Show TOC

Function documentationCounters and Readings


You use counters and readings to measure usage or wear and tear on an object. A counter describes the characteristics of a physical measuring device, such as a counter on a photocopier. You enter readings for a counter to record the counter status at a specific point in time.

Example Example

You can use counters and readings to do the following:

  • Record service histories (for example, recording the mileage during the technical inspection of a car)

  • Record energy consumption (for example, household gas or electricity readings)

  • Assess warranty claims based on consumption (for example, a car warranty is only valid for the first 30,000 miles)

End of the example.

Note Note

In the context of service level agreements, service level metrics are used for measurement (see Service Level Metrics (SLA Metrics)).

End of the note.


Service Contracts with Usage-Based Billing

For information about the use of counter readings to determine billable usage in service contracts, see Usage Determination.

Service Plans

You can use planned and current counter values in service plans to determine the planned date for a service and to monitor actual usage. For more information, see Scheduling for Counter-Based Service Intervals.


You have set up counters and readings as follows in Customizing for Customer Relationship Management:

  • Defined the basic characteristics of counters

    You do this under Start of the navigation path Master Data Next navigation step Counters and Readings Next navigation step Counters End of the navigation path.

  • Specified whether counters and readings can be entered in service transaction headers and items

    You do this under Start of the navigation path Transactions Next navigation step Basic Settings Next navigation step Define Transaction Types End of the navigation path and Define Item Categories. For the transaction category Service Process, select Activate Counter as required.

  • Defined the characteristics of readings, and the validation check for readings

    You do this under Start of the navigation path Master Data Next navigation step Counters and Readings Next navigation step Readings End of the navigation path.

    Ensure that the predefined validation check meets your requirements (activity BAdI: Validation Check for Readings).


  • Counters have characteristics, such as usage purpose, counter type, unit of measure, minimum and maximum values, and overflow value.

  • The following counter types are available:

    • Backward- and forward-counting counters

    • Measuring points (for measurements that can increase and decrease)

  • Counters are typically assigned to installed base components, products, or objects.

    If a reference object in a business transaction has counters assigned, you can retrieve these and enter readings in the transaction.

  • You can create language-dependent descriptions for counters.

    The search criterion Counter Description performs a search for both language-dependent and language-independent descriptions. If a language-dependent description exists in your logon language, this is displayed in the search results and in the Description field in the counter details. Otherwise, the language-independent description is displayed.

  • You can deactivate and reactivate counters.

    When a counter is inactive, you cannot enter readings for it.

  • If you have several counters in a transaction or item, you can mark one counter as the main counter.

  • You can change readings that have not yet been saved.

    Once you have saved a reading, you can no longer change it. You can only cancel it and create a new reading.

  • You can cancel readings and reactivate canceled readings.

    Refer to the error message if you cannot cancel a reading. It may not be possible to cancel a reading in a particular case.

  • The reading history shows you the details of past readings and their status.


Creating Counters and Assigning Counters to Objects

You can create counters as follows:

  • Independently of objects, on the Counters page

  • In the master data of the installed base component, product, or object to which the counter relates (on the Installed Bases, Products, and Objects pages respectively)

    You can assign existing counters to these objects. You can assign multiple counters to each installed base component, product, or object. However, you can assign each counter to only one of these.

Entering Readings

You can enter readings for counters as follows:

  • On the Counters page

  • On the Readings page

    Here you search initially for counters that are assigned to transactions or objects. You can then display the counters assigned to a transaction, or the counters assigned to a transaction and to the reference objects in the transaction.

  • In the master data of an object with counters assigned

  • In the following service transactions, in the Counters and Readings assignment block:

    • Service order quotation

    • Service order

    • Service confirmation

    • Service contract

    • Complaint

    • In-house repair order

    If you want to enter readings in a transaction, you can retrieve the counters that are assigned to the reference object.

When you enter a reading, it is automatically assigned a unique number from the number range defined in Customizing. When you save a reading, the system validates it using a standard or customer-defined validation check (see Prerequisites above).