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Procedure documentationDefining Process Data as Container Elements  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


For an integration process to be able to process data such as messages or counters correctly, you must first define the data as container elements. Container elements are similar to variables in a programming language.

You design container elements at design time. At runtime, the container elements then contain the references to the relevant data. For example, in the case of a receive step, you must define a container element for the message to be received and then specify this container element in the properties of the receive step. At runtime, this container element then contains a reference to the received message.

Categories and Types

When you define a container element, specify its name, a category, and a type. The container element can then reference a value from the corresponding type at runtime.

A container element for a counter variable must have the category Simple XSD Data Type and the data type Integer, for example. A container element for a message must have the Abstract Interface category and reference a corresponding service interface or operation of a service interface, for example.

The following table shows the possible categories:



Abstract Interface

For messages that are defined by using the corresponding asynchronous abstract interfaces and which you use in receive or send steps, for example.

An integration process can only reference interfaces from its own software component version.

More information:

Service Interface

Abstract Interface

General Communication Parameters

Simple XSD Data Type

For process control elements, such as counters, which you use in container operations, for example.

More information:

XSD Data Types


For a receiver list that is determined by using a receiver determination step and that you use, for example, in a send step.

Multiline Container Elements

A container element can be a single-line or a multiline element. A multiline container element is a table comprising elements of the same type. For example, if you want to collect messages in a container element, you must define this element as a multiline container element. 

Visibility and Validity of Container Elements

You control the visibility and validity of container elements by using blocks. The process and its blocks have a separate container.

Note the following for nested blocks:

      The container elements in a parent block are visible in all sub-blocks and can be written-to and read there.

      You can define additional container elements for local variables in a sub-block. These are not visible in the parent block.

More information: Block


Define a Container Element

       1.      Define the required container elements in the object area of the process editor.

You define container elements that are to be available in the entire integration process in process containers. You define container elements that are only to be available in a particular block or its sub-blocks in block containers.

More information: Process Editor

       2.      Specify which step each container element processes.

To do this, enter the container element in the properties of the relevant step. For example, if you have defined a container element message for a message to be sent, enter this container element in the properties of the relevant send step.

Assign Values

       3.      To assign a value to a container element at runtime, insert a container-operation step in the appropriate position in the integration process.

More information: Container Operation

       4.      You can use this procedure to increase a counter or to append a message to a list of messages, for example.


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