Skip to Content

Material Number Field Length Extension in SAP S/ 4 HANA.

This document is only intended to introduce reader’s with the new material number range changes and the way to use it in new up gradation i.e SAP S/4 HANA.

With SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511, the maximum field length of the material number is extended from 18 to 40 characters.

The material number field length extension was done with SAP S/4HANA and is available within the SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511 and SAP S/4HANA, cloud-edition 1511.


Extending the material number on the database means that the field length of the MATNR field on the database has been extended from 18 to 40 characters. This has been done in all tables (and all fields within the tables) in which a material number can be stored.


Although the maximum length of the database field used to store the material number is now 40 Characters, the way how the material number content is stored in the database field has not been changed compared to SAP Business Suite. This means that for such fields usually no data conversion is needed when converting from SAP Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511.

The default setting, both after the move to SAP S/4HANA and for new installations, is that the extended material number functionality is NOT activated. To use a material number with 40 characters, the customer needs to activate this functionality. The following settings are required for that:

1. Activation of the Extended Material Number Functionality


IMG — Cross-Application ComponentsGeneral Application FunctionsField length extensionActivate extended fields.



Transaction FLETS (For the table maintenance the authorization group FLE [authorization object S_TABU_DIS] is required).

2. Changing the Material Number Format.

Transaction OMSL allows a customer-specific settings regarding the material number field length. Here the settings need to be adapted to allow a field length of more than 18 characters

Define Output Format of Material Number can be accessed via — IMG (Logistics GeneralMaterial MasterBasic Settings).


If the extended material number functionality is activated in a system, it cannot be easily deactivated as values may exist in different fields that are only allowed with extended material number.

SAP Notes and Restrictions related to Material Number Field Length Extension

It´s recommended to execute conversion pre-check (for details see SAP Note: 22169580). For the conversion of selection variants see SAP Note 1696821 for details

Restrictions need to pre- check.

  • SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511 restriction note (general): 2214213
  • Collection of restriction related to MFLE: 2233100.

1. ALE generation for BAPIs: SAP Note 2232497

2. Extended Material Number in Suite Integration: SAP Note 2232396

3. Extended Material Number Display in Archived Data: SAP Note 2232391

4. Length of Customer and Supplier Material Number: SAP Note 2232366

5. Extended Material Number in LIS: SAP Note 2232362

6. Product Structure Browser: SAP Note 2229892

7. Characteristic Values in PLM: SAP Note 2229860



To report this post you need to login first.


You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Denis Tislenko

    Hi Vishal,

    we see that in our system the MATNR has length of 40,

    but BAPI structures, for example BAPIEKPO has still the old MATNR number with length of 18.

    Could you please advise on it?

    1. Muthukumar Pasupathy

      Hi Denis,

      You probably might have found a solution by now, but just wanted to share my knowledge with the community.

      Please refer to the SAP Note: 2215852. The note says the following:

      Structures used in the interfaces of BAPIs and released RFC modules have been extended in a compatible manner if they were affected by the field length extensions. This means that these structures now contain two fields for the same semantic field: a short version of the field with the original field length (for example, a material number field of length 18) and a new long version of the field (for example, a material number field of length 40). The long versions of the fields generally have a “_LONG” suffix“.

      So in BAPIEKPO, the field – MATERIAL remains as it was in the SAP Business Suite (i.e. with length 18). However, at the end of this structure, there is another field created by SAP – MATERIAL_LONG whose length is 40 chars.

      Now, the way you work in this setup is –
      Case 1: If this BAPI is being called locally (i.e. within the S/4 HANA system):

      — Ensure that the long version of the field is filled when exporting data to the BAPI. And when importing data from the BAPI, the long version of the field is to be read.
      The reason is – SAP S/4 HANA is capable of handling an extended material number, natively. So that capability is being leveraged here.

      Case 2: If this BAPI is being used to make cross-system calls (AND) Extended Material Number Functionality is NOT activated:

      — The short version of the field is to be filled when exporting data to the BAPI and the short version of the field is to be read when importing data from the BAPI. Several “Mapper Classes” have been provided by SAP. Methods of these mapper classes may be used to ensure that the short/long field is read/populated before/after a RFC FM call.

      Case 3: If this BAPI is being used to make cross-system calls (AND) Extended Material Number Functionality is activated:

      The SAP Note: 2232396 says that – “If your SAP S/4HANA system is embedded in a system landscape that contains other SAP Business Suite products, integration may only be possible if the extended material number functionality is not activated in SAP S/4HANA in Customizing“.

      The SAP Note: 2215852 says – “If the extended material number functionality is activated, the short versions of the fields can only be sent, if the material number fits into the field (to avoid truncations).“.

  2. Former Member

    Hi Vishal,

    Thank you for this notes.

    I have a question related to Material number extension to 40 character length for one of the IDOC Type INFREC – Purchase Info Record creation.

    The related FM for this Message type is IDOC_INPUT_INFREC and in this FM the Material wrapper class CL_MATNR_CHK_MAPPER has been used to retrieve the Material number from the extension field based on the setting in the system.

    But I observed that during reading the segment data, still E1EINAM-MATNR is considered for Material which is a 18 character Length.

    I checked for any OSS notes on this but couldn’t find any.

    Appreciate if you can help in this regard.

    1. Denis Tislenko

      Hi Anand,

      I think the part which refers to 18 chars material is for non-HANA versions, so it would be not relevant for you.

      I would advise you to test it in your environment. Most probably you do not have any issue at all.

      1. Former Member Post author

        Hello Denis and Anand.

        commonly used integration techniques BAPI, RFC, and IDoc as these techniques rely on a fixed length and order of fields in the transmitted data. Simply extending the material number field in these interfaces would therefore technically break the version compatibility.

        So SAP have decided to provide a technical-v compatibility for released external interfaces in the way that is commonly used and proposed for BAPI interfaces: The already existing field keeps its original length and a new field has been added at the end of the structure (or as parameter) that allows transmitting material numbers with 40 characters.

        I suggest referring SAP’s new released version of Simplification Lists for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511


Leave a Reply