Creating Data Elements

  1. Enter the name of the data element in the initial screen of the ABAP Dictionary. Select object type Data elements and choose Create.

    A dialog box appears. Select Data elements and choose Continue. The maintenance screen for data elements appears.

  2. Enter a short explanatory text in the field Short text.
  3. Enter the name of the domain assigned to the data element in the field Domain name. You can enter the name of a new domain or of one that already exists.

    If the domain is new, a message to that effect is displayed. You can create the domain by choosing the field Domain name in the domain maintenance screen (see Creating Domains).

  4. Maintain the Field Labels (short, medium, long field labels and their header).

    If you do not wish to maintain the field labels, you can switch off the flag Maintain field labels. However, it does not make sense to do this if data elements are used in screens. Once you have switched off the flag and saved the data element, the field labels disappear from the screen.

    If, at a later time, you decide that you would like to maintain the field labels after all, you can set the flag Maintain field labels again. After you have saved the data element, the field labels will reappear.

  5. Save the data element if you do not wish to make any of the optional settings described below. You are asked to assign a development class to the data element.
  6. Activate the data element. You will find information on the success of the activation in the activation log. To display this log, choose Utilities ® Activation log. If errors occurred during activation, the activation log will be displayed automatically.
  7. Select Goto ® Documentation to enter documentation for your data element.

The documentation you enter here is displayed when the F1 help function is selected. You should therefore only leave out this step if the data element does not appear in a screen template. In this case, set the Docu Status appropriately.

The documentation that has been entered appears when you select F1 help on any field that refers to the data element. You can also enter additional screen-specific documentation (data element supplements) which are only linked to a specific field of a screen. Choose Extras ® DE supplement docu. A dialog box appears in which you must assign the supplement a four-character name.

Optional Settings

You can make the following optional settings:

  • Assign search help

You can assign the data element a search help (see Search Helps). This search help is offered on all the screen fields referring to this data element when F4 is chosen.

Choose Goto ® Search help. A dialog box appears in which you must enter the name of the assigned search help and the suitable parameters for this search help.

  • Make proposal for field name

You can make a proposal for the names of the fields referring to this data element. Choose Extras ® Default field name.

A dialog box appears in which you can enter the proposal. If the data element is assigned to a structure field or table field, there is a warning if the field name does not agree with the proposal when the structure or table is activated. This especially makes sense for data elements which are used in BAPI structures.

  • Parameter ID

You can define a parameter identification with which proposals can be defined for a field in the user master record. Fields marked in this way are filled with a value which the user entered in the first screen throughout several screens. A corresponding attribute must be assigned to the field when the template is defined with the Screen Painter.

If a user only has authorization for company code 001, the system automatically fills fields displaying the company code with the value 001. The corresponding parameter ID only has to be entered in the data element for the company code.

  • Change document

You may define that a document should be written each time data is changed in a field that refers to this data element. The business-oriented objects for which a change document should be written are defined using transaction SCDO. Function modules can be generated for these objects, which are then called in the corresponding application programs and log the changes at runtime. A log entry is generated for each changed field that refers to a data element for which the flag Change document is set.

For more information on this function refer to the documentation Extended Function Library.