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Say Good-Bye to 60 Character Fun and Super Short Texts

Hello BW Friends,

with a sad eye we are saying “good-bye”, “adiรณs”, and “auf wiedersehen” to the 60 character limitation for characteristic values and long textual descriptions that were shorter than a tweet! ๐Ÿ™ It was so much fun to find the workarounds and code one enhancement after the other. NOT!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just check my old blog for the work the community put into this.

What’s new?

We are starting 2014 with a bang and have released SAP NetWeaver BW 7.4 to the market. You might have seen it in the roadmap update already but if not, here’s the BIG NEWS: You can create characteristics with a length of up to 250 characters and the textual description for characteristic values can now be up to 1,333 characters long. Woohoo, that’s more than enough to store my resume. ๐Ÿ˜€

What do you need to know?

First here’s the proof in the online documentation for Creating InfoObjects:

Tab Page: General – Modeling – SAP Library

Tab Page: Master Data/Texts – Modeling – SAP Library

Secondly, the change comes at a little price: You will have to check you custom code if it’s compatible with the changes and you might have to make some adjustments. Please see the following SAP Notes to prepare your system for the upgrade.

1823174 – BW7.40 Changes and customer-specific programs

1879618 – Pre-upgrade measures for upgrade/update to 7.4

What’s next?

We are working on tools to support you in the transition. Please stay tune and I will post updates here when they become available.

Also please post you experiences with the enhanced modeling options here in the comments.

Have Fun!

PS: Too many smilies? ๐Ÿ˜›

Marc Bernard

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  • This is an amazing feature given by SAP ๐Ÿ™‚ . This would reduce stress on database level by avoiding codes and makes life very easy. Kudos to SAP team. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Really excited to say good-bye to 60 character. ๐Ÿ™‚

    We are working on tools to support you in the transition. 

    May I know whether this feature will be made available in BI 7.0 and BW 7.3 as well.


  • Now we can make use of this feature for all the comments related part.  Thanks to SAP team.  ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚


    Krishna Chaitanya.

  • Thanks Mark for sharing the great news for something that's been long awaited for. Is this feature enabled because of BW on HANA or HANA is not relevant?

    • Ali,

      the feature is not tied to SAP HANA and available for all platforms supported by BW 7.4.


      SAP Customer Solution Adoption (CSA)

      • Hi Marc,

        i don'T get the two ties together. First you say long texts available only in BW 7.4x.

        BW 7.4x is for me BW 7.3x but optimized for HANA. Now you say this feature is not bound to HANA, but available for all plattforms (which I mean is really great). So can we expect a OSS Note / correction for BW 7.3x somewhen so that really long texts will work in BW 7.3x also?



        • Hello Juergen,

          sorry for the confusion (I edited my response). This is only available for BW 7.4 but for all databases and operating systems.


          SAP Customer Solution Adoption (CSA)

  • Hi Marc,

    Thanks a lot for sharing the information. It is indeed a great news.

    We are planning to take the info from STXH and STXL into BW. Now that should be fine with the new approach!!!

    Thanks and Regards,

    Jerry Jerome

    SAP BW Consultant

  • Hi Marc,

    Currently we are using BW730 Can u please give some idea about the OOS Note :

    1823174 - BW 7.4 changes and customer-specific programs. I know this note applicable for BW740.

    Just I want to know why we need to implement the OSS note and When we need to implement ?


    Vimal Alexander

    • Hello Vimal,

      If you do not adjust your custom tables and coding, there's a chance that things might not work correctly after the upgrade (activation or syntax errors, dumps, etc). There's also a chance that the upgrade itself will fail for example if you used domain RSCHAVL in the key of a database table.

      The assessment of what actually needs to be adjusted should be done well in advance of the upgrade. Then you can put the adjustment work into the project plan.

      In terms of timing, the changes are best done in the original system before you even start the project.


      SAP Strategic Customer Engagements (SCE)

  • Hi,

    Its good to know that we can store char length to 250 & short Description upto 1,333 characters long.

    But just want to confirm that will it affects to our performance of a report?



  • > Max length of up to 250 characters and the textual description for characteristic values can now be up to 1,333 characters long.

    It's good news. SAP positioning SAP BW as EDW.  In real life we have a cases when 250 chars is not enough. By example comments. Is there any plans at SAP to move forward and increase by example to 500 or more?  Or any other options (maybe new characteristic  type - Texts).

    • Wow, in BW 7.4.SP8

      New with SAP BW 7.4 SP8: XXL - Attributes

      Possibility to load and store different Files types (MIME Types)

      as XXL-attribute into BW

      • E.g. PDF’s, XML, Office Files, Images, Video-Files, Audio-Files

      Store very long strings as attribute in SAP BW

      • E.g. Twitter information (Tweets), File-paths, URL

  • Hi All,


    I have requirement to show a material description of more than 200 characters so I am using Extra Long text property for that material object in BW 7.5 on HANA and I have a BEx query. Here, I am consuming that BEx query in SAP Universe Design Tool(UTD) and using that Universe I have a WEBi report.


    The reason that I am using Universe is, the WEBi report is very old one which was built on Universe. so, i have to follow that.


    Here, issue is, even though i have set all the properties correctly in BW and BEx, my WEBi report is still showing 60 character length description in my WEBi report. I have become clue less after checking all the ways.


    Can you please help me if i am missing something else that should be looked into really.




    • Hello Murali,

      I don't know if this is a functional gap, bug, or something not configured properly. Please create an incident report for BOBJ UTD so SAP support can take a look.

      Product Management SAP HANA DW