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Using the transaction CT04

Definition: In R/3 classification, characteristics describe the properties of objects.

In the Characteristic field of the transaction CT04, the name for the new characteristic may be defined. Furthermore, it is possible to enter a change number if the characteristic should be maintained using engineering change management. The new characteristic may be created either with the "Create" button, or when hitting enter, the system will show a notification that the characteristic does not exist yet and will ask if the user wants to create the new characteristic.

The "Basic data" Tab

Description: Open the main characteristics data on the Basic data tab and enter a short description of the characteristic. The description may not be longer than 30 characters, in case a longer text needs to be added, it may be added as "documentation" to the characteristic.

Characteristics Groups are defined in Customizing for classification. The characteristics group can help you to find characteristics with a matchcode.

Status - the options of the status field are "1 Released", "2 In Process" and "3 Locked". The characteristic may only be used in classification of objects in case the status is set to "1 Released".
The "In Process" status is often used in case the characteristic is not yet to be used and the "3 Locked" status when the characteristic has become obsolete and will probably not be used anymore in the future. These statuses may be changed at any time.

  • "Released" status: you can use this characteristic in classes. You can use an authorization group for characteristics to restrict access to certain characteristics. For further information, please goto Authorization Objects .
  • "In process" status: most often used when the characteristic is in the creation process. The characteristic with "In process" status cannot be used in a class.
  • "Locked" status: a characteristic with this status cannot be used in a new class. However, if you have used a characteristic in a class, and then set Locked status for the characteristic, this does not affect the characteristic in the class.



Data Type: The values of the characteristic may have different data types. The data type of the characteristic determines which values you can enter for the characteristic. The following data types are supported: Character Format; Numeric Format; Time Format/Date Format; Currency Format; User-Defined Data Type.

Number of Chars: Enter the maximum number of characters that may be used for the characteristic, please note it may not be larger than 30 characters.
For the Character Format, the values of the characteristic can contain any alphanumeric character. It is also possible to decide if the values should be case sensitive.

Template: The template may be used to give the user a visual guidance when working with large numbers in the system for the characteristic, this may include using the thousand separator
for large numbers. When using a Numeric format with intervals allowed, the template may overwrite the custom templates by removing any thousand separators when the number of characteris is larger than 10. This is due to the fact that during value assignment the values may not fit into the input field.

Single Value / Multiple Value: These options define whether the characteristic may allow one or more values to be assigned during value assignment.

Restrictable: This indicator is relevant to variant configuration (LO-VC) and is used to allow Dependencies (more specifically Constraints) to restrict the
allowed values to a certain scale depending on other values of other characteristics.

Entry required: A value for this characteristic is required during value assignement. By default is this option is not activated, it is optional
to assign a value to the characteristic during value assignment.

The "Descriptions" Tab

On the tab Descriptions it is possible to enter a language-dependent description of the characteristic.


The "Values" Tab

The values of a characteristic specify the properties of a characteristic. The values must match the format that was defined on the "Basic Data" screen and their length may not exceed the number of characters that were defined in the Basic Tab. If the characteristic is an alphanumeric characteristic, it is possible to enter a language-dependent value description up to 30 characters.
In the value list shown in screenshot below, the maximum number of values that can be assigned is by default 9999 which may however be overcome by using a check table instead.

Additional Values
In case predefined values are set, when the "Additional Values" flag is set, the user may assign new values during value assignment (in configuration for example). These new values added
by the user during value assignemnt will however only work on an ad-hoc basis and will not be added to the predefined list of values of the characteristic, but are saved only for that one specific
case where the new value was assigned, such as in the configuration.

When no predefined values are set, the additional values flag does not have to be necessarily activated manually, the characteristic will allow additional values when no predifined values are set
and the additional values flag is not set either by default.

Default value
It is possible to set a default value for the characteristic which will then be set automatically during value assignment by the system. These default values during value assignment may be overwrtten or changed manually, the system will not overwrite the value again.
The default value may be selected in the column D in the Values Tab by activating the flag for the value.

Check table:
A check table may be used to control the allowed values of a characteristic. In case a check table is used for the characteristic, any values you assign to the characteristic must match entries in the table. Additionally, the check table may also be used to allow more than 9999 values for the characteristic.

Entering a Function Module:
On the allowed values tab page in characteristics maintenance functions,  the name of a function module may be added for checking the values entered when an object is classified. Please have a look at Characteristics and Characteristics Values for more information. 

For values in character format CHAR or number format NUM a language-dependent documentation may be added:
On the Allowed values screen, choose Extras -> Change language, then enter the language in which you want to write documentation.
Select the value with the cursor and choose the button 'Documentation' , add text in the text editor and click save.

The "Additional Data" Tab

On the Additional data screen, in subscreen Procedure for value assignment it is possible to select if the characteristic is ready for input, is not displayed or if the possible entries should be displayed.

It is possible to link documents, such as drawings or photographs with characteristics and it is also possible to link documents to a value. This allows the user to describe the value in more detail. (Place the cursor on the value and choose 'Document for value'.) 

During the creation of a reference characteristic (see also Reference characteristics ), choose the Additional data tab in characteristics and insert table name and field in this table to which it should be referred to. It is optional to maintain the tab page Basic data first for reference characteristics, the system copies the formatting data from the object master to the characteristic.


The "Restrictions" Tab

In case the characteristic should only be used for a specific class type, it is possible to add the Class Type that are allowed.
When no Class types are added, all class types are allowed, however in case one class type is added, only that class tpye is allowed
but no other class types.


Maximum number of values assigned to a characteristic

As of Release 4.6C, the maximum number of characteristic values of a characteristic is 9999. When you are using change numbers, the number of maximum entries is less, because it is necessary to store several change states (e.g. when the position of a value changes, or a value was deleted).

For performance reasons, you should not use a greater number of values within a characteristic. If you require a high number of values and if you cannot foresee the maximum number, use a characteristic with check table.

If the maximum number of 9999 is reached, an overflow occurs, which triggers error message C1034 in the characteristics maintenance.

When the maximum number of entries is reached, you have following possibilities to proceed: 

Working WITHOUT a change number 1.) Just create a new characteristic and use a check table.

Working WITH a change number

1.) You should create a new characteristic, which replaces the other characteristic at a certain date and contains the characteristic values of the first characteristic (on this date). Therefore the new characteristic should be copied from the old one. 

2.) The old characteristic can be set to 'no display'.

3.) The new characteristic could have the same characteristic description (because most of the users are working with the characteristic description).

External value check via function module

in the function module for the value check, it is necessary, to fill the export parameter VALUE_EX. Through this, the language-neutral value will be returned.

Apart from the value check function module, you can create a function module, to provide input help (F4 help). This module must have the same name, followed by "_F4". Whit In Addition, another module can provide language-independent value descriptions. The name of this module must be the same, followed by "_DC".

Please have a look at following notes dealing with this issue: 588283 1085134 1155969


Reference characteristics

Reference characteristics are characteristics that refer to table fields.

When an object is classified, reference characteristics are not usually available for entry, because the value is taken from the object table and displayed. This ensures that the characteristic values are consistent. If a reference characteristic is used in a class and the reference is to another object type that is different than the current classified object then this object loses its status as a reference characteristic. This means that a value can be assigned to the characteristic. It is also possible to find the classified object by the assigned value.

An example of a reference characterstic can be a characterstic referring to PLANT inside of sales order item, if the characterstic created refers to the sales order table VBAP field WERKS.


Once the sales order number is generated at the time of saving order, this value for plant will be captured as value for this referance characterstic. Reference characterstics can also be used to setup or calculate values in some dependencies such as procedures.