This article will highlight new functionalities for SAP Engineering Control Center 5.2 and SAP ECTR 1.1 for S/4HANA.
For older version 5.1 and 1.0 please refer to What's new in SAP ECTR 5.1 and SAP ECTR 1.0 for SAP S4HANA.
Some remarks upfront
ECTR 5.2 and ECTR S4 1.1 are new releases containing their own ABAP backend and their own JAVA frontend.
The JAVA frontend is based on SapMachine, a JAVA 11 based VM.
The ABAP backend consists of one ABAP component "ECTR". In the previous release 5.1 there were two ABAP components: "ECTR" and "ECTRWUI".
With the new release the system requirements on frontend has been raised:
- Windows 10 (Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020)
With the new release the system requirements of the underlying ERP has been raised:
- SAP ECTR 5.2 requires at least SAP ECC 6.0 EHP8 SP11 (see SAP Note 2049249 section 5. ECTR 520)
- SAP ECTR 1.1 for S/4 requires at least SAP S/4HANA 1809 (corresponds software component S4CORE 103, see SAP Note 2325172 section 4 S4ECTR 110)
The ECTR ABAP AddOn (520 and 110) brings all Badi-implementation. So no manual implementation is required.
There is a new authorization object PLM_START, which is required to start ECTR and any CAD integration. The authorization must be added to the CAD users PFCG roles, see also SAP Note 2680937 + 2767815 and Improvement Request 204165.
A detailed overview of new features and enhancements can be found in
5.2.3 / 1.1.3
Please be aware, that there are some minor issue with 188.8.131.52.
- 184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11: Error while parsing bASXML document
- 18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124: JCo initialization failed with java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: ...
Doc BOM Comparison based on transaction CS14 (PLM-23096, Improvement Request 202860, Improvement Request 236846)
This feature allows the user to compare document structures from two different document info records.
Classification search with class-independent search for objects via characteristics (PLM-23169, Improvement Request 207439)
This feature allows the user to create searches with macros and search masks that are class-independent.
To create a search mask for this feature a mask of the type undefined has to be created and the field Class-independent characteristic area has to be added.
Shattered VEV viewing support (PLM-26797, Improvement Request 205472)
This feature allows the user to display shattered viewables in the SAP Visual Enterprise Viewer.
Configuration: see SAP Wiki article How to configure shattered viewing
Enable search for documents via given material number (PLM-27421, Improvement Request 227030)
This feature enables the user to search documents based on its material number.
To activate this function the user has to add the field Material Number to the search mask for documents.
See also video here.
Basic drop handler for generic objects (PLM-27496)
This feature enables the administrator to set up a drop handler for generic objects.
SmartContainer "Usage in Folders" for Equipments and Functional Locations (PLM-27652)
This feature enables the user to use the "Usage in Folders" Container on Equipment and Functional Locations.
To activate this feature the following configuration has to be added to the file default.txt under customize\config.
New possibility to force check-out on current workstation (PLM-27874, Improvement Request 222224)
This function adds a new container and new menu functions to the working directory to support force check-outs on documents. The container displays documents that are checked-out in the SAP system but are read-only in the file system. The new menu functions are available on the container as well as on documents that can be found in it.
Enable SAP GUI transaction to run asynchronously (PLM-27913, Improvement Request 227091)
This function enables the user to make asynchronous SAP GUI calls while continuing to work in his SAP ECTR.
To activate this function, the administrator must add the parameters transaction="bright" and background="true" to the API calls for the SAP GUI. All standard API calls of SAP ECTR are now set to work asynchronous.
Here is an example of the call of the Visual Instance Planner:
New quick search UI (PLM-28106, Improvement Request 208363, Improvement Request 228016)
This feature adds a new quick search User Interface.
This feature is enabled by default and can be accessed via the file menu or Ctrl+Q.
To customize this feature the chapter Quick Search in the file default.txt under customize\config has to be extended.
You can also use Embedded Search as underlying search technology for this. Please refer to How to configure Embedded Search for ECTR.
Basic support of Change record (S/4 only) (PLM-28370)
This function introduces Basis Support for Change Records from SAP S/4 HANA to SAP ECTR. This allows the user to perform rudimentary functions such as searching a Change Record and adding it to a folder via drag and drop.
These functions are included in the new add-on Change Record in SAP ECTR FOR SAP S/4HANA. Please make sure the folder addon\changeRecord exists in the installation.
