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Object documentation Material Numbers  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


Number uniquely identifying a material master record, and thus a material.


For every material that your company uses, you must create a material master record in the material master. This record is uniquely identified by a material number.

You can assign mnemonic keys or nonmnemonic keys as material numbers, depending on the method your company prefers. For this reason, you have the following types of number assignment in the system:

·        External number assignment

If your company uses mnemonic keys (normally alphanumeric), you enter the character string you want to use as the material number when you create the material master record.

·        Internal number assignment

If your company uses nonmnemonic keys, you do not enter a material number when creating a material master record. Instead, the system assigns a consecutive number to the material. This number is visible when you maintain the material master record.

Your system administrator defines the required type of number assignment in Customizing for the Material Master by choosing Basic Settings Material Types Define Number Ranges for Each Material Type. After defining a number range, he or she can flag it, if external number assignment is required, as an external number range. Your system administrator then assigns it to one or more material types. As a result, when creating a material master record, the type of number assignment allowed depends on the material type chosen. In the standard system, one external number range and one internal number range can be defined for each material type or group of material types.

Further options are provided by the following SAP Enhancements:

·        SAP Enhancement MGA00002

This enhancement contains three customer exits that you can use for the following purposes:

¡        To modify material numbers entered externally by users, for example, by appending a check digit

¡        To assign material numbers internally by customer programs

·        SAP Enhancement MGA00003

This enhancement allows you to edit the display of material numbers as required. For example, a material is assigned the number 123. With this enhancement, you can define that the material number is displayed with, for example, the prefix MAT-, even though the number in the database is still 123.


You can define the length of your material numbers to suit your company’s requirements. This is done by your system administrator in Customizing for the Material Master by choosing Basic Settings Define Output Format of Material Numbers. Material numbers can be up to 18 characters long.


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