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Author's profile photo Ian Stubbings

Code Inspector – Custom Object Collectors

I have Chris Solomon to largely thank for this blog. You may wonder why since it has nothing to do with HCM P&F at all, in which Chris is an undisputed expert, but it was simply because I’d noticed that he had released a whole plethora of blogs recently via a tweet by Jarret Pazahanick. Chris had also mentioned me in one of them – HCM Processes & Forms: Adobe or WDA? Why not Adobe AND WDA!?!?! to be precise. ‘Nice’ I thought. ‘Very good of him.  Shame I wrote that blog well over 2 years ago though. I’d better get active again on SCN!’

So here we go…here’s a recent issue that has played directly into blog territory.

The Problem

Code Inspector has many great features and rich selection options to enable us to build up our object set that we wish to inspect. Even allowing us to upload our own list of objects or retrieve a list from runtime analysis etc.with the more advanced Object Collectors tab. Pretty powerful stuff.

Object Collectors PDO.png

BUT.. one thing appears to be missing from all object set collectors  – a date range.

Maybe this is on purpose but we certainly have a requirement, probably not too dissimilar to some of you, in that we would like to periodically inspect code but only pick up the latest ‘release’ i.e. a country rollout or wider programme of work.  Mostly this could – and arguably should be – facilitated by the correct use of packages. I refer to Tobias Trapp’s excellent series of blogs on the Package Concept for this.  However, if your development is not split up like this and tends to reside in large development class style ‘buckets’, you may be faced with multiple releases of code in the same packages with the only possible way to determine release 2 form release 1 being in the creation date (and sometimes this is not a given either if code is cut ‘n’ pasted).

Therefore, this led me to see how I could construct my own object collector in Code Inspector. 

The Solution

After some initial investigations with /SCF/ based function modules, I happened upon the CL_CI_COLLECTOR_* classes, the CL_CI_COLLECTOR_ROOT and CL_CI_COLLECTOR_TRDIR_PROGS ones in particular and also the interface IF_CI_COLLECTOR.

So I set upon creating my own ZCL_CI_COLLECTOR_DATE_RANGE class by copying the CL_CI_COLLECTOR_TRDIR_PROGS class which relates to the ‘Programs from Catalog of Report Sources’ collector. Then I proceeded to try to understand the methods within it. Sometimes this is a pretty daunting process within SAP but in this case they are pretty simple to understand.

The methods are all inherited from CL_CI_COLLECTOR_ROOT and I have redefined all of them apart from the IF_CI_COLLECTOR~DISPLAY_DOCUMENTATION and CONSTRUCTOR methods. IF_CI_COLLECTOR~DISPLAY_DOCUMENTATION does not need to be redefinted as this al taken care of in the *ROOT implementation. how to create the relevant documentation entry is dealt with later in the blog. For the CONSTRUCTOR this is created, rather than redefined.


In order, the methods perform the following functions:


This is the real doing method. This is where the population of the object list is carried out. As mentioned, I am using the CL_CI_COLLECTOR_TRDIR_PROGS class as base. It’s a pretty comprehensive method but easy enough to add my own requirements into. No doubt over time I’ll refine them some more as we test more thoroughly. I suspect we will add in a way to remove table maintenance dialogs for example.


The second most important method of the class, this is where the query popup is specificed. The real work is carried out in the *ROOT class but here we can effectively add attributes to specify the screen to be shown.

Query Attribute Code.png

fill_att is the macro declared above with the attibutes being selection screen element, name and type.  In the highlighted one, the one I added, this is a date selection option (type ‘S’). In the other attributes you can see the types as ‘G’ – group and ‘C’ is checkbox.

This then results in the screen below.

Date Driven Object Collector - Query Screen.png

I have removed some of the standard attributes found in CL_CI_COLLECTOR_TRDIR_PROGS to streamline the selections a bit but most are still present.


Does what is says on the tin!  When the user presses the blue info button next to the collector title, the standard ABAP help documentation is displayed. For this, navigate to transaction SE61 and enter the values below – substituting your class for mine, obviously…

Document Maintenance.png


These methods can be dealt with together as they work in conjunction with one another. Basically, when you call up the object collector screen, you may see the ‘selection made’ icon (highlighted below). This means that the selections you have made last time have been kept, This is made possible by the two aforementioned methods saving and retrieving values.

Date Driven Object Collector - Main Screen.png


Creating the constructor, I basically took the code from the CL_CI_COLLECTOR_TRDIR_PROGS constructor and cut and pasted it. Then made a minor addition to the title text element.

Ok, so that’s’ great. We now how our new custom object collector! But it doesn’t appear in our object collector dropdown 🙁 .  This is enabled very easily though via the Management of Object Collectors option available via the main screen of SCI. 🙂

ManagementOfObjectCollectors - Menu.png

This then displays the following sceen where you can now select the new object collector, save..


…accept the ‘Yes’ option of the popup option…

ManagementOfObjectCollectors - dialog.png

and bingo! Your custom object collector is now in the popup list and ready to test out.

Object Collectors.png

As it happens, I completed all of this development on the SCN preview 7.02 system – which was great as it means that anyone reading this can do the same.  Then I tried to implement it on a 7.00 system and found out that the CL_CI_OBJECTSET class, referenced multiple times within the IF_CI_COLLECTOR~COLLECT method, is subtly different between the versions. Perhaps the subject for another blog if I receive any interest?!

In the meantime,  I hope you find this of use.  I am certain it will really help us out for fine tuning the quality stats that we’ll be feeding into CCLM…

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      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon

      Wow! Nice one, Ian! Talk about coming back strong! haha

      So is the trick that all I have to do is call you out in a blog to get you back on here? If so, best prepare for the "Ian Stubbings blog of All thing Ian Stubbings Ian Stubbings". haha

      Great work! And nice to see you back!

      Author's profile photo Ian Stubbings
      Ian Stubbings
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Chris. I heard some whisperings about HCM P&F at work the other day so you never know I may get involved again.  I also saw a couple of slides about the WDA FPM Form Designer the other day.  Vey interesting indeed!

      Author's profile photo Randolf Eilenberger
      Randolf Eilenberger

      Hi Ian,

      one thing to add: one does not need to call SE24 to add a new object collector. In the Code Inspector menu you will find an entry Goto --> Management of --> Object Collectors. On this screen a new collector can be switched visible in the object collector dropdown.

      Author's profile photo Ian Stubbings
      Ian Stubbings
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Randolf

      Thanks very much for the info. This is a far better way to add the collector. I shall change the blog accordingly.


      Author's profile photo Ian Stubbings
      Ian Stubbings
      Blog Post Author

      Blog now updated adding in the amendment suggested by Randolf

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very helpful blog. I finally managed to define the perfect object set for our system!