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You can use this function to assign one or more reference specifications to a specification (source specifications of the reference or short references). In doing this the SAP system creates a link from the value assignments of the reference specification to those of the referencing specification. This greatly reduces the amount of data that needs to be entered.

Note Note

Using the where-used list for specifications function you can display all specifications to which selected specifications are assigned as references (see Determining Usage As References ).

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Recommendation Recommendation

Instead of using referencing, we recommend you use inheritance as this function offers you more options.

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  • The required reference must belong to a specification type that was specified as a permitted source specification type for the specification type of the referencing specification under Specify Specification Types in Customizing for Basic Data and Tools .

  • A specification cannot be a target specification in a reference and a target specification in an inheritance relationship at the same time, in other words, a specification cannot receive data via reference and via inheritance at the same time. However, other combinations are possible, for example:

    • A specification can receive data via reference and pass on this data or other data.

    • A specification can receive data via inheritance and pass it on via reference.

    • A specification can inherit data and pass it on via reference.


The following rules apply for references in the SAP system:

  • If you assign a reference to a specification, a link is created to the specification from all value assignments of the reference. In contrast to inheritance it is not possible in references to specify value assignment types directly using an inheritance template whose value assignments are to be passed on.

    Note Note

    No data is transferred outside the value assignments in referencing. The following, for example, are not transferred:

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    • Identifiers

    • Material assignments

  • You can manually overwrite a referenced value assignment. You can choose whether:

    • The referenced value assignment is to be deleted and you re-enter the data

    • The referenced value assignment is to remain as a template and you overwrite the data

      Note Note

      In the property tree, every value assignment type that is assigned values via a reference is marked with . If you manually overwrite the referenced value assignment, the icon changes to .

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  • If you assign several references to a specification, the value assignment types for these references may not overlap.

    Unique Value Assignments to Be Transferred from Several References to One Referencing Specification

  • The system rejects the assignment of a reference if at least one of the following conditions is fulfilled:

    • The planned reference is identical to the referencing specification (a specification cannot reference itself).

    • The planned reference has a specification type that does not permit the usage as a source specification of the reference (see “Prerequisites”).

    • The planned reference is being processed by another user.

    • The planned reference already has references itself (multilevel references are not allowed).

    • The planned reference overlaps with at least one other reference of the referencing specification in at least one value assignment type.

    • The planned reference transfers value assignments of at least one value assignment type that the user cannot change in the referencing specification because the user does not have authorization to do this.

      Note Note

      You can deactivate this authorization check in Customizing for Basic Data and Tools under Specify Environment Parameters by means of the environment parameter SP_NO_AUTH_CHCK_REF_PROPS.

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If you call a value assignment type that was transferred to the specification via a reference, the value assignment is shown in display mode. To edit the referenced value assignment, call the edit mode using with the quick info text Display <-> Edit on the Display Specification: Value Assignment screen.