles. Changes to the authorization rights take effect for all users whose user master record contains the profile the next time they log on to the system. Users who are already logged on are not immediately affected by the changes.


We strongly recommend that you do not assign profiles manually, but rather do so automatically with the profile generator.

Composite profile

Consists of any number of authorization profiles.


Definition of an authorization object, that is, a combination of permissible values in each authorization field of an authorization object.

An authorization enables you to perform a particular activity in the SAP System, based on a set of authorization object field values.

Authorizations allow you to specify any number of single values or value ranges for a field of an authorization object. You can also allow all values, or allow an empty field as a permissible value.

If you change authorizations, all users whose authorization profile contains these authorizations are affected.

As a system administrator, you can change authorizations in the following ways:

        You can extend and change the SAP defaults with role maintenance.

        You can change authorizations manually. These changes take effect for the relevant users as soon as you activate the authorization.

The programmer of a function decides whether, where and how authorizations are to be checked. The program determines whether the user has sufficient authorization for a particular activity. To do this, it compares the field values specified in the program with the values contained in the authorizations of the user master record.

The line of the authorization is colored yellow in the profile generator.

Authorization Object

An authorization object groups up to ten fields that are related by AND.

An authorization object allows complex tests of an authorization for multiple conditions. Authorizations allow users to execute actions within the system. For an authorization check to be successful, all field values of the authorization object must be appropriately maintained in the user master.

Authorization objects are divided into classes for comprehensibility. An object class is a logical combination of authorization objects and corresponds, for example, to an application (financial accounting, human resources, and so on). The line of the authorization object class is colored orange in the profile generator.

For information about maintaining the authorization values, double click an authorization object.

The line of the authorization object is colored green in the profile generator.

Authorization fields

Contains the value that you defined. It is connected to the data elements stored with the ABAP Dictionary.


The objects (such as authorizations, profiles, user master records, or roles) are assigned per client. For more information about transporting these objects from one client to another, or from one system to another, see the SAP Library, in the in sections Transporting Authorization Components and Change and Transport System (BC-CTS).


If you develop your own transactions or programs, you must add authorizations to your developments yourself (see Authorization Checks in Your Own Developments).

To be able to successfully implement the authorization strategy, you need a reliable authorization plan. To produce a plan, you must first decide which users may perform which tasks in the SAP system. You then need to assign the authorizations required for these tasks in the SAP system to each user.

The working out of a solid and reliable authorization plan is a constant process. We recommend that you regularly revise the authorization plan so that it always corresponds to your requirements. Define standard roles and procedures for creating and assigning roles, profiles, and authorizations.



See also:

        Assigning Authorizations

        Authorization Checks

        Authorization Checks in Customer Developments

        Scenario for an Authorization Check

        Role Maintenance


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