Describing InfoObjects


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the role of InfoObjects

SAP BW/4HANA InfoObjects

SAP BW/4HANA InfoObjects

In SAP BW/4HANA, we define InfoObjects to represent each individual business entity. Examples of business entities include: customer, product, delivery quantity, or billing amount. InfoObjects are used throughout SAP BW/4HANA to provide essential business and technical information and the handling rules for each entity. When you implement SAP BW/4HANA, one of the very first tasks is to define all InfoObjects that you require.

To save you time, SAP provides, within the SAP BW/4HANA Content, thousands of InfoObjects already created within SAP BW/4HANA. Each InfoObject has a technical name (the unique identifier of the object), and a description (what the business user sees in a report). The technical names of all InfoObjects delivered by SAP begin with 0 (zero).

If you cannot find a ready-made InfoObject that fits your requirement, you can define your own custom InfoObject.

There are five types of InfoObject in SAP BW/4HANA.

Characteristic InfoObjects are the main business entities that provide context in a report. Examples are:

  • Customer (0CUSTOMER)

  • Cost center (0COSTCENTER)

  • Material (0MATERIAL)

The most important settings in the definition of a characteristic are:

  • Technical Name.
  • Description.
  • Data Type, e.g. CHAR - Character String, or NUMC - Numerical Text
  • Length, define how many characters can be stored, e.g. for a customer number you might consider 16 characters is sufficient.
  • Properties, various rules to determine how the InfoObject is handled.

Key Figure InfoObjects define measures such as revenue or quantity. Key figures are always numerical and usually represent money or quantities but sometimes they can represent simple numbers such as count. Key figures can be aggregated and they can have decimal places. Key figures can be included in calculations. The following are examples of key figure InfoObjects:

  • Quantity (0QUANTITY)

  • Amount (0AMOUNT)

The most important settings in the definition of a key figure are:

  • Technical Name.
  • Description.
  • Key Figure Type, e.g. Amount, Quantity, and the related Data Type
  • Aggregation behavior
  • Assigned Currency or Unit

Unit InfoObjects must be assigned when defining a key figure of the type amount or quantity to provide meaning to the key figure. SAP provides a ready-made unit InfoObject for each type:

  • Unit of Measure (0UNIT)

  • Currency key (0CURRENCY)

Time Characteristic InfoObjects are used to represent units of time, such as day, month. SAP provides most of the common units of time, but you can create your own if needed. The following are examples of this type of InfoObject:

  • Calendar day (0CALDAY)

  • Calendar year (0CALYEAR)

  • Fiscal year (0FISCYEAR)

Technical Characteristic InfoObjects are used for operational and administrative purposes only within SAP BW/4HANA. An example of a technical characteristic is the Request Transaction Sequence Number (0REQTSN). This is a log number generated when you load data to SAP BW/4HANA and it helps you locate the request at a later date.

Many InfoObjects in SAP BW/4HANA are related in a hierarchical way. For example, the characteristic InfoObject Telephone Number or the characteristic InfoObject Country could be used as attributes of the main characteristic InfoObject Customer to provide useful information. The same InfoObject Country might also be used with other characteristics such as Supplier. Characteristic InfoObjects that are used in this way in SAP BW/4HANA are called attributes. The main characteristic is simply referred to as a characteristic.

Key figure InfoObjects are used mainly in transactional models. For example, storing the Sales Revenue (key figure InfoObject) against Customer (characteristic InfoObject) and Calendar Year (characteristic InfoObject).

However, key figure InfoObjects can also be used as attributes for a characteristic InfoObject. For example, Discount (key figure InfoObject) can be used as an attribute for Customer (characteristic InfoObject). As another example, Gross Weight (key figure InfoObject) could be an attribute to describe Material (characteristic InfoObject).

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