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Author's profile photo Michael Pytel

Adding External Reference Field to CHARM in Solution Manager 7.1 (No Coding Required)

The team over here at NIMBL and I have been supporting multiple Change Request Management (CHARM) deployments since the Solution Manager 7.1 release.  With the release of SP05 and then SP08 – we’ve seen even more traction in the SAP community to begin leveraging Solution Manager 7.1 CHARM to control both SAP and non-SAP changes in the landscape.  Often times we still find environments where Incidents and Problems are managed outside of the SAP landscape – but the SAP customer wants the best-in-breed workflow and control of CHARM.  Typically the decision is to move forward with CHARM and then we’ll add an external reference field for Incident/Problem numbers. 

On a recent project – we found a way to add an existing Ext Reference field in the CRM UI that is also an available column in CHARM Reporting (transaction /n/TMWFLOW/REPORTINGN)


9-13-2013 11-53-49 AM.png

Slam Dunk – Right?  No need for custom table and no need to develop a custom report for it to work!  Beautiful.  Here’s how it works – the system we used below for screenshots was running Solution Manager 7.1 SP08


  1. We’re going to assume you’ve followed the CHARM configuration guide
  2. And that you understand the concept of Business Roles
  3. You’ve copied the Business Role SOLMANPRO to ZSOLMANPRO (or whatever Z name of your choice)
  4. We also want to ensure you have a ‘Z’ Role Config Key referenced in your Business Role. 
    1. Business Role Config can be found in IMG > CRM > UI Framework > Business Roles > Define Business Roles
    2. Role Config Key can be found in IMG > CRM > UI Framework > Technical Role Definition > Define Role Configuration Key
  5. And what about authority? Living without SAP_ALL is like living without carbs – you can do it.  Composite Role SAP_CM_ADMINISTRATOR_COMP has the CRM UI authority required.
  6. Set a new Parameter in your user profile (SU01) so you can select your Business Role at login.
    1. CRM_UI_PROFILE = *


  1. Logon to Solution Manager and execute transaction SM_CRM
  2. This should open IE and enable you to select your Z Business Role
  3. Navigate to a new or existing Request for Change and click the ‘Show Configurable Areas’ button in the upper left.
    1. 9-13-2013 12-02-46 PM.png
  4. Next click in the blue highlighted area where you want to add the Ext Reference field
    1. 9-13-2013 12-06-29 PM.png
  5. Highlight the first line under ‘Configurations’ and click the Copy button
  6. We’re going to create a new configuration under your Z configuration key created as prerequisite.
  7. Input your Role Configuration Key name, and set Component Usage, Object Type, Object Subtype to ‘<DEFAULT>’
    1. 9-13-2013 11-39-58 AM.png
  8. Click Continue and then select your configuration in the grid
    1. 9-13-2013 11-44-08 AM.png
  9. Click the Show Available Fields button and a selection screen will open on the left
  10. Open BTADMINH and click page forward until you see Ext Reference
    1. 9-13-2013 11-44-42 AM.png
  11. Click the plus sign button above the Column A to add to the left side of the screen
  12. Or click the plus sign button above Column P to add to the right side of the screen
    1. 9-13-2013 11-45-05 AM.png
  13. We need to validate you’ve got the correct field added.  Click the field you just added – ensure it’s highlighted blue and then click the Show Field Properties
    1. 9-13-2013 11-45-14 AM.png
  14. Next click Show Technical Details and confirm your field matches the one below
    1. 9-13-2013 11-45-39 AM.png
  15. Click Save & Close up top.  Create or input a transport number
    1. 9-13-2013 11-47-12 AM.png
  16. Verify the field has been added – Congrats!
    1. 9-13-2013 11-53-49 AM.png

You’ve added the field to the CRM UI – nice work!  Test by inputting data and saving your RFC.

CHARM Reporting

  1. You’ve added the field to the CRM UI.  Now we need to confirm we can report against the field
  2. In SAP GUI, run transaction /n/TMWFLOW/REPORTINGN
  3. Limit your selection criteria to your Request for Change transaction type.  In my case – it’s ZMCR
    1. 9-13-2013 12-23-04 PM.png
  4. Click Execute (F8)
  5. Click the Change Layout button on the navigation bar
  6. Select the field ‘External Reference No.’ on the right and add to your ‘Displayed Columns’
    1. 9-13-2013 12-25-56 PM.png
  7. Save your layout and verify
    1. 9-13-2013 12-27-59 PM.png


We’ve done it!  We added an External Reference field to Change Request Management in Solution Manager 7.1 SP08 without any coding or development.  And we’re able to report on the field via standard SAP reporting.  We have not had time to validate if the above Config is also used in ITSM Analytics.  Will post an update once we’ve had time to confirm.

