Customer feedback shows that BRFplus formula expressions are heavily used. Next to decision tables they are probably the most popular concept.

Often customers do not make use of texts to simplify the user experience. In case of formulas, texts could be used to show the particular calculation step. For example take a look at the following screenshot. What do you find more clear, the explanatory text “Apply Promotion” or the formula text “Shelf Price / (1 + Customer Discount)”?

As you can see in the screenshot below, the text shown next to the formula icon is taken from the expression’s Text attribute. However, in this example the Text attribute simply repeats the formula itself, rather than describing the formula’s purpose on a higher level of abstraction. Note that good use of texts can make a big difference in the acceptance of the solution by business-side experts.

From the various projects in which I have been involved, I took home mainly the following three requirements with respect to the formula expression:

- Text editor instead of point and click interface
- Improved formula parser for better error messages
- More formula functions (e.g. for string and timepoint operations)

**Text Editor for Formulas**

The first requirement is part of our backlog for 2012. We plan to offer much improved UIs for trees, rules, and also for formulas. If things work out as planned, customers will be able to install a support package on NW 7.0 Enhancement Package 3 (NW703) or NW 7.31 (NW731). With the support package, they will get the option to activate a new kind of user interfaces. The following lab screenshot shows how the formula could look like. We expect a lot of improvement especially from the in-place menus and the ability to write the formula in a powerful text editor without the need to point and click as known from today’s UI.

**Formula Parser**

With SP 3 of NW 7.0 Enhancement Package 3 (NW703) or NW 7.31 (NW731), BRFplus returns better and much more detailed messages in case of formula errors. A new formula parser has been written to better analyze the formula strings and return precise information about the nature and position of an error. Take a look at the next screenshot for an example.

**Formula Functions**

The second requirement is much easier to address. Via SAP notes, we have recently added many more formula functions and we will continue to do so. Whenever you miss one of the formula functions listed below, you may search in OSS notes and install them on your systems. However, we did not only add new formula functions but also improved the existing ones, for example by making them more flexible with respect to input data.

**Date and Time Functions**

Formula Function |
Description |

DT_ADD_DAYS | Add days to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_HOURS | Add hours to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_MINUTES | Add minutes to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_MONTHS | Add months to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_QUARTERS | Add quarters to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_SECONDS | Add seconds to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_WEEKS | Add weeks to a Timepoint |

DT_ADD_YEARS | Add years to a Timepoint |

DT_CONVERT_TIMEPOINT_TYPE | Convert a Timepoint into another type |

DT_DURATION_DIFF | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to unit (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_DAYS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to days (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_HOURS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to hours (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT | Returns the time difference in the specified unit (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_DAYS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to days (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_HOURS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to hours (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_MINUTES | Calculate difference in seconds, then conv to minutes (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_MONTHS | Calculate difference in months (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_QUARTERS | Calculate difference in months, then conv to quarters (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_SECONDS | Calculate difference in seconds |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_WEEKS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to weeks (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_INT_YEARS | Calculate difference in month, then convert to years (integer) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_MINUTES | Calculate difference in seconds, then conv to minutes (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_MONTHS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to months (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_QUARTERS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to quarters (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_SECONDS | Calculate difference in seconds |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_WEEKS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to weeks (decimals) |

DT_DURATION_DIFF_YEARS | Calculate difference in seconds, then convert to years (decimals) |

DT_GET_CURRENT_DATE | Returns the current local system date |

DT_GET_CURRENT_DT | Returns the current local system date & time |

DT_GET_CURRENT_DT_OFFSET_UTC | Returns the current loc. system date & time w. offset to UTC |

DT_GET_CURRENT_TIME | Returns the current local system time |

DT_GET_CURRENT_UTC | Returns the current global UTC timestamp |

DT_GET_DAY_OF_WEEK | Returns day of week for a given TP as number: MO=1… SU=7 |

DT_GET_DAY_OF_YEAR | Returns day of year for a given TP as number |

DT_GET_FIRST_DAY_OF_WEEK | Returns the calendar setting ‘First Day of the Week’ |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_DATE | Returns local date in system time zone |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_DT | Returns local datetime in system time zone |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_DT_OFFSET_UTC | Returns local datetime w. offset to UTC in system time zone |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_TIME | Returns local time in system time zone |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_TIMEZONE | Get time zone of system (from DB-table TTZCU) |

DT_GET_SYSTEM_TIMEZONE_TEXT | Get text of system time zone |

DT_GET_TIMEZONE_DATE | Returns the local date for a time zone |

DT_GET_TIMEZONE_DT | Returns the local datetime for a time zone |

DT_GET_TIMEZONE_DT_OFFSET_UTC | Returns the local datetime w. offset to UTC for a time zone |

