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54 7 SAPscript Symbols Text in the SAP system does not usually exist independently of other objects, but often contains
a reference to some other stored object. For example, for a letter this could be the address data
in the vendor master record or information in the material master record that is to be included in
a purchase order text. You solve this problem by using placeholders for the data rather than
entering the actual values into the text. Thus, you can create flexible text modules by using
these placeholders at all points where the text needs to be variable. Since much of the data to
be inserted in the text reflects the contents of fields in SAP tables, this technique ensures that
the text modules always contain the current values of these fields when printed.
In SAPscript, these placeholders are known as symbols. They represent data that will not be
added to the text until a later point. This is normally the point at which the output is formatted.
All symbols occurring in the text are then replaced with their current values. This replacement is
performed only in the output text. The original version of the text module is unaffected.
SAPscript recognizes four different kinds of symbols: System symbols Standard symbols Program symbols Text symbols. The main difference between these is the source of their values. SAPscript provides values for
the system symbols. Standard symbols and their values are defined in the TTDTG table.
Program symbols represent data supplied by the program that is currently executing. The
values for text symbols come either from control commands in the text itself or are supplied
dynamically by the Include function in the text editor.
SAPscript automatically recognizes the type of a symbol. First of all, it checks whether the
symbol is a system symbol. If not, then it checks whether the symbol name is defined in the
data area of the calling program. In this case, it is a program symbol. Otherwise, SAPscript
reads table TTDTG. If the symbol is found in this table, then it is a standard symbol. If a symbol
is neither a system symbol nor a program symbol nor a standard symbol, then it is a text
7.1 Syntax of Symbols Each symbol has a name that is used when the symbol is called. A call to a symbol is normally
made in a line of text that also includes other kinds of text. Therefore it is necessary that
symbols can be distinguished from normal text, and that the call is structured in such a way that
it is possible to identify it as a call to a symbol. Use the delimiter & both immediately before and after the symbol. Do not use blank characters in the name of a symbol. Moreover, since the characters
'+() are used for defining formatting options, you must not use any of these a symbol
name either. Make sure that no SAPscript editor line break occurs between the symbol delimiters. If
necessary, use a long line to avoid this (paragraph format = or /=). Enclose additional formatting options in round brackets and insert them immediately
after the symbol name. The code letters identifying these options must be given in
capitals. A string that does not satisfy all the above conditions is not interpreted as a symbol but is
copied directly into the output text.
Examples of valid symbols:
Examples of invalid symbols:
&mysymbol closing delimiter missing &my symbol& name contains blanks &mysymbol)& name contains an invalid character
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