Effects of changing standard customizing content – BEWARE!
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.