DT_GET_TIMEZONE_TEXT | Get text of time zone |

DT_GET_TIMEZONE_TIME | Returns local time for a time zone |

DT_GET_USER_DATE | Returns local date in users time zone |

DT_GET_USER_DT | Returns local datetime in users time zone |

DT_GET_USER_DT_OFFSET_UTC | Returns local datetime w. offset to UTC in user time zone |

DT_GET_USER_TIME | Returns local time in user time zone |

DT_GET_USER_TIMEZONE | Get time zone (sy-zonlo) of user (sy-uname) |

DT_GET_USER_TIMEZONE_TEXT | Get text of users time zone |

DT_GET_UTC_TIMESTAMP | Returns the current UTC timestamp |

DT_HAS_53_WEEKS | Returns TRUE if a year has 53 weeks |

DT_IS_ACTIVE | Checks whether the Timepoint is active w.r.t the calendar |

DT_IS_LEAP_YEAR | Returns TRUE if year is a leap year |

DT_IS_NULL | Returns TRUE if a Timepoint is NULL (date part is 00010101) |

DT_IS_VALID | Checks the validity of a Timepoint |

DT_MAX | Finds the later Timepoint of the given two Timepoints |

DT_MIN | Finds the earlier Timepoint of the given two Timepoints |

DT_NEXT_ACTIVE | Returns the next active TP if the given TP is not active |

DT_PART_DATE | Returns the date part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_DAYS | Returns the day part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_HOURS | Returns the hour part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_MINUTES | Returns the minute part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_MONTHS | Returns the month part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_QUARTER | Returns the quarter (i.e. 1, 2, 3 or 4) from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_SECONDS | Returns the second part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_TIME | Returns the time part from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_WEEKS | Returns the week of the year from a Timepoint |

DT_PART_YEARS | Returns the year part from a Timepoint |

DT_PREVIOUS_ACTIVE | Returns the previous active TP if the given TP is not active |

DT_ROUND_TO_FIRST | Rounds the Timepoint to first w.r.t the given time unit |

DT_ROUND_TO_LAST | Rounds the Timepoint to last w.r.t the given time unit |

DT_ROUND_TO_MIDDLE | Rounds the Timepoint to middle w.r.t the given time unit |

DT_SET_CALENDAR_WEEK | Set the calendar week for a Timepoint |

DT_SET_DAY_OF_THE_YEAR | Set the day of the year for a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_DAYS | Set the days part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_HOURS | Set the hours part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_MINUTES | Set the minutes part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_MONTHS | Set the months part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_SECONDS | Set the seconds part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_PART_YEARS | Set the years part of a Timepoint |

DT_SET_QUARTER_OF_THE_YEAR | Set the quarter of the year for a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_DAYS | Subtract days from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_HOURS | Subtract hours from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_MINUTES | Subtract minutes from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_MONTHS | Subtract months from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_QUARTERS | Subtract quarters from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_SECONDS | Subtract seconds from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_WEEKS | Subtract weeks from a Timepoint |

DT_SUBTRACT_YEARS | Subtract years from a Timepoint |

**Functions for Character Strings**

Formula Function |
Description |

CONCATENATE |
Concatenate two strings |

CONDENSE | Trims off leading and trailing white space |

COUNT_SUBSTRING | Counts a given substring in a string |

EDIT_DISTANCE | Computes the number of operation required for transforming two strings |

FIND_SUBSTRING | Finds a substring in a string |

FIND_SUBSTRING_POSITION | Finds the position of substring in a string |

INSERT_STRING | Inserts a string at given position in a string |

REPLACE_STRING | Replaces the position of the string with another string |

REPLACE_SUBSTRING | Replaces all occurences of a substring with another string |

REVERSE_ | Reverts a string |

SHIFT_LEFT_PLACES | Shifts a string to left by n places |

SHIFT_LEFT_SUBSTRING | Removes all leading occurrences of a substring from a string |

SHIFT_RIGHT_PLACES | Shifts a string to right by n places |

SHIFT_RIGHT_SUBSTRING | Removes all trailing occurrences of substring from a string |

