What are acronyms BDC, BI, BTC, BTCI, CTU, LSMW?
Batch Data Collection. It's the name of the SAP technology used to record and play transactions automatically. There are 3 ways to execute BDC: BI sessions, CTU, CDU.
Batch Input. It has the same meaning as BDC. The BI session is one of the 3 ways to run the BDC technology. Note: remember that BI may also mean Business Intelligence which is not related to Batch Input at all
Batch Input. It has the same meaning as BDC.
CALL DIALOG ... USING ... ABAP statement. CALL DIALOG is obsolete. It's one of the 3 ways to run the BDC technology.
CALL TRANSACTION ... USING ... ABAP statement. It's one of the 3 ways to run the BDC technology.
Legacy System Migration Workbench. It allows using the BDC recorder and the BI sessions.
What are the differences between CTU and BI session?
Note: Batch input sessions have other functions not listed here (like keep session, etc.) because we just discuss of the BDC technology here.
Call Transaction Using
Batch Input Session
The BDC data is run via ABAP statement CALL TRANSACTION ... USING ...
It is saved to database via ABAP function modules BDC_OPEN_GROUP, BDC_INSERT, BDC_CLOSE_GROUP, and is later run by SM35 transaction, or by programs RSBDCBTC or RSBDCSUB. Internally, it does not execute CTU but the kernel program BDC_START_GROUP
Only one transaction is called
Several transactions can be recorded in one session
The ABAP program must do the error handling itself (note: CALL TRANSACTION statement returns the messages in an internal table)
There is a built-in error and recovery mechanism in SM35 to view the log of errors and run the erroneous transactions again (note: the BDC data cannot be corrected)
By default, standard size is not used
By default, standard size is used (22 lines * 84 columns)
Since 7.0, the dates and numbers can be always interpreted correctly during execution, by indicating in which format they are stored in the BDC data when you open the BI session
It's possible to define SY-CPROG in PROG parameter of BDC_OPEN_GROUP function module
Update mode can be chosen
Update mode is always Synchronous (cf SAP Library)
You may use RACOMMIT of CTU_PARAMS to not stop the BDC at the COMMIT WORK
Transaction execution always stops at COMMIT WORK
SY-BINPT can be set to space using NOBINPT of CTU_PARAMS
SY-BINPT value is always X
As SY-BINPT is reset to 'X' after COMMIT WORK, it can be set to 'X' again using NOBIEND of CTU_PARAMS
Doesn't apply as BI session always stop after COMMIT WORK
Option CATTMODE of CTU_PARAMS can be used
All display modes can be used, including P and S
All display modes can be used except P and S
Extended log, Expert mode, Cancel if log error occurs
What are the differences between BDC and LSMW?
- LSMW is a loading tool provided by SAP where ABAP code is automatically generated based on the entered rules, and where the loading method can be BI session (either based on a LSMW recording or on a standard batch input program), BAPI/IDoc or standard direct input program.
- LSMW is not able to generate a CTU program, only a BI session.
- You can enter custom ABAP in LSMW without need of a developer license, while you need one for writing a "BDC" ABAP program.
- LSMW is generally for standard SAP applications, while BDC is mainly for any customized application
- The LSMW recorder is much simplified when compared to the SHDB recorder: it always start with default options (update mode A, no default size, use BDC mode (SY-BINPT is 'X'), do not simulate background mode (SY-BATCH is space), and SY-CALLD is set to 'X').
- LSMW recordings can't be migrated to SHDB recordings and vice versa.
- In LSMW recording, BDC_OKCODE and BDC_CURSOR fields cannot be edited, and you can't delete or add screens.
How do I record a Batch Input session for later playback and analysis?
Using transaction SHDB it is possible to record transactions as well as create skeleton programs that contain all the necessary code for creating batch input sessions.
Why SHDB didn't record some screens?
There was probably a COMMIT WORK. By default, the recording stops after COMMIT WORK (for more information, read Note 24141 - Program terminates on COMMIT WORK). When you start the recording, you have a checkbox "not possible, but anyway it makes no sense to transport them: the recordings have no vocation to remain in the system, and are usually converted into programs or function modules, which are cross-client.
How to copy a recording?
- Display the recording
- There is a button to export to a file on your presentation server
- Create a recording without transaction code and without starting the recorder, a button to import is then displayed
Note that recordings are client-dependent.
How to transport a recording?
