SAP CHEAT SHEET: A Friendly Getting Started Guide for New SAP Users (User Interface and Access)

Overview

  1. Pre-Requisites
  2. Logging In
  3. Basic Layout (SAP Easy Access User Menu)
  4. Accessing a Transaction Code Screen
  5. Additional Information 

Note that there is a different approach for those with SAP Fiori. For this post, we will focus on the standard SAP GUI.

PRE-REQUISITES: What do I need before I log on to SAP?

  1. Stable internet connection
  2. Company VPN is installed and working (*if applicable)
  3. SAP GUI Logon is installed
  4. SAP Environments are added to the SAP GUI Logon
  5. SAP User Credentials are active for your use

For the prerequisites, companies usually provide you with an onboarding documentation that should cover step by step instructions in line with their policies, processes, and security measures. For this post, I will be giving a general run-through of the prerequisites and the basic actions that need to be done.

Stable internet connection

You need stable internet connection to be able to proceed with SAP access. You can connect through LAN or Wifi.

Company VPN is installed and working (*if applicable)

This is only applicable if you will be working outside of the company or client’s work area. If you do not have this installed, you may ask around for the company procedures for VPN installation. For example, some companies do this through ticket requests. This type of information is usually provided in the onboarding or “new hire” documentation.

Some of you may ask the following questions:

“Why do I need a company VPN to access SAP?”

Think of it as a company’s private network. You could say that there are some security measures or details that the company wants to be done in their private network. They wouldn’t want all company transactions and access to happen over public network especially if SAP is a huge chunk in their system architecture.

“How do I know if I need to use VPN to access SAP?”

If you are within the company premises of which you want to access SAP, you do not need a VPN because you should already be connected to the company WIFI or LAN. However, if you are at home / working remotely and you are using another WIFI or LAN (for example: your own personal WIFI), you need to use and connect to the company VPN to access SAP.

If you are a consultant that wants to access the client’s SAP, you need to connect to the client’s VPN.

SAP GUI Logon is installed

The SAP GUI Logon icon looks like the images below. If you do not have this installed, you may ask around for the company procedures for SAP installation. For example, some companies also do this through ticket requests.

SAP Environments are added to the SAP GUI Logon

When you double click on the SAP GUI icon, you will first be presented with an empty SAP Logon box. In order to connect to SAP, you need to specify the SAP environments that you want to connect to.

The most basic SAP environments you need as a consultant will be the (1) Development, (2) Quality Assurance / Test, and (3) Production / Live System.

  • Development (Dev) – All development or configuration changes will be done here.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) – The development / configuration changes will be moved to the QA environment for testing purposes. The QA environment also serves as the environment where support consultants can try to replicate errors in production. Here they can do tweaks, investigation, and analysis to aid in their solution proposition.
  • Production (Prod) – If testing goes well and user acceptance is secured, the development / configuration changes will be moved to the Prod environment. This is the Live system that is utilized by the business users.

For business users, they should have access to Production environments only. Note that business users can be given Quality Assurance environment access if they need to test some features or they have a dedicated environment for User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

In order to add SAP Environments, go to Connections and click on the New button.

You should be presented with a screen that says “Create New System Entry”. Select User Specified System and click Next

In the next screen, select the Connection Type. In this example, I chose Custom Application Server. Then fill up the details for the following: (dummy values entered for example purposes)

  • Description
  • Application Server
  • Instance Number
  • System ID
  • SAProuter String (optional)

Once you are done filling up the details, click next to edit the Network Settings or click Finish.

If you want to edit the details later on, you can always go back to the SAP GUI Logon, right click on the Environment, then select Properties.

You should now have an entry under Connections.

Repeat the same steps until you are done entering all the SAP environments needed.

SAP User Credentials are active for your use

Ensure that you have valid SAP credentials for logging onto the SAP Environment. Assuming that necessary on-boarding procedures and authorizations requests have been done, SAP Authorizations team should provide you with a log on ID and initial password for the specific environment and client.

You should now be ready to Log in to SAP.

LOGGING IN SAP FOR THE FIRST TIME

From you SAP GUI Logon, double click on the SAP environment you want to access.

You should be presented with the screen below. Make sure to select the appropriate client number and enter the user credentials assigned to you.

After logging in for the first time, the system will prompt you to change / update your password for security purposes. The password provided to you earlier was just an initial password. Once you have updated your password, click on the Check button. You will then be redirected to the SAP main screen.

BASIC LAYOUT (SAP Easy Access User Menu)

This is called as the SAP Easy Access User Menu or the main screen of SAP. This is the first screen you will see upon login. We will go through the important buttons and user interface elements for your use. The image below shows the items that we will be discussing (highlighted accordingly).