Thank you! Please post questions!

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      Author's profile photo Raquel Pereira da Cunha
      Raquel Pereira da Cunha

      Hi Michael,

      I totally agree with you when you say that "SAP customer wants the best-in-breed workflow and control of CHARM".  Since 7.1 was released, ChaRM has been more well accepted by SAP customers and it's very hard to find another tool so efficient to control changes in SAP Solutions as this one. Of course there are many other ITIL tools, but none of them has a Change Control so integrated to SAP systems as ChaRM. As many customers need to control changes in SAP and non-SAP, with the improvements of 7.1 they realised that they could control changes in their whole landscape with one single tool that is already included in their license. In my 8 years implementing ChaRM I have never seen so many customers interested on it as in the last 2 years (in the first year after the release we basically only had ramp-up customers and few early adopters running SP01 to 03, at least this is my perception). SP05 last year brought great improvements and SP09-10 (FP2) that will be released this October will be even better.

      I would like to add some info.

      - In order to see the 'Show Configurable Areas' button, besides the correct authorization you also need to flag the "Enable Configuration mode" in the Personalization area of the web client. (Click the "Personalize" button in the upper right corner of your CRM UI and choose Personalize Settings. Well, this is included in the Guide that the reader is supposed to have followed, but just in case...

      - the field External Reference Number is not available yet in the Search and Result view of the Web Client, only in the Details as shown in the blog. It must be included via enhancement, not so simple as it is to include in the ABAP reporting for ChaRM as the Web Client UI component must be enhanced.

      As far as I know, this issue has been addressed by SAP and the field will be included in the Web Client Search View in the next SPs. I wanted to mention that because this issue has been a constant complaint from my customers since SolMan 7.1 was released.

      - Regarding the use of the parameter CRM_UI_PROFILE with * (which I personally don't like) you could directly assign the Z Business Role to this parameter, or include the authorization role that is assigned to the Z Business Role in your user profile. As the standard roles are composite and they already have the UI authorization role for the the standard SOLMANPRO, it's just a matter of copying the standard composite roles and replace the UI role to the Z role you assigned to your Business Role, then you will jump directly to the correct Business Role. If you work with more than one Business Role and want to select between them, just include all the authorization roles assigned to all the Business Roles you want to use (in case the Business Role don't use the same authorization role). You could also assign the Business Role to the Organizational Model, but this is more used for End Users in Production (IMHO).

      Note: CRM_UI_PROFILE with * should only be used temporarily if you want to see the whole list of existing Business Roles. It's intended for consultants to quickly test out Business Roles on Dev or Quality. End users should not have this parameter in their user profiles.

      By the way, nice to see you blogging here 🙂



      Author's profile photo F. Lelieveld
      F. Lelieveld

      Hello Raquel,

      The strange thing is that the field is avialable for Search in the Worklist. Very strange it is not available in the normal search.



      Author's profile photo Raquel Pereira da Cunha
      Raquel Pereira da Cunha

      Hi Frans,

      since SP10 this field is included in the Search. We don't need to enhance the Search View anymore.



      Author's profile photo Guy Pengelly
      Guy Pengelly

      Very nice!  So I added the field to my change req. and to the change document.  Sadly, data added to the C/R was not copied over to the C/D. True, it's obviously possible to get from one to the other, but it would be nice to copy the new field over.  Maybe you've solved this.....



      Author's profile photo F. Lelieveld
      F. Lelieveld

      You can customize that via Copy Control Rules (>Capabilities>Change Control Management>Standard Configuration>Change Request Management Framework>Make Settings for Change Transaction Types). There is a checkbox that defines if the Ext Reference should be copied or not.

      Author's profile photo Raufman Brasse
      Raufman Brasse

      Hi Michael.

      This was a very nice write up, and highly relevant to most companies as an external non-SAP Change Control tool is already in use.

      By the way, I attended one of your Solman workshops at Admin2014 in Orlando.  You guys did a great job.

      My question is...

      Is there an "easy" way to hyperlink to the external Change Control system using the Ext Reference field?  The URL will be built using the value from the Ext Reference field.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      How to add the external reference filed in SM_CRM search filed, i am using SP08 and SP10 system. SP10 it will show in default.

      Any idea how to add in the  SP08?