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SAP system handles multiple languages, multiple currencies and multiple time zones and on and on…..

This document will detail how multiple languages can be handled in SAP PM  from a functional consultant view. This might not be for entire SAP suite of products.

Language management is detailed for below requirements.

  • Language maintenance as system administration activities.
  • Multi-language management in SAP PM configuration
  • Multi-language management in SAP PM Master data
  • Multi-language management in SAP Development scenarios

Language maintenance as system administration activities.

This is done in SAP through tcode i18n. New language is added in tcode SMLT. It is normally executed by a basis consultant.

A typical screenshot for multiple language management in configuration is shown as below.

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Once the languages required are maintained in system,  an user can log on to SAP though a standard default language ‘EN’ or any other language required as below. Here the log on language is ‘DE’ – German.

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After logging in, the easy Access Menu will like below. All label will be in German language.

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Multi-language management in SAP PM configuration

Equipment display (IE03) will look like below.

in DE(German) in EN(English)
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Above screens show a comparative view of the same transaction in different languages. Please note that the below two observations.

  1. The Tabs title are not visible in German apart from ‘General Tab’
  2. Technical object type  description ‘Pipe’ is not visible in German.

After investigation  it is found that the tab title is not maintained in DE language during configuration.

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The same is proved based on the table entry.

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The reason for not showing the ‘Type of technical object’ description is for the same reason that the description is not maintained in DE language during configuration.

As part of the configuration, if we want to have maintain the configuration values in different languages it is handled in multiple ways

1. Look for the Menu Goto>Translation

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2. language maintained is available during configuration like User status

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at status level

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For most of the nodes which need configuration values to be maintained in different languages are to be handled as mentioned above but some configurations  which are very specific to a region, plant,plant section, planner group, location the translation facility is disabled. Let us check the configuration of ‘Plant section’.

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Below table in configuration objects in plant maintenance which are categorized based on the above principles.

Translation Allowed Translation disabled

User status,Authorization group,ABC indicator,Types of Technical Objects

Planned group

Set View Profiles for Technical Objects,Permit Categories Plant section
FLOC Category, EQPT Category, FLOC Structure Indicator location
Consumable Types, Engine Type, Usage Type in Fleet Management Org Area definition in Linear Asset Management
Offset type definition in Linear Asset Management
Object Link: Object type, Medium
Serial Number Profiles,Set Maintenance Plan Categories
Maintain Task List Status, Define User Fields,
Maintain Task List Status, Define User Fields,
Notification type, Screen Template, Catalog type,Code group, catalog code, Catalog profile, priority type, Priority, response profile, service profile, Action box items,System conditions, Operational Effect,
order type, PM activity type, reason for variance, Value category, Control Key

In addition to the above for equipment, we can maintain the multilingual text based on the equipment category in configuration.Plant Maintenance and Customer Service>Master Data in Plant Maintenance and Customer Service>Technical Objects> Equipment> Allow Multilingual Text Maintenance for Each Equipment Category

These are a few list of objects in PM, but list can grow based on the principle of translation.

Multi-language management in SAP PM Master data

When a master data needs to be uploaded as part of Data migration, the short text, long text, free text fields need the data as the desired languages. The field which contents are drop down values (controlled by configuration) will be automatically shown based on the log on language if the translation exists for the object.

Some objects for which the translation are not possible are maintained in the desired language. That means e.g ‘planner group’ which can’t be translated can only be maintained in log on language. For a user who logged in with ‘FR’, only planner groups related to

Functional Location : Menu Goto>Multilingual Text

Equipment : Menu Goto>Multilingual Text

Work Center: Short Text and Long Text. Menu Extras>short texts

Measuring Point: Direct update of short text, log text in desired language i.e log on language

Bill of Materials: Direct update of short text ,  log text in desired language i.e log on language

Task list header/ operation: Direct update of short text ,  log text in desired language i.e log on language

Maint. Plan/item: Direct update of short text ,  log text in desired language i.e log on language

Maint. Strategy: Menu Goto>Translation

Standard Text key: CA10: The standard text key needs to be maintained in different language so that it can be used in order processing further as below.

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Characteristics: Menu Extras> Change Language or at ‘Descriptions’ Tab with desired language.

Class : Menu Extras> Change Language. After changing the language the description needs to be maintained in desired language. after logging in with the desired language, short description will be shown in desired language.

in DE German In En English
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Multi-language management in SAP Development scenarios

Apart from configuration and master data, also from a functional consultant perspective development objects needs attention with respect to Multi languages management.

Forms: special care needs to be take to fetch the data from SAP with respect to the language in which the form needs to be printed. Field label and field contents are to be dynamically fetched and populated in form output.


Enhancement: In this case if we are adding new fields into sap transactions though screen enhancement, we will have to create Data element and these have to be created with respect different language with either through SE11 or SE63. The same is applicable to screen label also.

When we build the custom message, all message attributes and the actual message needs to be created with respect to desired languages (SE91)

SO10 text can also be created with respect to different languages.

Report: If report is to be made from standard fields, then it is automatically taken care. If it is from custom fields, the above point in enhancement will take care. If some output fields in the report which are dynamically displayed by processing the existing fields, then that needs to be taken care by ABAPer with respect to desired language.

SAP Help for text element : Translating Text Elements – ABAP Workbench Tools – SAP Library

Interface: In case of inbound interface when some data is updated/created, if it is to be created with respect to a specific language, then it is to be taken care in the program which does that.

For outbound interfaces, when the data needs to be fetched from SAP, the fetch program should take care of the same.

Hope this helps.

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1 Comment

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  1. Yusuf Campwala

    Hi Shiba,

    An insightful article, especially from Plant Maintenance perspective.

    I’m surely gonna bookmark this for future reference.

    Best Regards,

    Yusuf Campwala

    (0) 

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