In one of my previous posts, I briefly touched upon all the different levels of Changing SAP Standard, where we also came to know about Enhancements. In this post, lets focus solely on Enhancements in SAP, understand the underlying concept and list down the different techniques followed by different SAP applications to enable enhancements.
Concept of Enhancement
Underlying concept behind enhancements in SAP is very simple. In a nutshell, the concept is as follows: SAP delivers a standard version of software comprised of several repository objects. SAP anticipates that this standard version of its software may not be fit for use right away. So, it leaves provision in its repository objects for customers to plugin their developed repository objects. The provisions made by SAP keep looking for the repository objects plugged-in by customers. With these plugged-in objects, the enhanced version of SAP software becomes fit for customer’s business process. This concept can be visualized as depicted below:
Depending on the type of repository objects which need to be enhanced and also the influences of the technological advancements, there are various techniques using which enhancement provisions are made in SAP software. Since, SAP ensures downward compatibility during software upgrades, SAP has to keep supporting the enhancement provisions made in past using deprecated enhancement techniques. As a technical consultant, we should be aware of all enhancement techniques.
The major enhancement techniques used in various SAP applications are listed below:
- Enhancing Tables/Structures using Append Structure & Customizing Includes
- Enhancing Data Elements using Transaction CMOD
- Customer Exits – Function Module Exits, Menu Exits and Screen Exits
- Business Transaction Events
- Business Add-Ins (BAdI)
- Enhancement Framework