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 Creating Data ElementsLocate this document in the navigation structure

  1. Open the Repository Browser and navigate to the package in which you want to create the new data element.
  2. In the context menu of the package, choose Create → Dictionary object → Data Element.

    A dialog box appears.

  3. In the new dialog box, enter the name of the data element and choose  with the quick info text Continue.

    The maintenance screen for data elements appears.

  4. Enter an explanatory short text in the Short text field.

    The short text appears as a title in the F1 help for all the screen fields referring to this data element.

  5. On the Data type tab page, choose the type that your data element describes.
  6. If you choose Elementary type, you can define the data type , length and the number of decimal places of the data element by specifying a domain or by direct type entry. Perform one of the following:
    • If the data element must have the type attributes of a domain, you only have to select Domain and enter the domain name in the corresponding field. You can also define a new domain. To create it, enter the name of the new domain in the Domain field and then double-click on it. For more information, see Creating Domains .
    • To enter the type attributes directly, select Predefined type.

      Entries are now possible in the Data type, Length and Decimal places fields.

  7. If the data element must describe a reference type , choose Reference type. Choose one of the following options to define the data type, length and number of decimal places of the data element.
    • Choose Name of Reference Type to enter the name of the referenced type. This can be the name of a class or of an interface, a generic reference to ANY, OBJECT or DATA or a reference to a type defined in the Dictionary.
    • If you want the reference type to be a predefined Dictionary type, select Reference to Predefined Type. Enter the data type, length and decimal places.
  8. On the Field label tab page you can maintain text information (short, medium, and long field labels and the title) for the data element.

    You can use this text information in input templates to represent fields that refer to this data element.

  9. Choose  with the quick info text Save.

    You are asked to assign the data element to a package.

  10. Choose  with the quick info text Activate.

The data element is activated. You can find information about the activation flow in the activation log, which you can display with Utilities → Activation log. If errors occur when you activate the data element, the activation log is automatically displayed.

Additional Options

  • Create documentation

    By choosing Documentation, you create a text that describes the contents of the data element.This text is displayed for the F1 help in all screen fields that refer to this data element. You must leave out this step only if the data element does not appear on a screen. In this case you must set the documentation status appropriately.

  • Assign a search help

    You can assign a search help to the data element. This search help is offered on all the screen fields referring to this data element when the input help (F4 help) is called. For more information, see Attaching Search Helps to Data Elements . To assign the search help, go to the Further Characteristics tab page. Specify the name of the search help in the Name field and an export parameter of the search help in the Parameters field.

  • Assign a parameter ID

    A field can be filled with default values from SAP memory using a parameter ID. A screen field is filled automatically with the value stored under the parameter ID of the data element only if this was explicitly permitted in the Screen Painter. To specify the parameter ID, go to theFurther Characteristics tab page and make the entry in field Parameter ID.

If a user has authorization only for company code 001, this company code can be stored in memory under the corresponding parameter ID at the beginning of a transaction. Fields referring to the data element for the company code are then automatically filled with the value 001 in all subsequent screen templates. In this case, the corresponding parameter ID must be entered only in the data element for the company code.

  • Assign a default component name

    You can store a proposal for the name of the table fields or structure components that refer to a data element. If possible, use an English-language default name. Always use this default name for components in BAPI structures (structures with a fixed interface). This results in a more unified assignment of field and component names. You can assign the default component name on the Further Characteristics tab page.

  • Mark data element as corresponding for change documents

    The data of a business-oriented object can be distributed to several tables. To be able to trace changes to this business object, these tables can be combined in a Change document object. Function modules that can be integrated in the corresponding application programs and that log the changes are generated from such a change document object. The system logs changed field contents only if you set the Change document indicator for the data element of the field on the Further Characteristics tab page.

  • Deactivation of input history

    If this indicator is set, the mechanism that the SAP GUI uses to handle the input history of a screen input field is switched off. This option is used most often for fields containing sensitive data such as account numbers.