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IDocs: A Guide for New Developers – Part 4

Anthony Cecchini is the President of Information Technology Partners (ITP), an SAP consulting company  headquartered in Pennsylvania. ITP offers comprehensive planning, resource allocation,  implementation, upgrade, and training assistance to   companies. Anthony has over 17 years of  experience in SAP R/3 business process analysis and SAP systems integration. His  areas of expertise  include SAP NetWeaver integration; ALE development; RFC, BAPI, IDoc, Dialog, and Web Dynpro  development; and customized Workflow development. You can reach him at [email protected].


The SAP IDoc Technology

In this month we will continue our look at SAP IDocs and the IDoc Technology by exploring how we can use the new custom IDoc extension we created in the last blog. If you need a refresher on how to extend an IDoc CLICK HERE

Create an IDoc Message Type

The message type determines the technical structure of the message, along with the data contained. Through configuration it will also determine the process flow involved in a “Distributed environment”.  The Message Type controls Process Code, which in turn drives a Function Module to derive the content of the message in an OUTBOUND scenario or execute the desired SAP process in an INBOUND scenario. Finally, it also controls how the IDocs will be processed (batch, immediately etc). The former is accomplished in conjunction with Partner Profile configuration which we will discuss later in the blog.

For starters – there exist many delivered standard IDoc message types predefined by SAP. Here are a few of them as an example……

 SAP Object               IDoc Message Type      

CUSTOMER                     DEBMAS
VENDOR                          CREMAS
MATERIAL                        MATMAS
SALES ORDER                ORDRSP
INVOICE                           INVOIC

We can also create a customized logical message type according to our specifc requirements. Since we are using the invoice here we could use the existing message type INVOIC, but I want to show you how to create your own logical message type, so we will create a custom one. We will use ZINVOIC as our custom message type.

Create a new Custom IDoc Message Type using transaction WE81

Execute transaction WE81. Enter into Change mode by clicking the  button. Hit New Entries as shown in the screen below.

IDoc Logical Message

You will then be able to enter our NEW Custom Message Type along with a description and hit SAVE . See below…

IDoc Custom Message Type

When you hit SAVE, you will be prompted by SAP to create a transport. For our purposes I am creating a transport with the text “DO NOT TRANSPORT” as this is for education purposes and there is no real requirement behind this.

IDoc Message Type Transport

That is it! We have created a custom IDoc Message type. Now we have to link this new message type to our IDoc Extension we created earlier.


Create a New IDoc Assignment using transaction WE82

In order to use the new IDoc extension we created, we need to assign or link the Custom Message type to it. In order to this we use transaction WE82. Lets look at the screen below. Enter into Change mode by clicking the  button. Hit New Entries.

IDoc WE82 New Entries

Next we enter in the information. So we enter our custom Message type ZINVOIC,  the Basic IDoc (delivered or IDoc Type we extended) INVOIC02 and our Extension ZINVOIC02. For release I put 700,  but for you, please enter your ABAP AS release.

IDoc WE82 Assignment

Hit the Save Button and you’ll be prompted again to use the Transport we created previously. Go ahead an use it.

IDoc Transport for WE82


Create an IDoc Entry for the Partner Profile using transaction WE20

The next step in configuring this IDoc Interface would be to create an entry in the Partner Profile using transaction WE20. Lets take a look at the transaction. Please note this will be an Outbound Invoice, so our partner could be a Customer, but will likely be the Middleware your company is using such as PI (Process Integration, formerly know as XI ). We will choose an XI Partner. Expand the tree for Customer (see bellow)

IDoc - WE20 Screen #1


We will Choose the XI_EDI Customer for this Blog.

IDoc - WE20 Screen #2

Next, we need to click on the to create a new entry. Again,since this is an outbound Interface, we need to be working in the “OUTBOUND PARAMETERS” section shown below. Take note there is already an entry for ORDRSP (Order Response), this is one of the delivered Message Types we discussed at the beginning of this Blog.

IDoc Outbound Parameters

Lets add our Entry… and take a look at each of the areas noted in the screen shot in turn.

IDoc Outbound Entry

First, take a look at #1. You will notice we used a Partner Type of BP. This is the Bill-To Pary and makes sense as this is an Invoice.

Next, #2 is the Custom Message type we created. Note the description to the right of the entry.

Next, #3 is the Receiver Port and Package size. The Port Specifies how the IDocs are transferred. There are various technical possibilities for this communication known as port types.  While the Package size describes the number of IDocs to send in one package or call to the Middleware.

Next #4 is used to either send the IDoc immediately (Real -Time) or to collect them and use a batch job (RSEOUT00) to send at a defined interval (Near Real – Time).

Finally #5 shows the delivered Basic IDoc and our Extension that has the new Fields.

IDoc Processing and Message Control

To complete this outbound Entry it will be necessary to fill in the Message Control Tab. While it is not my intent to teach this subject in this blog, a rudimentary understanding will be necessary.

What is Message Control ?

Message control is a mechanism in which you can trigger the outputs based on certain conditions . As SAP puts it is is “The output or follow up processing of partner-dependent messages is automated via Message Control. The application then calls Message Control via the specified interfaces.” There can be different forms of output like Workflow, print output, IDoc dispatch or even a fax. This is normally configured for the transactional data being entered and requirement being addressed.

SD and MM applications use message control for the message output. Message control is also referred as Output control.

Follow the link  Message Control Explained for a detailed information on Message Control including how to configure it.

OK, lets end this month’s blog by adding the details of the Message Control Tab and save our entry. Take a look at the screen below

IDoc Output Control


These three key fields –  Application, Message type and Process Code assigned in the message control tab together uniquely identify a message type which uniquely identifies an IDoc type.

Application: The Application specified in message control determines the output type and uniquely identifies a message type which can be assigned uniquely to an IDoc type. For Example: ‘EA’ is used for ‘Purchasing RFQ’ in Materials Management (MM) and V3′ is used for ‘Billing’ in Sales and Distribution (SD).

Message type: Message type along with the application uniquely identifies a message type which can be assigned uniquely to an IDoc type.
For Example: ‘LAVA’ = ‘Shipping notification’ in dispatch (application ‘V2’).

Process code: The Process code is used by an IDoc Interface to determine the application Function Module which converts the SAP document into an IDoc.For Example: ME10: Purchase order (MM)

Here are the values we have  chosen:

The application is V3: Billing
The Message type RD00: Invoice
The process code SD09: INVOIC: Invoice

The function module which is embedded in each process code follows a naming convention “IDOC_<OUTPUT / INPUT >_NAME OF MESSAGE  TYPE”. For our example the delivered Message Type for an Invoice is INVOIC and this is an Outbound scenario, so the function module will be “IDOC_OUTPUT_INVOIC”. (If this was a completely “Brand New” interface and not an Extension, we would need to create and configure our on function module. This is outside the scope of this blog.)

Lets double click on the Process Code in this screen to see the configured Function Module we will be using.

IDoc Process Code

We would then be taken to Transaction WE41.

IDoc WE41



So in summary, we needed to create a New Message Type ZINVOIC.  We then assigned our IDoc Extension to the new Message Type. We configured the Partner Profile to use our new IDoc Extension. We also touched on Message Control for Outbound IDoc scenarios.

To read the part 1 of the Blog click HERE

To read the part 2 of the Blog click HERE

To read the part 3 of the Blog click HERE

In the final part of this blog series we will take a look at how find an EXIT or Enhancement to populate the data in the new fields of our  IDoc Extension.

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