Not to sound too gushy…but there are some cool things SAP does that I felt like sharing. Maybe I like them because I started my career programming an old school mainframe, where every change was a program change. Need a new field on your screen? That would be a program change. Need a new field on a report? Another programming change. Need to add extra value to include or exclude on a report? You guessed it….another program change. SAP makes operations like that go away. So, now I would like to share with you my “Top 5” favorite things about SAP.

Number 5 – Many of the transactions allow you change the layouts to your own layout.

What a way to customize and turn a transaction into something that meets my own needs, not a ‘one size fits all‘ concept. Plus, I can save it and filter further if I want to. Best of all I can share my layout with my colleagues and they do not need to start from scratch!

Number 4 – The option to dump to excel.

You simply could not do this on a mainframe system (yet another programming request). Any transaction result I get back, I always look to see if I can see the excel icon to download. It provides instant gratification of data dump. Don’t see that icon? Never fear! Check the List drop down option from the top menu – then Select /Export/Spreadsheet. Don’t see that either? One last hidden gem, the System drop down option almost always has List/Save/Local file that will get you there. I can’t think of any transaction where I haven’t been able to dump to a file at some point. If there is one, it’s definitely the exception. I have even seen it as an option off of the print listing in some transactions. A/R reports any way you want them? Very convenient.

Number 3 – I can quickly open a session, even while my current transaction is running.

You no longer have to wait until a transaction finishes. Mainframe systems make you wait until your process finishes, tying up your session, but not in SAP! You may be clocking, but all you have to do is go to the upper left hand corner of your screen, and click on a tiny white square with another square inside it. It’s very small and nondescript. But when you click on it, a drop down window will open up, where you see ‘Create Session’. Actually, if you see this little symbol ANYWHERE, even in a pop up window, you can click on it and create a new session.

Number 2 – SAP allows some transactions the ability to modify what entry fields are available prior to execution.

For example, within the FBL5N transaction (Accounts Receivable lookup) you can change your selection fields for looking up data through the dynamic selections option. It’s the ‘rainbow’ icon at the top. Literally, you can pick any field you want at the Customer Master Level, the Company Code Level, or the Document level to modify how you want to look up information. It’s a truly dynamic way of manipulating which FI documents you want to retrieve. Don’t see a field you need? Add it and go! The SE16n transaction (table lookup) takes it one step further by literally re-calibrating the screen layout with the entry fields you selected from the Settings drop down /fields for selection option.

Number 1 – Frequent Transactions

In the old mainframe world, I had to go through 4 to 5 screens before I get to the screen I need, in SAP one can add their frequently used transaction as a favorite and viola its right there, easy access. On the SAP Easy Access, screen drop down on Favorite and use option ‘Insert Transaction’, key in the transaction code once and it will be in your Favorite for future use. If you want to get more savvy, remember the transaction code and you can enter it in the text box on the top left side of the screen.

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What is your FAVORITE thing about SAP?