An intermediate document (IDoc) is a container for exchanging data between R/3, R/2 and non-SAP systems.


ALE uses IDocs to exchange data between logical systems. Non SAP-systems can use IDocs as the standard interface for data transfer.

IDocs are created by message types and (object) methods when data is to be distributed.

The message type is the format in which the data for a specific business process is transmitted electronically.


An IDoc represents a configuration of an IDoc Type that determines the IDoc structure. An IDoc consists of a header, several data segments and status records.

The functions of the individual elements of an IDoc are as follows:


Structure of an IDoc

The structure of the IDoc is recorded in the SAP System. The structure definition covers the following:

In the example shown above the IDoc contains a header segment that has to be the first segment of the message. Thereafter there must be at least one additional item. The following conditions apply:

An IDoc can only contain character fields.