How to send custom infotype over SAP ALE

There is a number of infotypes in SAP which are local to some country. SAP doesn’t provide any standard solution to send these country-specific or custom infotypes over ALE, cause standard IDOC contains only international infotypes. If you develop your infotype and want to send it over ALE there are some tips and tricks to handle. Today I want to tell you how to send custom infotype or country-specific infotype over SAP ALE. It’s going to be a long tutorial with a lot of images. More than I’d like to show you what is a short and long infotype record in terms of SAP integration and IDOC structure. And, of course, ABAP source codes will be provided for your convenience. Take a cup of coffee and join me with this unique tutorial never been shared before.

Sending short infotypes over SAP ALE

A short infotype is an infotype, the size of which fits into one IDOC segment. How to check? Open SE11 transaction, find an infotype structure which is PXXXX (XXXX – infotype code), sum all length fields. One IDOC segment can store 1000 symbols. If the infotype structure is longer than 1000 symbols it’s a long infotype and we will need to split it to send over SAP ALE. Will show later how it works.

To add custom infotype to a standard HRMD_A IDOC in WE31 transaction create a new segment to include it into IDOC and send over ALE. Naming rule is Z1PXXXX, 7 symbols. It’s done for prior 4.6C compatibility, so if you work with modern systems you can use longer names. The first three letters ‘Z1P’ is a must. To save time and avoid human mistakes typing all SE11 fields into segment manually you can create a segment from a template. In menu Segment -> Create with template choose DDIC structure and type in PXXXX, where XXXX is your infotype code. When you save segment systems checks its length to comply with 1000 IDOC segment length.

In my scenario, I’ll use country-specific infotype 0293. Here is how it looks like in segment.

New IDOC segment

New IDOC segment


Don’t forget to release the segment in Edit menu.

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Payroll period close organizer

In SAP ERP there is an interesting tool look similar to our PUST or Payroll Control Center, which allows to build period close workflow, organize people, duties, and timing. In SAP HR module we only have old-style PUST and modern Payroll Control Center. But both are local to HR only and has no connection with FI, CO, and overall period close process. What if use ERP approach to build our own payroll period close organizer? We have a bunch of activities to do like fill timesheets, move people, fire/hire, enter bonuses, do reporting – all of these require some time and need to be aligned in a sequence cause they are cross dependable on each other.

Ideally, HR activities are the part of overall period close workflow. Why can’t we be a leaf in a whole process tree and clearly understand what and when is going to happen? The system will remind, ping and kick us to process, managers will be notified of any delays and all dependencies are resolved. Sounds like a dream, isn’t it?

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How to delete a personnel number completely?

There is a well-known program to delete a personnel number RPUDELPN (Delete Personnel Numbers Completely) and RPUDEL20 (Delete Payroll Results). They can delete payroll results and personnel number. Let me introduce you RPUDELPP  program which has some benefits when you need to delete a personnel number in SAP completely with one click.

Destruction of Personnel Numbers in Live Systems

Destruction of Personnel Numbers in Live Systems

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10 Steps to reduce SAP TCO (Total Costs of Ownership)

Often I’ve heard questions like why we need SAP. Then, with the progress of the project, the question was transformed into “how would we live with this”. And after a year of torment, the question changed to “how to have it if cheaper.”

TCO – Total Cost of Ownership. It’s a financial term which answers the question “how much does this cost”, including all 15 pages agreement written in a small font.

If you do not go into details, then at first it seems that owning SAP system, it’s just the cost of licenses and consulting for implementation. And servers, support, annual maintenance, updates, testing, change management and much more. Will talk about this latter.

Today we’ll try to answer the question “how to own it cheaper”, how to reduce that SAP TCO.

Being honest, there are a lot of solutions, but there is not one single 100% true. I’ll share my thoughts on this, provide some links to curios data and you’ll decide what works for you.

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3 ways to plan an organizational chart effectively

Don’t say you’ve never heard SAP HCM can do an organizational assignment or organizational chart planning. It definitely can with a bunch of tools. Let me show three effective ways how to plan organizational chart and one bonus!

First way without any settings

You can enter all changes with a future start date. It’s very easy! Open PPOME transaction, change the Key date and start entering new organizational chart, move organizational units, positions. The only thing you can’t do is to move people to avoid data inconsistency in the future. So, you change org structure to a planned one with the future date. Meantime all standard and custom reports work well, so you can print your orgchart and show to the boss or sign. If additional corrections needed you just make these and reprint org structure. In case it was not approved, you run standard programs to delete all future records and your current structure remains the same. Zero issue approach. One disadvantage – you can’t use Personnel Cost Planning module in SAP HCM to automate the budjet process.

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How to add standard infotype to PPOME tab

So we have standard infotype which is not shown in PPOME transaction. We want to add standard infotype to PPOME tab to help users enter data. Let’s take infotype 1039 “Shift group” for our example. Usually, we use it for shift planning in time management (transaction PP61). It’s recorded for Organizational units (object type “O”). So it’s easier to enter this infotype in PPOME than in PP01 as SAP advise.

