Logging On and Off the System SAP BASIS

Logging on to the system requires that the SAP GUI software be installed on your PC or workstation and a valid SAP user identification and password from the system administrator. Generally, there is a SAP utility installed in users' computers, known as SAP logon, which is the program that actually runs the SAP GUI. Refer to the section about SAP logon in Chapter 2 for more information about this utility. The user identification and initial password are generally provided by the system managers or project leaders. If you meet those basic requirements, having the SAP logon and username and password, then you are ready to log on to the SAP system. When you finish your working task, you must log off. The SAP system administrator can automatically log off users when their session is idle for a certain amount of time; this is achieved by means of an instance profile parameter.

To access the SAP systems, find the SAP logon utility and click on the group or server of your choice, provided you have a valid account and password. A new window with the SAP R/3 logon screen appears. This screen has four fields: the Client, the User, the Password, and the Language.

Initial SAP window for logon

Initial SAP window for logon

In the Client field, enter the client number. This numbers defines a whole business entity within the company, or the whole company. Very possibly this field has a default client number in it, which is defined by the system administrator with the instance profile parameter login/system_client. In Figure , the client is automatically set to 100. You can accept this value or type over an existing client where you have user identification. Once satisfied with the Client field, move to the next field by pointing and clicking with the mouse or pressing TAB. The next field is the User field. Enter the name of the SAP user identification. Users of the SAP system are client specific, which means that having a user identification (user master record) on one client will only allow access to that particular client. In the Password field, enter the password that has been assigned by the system administrator or the user administrator. If this is the very first time a user accesses the system, pressing ENTER gets a screen requesting the user change the password. Passwords in the SAP system must follow certain rules. These rules and how the user and the system administrator can change passwords are explained more fully in the next section. User passwords should be changed at regular intervals to enhance users' security and reduce the risk of intrusions.

The last field on the logon screen is the Language field. SAP systems support multinational character sets and languages on the same system at the same time, which is very useful for multinational companies with employees working in several countries and possibly using different languages. SAP R/3 comes bundled with English (language code EN) and German (language code DE). The default language code is defined with the instance profile parameter zcsa/ system_language. Additional languages have to be imported (installed) by the system administrator. On the same SAP system, different instances can be defaulted to different languages.

When the required fields are correctly completed, pressing ENTER takes you into the SAP system. If you made a typing mistake in any of the fields, you will see a message in the status bar (the bottom part of the SAP window). When logging on for the very first time, the first thing you see is the copyright notice. Clicking on the Continue button removes the copyright notice. If the system administrator wrote a system message, this appears in your SAP window. In this case, pressing ENTER or clicking on the Continue button closes the System Message dialog box. In the standard SAP system, the main menu screen, known as SAP Easy Access, is displayed.The initial screen of a SAP R/3 Enterprise 4.7, on an special Education and Demo system, known as IDES.

SAP Easy Access window

SAP Easy Access window

Users might get a different left side menu if the default settings of the user master records were modified to default them to other menus. A more detailed description on setting values for users is given later in this chapter. Multiple logons to the system using the same username and passwords are allowed in SAP systems, but since release 4.6, the system keeps tracks of these logins both for security and licensing reasons. So if users are trying to log on with the same username while another session with that username is still active, the system will show a dialog box show three options:

  • Continue with the current logon and end other logons in the system
  • Continue with the current logon and not ending the other logons in the system
  • Terminate the current logon process

Passwords

A password is a string of characters (letters and numbers) known to a single user that prevents other users from accessing the system using that user identification. As stated before, when logging on for the very first time, the New Password dialog box is displayed.

New Password dialog box

New Password dialog box

There are specific rules for setting passwords. The following section explains the most important ones.

Password Rules

In the SAP system, users must follow certain rules when entering passwords. Some rules are fixed in the SAP code and others can be set by the system administrator using certain profile parameters or by forbidding entries by specifying values in tables.

