The main reason classes are used in SAP Systems is to enable users to create a well-organized and structured hierarchies which then allow simple search and maintenance of objects in the business process.
The transaction for creation, maintenance and display of classes are:
CL01 - Create Class
CL02 - Change Class
CL03 - Display Class
please note, in all of the transactions mentioned above, all the buttons for creation, maintenance and display are available, therefore
the transaction CL02 may also be used to create a class in case the creation button is clicked after the class name is entered.
Using the transaction CL01
The Class (name) and class type are required, however using a change number is optional when creating a new class.
Class - The name which should be used for the class may be added here. Please note, a descriptive class name may be added later in the options.
Class type - The class type of the class may be added here, only one class type may be selected. The most often used classtypes are:
001 - Material class
023 - Batch class
200 - Material (configurable objects)
300 - Variants
however, there are many others by default.
Change Number- is a number used to uniquely identify a change master record. If you make a change with reference to a change number, or create an object with a change number, the following functions are at your disposal:
-The system determines the validity conditions
The conditions that the change is effective under can be defined in the change master record as follows:
-Changes with a date validity (valid-from date)
-Changes with parameter effectivity (for example: serial no. effectivity)
-Log of the changes made
-Documentation of the changes
-Assignment of a revision level to a change state of a material or document
-Release of changes for the different areas in the company.
Valid-From Date - Specifies the start date for the validity period of an object (such as material, BOM, or routing).
The "Basic data" Tab
Description - Language-dependent description of a class. The maximum lenght of the description is 30 characters, for a longer description a documentation may be attached to the class.
Status - This key determines whether a class can be maintained, whether objects can be allocated to a class and whether the class can be used for selecting objects.
Class group - Class groups are used to group together related classes and for finding classes quickly via a matchcode.
Organizational area - it may be set which organizational areas are allowed for the characteristics of this class. In case no Organizational area is set, all areas are allowed. On the characteristics screen of the class, characteristics may be assigned to the organizational areas that have been defined for the class.
Valid from (Date) / Valid to (date) - Objects may be assigned to the classonly between the dates Valid from and Valid to.
Local Class- The indicator for local class may be set to define a class as a local class and is useful if distributed systems are used, but only one portion of the object classifications should be maintained in a central system and another portion in a local system.
If this indicator is set, object allocations for this class are not deleted when data is distributed. Values assigned to characteristics of this class are not deleted either. This ensures that the classifications that are created locally are not deleted whenever data is distirbuted from the central classification system.
Characteristics that occur in both a local and a central class are changed, but distribution cannot delete a characteristic value.
- Do not check - in case this field is selected, there is no system check for identical characteristic values and several objects that have the same values for all characteristics to the same class may be assigned
- Warning message - in case this indicator is selected, a warning message will appear when the user tries to assign different objects with the same classification to the same class. This check is not made until values have been assigned to all the characteristics of the class. If no value is assigned to one or more characteristics, the program does not check for identical values.
- Check with error - in case the user tries to assign different objects with the same characteristic values to the same class, an error message will appear. This check is not made until values have been assigned to all the characteristics of the class. If no value is assigned to one or more characteristics, the program does not check for identical values.
For all settings the following behaviour is always true:
- classification is only checked when a value is assigned to all characteristics
- values of inherited characteristics and reference characteristics are not checked
- the checks are only carried out in one class, meaning the values of a characteristics are not checked in other classes
- changes made to the values of a characteristic with change management are not checked
Class maintenance - An authorization key may be added that determines whether a user is allowed to maintain this class. This authorization must be defined in the user master record, the authorization object is BGRKP.
Classification - An authorization key may be added which determines whether a user is allowed to assign objects to this class This authorization must be defined in the user master record, the authorization object is BGRKL.
Find object - An authorization key may be added that determines whether a user is allowed to use this class to find objects. This authorization must be defined in the user master record, the authorization object is BGRSE.
The "Keywords" Tab
Keywords are string used for finding a class via matchcode. The description entered on the basic data screen serves as the first keyword.
The "Char." (Characteristics) Tab
In the characteristics tab, all the characteristics may be added that are relevant to the class. The maximum number of characteristics assigned to a class is 999,
in case more are required, the class should be split in multiple parts and maintained as new classes. In most cases, the best option for good performance and
easy search is to build a hierarchy of classes with around 3-50 characteristics each, of course this is not a requirement.