There are three steps to make it happen. We need to create a new screen, it’s logic and enter it in customizing tables.

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5 Efficient steps to build SAP HCM Consultant Career

I’ve seen a lot of requests on different forums how to become SAP HCM Consultant, how to start consultant’s career, where to find the first job, what salary to expect and so on. It’s really complex and complicated question that we will try to open up in this article. I assume your first question would be why you should trust me or even read. Don’t want to boast but my profile says it all. Have a look here and come back to continue if you still want to be an SAP HCM Consultant in couple years and progress quickly. I’ve been working with SAP almost 15 years. Have started as a Developer who wrote couple menus, reports and then switched to Basis guy, supporting all IT infrastructure. Today I’ve played all roles in this theater from developer to project director. I’ve seen a lot of people coming to SAP market, how they developed through their career and who they are today. I’ve taught hundreds of junior sap hcm consultants, end-users and most of them are still in the market.

So, let’s have a look at the real world and how a student can enter SAP HCM market today, where to grow, and, more important, how to grow. Only practice.

First step to becoming SAP HCM Consultant (choose)

There are literally three global areas in SAP HCM (or SAP HR they used to name it). Accounting people, running payroll, motivating people. Accounting people is about how every single person is placed in a company structure. These hr consultants do organizational management setup, personnel administration, time tracking. It’s not bad, it’s more basic, foundation stuff you need to set to continue with payroll or people development and motivation. There are no projects without SAP OM, PA, PT modules, so there will be demand always.

If you like doing the math, like programming, solving logical tasks, then payroll is all yours. Time evaluation and payroll calculation are the most difficult SAP modules in a whole SAP HCM solution. You need to know the law, legal requirements, taxes, gross wages, reporting and you’ll always keep yourself busy. Laws changes, SAP changes, so you’ll be in demand all the time. These guys are paid the most in the SAP world.

If you like talking, communicating, analyzing why people behave this or that way you’d better stick with SAP talent management package, which includes a lot of functionality: SAP Learning Solution, SAP Recruiting, SAP Performance Management, SAP Talent Management and many others.

So, make a decision today cause tomorrow you’ll not be able to change it. It takes years to become a professional only in one area mentioned above. You don’t have that much time to change career paths like cars.

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Run time evaluation in parallel

There is an easy way to run time evaluation in parallel. Standard PT60 doesn’t know anything about it and you need to wait a long time everytime you run payroll for all your employees.

A long time ago SAP developed this program, that nobody knows about – RPCS0000 to schedule background time evaluation in parallel.

The program allows reducing runtime evaluation in parallel in background split by a group of personnel numbers. It dramatically reduces runtime for the whole company, particularly when you have thousands of employees.

Run SAP Time Evaluation in Parallel

Run SAP Time Evaluation in Parallel

How delete payroll run in 1 single step

Do you know how to delete payroll run in SAP? Seems to be easy, just open PU01 transaction and hit ‘Delete’ button. Basically, yes. But usually no.

When preDME and payroll postings were made there is no way to delete payroll run from payroll cluster. But there is a trick to do it with just one single step.

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SAP Change Pointers in 4 steps

Today we will talk about SAP change pointers. Change pointers are that thing, which registers all object changes, which you need to send over ALE to other SAP or non-SAP system. For example, you have changed SAP HR infotype (let’s say infotype number 0002), the system records these changes internally, creates change pointer object. Then according to your ALE settings it sends updated record immediately or based on the scheduled job. So it sends only that one 0002 infotype record, not every record, not the whole bunch of infotypes. It saves a lot of time, increases SAP performance and decreases network load. Very convenient and smart in other words. There are just four steps to configure SAP change pointers for HCM or any other ECC module.

You can set up change pointers very easily with these 4 steps

  1. How to activate change pointers in SAP? With tcode (transaction) BD61 SAP activates change pointers across the whole system. It’s a best practice to activate change pointers only in these systems you have and manage data (like test or quality system and a production system).

    Activate Change Pointers in bd61

    Activate Change Pointers in bd61

  2. BD50 transaction activates change pointers for specific message type (or object). For SAP HCM it would be HRMD_A.

    Activate Change Pointers for HRMD_A IDOC

    Activate Change Pointers for HRMD_A IDOC

  3. Schedule RBDMIDOC program periodically to send IDOCs (the outcome of the change pointer) over ALE integration layer. The program reads change pointers tables, creates IDOCs with changed data and pushes them to ALE layer.



  4. It’s recommended to clean change pointers tables periodically. You can do this manually in BD22 transaction or automatically with RBDCPCLR program scheduled.

If you want to track specific fields, I mean, when a specific field in infotype is changed, then in SE11 in ABAP Dictionary select needed data element, switch to ‘Further characteristics’ and tick ‘Change document’ checkbox. Now changing this field in any infotype will cause a new change pointer and data change sending through ALE. Configuring change pointers is a one step in a whole SAP ALE configuration procedure.