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Author's profile photo Babu Jayendran

Y-Code or Why Code?

SAP’s whitepaper on “SAP Standard Custom Code Management ” dated May 2009 on page 4 ‘Management Summary’ states , inter alia:


“SAP custom developments, enhancements and even modifications of SAP software are not rare at companies today. They are implemented in order to extend the functionality of the SAP standard software and to adjust it to the company-specific needs and business processes. This is often needed and a legitimate intention. But over time such changes very often become one of the main cost drivers and performance bottlenecks. Additionally, custom code is developed despite standard enhancement possibilities or due to insufficient information about standard functionality that is regularly provided by SAP. Besides, custom code can become obsolete over time and developments that are not used anymore are still maintained. Poor software quality often causes problems in productive environments and drives costs for improvement and adaptation. ……..”


In this context, the proliferation of customized transaction codes is a cause for concern in many organizations. It is understandable when customized codes are created to cater to a business need of a specific region or country which is not directly addressed by SAP. However, when customized codes are created “…due to insufficient information about standard functionality…..” it is an issue that has to be addressed. I do believe that many YCodes being created today fall in this category.

SAP as a product has grown leaps and bounds and today it has reached a stage where it is practically impossible to find an individual who knows the product in its entirety. As the saying goes “two heads are better than one” and it may be prudent to have a team of experienced consultants who ‘brain storm’ the need for a YCode before it is created. This additional time spent can help address the issue mentioned in the quote above “…over time such changes very often become one of the main cost drivers and performance bottlenecks….”.

Going forward we should ask ourselves the question….. Is it a YCode or Why Code?

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      Author's profile photo Kenneth Murray
      Kenneth Murray
      Very well put.  I am very surprised more people have not brought this topic up.  I have often felt that a lot of wasted effort and money has been spent "due to insufficient information about standard functionality that is regularly provided by SAP".  It is very sad that SAP does not put more effort into documenting their product and development environment.  If developers/consultants/Analyssts have access to in depth documention they can develop great applications, leading to happy customers.  Developers should not have to struggle to understand interfaces.  Customers pay a lot of money for this product and should demand better documentation even down to the developer leve.  Just look at the lack of documentation provided in SAP's Function Modules.  Thanks for bringing this up.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      On a side note or addition:
      There is a lot of custom code that has been written that is no longer needed.  However, it works.  There is not time to look at it.  Nor is there projects to eliminate it.   It simply accumulates even if the new functionality is offered by SAP.  In some cases, we don't know that the new functionality is available. 

      More to maintain, more to upgrade...  The cycle continues. 

      "We" have talked about this issue here as well.  However, it's not as easy as bringing in consultants to help.  The consultants don't always know the SAP functionality.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Your blog is timely and thought provoking.
      Oftentimes i use to get surprised that y or z code /programme was written even though the standard functionalities were supporting the requirements.Redundancy is thus a serious issue that has been least addressed.The side effect of the Y /Z codes are that the abappers dont percieve the impact that it can have on other areas;as such Y/Z codes are by and large lead to side effects which are characterized by performance issues,interface problems to name a few.
      While Y/Z codes are indispensible as you have rightly mentioned the question "why" should be addressed to.In addition "what" - meaning what implications /adverse impact it can bring about too should be addressed.

      My 2 cents

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Really?  At my work the Business Analyst decides what needs to be coded and what doesn't.  Then they hand the tasks that need to be coded to the ABAPer.  

      As for performance issues - they usually happen when we call SAP code - go figure.

      Custom Programming is ALWAYS the last resort.  I tend to ask a bunch of questions prior to doing programming.  However, I have been told to just program what was asked of me.  (Not always the case, but it is sometimes.)  What about those times where the developer does not know the whole process?  How could the developer suggest anything besides coding.

      We know the issues very well.  Part of the things we have to do is maintain "old" code.   Work with it during upgrades, notes, etc.  Performance is always the first priority.

      My 2 cents,

      An ABAPer