STRING_LENGTH | Returns the length of a string |

STRING_SIMILARITY | Measures the similarity of two strings |

SUBSTRING | Returns the specified part of a string |

SUBSTRING_FROM_IDX | Returns the end of a string from the given offset |

SUBSTRING_FROM_STR | Returns a string before the substring |

SUBSTRING_TO_IDX | Returns the beginning of a string up to the given offset |

SUBSTRING_TO_STR | Returns a string after the substring |

TOUPPER | Converts a character string into upper case |

**Mathematical Functions**

Formula Function |
Description |

ABS | Absolute Value |

ARCCOS | Arccosine |

ARCSIN | Arcsine |

ARCTAN | Arctangent |

COS | Cosine |

COSH | Hyperbolic cosine |

DIV | Calculates the whole number ratio of the two numbers |

EXP | Exponential function to the base e |

FRAC | Returns the decimal value of a fraction |

LOG | Natural logarithm to the base e |

LOG10 | Logarithm to the base 10 |

MOD | Calculates the integer remainder from dividing two numbers |

POWER | Raise to a power |

SIGN | Sign |

SIN | Sine |

SINH | Hyperbolic Sine |

SQRT | Calculates the Square Root of a Number |

TAN | Tangent |

TANH | Hyperbolic Tangent |

TONUMBER | Converts Text/Number/Boolean/Amount/Quantity/Timepoint to number |

TRUNC | Returns the integer part of a decimal fraction |

**Miscellaneous Functions**

Formula Function |
Description |

AND | Boolean operator AND |

CONVERT_AMOUNT | Converts an amount to the specified currency |

CONVERT_QUANTITY | Converts a quantity to the specified unit |

GET_CURRENCY | Returns the currency as text from an amount |

GET_UNIT | Returns the unit as text from a quantity |

IF | Test |

IS_INITIAL | Returns TRUE, if the transferred value is ‘blank’ |

MAX | Returns the larger of two values |

MIN | Returns the smaller of two values |

NOT | Boolean operator NOT |

OR | Boolean operator OR |

ROUND | Rounds the value to a specified number of decimal places |

TO_AMOUNT | Combines a number and currency into a BRF+ amount |

TO_QUANTITY | Combines a number and unit into a BRF+ quantity |

**System Functions**

Formula Function |
Description |

SYS_INFO_CALENDER_DAY | Returns the factory calendar day |

SYS_INFO_CLIENT_ID | Returns the client ID |

SYS_INFO_CURRENT_DATE | Returns the current date |

SYS_INFO_DAYLIGHT_SAVING | Checks the daylight saving time selection |

SYS_INFO_DB_SYSTEM | Returns the name of the database system |

SYS_INFO_HOST | Returns the application server ID |

SYS_INFO_LANGUAGE | Returns the language key |

SYS_INFO_LOCAL_DATE | Returns the local date for the current user |

SYS_INFO_LOCAL_TIME | Returns the local time |

SYS_INFO_OPERATING_SYS | Returns the operating system |

SYS_INFO_SAP_RELEASE | Returns the SAP system release |

SYS_INFO_SYSTEM_ID | Returns the name of the system ID |

SYS_INFO_TIME_ZONE | Returns the time zone |

SYS_INFO_TIME_ZONE_DIFF | Returns the time zone difference |

SYS_INFO_USER_NAME | Returns the user name |

**Table Functions**

Formula Function |
Description |

TABLE_AVG_AMOUNT | Returns the average of the amounts in a table column |

TABLE_AVG_NUMBER | Returns the average of the numbers in a table column |

TABLE_AVG_QUANTITY | Returns the average of the quantities in a table column |

TABLE_MAX_AMOUNT | Returns the maximum amount from a table column |

TABLE_MAX_NUMBER | Returns the maximum number from a table column |

TABLE_MAX_QUANTITY | Returns the maximum quantity from a table column |

TABLE_MAX_TIMEPOINT | Returns the maximum timepoint from a table column |

TABLE_MIN_AMOUNT | Returns the minimum amount from a table column |

TABLE_MIN_NUMBER | Returns the minimum number from a table column |

TABLE_MIN_QUANTITY | Returns the minimum quantity from a table column |

TABLE_MIN_TIMEPOINT | Returns the minimum timepoint from a table column |

TABLE_ROW_COUNT | Count the number of rows in a table |

TABLE_SUM_AMOUNT | Returns the sum of the amounts in a table column |

TABLE_SUM_NUMBER | Returns the sum of the numbers in a table column |

TABLE_SUM_QUANTITY | Returns the sum of the quantities in a table |

Michal Krawczykany chance you could post some info on licensing of this product ? all customers I’ve tried to propose using this were scared that they cannot use it with PI due to license issues and we don’t even try… Could you put some brief info ?

Thank you,

Regards,

Michal Krawczyk

Carsten ZieglerPost authorI added the point to my todo list and I will blog about it soon.

