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I am extremely happy to share with you our extended support for custom IDocs we delivered a few weeks ago. We have heard multiple times from you as our customers that you appreciate the additional semantic information (like codelists and qualifier markers) we provide as part of our standard IDocs but that you miss a comparable offering for customer-extended IDocs. In this blog post I want to give you a short overview of this new feature and how to use it.

New Custom Type System "Custom IDocs"

In the past, Integration Advisor (IA) had offered one custom type system Custom Messages as a generic container for custom messages based on XML. While it was possible to upload custom IDocs, they were treated like any other XML messages.

Now you have an additional option to create and use a new custom type system Custom IDocs. (Before the first usage you need to activate it via the Add button.)

You can now go ahead and upload your IDoc structures in this custom type system. Use cases for this could be:

  • Customer-proprietary IDoc structures

  • Customer-extended IDocs based on a SAP standard IDoc

  • SAP standard IDoc structures not available in Integration Advisor (e.g., IDocs from industry solutions).

Expected input format would be an IDoc-XSD which you can download from either Enterprise Service Repository (ESR) or from S/4HANA backend via transactions WE60 or WE63. (Note that IDoc-XSDs from other sources or tools might not work.)

Any custom message created in this new type system will be considered and processed as an IDoc. Particularly, the following optimizations you know from Standard IDocs in Integration Advisor will also apply to your Custom IDocs:

  • Technical hierarchy level IDOC (below root node) removed

  • XML attributes BEGIN and SEGMENT removed

Please note that these technical details are required for IDoc adapters in SAP middleware but are of little interest for a typical Business Expert. Therefore, MIG Editor in Integration Advisor shows an IDoc without these technical details. (Please note that at runtime, for inbound IDocs IA preprocessing step will remove these technical nodes before validation and mapping while for outbound IDocs IA postprocessing step will add these technical nodes again before sending the IDoc to an SAP backend system.)

There is, although, one structural difference between Standard IDocs and Custom IDocs in Integration Advisor: In Standard IDocs, the so called Segment Groups are represented by an extra XML hierarchy level. This approach is not followed for Custom IDocs because there are certain conflicts when extension segments are added to an SAP standard segment.

Additional semantic information for customer-extended IDocs

Integration Advisor puts a special focus on business semantics of B2B messages and particularly wants to address Business Experts. Therefore, all standard IDocs in Integration Advisor (in difference to most other middleware tools) do not only come with purely technical, structural information but also with additional semantic information such as:

  1. Name (short-text documentation)

  2. Definition (long-text documentation)

  3. Code Values (incl. documentation)

  4. Qualifier Markers

  5. Date Time Format information (if provided by the S/4HANA backend system via ABAP Data Type)

In the past, such additional semantic information (except Name) were not available for any IDocs uploaded as custom messages. Reason for this is the fact that such information is not available in the IDoc-XSD files.

We are particularly pleased to report another big improvement: for Custom IDocs type system there is a new option (tab Messages, button Add > Extended Standard Message). Using this option you can upload a customer-extended IDoc message (using an IDoc-XSD file) and then reference that IDoc to its underlying standard IDoc.

As a result, the additional semantic information (codelists, qualifiers, long-text documentation and DateTime information) are copied from the referenced standard IDoc to the custom IDoc. Refer above screenshot for example.

Please note that this additional information will only be copied for the standard segments (from the standard IDoc). Custom segments cannot be enriched using this option. For custom segments, you can manually enrich it in your Message Implementation Guideline (MIG).

Simplified reuse of standard IDoc codelists

And there is another small feature which will help you work more efficiently with your Custom IDocs.

You can now directly reuse all standard IDoc codelists within your MIGs.

In the above screenshot you see how IDoc codelist IDDAT can be added to your custom IDoc MIG. This is particularly useful for custom segments which are not automatically enriched. It is no longer necessary to define MIG Codelists for reusing such a standard IDoc codelist.


This blog post summarizes our new offering to define your own custom IDocs in Integration Advisor and to benefit from the additional semantic information (for customer-extended IDocs). This will help you to work even more efficiently with custom IDocs in Integration Advisor.

Further reading