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Optimize release cycles by organizing your SAP transports

CTS: Change and Transport System

The Change and Transport System (CTS) is a tool built into SAP systems. CTS helps organize development projects in ABAP Workbench and customizing and then transporting the changes between the SAP systems in the system landscape. Everyone working on developing or maintaining processes within an SAP system works with (parts of) CTS. This includes functional consultants, technical consultants, and system administrators.


About projects in CTS

Using CTS projects allows planning development work and customizing activities in structured groups. Changes are structured independently of each other in different projects and can be imported independently into target systems. Projects are a valuable tool for going live with different projects at different times, linking development work in a single area, or simply keeping track of all transports for a specific change or release cycle.

Creating Projects

Transaction SPRO_ADMIN

In order to enjoy more extensive project management functionality than just grouping transports, it is best to create a CTS Project based on an IMG (Customizing) Project. Achieve this via transaction SPRO_ADMIN.

    • Execute transaction SPRO_ADMIN, click the left-most button, Create Project (F5), and fill in a project name. Note that project names are limited to 10 characters.

      Creating a project with transaction SPRO_ADMIN


  • Add a project title/description. Optionally define other attributes such as scope and team members.

  • Save the project via the Save button or the keyboard combination Ctrl+S.

  • Enable CTS functions for the IMG project to allow managing transport requests. Open the Transp. Requests tab and click the button labeled ‘Active CTS Functions’.

    The button 'Activate CTS Functions' transaction SPRO_ADMIN


    Activating CTS project functions in transaction SPRO_ADMIN

That’s it. The newly created project can now be assigned to transport requests.


The report works just as its description suggests: ‘Use CTS Projects Without IMG’. The report allows creating, deleting, and editing CTS projects and their descriptions without creating a corresponding IMG project first.
It’s important to note that customers cannot use these ‘barebone’ CTS projects for fully-fledged project management. The reports' documentation says the following:

This report program was written for temporary usage of the CTS project functions. You normally use the IMG Project System to create CTS projects. This report lets you use the CTS project functions without involving the IMG Project System. You can create, edit and complete test projects. This report is in no way intended to replace a proper project system.

Apart from the above, the report can show a list of all requests for a given project and the Project Piece List. The project piece list contains all of the objects impacted in a project. When requests are released, the object list of the request is added to the piece list.


Creating a project with report RSWBO_AUX_PROJECT


To create a project with RSWBO_AUX_PROJECT, first, execute the report and press the Create button (1). Next, enter a description for the project (2) and confirm the creation. That’s it. The newly created project can now be assigned to transport requests.

Assigning projects to transport requests

After creating at least one CTS project, transport requests can be assigned to a project in the Transport Organizer during the creation or editing of a project.

Assigning a project during transport request creation in the Transport Organizer


Assigning a project when changing a transport request in the Transport Organizer

As mentioned by mfourmy_2016 in the comments below, it is possible to make assigning a project mandatory when creating a transport request. This is achieved by changing the settings for attribute SAP_CTS_PROJECT in transaction SE03 (Transport Organizer Tools) under "Display/Change Request Attributes".

CTS Projects vs IMG Projects

There are two options for CTS projects. Barebone CTS projects are an excellent tool for release management. They allow organizing and bundling transport requests and easily importing them all in one go. IMG projects with CTS functions enabled, on the other hand, offer the same features plus a bunch of extra project management features. These include defining project scope, specifying projects start and end dates, and assigning team members to projects.

In conclusion, creating IMG projects is best practice and recommended when additional project management features are desirable. However, if your organization does not yet use IMG projects and you are looking for a way to organize transports as a development team, then basic CTS projects may well be sufficient. They will allow you to experiment without the extra bells and whistles.

Further reading


This post touches on projects and transports in SAP. You learned how to create projects and how to use them to group transport requests. You also know the difference between IMG projects and CTS projects. Want more information? Be sure to check out the links above.

Are you already using projects to manage releases at your company or customer?
Got any tips to share? Post it in the comments 👇
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