ALV is great stuff. Make it even greater with these handy hints and tips on ALV. Use as selling point if needed. 

  • Add a "Number = 1" column called Count=1. This column can be used by standard ALV aggregation functionality, which effectively counts the number of lines. When your ALV is reporting e.g. an error message, the number of times the error message is shown can be made available by summarizing the Count=1 column and subtotalling this per error message.
  • Compose your report, and forget all about field sequence and sorting. Then tell your end user to sort and set fields - the way he/she wants it to become available. Store these settings in a layout and transport it - with the report - as global default. Works every time.
  • A reason why ALV reports are sometimes dismissed is the fact that there is only 1 column configuration possible in the report. This also simplifies many functions, but this is sometimes overlooked when debating about classic WRITE and ALV. Just split up the header and detail lines into a header and detail view: the bottom part of the screen shows the details of the selected line from the top part of the screen. Or left and right, or top, bottom left and bottom right or...
  • If there are many columns in the ALV report, they start looking alike. Information is only information if it is understood, so columns looking alike is not a good thing. Your fields are likely to be grouped together somehow (document X, document Y) so use a separator column with an icon (ICON_BW_APD_TARGET is my personal favourit) to separate groups of fields visually. 
  • Avoid the "striped pattern" or "Zebra" view. Article Zebra's on ALV is available on this.