The input help (F4 help) is a standard function of the R/3 System. The user can display the list of all possible input values for a screen field with the input help. The possible input values can be enhanced with further information. This is meaningful especially when the field requires the input of a formal key.
Standard Input Help Process
A user calls an input help with the following steps (some steps can be omitted, depending on the definition of the input help):
- The user starts the input help to display the possible input values for a field (search field) in a screen template.
- The system offers the user a number of possible search paths. The user selects one of these search paths. Each search path offers a number of restrictions to limit the number of possible input values. These values are offered in a Dialog box for value restriction when the search path is selected.
- The user enters restrictions if required and then starts the search.
- The system determines the values that satisfy the entered restrictions (hits) and displays them as a list (hit list).
- The user selects the most suitable line from the hit list by double-clicking.
- The value of the search field is returned to the screen template (possibly together with other values).
Steps 2 and 3 are omitted if there is only a single search path available. In this case the dialog box for the value selection is offered immediately. You can also output the hit list directly after starting the input help. Steps 2 to 4 are omitted in this case.
Function of a Search Help
This standard process can be completely defined by creating a search help in the ABAP Dictionary. This search help only has to be assigned to the screen fields in which they should be available (see
Attaching Search Helps to Screen Fields).
There are two types of search help:
Elementary search helps describe a search path. The elementary search help must define where the data of the hit list should be read from (selection method), how the exchange of values between the screen template and selection method is implemented (interface of the search help) and how the online input help should be defined (online behavior of the search help).
Collective search helps combine several elementary search helps. A collective search help thus can offer several alternative search paths.
Example for Search Helps
Creating Elementary Search Helps
Creating Collective Search Helps