An intermediate document (IDoc) is a container for exchanging data between R/3, R/2 and non-SAP systems.


ALE uses IDocs to exchange data between logical systems. Non SAP-systems can use IDocs as the standard interface for data transfer.

IDocs are created by message types and (object) methods when data is to be distributed.


An IDoc represents a configuration of an IDoc type that determines the IDoc structure. An IDoc consists of a header, several data segments and status records.

The functions of the individual elements of an IDoc are as follows:

Structure of an IDoc

The structure of the IDoc is recorded in the SAP System. The structure definition covers the following:

In the example shown above the IDoc contains a header segment that has to be the first segment of the message. Thereafter there must be at least one additional item. The following conditions apply:

An IDoc can only contain character fields.