Searching for SAP answers: DO’s and DON’Ts

Dmitry Kaglik

November 2, 2015

SAP

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When searching for answers to your SAP-related questions, you may use different resources. SAP Expert even ran a poll about the way you do this. You may check the results.

However, knowing the resource name is just a beginning. What is also important is HOW you search, or WHAT you search for. Let me give you some tips for this.

1. Use error codes. When you see the error message at the bottom of your SAP screen or in the pop-up window, you can get more details of that message in the Performance Assistant window. It is not necessary that Performance Assistant will give you useful information, but it will always show you the technical details of your message, including the message class and the 3-digit number. It is F2 219 on the screenshot below.

Error message 2

You can search for that combination and it is very likely you will get some useful results. Just as a hint, do your search twice: putting message class and number separately (F2 219) and concatenated (F2219). The latter may narrow down your search, which may be useful sometimes.

2. Use SAP terminology. It seems very obvious for many, but even on some forums I see that people use non-SAP terminology for SAP-related questions. For example, it may be clear for the user itself that “screen” is actually a SAP “transaction”, but in SAP terms “screen” and “transaction” are very different, especially if you talk to an ABAP programmer. Getting used to SAP terminology will give you more relevant results.

3. Narrow your search using the search engine tools. If you look for your answers using Google, Bing, Yahoo or other generalized search engine, you can narrow down the results using the site:<site name> command. This allows you to restrict the search area to the named site. For example, site:sap.com will only return you the results that have “sap.com” in their URLs.

4. Use the transaction code. If your business process involves a certain SAP transaction code, put that transaction code into the search request. The same is true of the configuration transaction you use. You will narrow your search down to the specific problem, as well as potentially get some new ideas about other options you have in the same transaction.

5. Don’t use generic transaction code. It may contradict the point above, but if you use a generic transaction to make your configuration, it’s not a good idea to put that transaction code into the request. Putting SPRO, SM30 or similar will not help you.

6. Search in books. If you have a paper book, why not flip it through to look for the answer or inspiration? If you don’t have any SAP books yet, SAP Expert can recommend some for you.

What are other hints you can give to your colleagues?

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