Overall
Zoomed in
  • Red (upper left) – This is the Transaction Code Box. You basically enter any Transaction Code there to go to different SAP screens.
  • Purple – These are the “Find” icons. As long as you see these icons, you can use them to find a certain word, number, or series of characters.
  • Blue – These are the “Page Icons”. Use these to navigate through pages or spools. For example, if you end up viewing a print preview document, you can use the page icons to navigate through pages. From left to right, these are the page icon functions: Go to First Page, Go Up 1 Page, Go Down 1 Page, Go to Last Page.
  • Black – This is the SAP Business Workplace icon. Treat this as you user “mail / inbox” in SAP. Not everyone uses this since it would depend on the tasks that you need to do or even monitor. An example of using this would be to see workflow related notifications assigned to your SAP user ID.
  • Yellow – This is the user menu and it is divided into 2 main folders: Favorites and SAP Menu. You can add “Favorite” transaction codes by clicking on the star buttons. Some users prefer to enter all the transaction codes they need in the Favorites folder so they can just double click on what they want to access instead of typing it in the Transaction Code box (Red Highlight). If they want to drill down and see different transaction codes, they can traverse the SAP Menu.
  • Red (lower right) – The small arrow on the lower right hand side is especially useful since it can provide additional information. By clicking on the small arrow, you should see this type of change (image provided below)
  • Yellow Box and Orange Box – Most of the time this is ignored but you can use the yellow box as additional verification if you are in the right SAP environment.
  • Black Box – The black box contains a small downward arrow to the side. If you click on that small arrow, you can select the type of information that is displayed. You should be able to view the selections as seen in the image below.
System and ClientCan help you verify the environment you are currently accessing
UserCan help you verify the User ID that is currently accessing the environment. For example, if you are using Test ID’s for testing you can check to see what ID is currently accessing the environment.  
ProgramCan help you determine what SAP Program is currently being executed  
TransactionCan help you verify what Transaction Code was used to access the current SAP screen. This is different from a SAP Program since programs are executed through TCode SE38 or SA38 not through the Transaction Code box.  
Response Time, Interpretation Time, and Round Trips / FlushesUsually ignored unless they are needed to analyze performance issues

ACCESSING A TRANSACTION CODE SCREEN

FB03

In this example, let us use transaction code FB03. From the Main Screen, enter FB03 in the Transaction Code box and press the Enter button on your keyboard.

You should now see the FB03 SAP Screen. Notice how there are additional buttons (highlighted in red).

From left to right, here are the functionalities of the 3 buttons: Back, Exit, and Cancel.

FBL3N

As additional example, let us use transaction code FBL3N.

From transaction code FB03, type in /NFBL3N in the Transaction Code box and press the Enter button on your keyboard.

Notice how the screen changed and displayed the FBL3N SAP Screen. /N in this example just means go to transaction code using the same SAP Window.

Notice how there are additional buttons as highlighted in Red above. If you see the “Clock with Check icon”, it means that the transaction code is executable. From left to right, here are the functionalities of the 5 buttons: Execute, Get Variant, Dynamic Selections, Program Documentation, Data Sources.

ExecuteExecute. You need to enter the required data/details first on the fields below before you click on Execute. In this example, FBL3N will generate the GL Account Line Item Report upon execution.
Get VariantThis allows you to get a variant for the SAP Screen you are accessing. Instead of entering details on the fields, you can select a Variant to populate the fields and then click on Execute. This is usually utilized when a user wants to generate a report with specific details/criteria frequently.
Dynamic SelectionsThis allows you to add more details aside from the fields that are currently present in the SAP Screen. This is usually utilized to narrow down the search criteria even more.
Program DocumentationBy clicking on this, you will see an SAP Pop-up named “Performance Assistant” that will list down the purpose of the current SAP Screen you are accessing. It may contain descriptions and features of the current transaction code.
Data SourcesThis will allow you to select on the data source. Example: Database or Archive. This is usually ignored and is defaulted as “Database” unless you are trying to access a very old data.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

SAP Environments

SAP Environments may not be limited to Dev, QA, and Prod. Depending on the system architecture, you expect additional environments such as Staging Environment, Release Environment, Sandbox Environment etc.

Note that it is possible that you may have sets of Dev, QA, and Prod environments.

For example:

For this blog post, we are using ECC

You can read more on the basic system environments here.

Helpful General TCodes for New Users With Access Issues

  • SU53 – Use this whenever you encounter an error that says you are not authorized to access something. Showing this screen to the SAP Authorizations Team can help speed up your access concern.
  • SU01 – Use this whenever you need to search for a User and the corresponding details such as (Email or SAP User ID).

Helpful General TCodes for New SAP Consultants

Update Date, Time, and Decimal Format in SAP GUI

Go to System > User Profile > Own Data

Make the necessary adjustments in the Defaults Tab then click on Save

Goodluck! 🙂

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