SAP Tips and Tricks: Put Variants and Layouts to Work
Maintenance Technology | August 14, 2017
This month we answer the question: What variants and layouts does SAP offer and how can they help users?
SAP contains search screens on almost every transaction. This allows the user to establish variants by entering a set of criteria that can be saved and displayed each time the transaction is run, without reentering the criteria. This could be a group of work orders, functional locations, materials, or all objects in a date range.
There are ways that a dynamic date range can be entered. With this option, each time the transaction is run, it can start with the current day and go backward or forward by a prescribed number of days or you may want to look at the previous month or future dates. Regardless of the criteria, the dynamic date range can be set so your criteria run on that range each time you execute the transaction, without reentering the dates.
It is possible to create several different variants for the same transaction, based on the information you want to see. Variants are at the heart of effective use of dashboards. They are time saving and accurate, helping eliminate human error.
Layouts help, too
Layouts are a component of the variant that defines the information that will be displayed on the report, once executed. The layout controls the columns, sort order, format, and filtering options.
Layouts help control the look of your report, based on the selection criteria in your variant. Just like variants, you can create multiple layouts for the same transaction, depending on the audience and how you want your information to be viewed.
To create a variant, open a transaction and enter the search criteria you would like to see every time you execute. Select Goto from the menu, then select variants, then save the variant. If the system default variant comes up, make sure to change the name and not overwrite it.
In the variant name field, enter a name for your variant. You have two options for saving your variant. The user-specific option will be a personal variant, only seen by you as the creator. To implement this, you must enter the name of the variant in the format of U_SAP USER NAME. For example, U_EG8931.
The screen grabs above show the steps involved in setting up a user-specific variant.
The second option is a global variant that everyone can view. To create a global variant, you must start the variant name with a / then the description. If you check the box “protect variant,” only the creator will be able to change the variant.
Next, you can save your variant variables by selecting an object to create a dynamic range. In the example below right, due date was selected. Click on the selection variables button on the tool bar, then choose the value you want to save in your variant. MT
Kristina Gordon is SAP Program Consultant at the DuPont, Sabine River Works plant in West Orange, TX. If you have SAP questions, send them to email@example.com, and we’ll forward them to Kristina.