New object Material Production Version (S/4 only) (PLM-28507)
This feature introduces a new object in SAP ECTR FOR SAP S/4HANA, the material production version. This new object is displayed in a new smart container below the materials.
These functions are included in the new add-on Change Record in SAP ECTR FOR SAP S/4HANA. To activate them, this add-on must be installed.
Possibility to derive versioned material BOM (S/4 only) (PLM-28861)
This function introduces a new BOM derivation function to create the new S/4-versioned material BOM.
These function is included in the new add-on Change Record in SAP ECTR FOR SAP S/4HANA. To activate it, this add-on must be installed.
Mass change function for folders (PLM-29007, Improvement Request 237126)
This feature allows the user to use the "Mass Change" function of SAP ECTR on folders.
This feature is enabled by default and can be accessed via toolbar for folders in the desktop context. Therefore the file menu.guidef under customize\config has to be extended.
Attribute transfer from CAD system to SAP for longtext with "auto wrap" (PLM-18544, Improvement Request 213756)
This improvement enables SAP ECTR to auto wrap mapped long texts from the CAD system to the SAP system. Therefore, a user can now maintain long texts in the CAD system, and they are transferred "auto wrapped" to the SAP System when they are saved.
To enable this improvement the administartor has to enhance the attribute mapping in the file attribute-to-sap.xml under customize\config as followed.
Log Field in the Status Log for checkin and checkout of additional originals (PLM-26210)
This improvement makes the status log more user-friendly. New log field texts have been implemented to better distinguish between check-in and check-out of additional originals and main originals.
Provide originals of the structure in Cache (PLM-26228, Improvement Request 223318)
This function allows the user to run certain functions in the background if they take a long time, such as loading larger assemblies.
Furthermore, there is now a "Task Manager" that can display currently running background processes and an activity indicator in the task bar of SAP ECTR
To activate the improvement to send processes to the background, the preference plm.doc.cache.update.parallel must be set to true.
The preference has been added to the file options.xml, so that users can find it in the preference settings of SAP ECTR.
To activate the "Task Manager" to following menu function has to be added to the file menu.guidef.
Possibility to call FMs using macros via SAP GUI (PLM-26790, Improvement Request 216595)
This improvement enables the macro framework to execute macros with a SAP GUI transaction. This enables the user to create macros with RFC-enabled function modules which shows a SAP GUI screens.
To use this improvement, the user must call the macro function $SET_EXECUTION_OPTION with the parameter use_gui_transaction equals true
Possibility to fill object lists via OSGi plugin (PLM-26791, Improvement Request 216595)
This improvement enables the OSGi framework to fill object lists. A new OSGi service was create to add objects to an object list.
To use this improvement the customer has to implement the new OSGi service to his OSGi implementations.
Immediate response missing when using SAP GUI <F4> feature (PLM-27013, Improvement Request 226926)
This improvement enhances the usablility of the F4 help.
Now the user will get status message that the SAP GUI is being called.
Allow CAD application to trigger shutdown (PLM-27048, Improvement Request 222629)
This improvement enables the CAD applications to trigger the shutdown of SAP ECTR. If enables SAP ECTR will shutdown wenn the CAD application is closed.
To activate this improvement the following preference has been configured in the file default.txt under customize\config and the CAD application has to support this function.
plm.shutdown.onApplication.exit = true
Load customize/dictionary from addons and applications (PLM-27494, Improvement Request 230389)
This improvement enables the administrator to define customer dictionaries in SAP ECTR add-ons or applications.
To activate this improvement the administrator has to define dictionary keys in the specific add-on or application customize\dictionary\customer.txt
Setting maximum number of search hits via preferences in new quick search (PLM-27760, Improvement Request 228016)
This improvement allows to define the maximum number of search hits for the quick search. Furthermore this improvement allows the user to set the maximum number of search hits for the quick search while SAP ECTR is running.
Enable "context menu" (Menu key) on windows keyboard (PLM-28094, Improvement Request 235191
This improvement allows the user to use the menu key to display the context menu for a selected object.
New possibility to embed a smart container into another smart container (PLM-28428, Improvement Request 239423)
This improvement allows the user to build Smart Container into Smart Container. Using this technique, the user can get a better overview of the contents of his Smart Containers.
Raise an error when file size deviates from KPRO table and actual file size (PLM-29038, Improvement Request 247050)
This improvement increases the user experience by checking for differences in file size between the local cached file and the file on the KPRO database server. If the file size is different, the system displays an error message to inform the user.