It's not possible, but anyway it makes no sense to transport them: the recordings have no vocation to remain in the system, and are usually converted into programs or function modules, which are cross-client.
How does recording work?
It works the same as CTU with Display Mode "A", but it's surrounded by kernel calls to SET_TRANS_VAR for activating and deactivating the recording: among other things, before CTU, there are call 'SET_TRANS_VAR' id 'RECORDING' field 'X' and CALL 'SET_TRANS_VAR' ID 'ACTIV' FIELD 'X', and after CTU, there is call 'SET_TRANS_VAR' id 'RECORDING' field ' '. The main function module for recording is BDC_RECORD_TRANSACTION, which returns the BDC data. The SHDB recorder records the BDC data into APQI and APQD tables.
LSMW recorder uses this same technology, but saves the BDC data into /SAPDMC/LSGBDC* tables.
What is the Simulate Background mode?
It is available when you record a transaction. Refer to the Display mode chapter in Batch Input - BDC.
Content of BDC data
Why BDC_OKCODE doesn't execute the action at the moment indicated?
First line must always be the screen identification. program dynpro dynbegin
All the fields that belong to the screen must be inserted below, they can be in any order except when they belong to a subscreen (see BDC_SUBSCR below) FNAM FVAL
A frequent misunderstanding is that people think that the following means that the action is immediately triggered BDC_OKCODE
What is BDC_SUBSCR for?
BDC_SUBSCR is a technical field name in lines of the BDC data. The field value is the concatenation of subscreen program name (40 characters), subscreen dynpro number (4 digits), and subscreen name in the calling dynpro (30 characters).
A field name must be unique per dynpro, but as a screen may contain subscreens (which are themselves screens), the same field name may exist in the main screen and one or more of its subscreens, or in two or more of the subscreens. To be able to fill the right field name, a line BDC_SUBSCR above the field name indicates to which subscreen the field name refers.
During the execution of a recording, the system checks whether the field name exists in the above BDC_SUBSCR, and if not, looks for the field name in the main screen and all its subscreens. If BDC_SUBSCR refer to a non-existing subscreen, it is ignored.
Though all subscreens belonging to the main screen are automatically recorded as one BDC_SUBSCR line, they are most of the time
What values may contain BDC_CURSOR?
It may contain 3 kind of values:
- A field name: MARA-MATNR (if several fields have the same name in the outer dynpro, the BDC_SUBSCR line is needed)
- A field name followed by a row number between parentheses, indicating a field in a table control or step loop (see FAQ about table control scrolling below): MARA-MATNR(01)
- Coordinates in a list (row/column): 07/04 (row 7, column 4)
May I remove the BDC_CURSOR lines systematically?
You noticed that the SHDB recorder generates lines containing BDC_CURSOR in the BDC data (which are used to position the cursor, as the name suggests), but you think you don't need them because you don't use contextual actions based on the cursor position and you think that they pollute the BDC data. So you decided to remove them systematically when the cursor is not important.
You must be careful while doing that, as you may not be aware that the cursor position is required in these 2 situations (though they are relatively rare):
- when there are buttons inside screens and the BDC_OKCODE line is not specified (see Note 13882 - Handling of POPUP_TO_CONFIRM in batch input)
- when the screen doesn't contain any input fields, active checkboxes or selection fields, and when the cursor position is checked (see Note 33319 - Batch input: Backgr. runs diff. than in the dialog).
Influencing the execution
What is CTU_PARAMS?
This is a structure defined in the ABAP Dictionary (SE11) that must be used to declare the type of variable after the OPTIONS FROM keyword of CALL TRANSACTION ... USING ... ("CTU") statement. It contains many fields to influence the CTU behavior. For more information, refer to ABAP documentation - CALL TRANSACTION - bdc_options.
is the same as:
What is the display mode? (N, A, E, etc.)
Refer to Batch Input - BDC.
What is the update mode? (A, S, L)
Refer to Batch Input - BDC.
What is the Simulate Background mode?
Refer to the Display mode chapter in Batch Input - BDC
What are the commands available for controlling the flow of a BI session?
These commands are only available in foreground mode (A or E), and they are not available in CTU. They are also accessible via the menu under System -> Services -> Batch Input.
Corresponding menu item in System menu -> Services -> Batch Input
Delete current transaction from batch input from session (log can still be seen but it can never be restarted)
Terminate current transaction, mark the transaction as incorrect, and pass to next transaction
Change the screen Processing from Error only mode to all display mode (Foreground processing)
Process in Foreground
Change the display mode from All screens to Error only
Display Errors Only
End current batch input session completely
What is the Expert mode?
