The topic of use of change numbers in context of e.g. transaction CG02 is not discussed often here. Examples are:
The use of this technique is explained on high level here:
Chapter: Engineering Change Management for Specifications
together with a nice example. Change numbers can be used e.g. as well during maintenance of phrases. You should use Change numbers only ! if you have understood how the have effect on data maintenance of many kind (phrases, specifications, content of WWI reports, etc. etc.).
Some people have the trend to mix the term “change number” with “change document”. But these are two different objects. Sometimes the term is mixed as well with the term “change pointer”. This is as well a different object.
Is generated always if maintenance activities are done in e.g. CG02, CG12 etc. Here the system logs which data has been inserted, deleted, updated by which user at which point of time. On the top old and new value are recorded.
PAY ATTENTION: There are two type of change documents. the “normal” one and the EHS specific ones. Please check SAP Help.
They are prepared / generated per object. In context of CG02 this change number can be used e.g. to maintain data in the future. In CG02 you can select the “key date” and by using this option you can see the effect of using change numbers (either for inserting, updating or deletion of data records). The use of the “key date” is not well understood but if training is done normally users understand the use of it.
Pros and Cons of using Change numbers
By using change numbers you increase to a certain extent the complexitiy of the data management in CG02 etc. You need to pay attention on the fact that this option in EHS does have an effect on a great bunch of subsequent other processes as e.g. Dangerous Goods Management, Hazardous Substance Management, SVT, Content of WWI reports, ALE etc.
But by clever use of this option you are getting “pros” as well as you can limit the “validity” of data records in context of the above mentioned subsequent processes.
To explain the topic to the user is not easy. The same for handling during ongoing support and clearly it can be a “nightmare” fo consultant and developer.
Therefore: before you use this option: make sure that you understand the pros and cons. And there is no way back ! If at least one change number has been used during data maintenance than you have to live with this situation (there is no way back).
TODO Use of change numbers example