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The need for enhancements

There is no doubt that the flexibility offered by the SAP configuration options held within the IMG are of significant benefit to each and every client regardless of industry sector. However there are occasions where exceptional business process requirements cannot be accommodated by the standard configuration options without damaging the more mainstream processes. Additionally, there are occasions where some legacy systems are dependent on data being passed from or to SAP that the standard configuration options cannot cater for.

Whatever drives the need for enhancements to the standard system functionality, it is clear that they are a pain that occasionally needs to be endured.

Having had the experience of complex implementations that have required system enhancements, and also of subsequent system upgrades, we have seen both sides of the coin at close quarters and are aware of the pitfalls that can unwittingly be created by the unwary when enhancing standard SAP. 
The degree of the pain endured by these pitfalls can be minimised by ensuring that the following guidelines are followed:
    - Obviously, make use of the 'User Exits' provided within the SAP
      programs where possible.
    - Do not change standard SAP programs and function modules if at 
      all possible. Create new copies of the objects, and make changes 
      to these.
    - Make sure that any enhancements and new objects are 
      documented, not only from a requirements & specification 
      point of view, but also from a future system upgrade 

Holding an up to date inventory of the technical enhancements made, the related objects and their data dependencies, will significantly reduce the uncertainty element when executing the required system testing of the upgraded functionality.



Last modified: September 01, 2003