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Author's profile photo Eugene Khusainov

Invalid characters in SAP BW 3.x: Myths and Reality. Part 1.

There are no invalid characters in texts of infoobjects!

There are several wide-spread delusions (I call them myths) in SAP BW world that even some experienced BWers share. I’d like to list these myths and make some comments.

Myth 1: Everything said (in documentation, help, notes etc.) about valid and invalid characters in SAP BW 3.x is equally applied to both, infoobjects texts and their characteristic values.

It is very well known that the most of errors occurring during data load in SAP BW is related to invalid characters in data inflow. All these errors happen with infoobjects characteristic values. There are some settings need to be made in order to load data with lowercase letters or foreign language symbols. By default, all these precautions spread on infoobjects texts also. It produces the other myth.

Myth 2: Infoobjects texts accept limited number of characters and special settings should be made in order to load texts with lowercase letters.

I’ll show that these two myths are simply delusions. I made a special experiment. First, with Visual Basic I created a txt file with all available characters with ASCII codes from 0 to 255 (non-Unicode system). It doesn’t matter that characters with hexadecimal code 00 – 1F are replaced in the file by ESC symbol, the same happens during file saving as CSV or TXT. Here is created file.


Note that:

  • the first row represents invisible characters (hex 00-1F);
  • there are “!” and “#” signs alone in separate rows;
  • there are both, uppercase and lowercase letters;
  • there are cyrillic letters (foreign language).


  • Lowercase Letters flag for infoobject where I’m going to load data, WAS NOT checked.
  • There is NOTHING set in RSKC.

Here is a result of data load (master data maintenance screen):


As one can see, all data have been loaded without any problems. It proves that infoobjects texts accept ANY CHARACTERS regardless of any settings. Hence, use literal data in infoobjects texts (instead of characteristic values) whenever possible and acceptable. It’ll relieve you from many problems with data loading. The list of myths related to invalid characters in characteristic values is here: Invalid characters in SAP BW 3.x: Myths and Reality. Part 2.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      The cyrillic letters are only available if your system supports Unicode which is available as of 6.20 (BW 3.5). Otherwise you have some problems displaying these characters. Nevertheless a very useful blog. Great job!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thank you Dirk for your valuable comment!

      Best regards,

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      i want to get this data into the cube....


      even i have tried RSKC but no use any conversion roune should be written for these symbols usually we get it in insert symbol in word so ..........

      it's very urgent

      thanks in advance


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hi Dirk,

      I have query on unicode. SAP has given codepages to handle the unicode environment, what is the exact use these code pages.

      As per understanding, If code page is 1146 (simplified notation, German style) to convert the german style data to simplified data so that SAP BI can recognize that. In SAP i seen function module SCP_REPLACE_STRANGE_CHARS to convert Special characters and national characters are replaced in such a way that the text remains reasonably legible.If i give input data as Á£Ä Z=Ä= =Ü to that function module,then it giving output as ALAe Z=Ae= =Ue. Á converted into A and Ä converted into Ae. How this conversion taking place. Where these mapping is maintained. If i want to handle multiple language and multiple special chars in loading, how can shift b/w the code pages, because each codepage will do certain conversions. conversion of german, conversion of latin, conversion japanees have individual code pages.

      If i want to develop my own codepage how it possible. As mentioned above Á converted into A and Ä converted into Ae. Actually where this mapping is maintained(Table).

      Please throw some light on this.
      Rajanikanth Reddy

      Author's profile photo Francisco Milán Campos
      Francisco Milán Campos
      Why am I getting '#'s instead of the characters 'á', 'é', 'í', 'ó', 'ú' and 'ñ' while loading data to BW? What do I need to do to correct it?
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Article indispensable for any analyst BW, our community needs more materials as well.

      Thank`s Eugene

      Author's profile photo Mayank Suyal
      Mayank Suyal

      It really helped, Thanks Eugene