In the table like view of the characteristics list, the Description, Data Type, Number of Chars, Decimal Places, Unit, Required Entry, Org. Areas and Inherited Char.
are all options that are read for each of the characteristics from the settings that are set in CT04 for the characteristic. To change any of these options, the transaction CT04
has to be used, or by doubleclicking on the characteristic description in CL01 / CL02, the CT04 view will be opened.
Overwrite Values - For each characteristic, the values and options may be overwritten or modified in each class. It is important to note that the overwritten values of the characteristic will only be available in case the class was assigned - for example - to the material. Overwritten values may be useful in many cases, however using it very often is not advised, as it may have some sideeffects, such as when the same characteristic has overwritten values in two separate classes and both classes are assigned to the same material, the system will choose the overwritten values of the class with the lower CLINT number. This may cause confusion among users and it is advised to use separate classes or dependencies to change the allowed values of the characteristics.
"Characteristic Name" Column - Name that uniquely identifies a characteristic.
"Characteristic description" Column- Language-dependent description of characteristic.
"Data Type" Column - The data type categorizes a characteristic and shows the format for entering characteristic values.
"Number of Characters" Column - Total number of characters that may be entered when a value is assigned to this characteristic. This figure includes the number of decimal places and does not include plus or minus signs or decimal points.
"Number of Decimal Places" Column - Number of decimal places which can be entered when a value is assigned to this characteristic. The number of decimal places must be less than the number of characters.
"Unit" Column - Unit of Measure, Language-Dependent - Unit in which a numeric characteristic value is entered.
"Required Entry" Column - Determines whether it is required to assign a value to a characteristic.
"Organizational Area" Column - These organizational areas are allowed for the characteristics of this class. On the characteristics screen of the class, characteristics may be assigned to the organizational areas that have been defined for the class.
"Standard Code Letter" Column - the DIN standard indicator.
"Overwriting" Column - Characteristic Overwritten for Specific Class - Characteristics or characteristic values may be changed for a specific class. These changes only apply to the use of the characteristic in the class concerned. The changes do not affect the attributes of the characteristic in other classes. If this indicator is selected, the characteristic or its values have been changed for this class.
"Inherited Char." Column - Characteristic Is Inherited - If this indicator is set, the characteristic was inherited from a superior class. The characteristic does not belong to the class for which assignments are currently being maintained.
"Characteristic origin" Column - This field shows whether a characteristic was copied from a data carrier with standards data.
"Print Relevant" Column - This indicator shows that the characteristic can be printed. In applications where characteristics are printed, this indicator can be queried internally in the program, so that only the print-relevant characteristics appear.If no characteristics in the class have the Print relevant indicator, all characteristics can be printed.
"Search Relevant" Column - This indicator determines that a characteristic is displayed when finding objects. If no characteristics in this class have the Search relevant indicator, all characteristics are displayed when finding objects.
"Display Relevant" Column - This indicator shows that a characteristic is to be displayed. In applications where characteristics are displayed, this indicator can be queried internally in the program, so that only the display-relevant characteristics are shown. If no characteristics have the Display-relevant indicator, all characteristics are displayed.
"Index Characteristic" Column - If this indicator is set, an index is created for the characteristic when a table is generated. Table generation is for finding objects more quickly.
The "Texts" Tab
In the texts tab users may add long texts to the class, this option is to overcome the limitation of 30 characters that the class description allows.
A long text may be added to the class by clicking the "new" button below the table layout, then add the name of the description and eventually add the long texts.
Once a long text has been added, the columns Text Area, Text Type and Description show the list of available documentations to the class.
"Text Area" Column - Shows in which application the documentation was used, most commonly it is the Class.
"Text Type" Column - Defines the different usage types within a text block.
"Description" Column - Description of a text in the class.
The "Document" Tab
Documents may as well be classified and can be maintained in the Document Tab.
Document - This number is the main part of the document key, which is used to identify the document.
Document Type - Part of the document key, which categorizes documents according to their distinguishing features and the organizational procedures which result from them.
Document Part - Section of a document which is maintained as an independent document.Design departments, for example, can use document parts to divide up large documents such as design drawings into pages
Document Version - Number which identifies the version of a document.