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Object documentation Articles: Generic Articles and Variants Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


Variants are articles that differ only in certain characteristics such as color, size, or flavor. They are grouped together as a generic article.


Defining a generic article simplifies the maintenance of variants since you need enter data that is the same for all variants only once for the generic article.


In the diagram below, the blouse Chiasso is a generic article. The variants are the possible combinations of size and color in which it is available.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

A generic article can have:

Characteristics defining the attributes of a variant are described as variant-creating characteristics. After confirming the initial screen, you access a screen on which you can restrict the characteristic values for the generic article, particularly the variant-creating characteristics. Only the restricted characteristic values are then allowed for defining variants.

In the following table, the two variant-creating characteristics result in 5 variants:


















These are informative characteristics that describe the article in more detail, for example, the material of which a blouse is made.

For more information on characteristics, see Characteristics Processing.


Be sure to assign the correct article category to the generic article. In the standard SAP Retail System, this is article category 01. It is not possible to turn a generic article into a single article, or vice versa.

When creating the article master record for the generic article, you can create an article master record for each of the variants at the same time. The article master record for each variant refers to the generic article. Generic articles can be created only for reference sites.

In practice, you normally use only variants. In functions in which you can also process generic articles (for example, a purchase order), you can enter the corresponding information for each variant on an additional screen (for example, information on the order unit). The additional screen appears automatically.


If you want to change the base unit of measure for a generic article, the system bases the checks necessary on the data for the variants.

Additional Information

Articles: Reference Data from the Generic Article

Articles: Processing Article Master Records

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