Communication with Older Releases or R/2 Systems


If you wish to communicate via IDocs with earlier SAP systems (Releases 2.1 to 3.1) or with external systems (for example EDI subsystems) based on the same releases, you must inform your system via the version in the port definition. This ensures that the correct IDocs record types are sent during outbound processing.

Two problems can arise not only in the case of older SAP releases, but also in the case of R/2 systems:

·        You are using long names for message types, IDoc types or segments. Older releases only support names with up to:

6 characters (message type)

8 characters (IDoc type: basic type or extension)

7 characters (segment)

·        You are using extensions which have been defined for Release 4.X. Older releases (3.0, 3.1) either use other fields to identify these extended IDoc types internally or do not support extensions at all (SAP Releases 2.1 & 2.2 and R/2 Systems).

In both cases, you must maintain the conversion tables which convert the old names into new names. The two cases described above can occur at the same time.


During outbound processing, the system determines the correct IDoc record types via the port version.

The old names (in the case of outbound processing) or the new names (in the case of inbound processing) are determined from the conversion tables and if new extensions are being used, the required fields in the control record are maintained (outbound processing).


The port version is used to determine the release status of the system with which you are communicating. The versions are as follows:

·        Version 1: Releases 2.1/2.2

·        Version 2: Releases 3.0/3.1 and R/2 System. As each R/2 System is connected to the SAP system via the port type “CPI-C” and each CPI-C port is connected to an R/2 system, version 2 is already defined for this port type and cannot be changed in the port definition.

·        Version 3: Release 4.X (default value)

Maintain the corresponding conversion tables, according to the problems described above. To do this, choose SAP Menu ® IDoc Interface/ALE ® Development ® IDoc ® IDoc Type Development ® IDoc Types (WE30) ® Environment ® Conversion.

See also:

·         Long Names

·         Using Extensions