The expert mode is a checkbox which is displayed on the launch popup screen of the BI sessions.
When the expert mode is on, the message 00344 "No batch input data for screen & &" is emitted when you run in A or E display mode. Note: in other modes (N/P), this message is always emitted.
You can also switch it during the execution via menu under System -> Services -> Batch Input.
What is the Detailed/Extended Log?
When you tick that checkbox when you run a BI session in A or E mode from SM35 transaction, or using LOGALL parameter of RSBDCSUB program, there is the following behavior:
- The I messages are not written to the log
- The W messages are written to the log
- The S messages are not written to the log, except the last one provided it's the last message sent, and it's sent after the last screen (PAI or later, but before COMMIT WORK of course as a BI session can't continue). For example, if a I message is sent after the S message, then the S message is not written.
- If no S message has been written to the log, SAP writes the S00355 message: "Transaction was processed successfully".
- This checkbox is not related to the "Details" checkbox that you can tick when you display a BI session log.
- This information is taken from this SDN discussion.
What is the "Details" checkbox when you display a log?
There is a checkbox "Details", which allows to see messages 00162 (>>>>>>>>>>> & &) and 00368 (&1 &2 ) or not.
Note 678979 - Batch input: allow log details to be hidden says that "With the kernel correction from note 604066, the session data is included in the log in the batch input log if a field or OK code change leads to successful processing during the visible run. In the system log display, these entries can be displayed or hidden using the checkbox "Details"".
Is it possible to see what users have changed in A or E mode?
This function is only available with BI sessions. Changes are automatically recorded into the log (since Note 604066 - Batch input: Logging of OK code changes). When you display it, you must tick the checkbox "Details" to display these messages (since Note 678979 - Batch input: allow log details to be hidden).
Isn't it a paradox to run a batch input in "no batch input" (NOBINPT) mode?
NOBINPT option (in CTU_PARAMS) is used to execute the CTU with SY-BINPT system variable set to blank ("X" is the CTU default), as interactively.
Don't be mistaken by its name ("no batch input"), it's completely allowed to run a batch input with "no batch input" mode, though the played transaction may have then restricted functions.
The SY-BINPT variable is usually checked by the application when some of its user interfaces cannot be recorded and played using the BDC technology (*), and when this application is designed to work with BDC. If it runs in batch input (it usually knows it by testing SY-BINPT), it proposes another display mode or other function codes that are compatible with BDC. Sometimes, strangely, a played transaction may work better by forcing SY-BINPT to space (using NOBINPT = "X" option).
(*) Especially the control framework (CNDP_ERROR) and table control scrolling (see FAQs below)
Troubleshooting the execution
Why BDC behaves differently?
Please refer to : Why batch input (BDC) behaves differently from manual input
In SM35, after execution, why do we get "Processing of batch input session completed" (00345)?
There are 2 buttons "Session overview" which restarts SM35 and "Exit batch input" which displays the SAP menu.
Why do I get CNTL_ERROR dump during recording or execution?
Not all screens can be recorded, especially when they contain interactive lists or controls (control framework). For more information, see note 311440 - batch input and controls. The only solution is to modify the program so that it doesn't display the control when the transaction is run (see FAQ "How to know programmatically if the transaction is run via CTU or BI session or none?").
Why some messages occurring in BDC are not returned?
Only messages sent with MESSAGE are collected in BDCMSGCOLL (CTU) or logged (BI), except if:
- MESSAGE is used with one of these additions (the message is handled internally by the program):
- MESSAGE ... INTO ...
- MESSAGE ... RAISING ...
- Those sent inside a function module (and in its called procedures) called with EXCEPTIONS error_message = <any> are also not collected.
- or if the message makes the program abort or dump. Situations are explained here: SAP Library - Screen programming - Message Processing
- In A and E (and D/H) display mode, messages 00344 ("No batch input data for screen & &") are not displayed and not returned (except for BI session with expert mode activated).
- In BI, messages 00355 are not returned if the BI session is not run with "Detailed log"
- There is also the case where the message is returned, but not displayed: when you display the BI session log, messages 00162 and 00368 are not displayed if you didn't tick the "Details" checkbox
A frequent issue is that messages are output by a method like like ALV, table control, etc., that is not the standard message output (i.e. either the message specific modal dialog box or the status bar of the screen). To do so, they are handled internally by the program, and so can't be collected into BDCMSGCOLL internal table. The only solution is to change the way they are handled inside the called transaction, as explained above. For example, the program could test SY-BINPT to choose how messages are to be displayed, either ALV or as explained above.
