Data Transfer Workbench


The Data Transfer Workbench supports the automatic transfer of data from your legacy system into the R/3 System. The Workbench provides you with access to the standard programs as well as with the necessary tools for transferring data.

Data Transfer Objects

You can currently (Rel. 4.0A) use the Workbench to transfer the following objects to the R/3 System:

- G/L account master record - Class
- Material master - Inspection characteristic
- Material BOM - Enclosures
- Vendor master - Routing
- Customer master - Planned indep. requirements
- Purchasing information record - Document information records
- Condition record - Storage bins (WM)
- Purchase requisition - Warehouse stock (WM)
- Sales documents - Personnel planning
- Financial documents - Rental unit
- Goods movement - Rental contract
- Manual reservation - HR master data
- Classification

Calling the Workbench

You can call the Workbench in the following ways:


The Data Transfer Workbench provides you with the necessary functions for transferring data. You can call all of the functions from the Workbench initial screen:

1. Creating an Initial Data Transfer File
Before you can transfer data automatically into the R/3 System you should first convert the data from your legacy system into a format that is suitable for the R/3 System. This initial file contains the relevant fields in the length and sequence specified by the structure. You can use the data transfer file to see the fields of a transfer object in the R/3 System and the structure in which the data should be delivered.
By choosing Transfer object -> Create init. file, you can create an empty transfer file for test purposes. This file can be used to to illustrate how the fields are filled.
You display the transfer file by choosing Transfer object -> Display file.
This displays the data records that the transfer file contains, as well as the structure tables for each data record. In the top line of the screen, the number of transactions displays the number of data records that the transfer file contains.
The system displays the fields of the transfer object in their predefined length and sequence. If you double-click on a structure line, this displays the fields of the structure you have chosen.
The various hierarchy levels of a data record are flagged with different colors (hierarchy level 1: green, hierarchy level 2: yellow, hierarchy level 3: blue).
You can display the structure of the transfer file by choosing Goto -> Interface structure . The interface structure gives a technical description of the transfer file and shows the structures that can be used and the sequence in which they should be used.
2. Editing the Data Transfer File
You use the Editor to change a data transfer file. The Editor is particularly useful for editing transfer data during the test, that is, before the data is actually transferred. You access the Editor by choosing Transfer object -> Change file .
As well as being able to delete and duplicate structures, you can also edit the fields in the structure, for example by entering field values. In the Editor, you can often use the Possible entries pushbutton (F4) to display the possible entries.
3. Copy Function
If you want to work with different transfer files, you can use this function to copy an existing data transfer file. In doing so you can choose from where the files should be copied (for example, from the application server to the presentation server).
4. Exporting the Structure
You can export the metadata of the transfer file or individual structures into the programming language you are using. It is currently possible to export into the programming languages COBOL, PL/1, C and P_RPG.
This conversion helps you to create a conversion program in the appropriate programming language.
5. Executing the Data Transfer
You can start the data transfer program for a particular transfer object directly from the Workbench.
6. Object-Specific Settings
As well as the cross-application general functions of the Data Transfer Workbench, there are also settings and functions that depend on the data transfer object:
There are some transfer objects whose structure tables can be reduced depending on the customer. This deletes fields that you no longer require from the R/3 structure. The changed structure is created as a customer structure in the customer namespace (beginning with "Z"). In this case, the customer structure is used instead of the R/3 structure.
If you can use customer structures (for example, financial documents), the system displays the pushbutton Dictionary in the object-specific settings area on the Workbench initial screen.
If customer structures have already been created, the system displays the checkbox Use customer structure in the object-specific settings area on the Workbench initial screen. This enables you to use the customer structure for the interface structure of the initial file and to create initial data based on this customer structure.
The activity type can specify different settings for a data transfer object:
For the G/L accounts, you can work with either a hierarchical or a flat transfer file.
For material BOMs, the activity type distinguishes whether the material BOM is created or changed, whether it creates a variant BOM or whether long texts are also transferred.
For other data transfer objects, the activity type distinguishes whether the program uses direct input or batch input.
You can start data transfer objects that support direct input directly online. Although this does not enable you to restart the data transfer program after it runs into errors, the advantage is that you obtain concrete results more quickly. You can use this function to transfer financial documents, material masters and sales documents.
For G/L account master records (I), material masters, sales documents, routing and personal planning, you can create a data transfer file for test purposes using data that already exists in the R/3 System.

Further notes

You can find further information as well as procedures for executing the data transfer in the online documentation in the R/3 Library.