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Deleting substance in combination with change master records

Former Member
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We create substance masters using a change master record. When changing a substance master, we also use a different change master. So we have substance masters with specific time segments containing different information. Question is how SAP is handling the deletion of this substance masters in relation with the time segment. We noticed that (depended on the key date or the change master), some times only a specific time segment of the substance master s deleted and sometimes the complete substance master is deleted.

We couldn't figure out the way to go forward for deleting a specific time segment of the substance master and deleting the complete substance master. Has somebody more insight how this works an what to do?



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Accepted Solutions (1)

Active Contributor
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Dear Paul

using "change numbers" in EH&S is quite tricky; frankly: do not use "change numbers"; the topic is very complex (if you use change numbers you need really know what is going on !!). You can not really explain the use of change number to "end users" and the use does have an impact in many submodules of EH&S

Let us try to generate a simple example:

Let us assume you have created 01.01.2012 a REAL_SUB and added an identifier (NAM, PROD). E.g. "Gas"

Now you have prepared the necessary customizing etc. and change numbers are available. Normally this is done on a "daily basis"; that means per day one change number exists.

Now you have generated e..g. a change number valid 01.06.2012 (and afterwards !). You use CG02 together with this change number in "edit" mode. You delete the identifier "Gas" and save.

What will happen? Answer: if you use any "key date" before 01.06.2012 in CG02 you will see the identifier "gas" on the REAL_Sub, but if you use any key date after 01.06.2012 (including 01.06.2012) you will not be able to see the identifier in cg02 any more.

Please define what do you mean by "delete the complete substance master"?


PS: use my simple example (may be on sandbox or similar system) to understand EH&S internal logic if change numbers are used. You need to use se16 !

Try this: figure out which ESTRH entry represent the REAL_Sub. Figure out by using ESTRI which identifier is linked to ESTRH (deleted or not !!): Check the content of ESTRI and may be you will understand how change numbers have "impact" on EH&S tables

Be aware of the fact that may be you can explain the effect of use of change numer in context of maintence of identifers, references etc.) but if have doubt that you will be able to explain the use of it if we talk about a VAT like density or flashpoint.

Be aware of the fact that you can use change numbers as well in maintenance of phrases. Don't combine that with cg02 activities; you will feel really unhappy after some time

Change numbers should only be used in "daily" maintenance in CG02 if you have

1.) not many users in EH&S

2.) they are all highly experienced in EH&S (they know and understand the effect of the "key date")

3.) not many processes in EH&S (e.g. DG filling etc.)

The use Change numbers in EH&S is very risky, not very transparent and hard to understand

Former Member
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Hi Cristoph,

We need the change number to manage the availability of time segments in the specification masters and have defined business processes where the use of a change number is embedded. The change number is mandatory and the business users will have clear instructions which change number to use.

After writing the question, I figured out in what way the deletion pocess is working. I will describe it shortly, so if other people will need it, they know how to operate.

When using a change number, additional records will be created for the different substance tables involved. The record contains the change number and the relevant time segment (actually only the start date of the change number). If you maintain a specification master with more than 1 change number, the tables contain for each change number a specific record with the content relevant for that change.

It is possible to delete a specific change of the specification master related to a change number by using the standard deletion function in the workbench. Be aware to do the deletion using the relevant change number number or the relevant key date of the change you want to delete. After saving the specification master will still be available, only the relevant change (time segment record) will be deleted.

If you want to delete the complete specification master, you have to figure out (using change log) which change numbers were used to maintain the specification master in the past. Next you have to execute the deletion of the specification master for each relevant change number as described above.

There is a specific situation, if the specification master is used in a link, reference or composition. First you have to remove the relationship in all relevant specification masters using the specific change master that is initially used to create the relationship. After this, you can delete the specification master as described above.

I agree that you need a very strict procedure using the change master, or otherwise you will have a lot of extra work to get all working correctly.



Active Contributor
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Dear Paul

thanks for your very good explanation of the "change number" logic. Once again I will try to explain why we haven't ever used change numbers:

if you prepare a VAT like "blue" using change number as explained by you you get entries in EH&S internal tables referring to the change number. Now in cg02 you can try to get "technical" informations regarding the data record (you will get the recn); as my experience using change number is quite old you should get an "information" which change number has been used (and not only the recn).

Now it depends on your "real" set up of change numbers. One option (as explained) is to generaate one change number per day; now it depends a little bit on "how you manage" the change numbers. If you "do not delete" the old ones the user can use "any one" (old and new) in your daily maintenance process.

Let us make an "example".

You have one change number 01.01.2010; recent date would be 01.01.2013 (and clearly we have a change number valid 01.01.2013); if the user can still select the old "change number" (which is valid 01.01.2010) in edit mode then data records can still be "adapted" using exatly this change number (independing in theory by the fact which change number has been used to generate the data record); Now the user can do "anything" what he would like to do so; e.g. change "blue" to "green", remove the data record etc.

I would need a high amount of time to explain the "end user" the situation in "cg02" using "key date" etc. regarding this example

As mentioned by your self: topic like "reference", "inheritance", assigned material numbers etc. are as well complex in the context of change numbers

Change numbers should be used only (in my opinion; if you do not want to get a "mess" (even if you believe you users are trained) in special context. In most cases the use of change numbers is "DG" oriented

Be aware of the fact that (if i remember it correct) change numbers are "daily" oriented (there is no time stamp): a user can do as many changes in the same "Vat" using the "same" change number

It is "nearly" impossible to "explain" really the many "recns" and inserts/updates which are generated (e.g. by analysing the change docs etc.)

I can only congratulate you and your team and your company :-)) that you seems to be able to use "change numbers" sucessfully without disturbance in maintenance and subsequent processes (and there are many !! (DG, HSM, SVT .....).

As I have not invested the topic (the use of change numbers) since years: my assumption would be that the "BAPIs" will "slow" down in selecting (or changing or deleting) the data records in question (C1F2/C1F5 Function modules); therefore I would assume that your perfomance might be "bad"; any subsequent process need to reads the "actual" data (valid for the key date) like WWI process etc. If you used "heavily" the "change number" process you generate many data records (many entries in ESTRI, ESTDU, ESTVA etc.); this is a further con (in my opionion) of the use of change numbers


PS: in my opinion: if you use really sucessfuly the "change numbers" in daily maintenance business you and your team should be "nominated" as the "EH&S champions of the world" ;-)) Congratulation !

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