Why the BDC in display mode A or E stops at a screen without any message at all? (in mode A, OK code dialog box disappears)
There is probably an error 00344 ("No batch input data for screen & &"), but it is not displayed in these modes (only in display modes N/P, or when it is run using a BI session and expert mode activated). That happens because the screen displayed is not the same program or number than the next screen defined in the BDC data.
Note that if the end of BDC data is reached, the last screen remains displayed when the display mode is E, while the transaction terminates when the display mode is A.
Why does the OK code dialog box of the "A" display mode disappear sometimes?
Either it's because of an error 00344. See question "Why the BDC in display mode A or E stops at a screen without any message at all? (in mode A, OK code dialog box disappears)" above.
Another reason and its workaround are explained in Note 597596 - Batch input: OK Code disappears during foreground run.
There are some other contexts where it happens (ABAP lists for example), there's no workaround in that case.
Why is there an error about the date field?
First of all, dates must be entered in the external format (same way as a user does), for example MM/DD/YYYY if the user is from USA (more precisely, the user has date format "2" in the "Defaults" screen tab of SU01 transaction). You can for example use this code to convert a date variable from internal to external format:
The screen_date_field variable will contain 12/31/2010 for the USA user.
Before 7.0, you had to run the CTU and BI sessions with a user with exactly the same date format than the one used in the BDC data.
Since 7.0, when you create a BI session (CTU still works as before), you can indicate which date format is used in the whole BI session, and you'll be able to execute it under any user, because SAP will convert the format of every date field when the BI session is run. The date format can be indicated when you create a BI session from SHDB, or from BDC_OPEN_GROUP function module DATFM parameter. If the DATFM parameter value is "%" (default), SAP will use the user's date format.
In chained transactions, why does the same first transaction seem to execute again and again?
In CTU, an obvious answer is that you forgot to empty the BDC data internal table (using REFRESH statement) between each CALL TRANSACTION!
It also applies to BI sessions, where the internal table used in BDC_INSERT function module is not refreshed, so the same list of transactions is repeated.
Why does a value can't be entered in a table control?
You must suffix the field name with the line number between parentheses. If the screen field name is BSEG-BUZEI, and you want to fill it in the second line, then you must enter BSEG-BUZEI(2).
If the table control displays only 10 lines at a time and you want to fill the 11th line or after, then you need to scroll the lines using a function code, see below.
How to scroll a table control?
- Usually (*), the recorder records the Enter key (/00) when you scroll, so the system does not scroll when you play the recording (BDC). This is a technical restriction.
- Workaround: the transaction may also provide a function code (not always displayed as menu or button, so we sometimes need to look at SAP notes or search in ABAP code yourself) to:
- insert a line at the beginning or at the end of the table control, and display the table control with that line at the top, so that you can refer each field of it using FIELDNAME(01).
- position the table control at a given line (a popup is usually displayed to enter the line number or the key. Unfortunately, it varies for every transaction), and display the table control with that line at the top.
- See for example Note 187946 - No positioning on PRT overview in routing.
(*) If you are "lucky", the recorder may record something else than /00, in that case the scroll will work in BDC. How to assign function codes to scroll keys: create a GUI status of type "Dialog", where you assign a function code to the scroll keys in the system status bar, and assign the GUI status to the screen (SET PF-STATUS).
- The function codes to scroll don't need to be systematically P+, P-, P++, P--, that's only a naming convention
- Contrary to what is often said, the function codes P+, P-, P++, P--, won't scroll at all if they are not defined as the scroll keys in the GUI status, and handled in the program.
Why do I get error BSEG-WRBTR(12) doesn't exist?
There are 2 possibilities:
- You tried to fill a field in a line of a table control that is not displayed yet: you need to scroll the list to reach that line.
If a table control displays 11 lines at a time, then you can only refer to BSEG-WRBTR(1) up to BSEG-WRBTR(11). If you scroll one page down, then BSEG-WRBTR(1) will correspond to the 12th line.
- You executed the BDC with the standard default size (22 lines * 84 columns). When the table control has attribute Vertical Resizing allowed, then the number of rows may be reduced up to which makes the table control appear with less lines than when you see the screen in normal mode.
Why do I get CONVT_NO_NUMBER dump with text "Unable to interpret "/" as a number"?