Drag&drop of content versions always transfers the same file (PLM-28826, Improvement Request 245505)
This correction fixed the issue that would arise if a user tried to drag&drop a content version of an original, now the drag&drop will be done with the correct file.
126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52
Confusing name of the function "Change Active / Inactive" for ECN (PLM-24609, Improvement Request 218195)
This improvement makes the functionality for using change records in the frontend more comprehensible to the user. It improves the naming of frontend functions for better differentiation of actions in SAP.
Allow to forbid change of Classification in Object Browser for certain class types (PLM-27778, Improvement Request 238325)
This improvement allows the admin to protect certain classes or class types from a change of the characteristic values.
Disclaimer: The class type 017 can not be blocked with this feature.
Configure the following preference in customize\config\default.txt.
5.2.2 / 1.1.2
Possibility to use multiple PFCG roles in UI configuration (PLM-23097, Improvement Request 200174)
This feature writes, at the end of the launch process from SAP ECTR, all PFCG roles from a user in a text file. This enables the admin to develop his own mechanism to enable or disable functions of SAP ECTR for a user.
This feature will be enabled automatically, the location of the text file is written in the environment variable PLM_ALL_ROLES_FILE. The file layout is written in UTF-8 without BOM.
Classification search with class-independent search for objects via characteristics (PLM-23169, Improvement Request 207439)
This feature allows the user to create searches with macros and search masks that are class-independent. To create a search mask for this feature a mask from type undefined has to be created and the field Class-independent characteristic area has to be added.
To enable this feature the following preference has to be added to the default.txt.
New document property in Object Browser to show multiple and ambiguous material links (PLM-25105, Improvement Request 214542)
This improvement adds an new icon option for documents. This option works with multiple and ambiguous material links on document.
To enable this improvement following configurations have to be done in the dtype.xml and the customer_icons.txt.
Experimental feature for clone option to adjust the path "upwards" (PLM-25109, Improvement Request 204074)
This experimental feature allows the admin to enable the inheritance of cloning options upwards to an ancestor node.
See also video on comments tab of IR 204074.
To enable this experimental feature to following preference has to be set in the default.txt.
Disclaimer: This feature works for homogeneous configured documents using internal number range only.
Cache clearing enabled to work automatic in background (PLM-25180)
This feature allows the admin to enable an automatic clearing of the SAP ECTR Cache.
For more information please read SCN Wiki-article.
Process "New Version" to assign the new version of a dependent document to the latest master document version (PLM-25435, Improvement Request 214482)
This feature allows the admin to determine the concept of versioning a dependent document. Now the behavior of versioning a dependent document can be set in the dtype for that dependent document.
To enable this feature the option new_version_master_version has to be set in the non-master_options of the dtype of the dependent document.
The behavior of the versioning can be set to as_saved, latest or latest_released
Attribute mapping CAD=>SAP to save field DESCRIPTION language dependent (PLM-25779, Improvement Request 229728)
This feature allows the admin to enhance the attribute mapping from CAD to SAP for language dependent description.
To enable this feature the option language has to be added to the attributes configuration in the attributs-to-sap.xml under customize\config.
Possibility for IPD add-on to use a proxy for HTTP(S) communication (PLM-25881)
This improvement allows the admin to add a proxy server to the settings for the IPD connection.
To enable this improvement the following preference have to be added to the default.txt of the addon.
User is notified if the number of search results is restricted (PLM-26217, Improvement Request 228310)
This feature notifies the user about the restriction of the search results and informs after the search if more results were found.
Variant type-dependent display of icons and customizing the material creation process (PLM-26373, Improvement Request 215410)
This feature enables the admin to add type-dependent configuration for variants to the SAP ECTR customizing.
To enable this feature to following preferences have to be added to the default.txt
And for Icon customizing needs the following preference to be set in the customer_icons.txt under customize\aux-files
Show update indicator in Derive-BOM-UI (PLM-26497)
This improvement shows the user the update indicator in the Derive Bill of Material (MBOM Wizard) Dialog in the tree layout.
To enable this feature the layout MAT_BOM_PREVIEW_DIALOG has to be added in the system-layout.txt.
Expansion of the "working directory" in Desktop window (PLM-26789, Improvement Request 232814)
This feature enhances the check routine for the working directory expansion this enhances the performance.
Context menu on working directory is able to open the Windows Explorer (PLM-26927, Improvement Request 230091)
This feature enables the user to open the working directory of SAP ECTR directly in the Windows Explorer.
To enables this feature the function fnc.open.session.dir has to be added to the popup menu of the working directory in the menu.guidef.
