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Setting up some development tools that allow easy interrogation of system (data) resources...

The overviews from the "Tables and such"will prove to be useful but often incomplete. A report or application that has to be build and integrate with SAP often has to use the same tables and selections as done in SAP. Copying the SAP programming sources of selections might be a logical way of approach: but hard to do because of complexity. I have chosen a different approach: via the data dictionary to try and find out how data is stored. Thereby I avoid the often complicated SAP sources. A couple of guidelines:

  • Much information can be obtained by gathering the key fields of the involved tables. The right tables can be pirated from the SAP sources.
  • Taking the table contents into account could be enlightening as well. Use the data browser to display the table contents. The data browser can be called directly or from the data dictionary menu Utilities => Table contents. When dealing with combination of tables, you best set up a simple testing program to select them together.

With this simple testing program, heavier selections and table combinations can be understood, without having to dig into the SAP application. The overview shows how the connections (with respect to the contents) are made. SAP's table structures often speak for themselves, don't expect too many mysteries, because there aren't. You can use the following routine to support the above described search-process.

The routine DISPLAY_TABLE_KEYSreports a table's description, its keyfields and shows the field value. The routine-call contains the tablename and the work-area where the data can be found. An example:

SELECT * FROM MARA WHERE MATNR EQ 'POOLMOTOR IAN'.
  PERFORM DISPLAY_TABLE_KEYS(ZCTESTER) USING 'MARA' MARA.
ENDSELECT.

The routine DISPLAY_TABLE_KEYS (which can be found in ZCTESTERin this example) shows the results:

MARA ------ Material Master: General Data
  MANDT 3C 100 Client
  MATNR 18C POOLMOTOR IAN Material number

When you think this could be useful, copy thissource somewhere:

In my own table searches, I used a certain home-tailored report that you could use too. It displays the fields of a table or structure name range, with field name, type and long (single line) description. It also has two parameter check boxes: display key fields (they will change color) and display key fields only.