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In the following we focus on presentation/characteristic hierarchies. They must NOT be confused with the other two options of defining a hierarchical structure in BW which are: 

  1. Display Hierarchy ('Display as Hierarchy', 'Universal Display Hierarchy', 'UDH', 'UDHRY')
  2. Structures with Hierarchical Display (Paste as Child)

In a presentation hierarchy the values of a characteristic are displayed in a tree structure. The maintenance is done in transaction RSD1 (or in the BW Modeling Tool of Hana Studio):

Simple Example

We use the demo cube 0D_FC_C01 from transaction RSFC. The hierarchy was created in transaction RSD1:

  The hierarchy can be activated for the relevant infoobject in the Query Designer. The the query can be checked in transaction RSRT:

SAP Online Documentation

Presentation/Characteristic Hierarchies

General Technical Remarks

  • The OLAP Engine does not use the technical name, version and key date to identify a hierarchy. Instead the new IDs with the name HIESID and SVER are introduced
  • Hierarchies are stored in special master data tables (I,K,H tables), see BW Hierarchy Tables.
  • Technical Node 'Not Assigned'
    • In general, in case there are characteristic values in the query result that do not exist in the active hierarchy, the system creates by default the node 'Not Assigned' during query runtime. All such 'unassigned' values are displayed below this node. This guarantees a consistent query result (e.g. always same overall result) when hierarchies are activated/deactivated during query navigation.  However, the hierarchy attribute 'Suppress Unassigned Node' can be used to suppress this 'artificial' node, see Node Not Assigned and 1796360 for details.
    • As of BW74, the leaves of the special Node Not Assigned are not stored any longer in the I-table and the buffer. If this node is expanded, the associated leaves are determined during query runtime.
  • If the characteristic the Hierarchy is based on is compounded, the system always uses the concatenated key. This e.g. means that in a filter the compounding father will be restricted as well, see Restricting Compounded Characteristics.
  • The SID of a node is always negative, the SID of a leaf is positive (e.g. see I-table)
  • Hierarchies in BW are buffered(handled by the query) in the export or import buffer, see note 1614788 for more details.

  • In case queries have hierarchy node restrictions, the OLAP Engine uses temporary database tables (02/08) in order to improve the performance, see Temporary Hierarchy Tables for further details.

  • RSH1 – Hierarchy maintenance
  • RSD1 – InfoObject maintenance 
  • RSRHIERARCHYVIRT – Virtual Time Hierarchies 
  • RSTHJTMAINT - maintenance of the key date derivation type for THJ

Important to know 

  • As discussed in Node Not Assigned,  it is recommended to suppress the node 'Not Assigned' if the infoobject has many values (big SID and master data tables) but only a small fraction of these are in the hierarchy. 
  • In case of inconsistencies, you can use the reports introduced in Hierarchies: Troubleshooting Reports 
  • If the characteristic the hierarchy is based on is compounded, the system always uses the concatenated key. This e.g. means that in a filter, the compounding father will be restricted as well, see Restricting Compounded Characteristics.


SAP Consulting Notes

  • 2433852 How to repair inconsistent Hierarchies
  • 2443311 Repair inconsistent node table entries for remote hierarchies
  • 1722491 Inconsistencies in BW hierarchy administration tables (2)
  • 2772279 BICS: Performance optimization for further hidden hierarchy level scenarios
  • 1980006 External Characteristics in Hierarchies
  • 2131033' Display Hierarchy' combined with 'Presentation Hierarchy'
  • 2214027 Correction report for K table
  • 1614788 Buffering of large hierarchies in BW reporting
  • 1908174 Hierarchy Node shown twice in Query
  • 1924041 Hierarchy Nodes & Result Rows
  • 1968275 Excluding Selections in a BW Query(e.g. exclude hierarchy nodes)
  • 1246879 No data when char., structure & disp. hierarchy are combined
  • 198568  On the use of aggregates with hierarchies
  • 738098  Performance problems with hierarchies
  • 779080  Size of I tables (hierarchies)
  • 789404  Hierarchy node does not show the total of the nodes & leaves
  • 2360908 Hidden key figures in structures with hierarchical display
  • 2163113 Short dump when activating Hierarchy
  • 2634125 Fixed hierarchy node selection is misread as leaf filter 

SAP Support Troubleshooting Guideline


OLAP Hierarchy Searc