Moving Around the SAP Systems SAP BASIS

Users of the SAP solutions need to move around to perform their usual work. The SAP system includes several ways to move around. The most usual is by selecting options from the hierarchy tree menu at the left of the screen, or from application menus and submenus. This allows users to navigate and choose from the available functions to perform their tasks without the need to memorize keyboard combinations or transactions codes. Navigation in application menus is possible either with the mouse or with the keyboard. Selecting options is just like any other typical windows application: just drag around the menus and click the function you want to start.

Selecting functions just with the keyboard might not be very convenient, but it's easy. Pressing F10 takes you to the menu bar. From there, you can navigate with the arrow keys: right, left, down, and up. Once you are located over the needed option, just press ENTER. To cancel a selection, press ESC. To cancel the menu bar selection, press F10 again. To move around the SAP work area, press TAB to go forward from field to field or SHIFT-TAB to move backward.

Once users working on particular tasks decide to finish their work and go to another application function, they have to move back through the menus and locate their new menus. Within each specific application screen, usually the most common functions are directly accessible through the pushbuttons on the standard toolbar and the application toolbar. For example, when working in the initial screen for user administration, you will see the buttons for functions such as Create, Copy, Display, Lock/Unlock, and Change Password, which are the most common ones.

Likewise, clicking and holding the right-hand pushbutton of the mouse (for right-handed people) shows a pop-up box with those usual functions and the equivalent keyboard combinations. This is known as the Function Key menu. The options available under the Function Key menu differ among tasks.

Example of Function Key menu

Example of Function Key menu

Another way to move around, often used by expert users, is by entering transaction codes in the command field. With this method, users can go directly to a task withoutnavigating through the application menus.

The SAP system provides an alternative way of selecting menu options for moving around the tasks and functions of the SAP system by using transaction codes directly in the command field. Using transaction codes gives users the advantage of moving faster to other transactions and also creating a new session with another function at once. When moving with transactions, you can go to any part of the SAP system, not just the application you are working with. There is, of course, the need for the necessary authorization in order to execute the task. The disadvantage is that in order to use this method, users have to memorize cryptic transaction codes. A transaction code is an alphanumeric code, up to 20 characters, associated with a SAP task. By typing the transaction code in the command field and pressing ENTER, the system takes you directly to the initial screen for that transaction. Every function within the SAP system has a transaction code associated with it.

There are two main ways to find the transaction code you want to use. The first way is to navigate with the menu functions and reach the desired screen. When in the screen, select System | Status. You get the status window, which contains the transaction code in the transaction field. Another way to find a transaction code is by selecting from the main menu Extras | Settings and checking the option Display Technical Names. With this option, every time you move in the hierarchical tree menu, you will be able to see the transaction code preceding every menu option.

Finally, you can also use transaction code SE93 (maintain transactions) and then use the search help to look for the transaction code. To move around by entering transaction codes, position the cursor in the command field. Then enter /N followed by the transaction code, for example, /NSM37, where /N indicates to end the current task, and SM37 is the transaction code, in this case, corresponding to Simple Job Selection. When you are in the initial screen you don't have to enter /N before the transaction code because there is no task to end. Upon pressing ENTER, the current task is finished and the system takes you automatically to the specified task.
Another way to work with transaction codes but not end the current task is to create a new session and a new task at once, as stated previously and shown in Figure .

To do that, you must enter /O and the transaction code. For example, typing /OSE09 in the command field opens a new session in a new SAP window with the initial screen of the transport organizer, which is transaction SE09. The command field includes an entries list indicated by the down arrow on the right side, which is a history list of transaction codes previously entered since you logged on. You could also press the history list and select a transaction from that list. Clicking on a transaction from the list and pressing ENTER displays the initial screen associated with the transaction.

History list of transaction codes

History list of transaction codes

When using the System | Status function to find the transaction code for the current task, you must be aware that many transactions have several screens associated with them. So, when using transaction codes to move to a task, you can only reach the initial screen for the transaction.


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