Maintain characteristics

In this step you can define your own characteristics. A number of frequently used characteristics are already predefined in the standard system.

You initially define these characteristics independent of any operating concern. They are also available in all clients.

Before you define a new characteristic, look at the list of existing characteristics. You may find one there that already meets your requirements. (This list contains all predefined characteristics and those you have already defined in your system.) To see a list of those characteristics that are automatically contained in all operating concerns, choose "Extras -> Fixed fields".

To create a new characteristic, switch to the "change" mode and then choose the Create icon:

Copying characteristics from a list of proposals

You can use characteristics that originally come from other applications as characteristics in Profitability Analysis by copying these fields from existing tables or structures. For example you can choose any characteristics from the master data tables for customers, materials, or sales documents. The table from which you copy these characteristics is the "origin table". These characteristics are automatically derived from other characteristics or transferred from other applications (such as Sales and Distribution (SD)) to Profitability Analysis.

The system only offers you those fields that can still be copied from the table. This excludes fixed characteristics, characteristics already found in the field catalog, and fields that cannot be used in CO-PA for technical reasons.

To avoid naming conflicts, you must rename any fields that you copy if their key is not 4 or 5 characters long. The new name must begin with "WW".

When you add characteristics to your operating concern in this way, all the detail information is also copied from the origin table.

If you want other texts to appear on screens or lists for the characteristic, you can need to delete the assignment to the original data element by choosing "Edit -> Data elemnent -> Delete assignment. Then you can enter texts on the detail screen. You can only delete the assignment to the data element if you have not yet saved the characteristic.

The system automatically proposes entries for the text table, text field, and long text field. You should only change these in exceptional cases. If you do so, note that the key of the text table contains the same fields as the key of the check table.

User-defined characteristics

You can also manually define new characteristics that you only want to use in Profitability Analysis. Since these characteristics have no origin, their values are not automatically derived from other characteristics. You therefore need to define derivation rules for them. The name of a user-defined characteristic must begin with "WW" and consist of 4 or 5 characters. Depending on the desired attributes, you must choose one of the following variants:

General information

1. You can change the texts of user-defined characteristics at any time.
2. The technical attributes, the assigned data element, and the check table can only be changed if you have not yet saved the characteristic.
3. You can delete any characteristic that is not used in any operating concern.
4. It is possible to define more than one characteristic using the same data element or texts. However, no two fields with the same data element or texts can occur in the same operating concern. The following example shows how you can use characteristics with the same data element from different (origin) tables:
The characteristic MATKL (Product range) is predefined. Its origin table is MARA (material master). However, you want to derive the product range from the sales document. Therefore you need to define a characteristic from origin table VBAP.
Choose "Copy table fields" and select the field MATKL from table VBAP. Since a characteristic with the same name already exists, rename the field to "WWMKL". Then choose "Edit -> Data element -> Delete assignment" to delete the assignment to the data element. On the detail screen, enter different texts so that you can distinguish this one from the predefined characteristic MATKL. When you activate the new characteristic, the system automatically creates a new data element (with the same technical attributes and same origin table).
5. On the initial screen, you can use the following repair functions:
"Extras -> Field catalog -> Reorganize
"Extras -> Master data -> Text read module
The function "Reorganize" synchronizes the CO-PA field catalog and the ABAP Dictonary. "Text read module" generates the routines for checking characteristic values and reformats the texts for display. Both functions are unnecessary in the course of normal operations. They are merely designed to help you correct inconsistencies following modifications or transport errors.
6. Using customer hierarchies
You can transfer the customer hierarchy from Sales and Distribution to Profitability Analysis in derivation of characteristic values. The structure PAPARTNER contains the hierarchy fields HIEZU01 to HIEZU10. Consequently, you can transfer up to 10 hierarchy levels to CO-PA. Copy the fields for the hierarchy levels you want to use. For more information, see the section "Set up customer hierarchy for characteristic derivation".


1. Define the desired characteristics and then activate your entries.
2. Add these characteristics to your operating concerns using the IMG activity Maintain operating concern -> Change data structures.