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Function documentation EAN Management Locate the document in its SAP Library structure



An article can be carried in different units of measure. You can create a European article number (EAN), as a unique indicator for each of these units of measure. The most important use of EANs within a company is to identify articles at the point of sale (POS) using the barcode. See also: Structure linkPOS Interface - Outbound: Object Article.

The EAN and the corresponding barcode are normally printed on the article label, and often also on the shelf-edge label. This makes it possible for scanners to be used in all logistic processes. Examples include:

If, in merchandise logistics, the units to be moved are identified at a company via their EAN, it is important to ensure that the EANs of all of the units are correct and known to the system. For this purpose, a bar code check can be made in goods receipt. For more information see:


Upon goods receipt, the system uses the EAN to determine all purchase orders containing at least one item with the specified EAN as the main EAN for the order unit.

You do have the option of configuring the system so that one EAN can be assigned to several articles, however, we do not recommend this for SAP Retail because the EAN would then no longer be a unique indicator for the article.

EAN Categories

With the EAN category the difference is made between the different types of EANs, for example, between instore and perishables EANs. SAP Retail supports all EAN categories. The EAN category defines the following attributes of the corresponding EAN:

You can maintain these characteristics for existing EAN categories in Customizing for the Article Master under Define characteristics for EANs. You can also define new EAN categories here.


If you enter an EAN but no EAN category when you are creating an article master record the system automatically determines the EAN category. If you enter the EAN category but no EAN the system automatically determines the EAN, provided that the EAN category accepts internally assigned numbers.


If the EAN is from the EAN category UPC-E (abbreviation of Universal Product Code) you must also enter the EAN category. However, this only applies if the EAN category for normal UPC-E codes is used in your system. For more information on UPC-E codes see the implementation guide (IMG) for Master Data under Define Attributes of EANs.


Assigning EANs

An EAN that is assigned to one article is valid for all clients. It cannot be limited to certain distribution chains or stores. You can assign several EANs to an article using each unit of measure. In this case you must flag one of the EANs as the main EAN. The main EAN is always used when an EAN is needed for the article in the relevant unit of measure.

You can assign several EANs to a vendor for each article and unit of measure. An EAN does not have to be uniquely assigned here because different vendors can deliver the same article with the same EAN. If you assign several EANs to a vendor you must flag one of these as the main EAN.

See also:

Implementation Guide (IMG) for Master Data under European Article Numbers (EANs)

Structure linkAdditionals









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