focus on the right data in an ALV
Dear community, I recently saw a picture about information and knowledge on Twitter. I’ve reproduced the picture for demonstration.
It reminded me of something in particular. However, it took some time before I figured it out … lists!
Lists per SAP List Viewer (ALV) are part of my daily work. Lists usually contain a large number of columns and a large amount of information in the associated cells. As an example, check database table EKKO (purchasing document header). It contains 159 columns. I have to know or find the connections (the knowledge) myself. Every time I call transaction SE16, I keep that in mind 🙂 Good to know some business processes and the relevant data.
As soon as you understand certain connections, you use them skillfully to answer questions. For example: Which purchase orders of a certain document type were created for purchasing organization 1000?
This brings up the topic “focusing” – that’s important to me. Sometimes I spend a lot of time looking for a particular column and its contents. Many times I’m just confused by the sheer number of columns (scrolling to the right … a little bit more scrolling … and finally missed) or I look in the wrong column 🙁
In such a situation, I find it useful to reduce information. Hide the unnecessary information (columns) and focus on the important information. Handy if everything fits on the screen.
You can do this by setting a layout. You can define the order of the columns, you can hide columns, define filter and more. Really useful. Even more, you can define layouts only for yourself or for all users of the ALV.
function keys to work with layouts
Here’s a very simple example. Database table T006 (units of measurement) has 23 columns. Therefore my screenshot is very wide and cannot show any details.
If you reduce the columns to the required columns, the screenshot becomes clear (just an example that’s ok for me)
T006 view in transaction SE16 with defined columns
This possibility exists for a long time. I’m therefore surprised how many users don’t know it or don’t use it. Incidentally, I know the same situation from selection screen variants. Both are very helpful. Especially if you combine them in your own written applications 🙂
If you can choose a layout with the selection criteria on the selection screen, you can save it in a variant for later use. That’s a good combination: You can define what you want to see by selection criteria and how to you want to see it by layout.
This allows you to quickly develop different views on a list. Views that allow quick answers to certain questions. That’s it – I just wanted to remind of this possibility.
How can you do that in your own code? Fortunately, there are standard examples. For lists based on class CL_SALV_TABLE, check report SALV_DEMO_TABLE_LAYOUT. If you work with lists based on ALV with Integradted Data Access (ALV with IDA), please check report SALV_IDA_LAYOUT_LISTBOX_FS.
So far so old-school so good 😉 Have fun and use the standard to keep things simple.
Best regards, thanks for reading and please stay healthy