Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin

Effects of changing standard customizing content – BEWARE!

Hi folks,

I will share you a real life experience I have come upon a few weeks ago. In a project I’ve been working on, the usage of condition based down payment functionality was required, and in order to make it work, Business Function SD_01 needs to be activated in transaction SFW5. I had activated this business function in many a projects before, so actually had first-hand knowledge that it has no functional effects on current customizing and business processes (as it’s been noted by the official documentation).

So I’ve activated the business function, made the necessary customizing, transported the request to Q/A, made some tests and saw that postings were all fine. The one thing I did not check was the print output. I’ve sent it to user testing.

A few days later the business user replied, said that the process seems sound, postings look OK, but in the invoice printout a custom text is missing. That was all he said – A custom text is missing. Not bad for a first iteration, I had thought.

So I’ve checked the invoice printout to see what actually was wrong. The first thing I had noticed was that the company logo, that fancy image, was inexistent in the printout. Instead, the format of the printout looked eerily different and terrifyingly familiar at the same time. I’ve analyzed the printout a little bit more, then went back, seen the output condition type of the printout (RD00) and understood what happened in that very instant. It was a rude awakening. I’ve opened transaction NACE to check the printing form and program of output type RD00 only to see what I was afraid of: They are not this company’s very own Z-form and Z-program, but something like that:

What the hell is this? Is this an IDES system? Are we on factory defaults? Is this a nightmare?

Let me tell you what actually happened: With the initial SAP implementation for this company (sometime around 25 years ago), the good old folks who were responsible for the design had decided to use standard customizing content SAP has provided. Sales order type OR, Delivery document type LF, billing document type F2, item categories TAN, TAS, TAP etc, output types AN00, BA00, LD00, RD00, account groups 0001, 0002, 0003, etc: They have all been heavily customized and used with the very same codes. And this business function activation, which has some enhancements to sales and billing document printouts in the form of Adobe Forms, had restored the output customizing to factory defaults. This was actually what had happened.

I was lucky to have discovered this before the actual transport to production, so I’ve compared some tables and found the “defaulted” output types, and fixed them. After exhaustive tests we have found out that V1 and V3 output applications were the only applications to have been affected by this business function activation. Lesson learned? ->>> Do not use standard SAP content, but always copy it to the available namespace and use your own Y* or Z* objects. This has always been the way I have been working, and by this experience I was made sure once again that this is the correct way to go.

And about the user who said “the process seems sound, postings look OK, but in the invoice printout a custom text was not displayed” ->>> How in hell could he not locate any other funny thing in the printout is still beyond me. After the fix, in which our Z-form is activated, he replied by saying “Printout seems OK now, we can transport to production”.

Talk about finishing a project in ease.

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Robert Forster
      Robert Forster


      sorry i have to disagree. Please check your System or create a OSS.

      We have activated it as well without These changes.

      In General in prefer the Standard customizing - SAP deliver changes to Client 000, which you can use as reference.


      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Robert,

      What part of this do you disagree actually?

      By activating this business function, I have experienced that some output types are defaulted to factory defaults, because the BF activation actually delivers new Adobe Forms, These Adobe forms are automatically assigned to these output types with the activation, and the programs are defaulted as well.

      So Robert, ee did not raise an OSS message, because had we done that, I was almost sure that they would reply with something like "You should not be changing SAP standard - When you change a predelivered content, you are already being warned with a warning message like Do not make any changes (SAP data)".

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      OK...   I'm very confused by the comment.   In my world changing anything standard (from config) Is something you should never do.    Even order types have been copied OR to ZOR ir there are a lot of changes.

      Creating an OSS note is always a good practice or searching OSS.   However, on something like this - where the actual problem is fixed.  What would you give the priority? Low.  It might take quite a while for the responses to come to you.

      Agreed this seems like a very strange thing to have happened

      And interesting that you change the standard customizing.   The main reason behind doing that is for the way SAP delivers changes?   Could you elaborate? That would be very interesting to me.   Actually, I'd love to see a blog about it.  It may generate some interesting comments - like this one just did.   A different way of thinking about things - I love it.


      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Very nice blog.   I could feel your frustration.   I'm so glad you looked into why the "text" was missing.   It's funny.  Usually I just get - "It doesn't work".   And then I have to ask a lot of questions to find out why it doesn't work.

      Wow! Resetting to the original.   That's just strange. I wonder if there was a reason behind it?  I wonder what the reason was?


      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Michelle,


      I suppose the reason behind it was that this BF activation actually delivers new Adobe Forms. And these Adobe forms are automatically assigned to these output types with the activation, and the programs are defaulted as well. It is an enhancement in a way.

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      That would make sense.   However, a warning would have been nice.  I'm sure you agree. Of course we do get that nice warning about not changing all SAP things.  I don't think we got that 25 years ago.  I remember copying SAP programs and making changes to them. (Cloning) Yes, well that didn't work very well with notes or upgrades.  Of course there have been about a million changes since then.  And still "It depends" is a standard answer.

      It did end well for you.  Otherwise I'm sure the blog would have REALLY been frustrated.  Invoices going to customers = very big deal.

      Author's profile photo Kivanc Bilgin
      Kivanc Bilgin
      Blog Post Author

      I totally agree, and yes, had we not noticed that, it would have been a complete disaster. Sheeesh, close one ?