Improved error message when user tries to replace change number of a document (PLM-27014, Improvement Request 223330)
This improvement enhances the error text, when trying to replace the change number for a document.
Error handling for function "Add Original" in Edit mode of object browser (PLM-27015, Improvement Request 221643)
This feature blocks the use of the "Add SAP Original" function, if the document is currently edited in the Object Browser. SAP ECTR will now note in the status bar that the user has to leave editing mode in the Object Browser to use the function Add SAP Original.
Handling of folders and folder icons in Where Referenced containers (PLM-27055, Improvement Request 234313 and 211196)
This feature allows the user to distinguish folders displayed in the Where-Used container by overlay icons.
To activate this feature the overlay icon has to be defined in the customer_icons.txt. For example:
Tabbing through input fields in Import-On-Demand (PLM-27099, Improvement Request 227428)
This feature allows the user to navigate through all input fields in the Import-On-Demand dialog using the TAB key.
Show number of selected objects in title of window-box (PLM-27143, Improvement Request 232658)
This feature informs the user about the number of selected objects in the selection tree.
Handling of function Configuration Read (PLM-27379)
This feature allows the admin to configure the document part and document version of the document for the last used container and layout.
Two new preferences have been added for this feature in default.txt.
Added possibility to suppress dialog "Accept Layout Changes" during system start (PLM-27423, Improvement Request 230048)
This feature allows the admin to suppress the "Accept Layout Changes" dialog and automatically overwrite the layout of SAP ECTR.
Configure the following preference in the default.txt.
Added possibility to cancel a pending macro (PLM-27442, Improvement Request 227914)
This feature allows the user to cancel pending macros with the ESC Button.
Improvement Request 218546)Save redlining / markup for SAP VE Viewer window (
Conversations / redlining / markups can be saved in SAP VE Viewer Window inside of SAP ECTR. The markups are compatible with the ones displayed/created in SAP GUI.
You can activate this by adding the following entry into <ECTR installation>\addons\sapvev\customize\config\default.txt
You also require SAP VE Viewer version 184.108.40.20600 or newer.
Drop-Handler for Generic Objects
Prototype available for 5.2.2. Feature planned for 5.2.3!
To implement a drop-handler for generic objects please follow SCN entry: https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/x/bhnPHw.
5.2.1 / 1.1.1
Function to search for documents in selected folder structure (PLM-19696)
This improvement enables the user to search documents directly in specific folders, for example a folder of a project.
The search option is configured in the default folder popup menu configuration.
This configuration can be found in the file \customize\config\menu.guidef.
Screen handling to remember also last active screen (PLM-25063, Improvement Request 206817)
This feature improves the handling of multi screen setups.
SAP ECTR will now remember the last used screen and start there the next time.
Visibility of dirty-flag overlay icon (PLM-25106, Improvement Request 212492)
This feature improves the visibility of the dirty-flag overlay.
The color of the overlay has been changed from yellow to red.
Help dialog for user in mass change dialog if an entered value is cut at max-length (PLM-25264)
This improvement provides a help dialog for the user. This dialog warns the user if the input exceeds the maximum length for the characteristic.
New property "ECTR_CAD_SORT_ORDER" for ASV objects (PLM-25322, Improvement Request 223378)
This improvement provides the new property "ECTR_CAD_SORT_ORDER" for the connector.
This property shows the sort order of the assemblies in the navigator of the CAD System.
Symbol to indicate that characteristics with intervals are not editable (PLM-25448)
This feature improves the visibility of read-only interval characteristics.
Check of the dirty-flag in the status change process to a status with release flag (PLM-26138)
This improvement provides the user with the possibility to enable or disable the invalid status change check for documents with a "release flag".
Handling of large amount of characteristics in search masks (PLM-26178)
This improvement simplifies the handling of characteristics when maintaining search masks.
The now used dialogs allow to search for class and characteristics now.
Show diff for uploaded DType configuration in the case of mismatching checksum (PLM-26282)
This improvement enables the administrator to see the changes between the local installation and the backend configuration of the DTypes.
The Notice dialog that appears when starting SAP ECTR now has a "Show Differences" button to display the new "Show Differences" dialog.
Keep the last expanded state for containers in Object Browser after restart (PLM-26443, Improvement Request 226818, Improvement Request 232907)
This feature improves the container handling in the Object Browser.
SAP ECTR now remembers the containers that were expanded in the last session.
Display tooltip for search operation containing " [..] " in Classification window (PLM-26796)
This feature improves the search of the Classification window.
