The new search help concept simplifies and extends the past options for defining an input help (help view, matchcode, foreign key, foreign key with text table).
A new object type, the search help, is introduced in the ABAP Dictionary. This new object type replaces the previous help views and matchcodes and is intended to correct the weak points in the past input help (F4 help). This results in the following new possibilities:
The internal definition of the search help enables you to define the online behavior during the input help and the source for data selection. Externally, the search help looks like a function module with import, export and change parameters.
Similarly to a foreign key definition, the parameters can be assigned to the fields of a Dictionary structure. If such a Dictionary field is copied to a screen, the input help is automatically implemented there by means of this search help. It is possible to link further search helps to Dictionary fields by attaching a search help to a check table and by attaching a search help to a data element. This means that the search help is always available on the screen or in the applications program without further definitions.
Several search helps can be combined to form a collective search help. The user can then choose between several search options in the input help, as was the case for matchcodes. The interface of the collective search help externally looks exactly like that of an elementary search help.
Existing help views and matchcodes are converted to search helps in 4.0. There are tools available for migrating matchcodes and help views. A manual adjmustment is only necessary for some exceptions.
Existing help views and matchcodes are automatically converted to search helps in a Release upgrade. See the corresponding release notes about migrating matchcodes and help views.