Providing the administrator made no changes, the standard password rules of the system are as follows:

  • Password length must be at least three characters long and no more than eight.
  • Passwords are not case sensitive, so, for example, if your password is laura, all strings laura, LAuRa, and LAURA behave just fine.
  • Valid alphanumeric characters include all the letters (from a to z), the numbers, and even the punctuation marks, as long as the password does not begin with a question mark (?), a blank space, or an exclamation point (!).
  • The first three characters of a password cannot be the same.
  • You cannot use the string pass or SAP* as your password. You cannot use any of the forbidden passwords, which are maintained by the system administrator in a special table.
  • You cannot use any of the last five passwords.

The following list gives some examples of valid and invalid passwords.

valid and invalid passwordsvalid and invalid passwords

System administrators can impose additional password rules, such as forbidding some strings of characters as passwords, setting a minimum password length other than three, setting an expiration time, and so forth. Refer to the section entitled "Password Management" in Chapter 8 for additional information.

Changing the Password

Users can change their password during the logon process; passwords can also be changed by the system administrator or by any other user with the proper authorization for changing user master records. Users must change their passwords when logging on for the very first time. The procedure that follows shows how: When all the logon window fields have been, filled up as described in the previous section (client, user ID, password—assigned by your system administrator—and language), pressing ENTER will display the Password Change dialog box, like the one shown in Figure.

In the New Password field, type in your new password, adhering to the previous rules, and click with the mouse or press TAB to move to the Repeat Password field; then repeat exactly the same password. This is a security measure to avoid typing mismatches. Next, press ENTER. Users must follow exactly the same procedure of changing passwords in case the system administrator changes their passwords. At any time, users can change their own passwords when logging in. To do so, they have to click on the New Password button located on the application toolbar. When the fields are complete, the system proceeds with the New Password dialog box and just follows the previous simple procedure.

It's important to know and make the users aware that they are not allowed to change their passwords more than once a day unless they are privileged users with certain authorizations. System administrators might decide to enforce a rule requiring users to change their passwords at regular intervals, say every 45 days. In such cases, the system sends the users a message requesting they do so. When the password expiration interval arrives, the New Password logon windows automatically appear when the users log on requesting the password change. Users are forced to change the password; otherwise they cannot log in to the SAP system and will have to contact the system administrator to request a new password.

System Administrator Procedure to Change Passwords for Other Users

Changing passwords for end users is a frequent task for system managers of most computer systems and applications. SAP is no exception. Sometimes users forget their original passwords and need to request new ones. In these cases, the SAP administrator must follow this procedure. From the main tree hierarchy menu, select Tools | Administration | User Maintenance | Users, or, alternatively, go directly to the transaction by entering SU01 in the command field. In the User field, type the user ID corresponding to the user whose password you want to change, and then select the options User Names | Change Password, or directly press the Change Password button on the application toolbar.

Type in the new password and then repeat it in the second field and press ENTER (Copy button) to confirm the change. Inform the user of the new password. When the system administrator performs this procedure, the system automatically requests that the user change the password when he or she logs on. Since release 4.7 of R/3 and SAP other solutions using the SAP Web Application Server, there is a new wizard for automatic password generation. This wizard is a pushbutton located in the logon data tabstrip within the User Maintenance transaction.

Logging Off

Users can log off SAP systems from any screen. There are several procedures to log off:

  1. From the menu bar, choose System Log Off. You get the Logoff dialog box as shown in Figure. The box informs the user that any data or transaction not saved will be lost if continuing with the logoff procedure. If you are not sure whether the data you were working on were saved, click on the No button in the dialog box, and you will be returned to the screen where you were working. Otherwise, press the Yes button to log off. This procedure will log you off from all your SAP sessions, meaning it will close off the SAP windows with the current user sessions. More information on sessions can be found in later sections of this chapter.
  2. Another way to exit all your SAP sessions quickly is to use the transaction codes /NEND or /NEX in the command field. /NEND asks you to save data; /NEX does not. With both transaction codes you will be logged off of all your current SAP sessions. Caution Using the /NEX transaction will not ask you to save your data. So, if you are unsure whether you saved all your data, do not use this procedure.
  3. Clicking on the Exit button in the standard toolbar located on the SAP initial screen also displays the Logoff dialog box.

SAP Logoff screen (Copyright by SAP AG)

SAP Logoff screen (Copyright by SAP AG)



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