SAP ECTR now shows a more suitable tooltip for the interval search.
5.2.0 / 1.1.0
Function dialog to derive Bill of Material via CDESK_MBOM_WIZARD technique (PLM-19236)
This feature allows the user to create or update a Bill of Material (BOM) using the SAP CDESK_MBOM_WIZARD technique with an frontend SAP ECTR Dialog.
First the user can set all needed information in an input dialog.
After setting the information the next dialog shows already existing Bill of Materials and linked Materials of the assembly.
Here the user can create a new Bill of Material or can update existing ones.
The menu for this feature is defined in the menu macro DOC_BOM this macro can be found in the file menu_macros.txt.
This feature has optional settings, this settings can be defined in the default.txt.
Support for HiDPI (High Dots Per Inch) displays (PLM-21899)
This feature enables the user to work with SAP ECTR on 4K-Displays with HiDPI. The font size is automatic defined by OS.
Standard document functions for ASV document-related objects (PLM-24613, Improvement Request 219683)
This feature adds new functions to documents in the ASV which already have DIR.
The feature can be enabled in the file <ECTR installation>\addons\structureview\customize\config\menu.guidef
Function for mass change of materials (PLM-25062, Improvement Request 214594)
This feature enables the user to use the SAP ECTR mass change function on materials.
The feature can be enabled in the file menu.guidef
Disclaimer: The F4 value help feature is not yet available.
New container "Deleted Documents" in the Working Directory (PLM-25110, Improvement Request 214734)
This feature shows a new container in the working directory, which shows the user the files of document where the DIR was deleted in the SAP System.
This feature shows a new function in drop-down menu for change numbers.
This new functions allows the user to create new change number in the active folder of the desktop context.
New containers to show all virtual instances which are related to a document or a CAD variant (PLM-25617)
This feature enables the user to use a container that shows the virtual instances from documents or CAD variants
The feature will be installed with the new addon instances (<ECTR installation>\addons\instances).
In this addon the configuration and the dictionary keys for instances can be maintained.
Previews for generic objects (PLM-25684)
This feature enables the user to show previews for generic objects like virtual instances in SAP ECTR.
The feature will be enabled per default but can be this disabled in the files default.txt.
Display "Markup available Indicator" icon for objects in Originals container (PLM-24180)
This feature enables the user to display "Markup Indicator" icons for redlining objects in the Originals container.
The feature can be enabled in the file default.txt
Support of status type "L" to change document metadata in this status (PLM-23833, Improvement Request 202010)
This feature allows the user to work with the SAP status type "L" in SAP ECTR. It is now possible to change configured fields of the document metadata.
For more information regarding the SAP status type "L" please see note 2055281.
Improved attribute transfer and added language-dependent update of attribute values from SAP to a CAD application (PLM-25023, Improvement Request 212953)
This feature allows the user to define language-dependent attribute mappings for the transfer from SAP to CAD.
In order to enable this feature the parameter "language" has to be added in an attribute section of the file attributes-from-sap.xml
User-authorization check for edit mode in check-read-only process dialog (PLM-24782, Improvement Request 207873)
This feature is added to improve the user experience with SAP ACM and SAP ECTR, it adds an authorization check to the check-read-only dialog.
Implement a possibility to switch on specified filters instead of compound filter button "need action" (PLM-22141, Improvement Request 201685)
This feature enables the user to define compound filter buttons like the "need action" filter.
To enable this feature, configurations need to be made in the file default.txt. See below in the file default.txt a filter example for the ASV of the structure view add-on.
Next, the icons need to be defined in the file customer_icons.txt.
At last, the dictionary keys need to be defined in the file customer.txt
Error handling when changing DTypes of existing documents by non-admin users (PLM-25262, Improvement Request 215511)
This improvement provides more information about the reason why the change DType function of a non-admin user failed.
Now, there will be a reason displayed in the Comment column of the Change DType dialog.
Tooltip on ECN to show description and number (PLM-25108, Improvement Request 214468)
This improvement provides a tooltip for the ECN drop-down container.
Removed the possibility to delete root folders in the Desktop window (PLM-25049, Improvement Request 213432)
This improvement removes the delete function on root folders.
The improvement will be enabled in the file menu.guidef
Display of error message "Error: response code: 404 is not 200(HTTP OK)" (PLM-24634, Improvement Request 218245)
This improvement enables the user to provide the IT admin with more accurate information about certain error messages.
Additionally, a new SAP Wiki page has been created to help the IT admin with these errors.