Anthony Cecchini is the President of Information Technology Partners (ITP), an SAP consulting company headquartered in Pennsylvania. ITP offers comprehensive planning, resource allocation, implementation, upgrade, and training assistance to companies. Anthony has over 20 years of experience in SAP business process analysis and SAP systems integration. His areas of expertise include SAP NetWeaver integration; ALE development; RFC, BAPI, IDoc, Dialog, and Web Dynpro development; and customized Workflow development. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At some point in your ABAP career, you probably will develop a search help for a screen field to aid the user in entering correct data. In the “Classic” days (Everything old in SAP is Classic) these were called Match Codes.This blog post is not a tutorial on how to create a search help, please see the SAP ABAP 7.4 help for that. Instead, I am going to introduce you to some new functionality that became available in ABAP 7.4.
First, let’s quickly review what a search help is…
A Search Help, a repository object of ABAP Dictionary, is used to display all the possible values for a field in the form of a list. This list is also known as a hit list. You can select the values that are to be entered in the fields from this hit list instead of manually entering the value, which is tedious and error prone.
There are several types of Search helps:
Elementary search helps: This type implements a search path for determining the possible entries.
Collective search helps: This type contains several elementary search helps. A collective search help, therefore, provides several alternative search paths for possible entries.
Append search helps: This type can be used to enhance collective search helps delivered by SAP with customer-specific search paths without requiring a modification.
An example of an elementary search help is shown below. You will see the icon next to the field. You enter a pattern and hit this icon or F4 and the hit list is displayed for you to choose from. (see below).
Both enhanced options of the Search Help are supported in classical Dynpro screens (SAP GUI), but not yet in Web Dynpro. But there are a lot of Dynpro-based applications in use and thus lot of users who can benefit from this functionality. A type-ahead function can be provided in Web Dynpro applications using the Suggested Values for Input Fields in Web Dynpro. And, starting with WEBCUIF EhP3 SP05, the type-ahead option of the Search Help is supported in the Web Client UI Framework.
Here is the video I promised.