You probably used the include BDCRECX1 and the dump occurs at statement "IF FVAL <> NODATA." in form BDC_FIELD. It's because you passed a N type field (or F, I, etc.) to the FVAL parameter, and SAP compares it to NODATA which is C type, so it tries to convert NODATA (value "/" by default) to a number to be able to compare them, and dumps because / is not a number.
Solution: pass a C type field to form BDC_FIELD.
Why does CALL TRANSACTION ... USING ... return SY-SUBRC 1001 and table of MESSAGES INTO contains messages of type S?
The return code 1001 means that the BDC data contains actions which are not possible to execute (like trying to fill a field which does not exist or cannot be input in the actual screen, or that the expected screen defined in the BDC data doesn't match the actual screen) and consequently that the BDC data couldn't be executed completely.
You may retrieve the exact reason by using the addition MESSAGES INTO followed by an internal table whose lines are of type BDCMSGCOLL. These messages can be:
|Message class||Message number||Message text|
|00||344||No batch input data for dynpro & &|
Field & is not an input field
|00||348||Field & input value is longer than screen field|
|Field & does not exist in the screen & &|
There's no official explanation why the error messages are of type S. Maybe it's because when the execution is in dialog mode A or E, the user may continue the execution of the batch input by correcting the errors manually, and as these "errors" don't stop the batch input, maybe SAP considered them like information messages. Who knows...
How to get the log of a BI session?
Use this ABAP program: Get log of batch input session
Is it possible to rollback a database update done with BDC?
If there was no error, then data was written and terminated by a commit work, so it's not possible. Try to find another way to update database which doesn't perform any commit (use for example a BAPI, or an IDoc message that allows processing by packet).
Is it possible to wait for the end of asynchronous updates done by a CTU?
Yes, by using the S or L update mode.
Note: BI sessions are always run with the S update mode.
Is there another way to perform a BDC over a report/program?
If you want to run a normal report which outputs a list or does a background processing (updates database or generates a file, etc.), you may simply use SUBMIT ... AND RETURN statement. By default, selection screen is not displayed, and you fill the parameters using WITH keyword, and you may use EXPORTING LIST TO MEMORY to get the result into an internal table variable.
Is it possible to simulate AND SKIP FIRST SCREEN using BDC?
You can use CALL TRANSACTION ... AND SKIP FIRST SCREEN without USING, but you can't use it with CALL TRANSACTION ... USING.
You can simulate AND SKIP FIRST SCREEN by recording the first screen + Enter key, and call it using display mode 'E' so that the screen remains displayed (otherwise the transaction terminates at the end of the BDC data).
Moreover, you need to add the same first screen + the exit command to the BDC data, so that when the user returns to this first screen, it is not displayed and the transaction terminates.
How to perform a CTU inside a user exit called at SAVE time?
When the user saves a standard object, it may be required to create or update another business object at the same time, using BDC (remember that you should prefer to use BAPIs if available).
You may have found user exits which are called before COMMIT WORK, or inside an update task.
The solution is not trivial at all and requires high knowledge of what are LUWs, update tasks and RFC.
Read the solution based on tRFC in that thread in SDN (http://forums.sdn.sap.com/thread.jspa?messageID=9371113�).
How to fill SELECT-OPTIONS in a selection screen ?
It can be entered using normal batch input, but this link already contains the required code to do it, in a very easy way, just provide the selection table and that's it : Fill SELECT-OPTIONS in BDCDATA
What are the available standard batch input programs?
The programs are usually indicated in the documentation or in SPRO transaction. You may also find a list of them in LSMW transaction, in first step ("Maintain object attributes").
For ECC software, here is a non-exhaustive list: ECC standard Batch Input programs
Is it possible to hide the OK code dialog box of the "A" display mode?
Yes, since SAPGUI 6.10, see Note 453557 - Batch input: Hiding OK code dialog box
What is NODATA?
First of all, NODATA is not really part of the BDC technology, but it's a smart trick used by data input programs (using BDC, direct input, or any other technologies) where data is provided in flat or CSV-like files.
NODATA is the name of a character that is used to say "don't fill the field if it contains NODATA". We could think that fields with empty value should not be filled, but "unfortunately" it is often needed to blank out fields. NODATA is used to be "/" in the BDC technology (when you generate a program or function module from SHDB transaction), but you can use any value that is never used as a real value.
You'll find more information in SAP Library - Batch Input - NODATA.