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Easy Way of Using Language-Dependent Descriptions for Identifiers

With 1605 the Business Object Definition Language (BODL) will support a new type of nodes which can be used to display text in different languages dependent on the logon language (see Delta Highlights for 1605).

Imagine you have master data with some text maintained in the languages of your customers and want to display theses text in the individual logon language of each customer.

Currently you need a transient element, some ABSL coding to fill this element and an association based on a valuation with this transient field. 😯

With the new annotation [Description] you need nothing of that stuff. 😎


The node with the text or descriptions has to have at least one element which is typed by a GDT with a language code component, so the resp. language can be determined (see example).

Of course this makes only sense if the node has a multiplicity to many.

This feature will work for identifiers at the Root node level as well as in other nodes.


We will take this BODL for our example:

import AP.Common.GDT as apCommonGDT;

businessobject SomeBusinessObject {

    [AlternativeKey] [Label(“Identifier”)] element Id : ID;

    [Label(“Quantity”)] element Quantity : Quantity;

    [Label(“Amount”)]   element Amount   : Amount;

    [Label(“Date”)]     element Date     : Date;

    [Description] node SomeText [0,n] {

        [Label(“Description”)]         element Description     : LONG_Description;

        [Label(“More Description”)]    element MoreDescription : LONG_Description;

        [Label(“Another Description”)] element AnotherDescript : LONG_Description;


    node ThisProduct {

        element ProductId : ID;

        [Description] node ProductDescription [0,n] {

            [Label(“Description”)] element Description  : LONG_Description;




The first task of this example is to use the language dependent content of the element Description of the node SomeText for the element Id of the Root node.

To show that this works not only at the Root node level we do the same for the identifier ProductId of the node ThisProduct.

User Interface

After activation this BODL you generate the UIs and define in the resp. UI model from which node the description has to be taken.

Just open the UI Designer for the resp. UI model: First we work on the OWL.

In the DataModel section we choose here the SAP_UUID and define in the “Design” tag the “IdentifierDescription”.

Here we choose from the Business Object model the element “Description” from the “SomeText” node. This means that this element even does not need to be part of the data model itself, but is taken from the Business Object model direct.


Finally we define in the Designer section for the same SAP_UUID element in the tag “CCTS Information” that the “Presentation Mode” will be “DescriptionOnly”.


We do the similar thing for the ProductID (as described above) in the ThingInspector UI, but here we choose “IDAndDescription” as “Presentation Mode”.



After maintaining the resp. data in the several languages, let’s see what we get.

Of course the user needs to be assigned to the resp. work center. 😉

  1. First we logon into the system with logon language “English”
  2. The OWL is showing us the English description for the identifier
  3. In the ThingInspector we verify the maintained language dependent descriptions

    and the ProductID

  4. So we try this for German

    and get this for the identifier

    and this for the ProductID

  5. The same for French

    will return

    as well as

That’s all, folks.


PS: Please excuse my French. 😳

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        • Hello Ognian,

          Sorry, I did not get your point: 🙁

          Do you mean

          • How to maintain the data so the UI can show the text in the resp, language?
          • Hot to configure a WebService using this feature?



          • Hi Horst,

            Usual case scenario is:

            You have language dependent data in structured way ( file, db etc.) and you want to upload it based on some key. For example English value or any unique key.

            So you have tab delimited file for example:

            Key Lang Description

            1     EN      One

            1     DE      Eins

            2     EN     Two

            2     DE     Zwei

            3     EN     Three

            3     DE     Drei


            So prior to 1605, you create webservise












            Now wherever you create webservise for this BO with description, how you are going to do mass entry.

            Cheers Ognian

          • Hello Ognian,

            The node annotated with [Description] can be used as a regular node in any coding.

            So your WebService will work as before.

            Only the UI makes an advatage out of this information.



  • Hi Horst! Thanks for information. I believe we can use the main idea to achieve one of our requirement.

    We have an Embedded Component (based on Custom BO) under Account, having two fields based on OVS. Values in the OVS are language dependent, like in your example related to SomeText node. The problem we have is to save value into ID field under EC and show the Description in users language.

    As far as I understand you example describes case when child records already filled for root record. But how can we pass and display description in EC from OVS.

    P.s. We are using OVS because we are synchronizing records with external system.

    • Hello Oleg,

      I am throughly aware of your requirement but

      • The ID will be the same for any language
        The system will determine the description durng runtime based on the current logon language
      • If the description showed in the OVS is based on such an [Description] annotated association the langauge-dependent value will be automagically determined by the system on runtime
        As long as there is a value in that given language



  • Hi Horst,

    How can we handle data sources based on this node? For instance, show only values for the logged language? A data source will show all the entries available on the node with such annotation.

    If not possible with this approach, is there any other which might help this case?



    • Hello Fernando,

      This annotation works only for Custom Business Objects on the UI.

      If you access the node without any filtering you will get all values.

      I don't know if a similar mechanism is availabel for Data Sources. 😕