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Background documentationABAP Dictionary Search Help Locate this document in the navigation structure


In Web Dynpro ABAP you can reuse existing search helps from the ABAP Dictionary. However, there are not search helps for all data types in the system. For instance, there is no F4 help for data type TIMS or T (time).

For more information on the classic ABAP search helps see Search Helps.

When reusing ABAP Dictionary search helps there may be situations in which you want a search help exit in the Web Dynpro environment to behave differently to one in the classical dynpro environment. For example, in the Web Dynpro environment it is not possible to process a separate dialog using CALL SCREEN (see below).

An application can find out whether it is running in the Web Dynpro environment by querying the attribute IS_ACTIVE of class CL_WEB_DYNRPO:

Syntax Syntax

  1. IF CL_WEB_DYNPRO=>is_active = abap_true. ... ELSE. ... ENDIF.
End of the code.

In your view you can create input help (F4 help) for fields, which makes it easier for users to input data. A symbol at the end of an InputField means that search help is available for that field.

Note Note

The search help symbol is always the same regardless of whether the search help comes from the ABAP Dictionary, is an OVS search help, or a search help created by an application programmer or user.

End of the note.

Example Example

Example input help of table SPFLI for the InputField for an airline:

End of the example.


There are two types of search help:

For information about the individual steps, input options, and actions see Using ABAP Dictionary Search Helps.

Note Note

Note for programmers ofsearch helps:

To ensure optimal user guidance, you are notallowed to close the value help popup by modifying the time point of the search help (callcontrol Step) in a search help exit. An opened dialog box can only be closed by the user by

  • selecting a value from the value list


  • triggering the Cancel button or X

The user expects a relevant value list even if it is empty, and does not expect the value help dialog box to close.

End of the note.
Value help for date fields

The standard value for the first day of the week is Monday. You can define a different day with BAdI CALENDAR_DEFINITION, whereby the display of the week days and calculation of the week number changes:

The value help for date fields (function module F4_DATE from function group SHLC) calls the BAdI above. The display is changed in the F4 help so that the first day of the week is the one from the BAdI implementation. If a week number is used that deviates from the ISO rule, F4 help hides this since the front end control used does not enable deviant week counts.

For further information, see SAP note 1063178.


ABAP Dictionary search helps are integrated into a Web Dynpro application by means of the Value Help Mode property of the context attributes. See also Creating and Maintaining Context Attributes.

Note Note

The context node must have been defined as a dictionary structure. This ensures that all components of the structure are available dynamically at runtime as attributes of the node.

End of the note.

Only the options Automatic and Dictionary Search Help are relevant for ABAP Dictionary search help:

  • Automatic

    The search help assigned to the data type of the context attribute in the ABAP Dictionary is used. The search help is displayed under Determined Search Help and cannot be changed.

    Example Example

    Search help SCITAIRP is assigned to the SPFLI-AIRPFROM field in the ABAP Dictionary. If the type of context attribute is SPFLI-AIRPFROM, the SCITAIRP search help is used.

    SCITAIRP now appears as the search help ascertained.

    End of the example.

    If no search help can be determined for the attribute type, no search help symbol is displayed and no search help can be performed.

  • Dictionary Search Help

    One search help from the Dictionary can be assigned to the context attribute. Beneath the Input Help Mode field the Dictionary Search Help field appears, in which you can enter the search help you want. The search help must be defined in the ABAP Dictionary. If you do not enter a search help, at runtime the system attempts to determine a search help using the type of context attribute.

Note Note

Be aware that import and export parameters for the search help are determined only within the same context node (see also Transport of Values for the Input Help), and even then only if a Dictionary structure is assigned to the node.

End of the note.


  • The hot key for collective search helps is not supported.

  • Search help exits containing dynpro-specific functions, for example, CALL SCREEN, are not supported.

  • There is no automatic F4 help for data element TIMS.

  • The date value help in Web Dynpro ABAP does not support all ABAP date formats, see also SAP note 1056623.


You can find an example of ABAP Dictionary search help in the system under component WDR_TEST_DDIC_SHLP.