Rule of thumb: Customers that do ABAP development that goes beyond implementation of a BADI should already have the NW Foundation for 3rd party license and therefore they would not need another license for BRFplus.

Peter ValjasekHello,

How can I ROUND DOWN or ROUND UP in BRF plus formula?

Thank you,

Regards

Peter Valjasek

Carsten ZieglerPost authorPls see my comment

Peter ValjasekThanks

Demo SOPRAHi,

I’m trying to use formula DT_IS_ACTIVE and DT_NEXT_ACTIVE which are based on active factory calendar.

COuld you please tell me where I can activate factory calendar in BRFPlus?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Regards.

Delphine Dejean

Carsten ZieglerPost authorYou have to implement an application exit class (using interface IF_FDT_APPLICATION_SETTINGS). There you have to implement method GET_CALENDAR.

Demo SOPRAThanks a lot!

Delphine

Boris TodorovHi Carsten,

I’m trying to get the formula to return the April 1 of the Current year (e.g. ‘20140401’). I’m not clear on how to do that. What’s the easiest way?

Thanks in advance,

Boris

Carsten ZieglerPost authorDo you always want to return first of april or is there a specific logic that ends up returning this date?

You can compose a date by just defining a timepoint of type date as the result. Then you can use formula functions to set month, day and year.

Boris TodorovThank you Carsten,

This is what I ended up doing:

Timepoint = IF(DT_IS_LEAP_YEAR (DT_GET_CURRENT_DT ()),DT_SET_DAY_OF_THE_YEAR(DT_GET_CURRENT_DT (),92),DT_SET_DAY_OF_THE_YEAR(DT_GET_CURRENT_DT (),91))

In this case 91 is the day of the year that is April 1,

and 92 is April first for a leap year ðŸ™‚

Regards,

Boris

Carsten ZieglerPost authorWhat about this? Isn’t it much more intuitive?

Boris TodorovThis is perfect… ðŸ™‚

Thanks a lot,

Boris

OLIVER LOPEZHi all, I have a little question for all!How do you get, negative result for this formula i need to get always negative result:TO_AMOUNT ( ( ROUND ( IF ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) > TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) , ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) – TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) / Increment ) * TONUMBER ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) , 0 ) , 6 ) ) , GET_CURRENCY ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) )

I tried to add this constant value at final to TONUMBER ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) *(-1)The formula most to be like this:

TO_AMOUNT ( ( ROUND ( IF ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) > TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) , ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) – TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) / Increment ) *

TONUMBER ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) , 0 ) , 6 ) ) *(-1) , GET_CURRENCY ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) )

But, a message error appears “Formula incorrect: unexpected token “-” found after “(“I think that the sign “-” minus is not recognized into de formula, I think that I need a comment but I don’t know how.I appreciate your support… thank you!Christian LechnerHi Oliver,

I tried to reproduce the error but for me it works (NW 740 SP11). The formula without the multiplication by -1 works right? As you state that you always need a negative result, can you give it a try and multiply the complete expression with -1 and check if that works (TO_AMOUNT (…) * (-1))

BR

Christian

BTW: you should post such a problem as a seperate question in this space instead of adding it to a blog post

OLIVER LOPEZHi Christian, thanks for your response.!

Firstly, My Formula works right without *(-1).

This is the same example, just the factor is in other place. errors is the same.

TO_AMOUNT ( ( ROUND ( IF ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) > TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) , ( ( TONUMBER ( Act.Qlty.-Value ) – TONUMBER ( Agreed ***-Value ) ) / Número ) * TONUMBER ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) * ( – 1 ) , 0 ) , 6 ) ) , GET_CURRENCY ( Pen.Rate-AMOUNT ) )

In your comments you told me that your example is rigth because you have (NW 740 SP11). in my case I Have (NW 740 SP04). i would be to install the SP05 or a later.

Thank You!

Christian LechnerHi Oliver,

SP04 is quite low (at least from a BRFplus “bugginess” point of view). So I would recommend to do the installation of a higher SP, the higher the better.

As from SP04 you anyway have to do a kernel patch, I would reccommend SP08 if that is feasible.

BR

Christian

Manisha PintoHi,

I had a question! Please help if possible.

Is CONSTANT_DT_20160101_EXP a correct expression in BRF+. I am trying to find an expression where i can input a particular date

Christian LechnerHi,

please create a question in this space according to the rules of engagement of SCN. The comment section is not the appropriate space for that.

BR

Christian

Manisha PintoOk. Thanks!