Characteristic describes a common property of an object, e.g. COLOR or TEMPERATURE_CONDITIONS of a material, NUMBER_OF_EMPLOYEES of a vendor, INSPECTIONS performed on a batch…
Characteristics can be created, modified and deleted using TCode CT04 (SAP Menu → Cross-Application Components → Classification System → Master Data → Characteristics).
Note that if a characteristic is already assigned in a class and such class is assigned to an object, it is not easy to delete this characteristic.
Each characteristic must have a client-wide unique name and is defined with the following Basic data:
- Description of the characteristic
You can create your own status using IMG → Cross-Application Components → Classification System → Characteristics → Define Characteristic Statuses
- Authorization Group
- Data Type
- Format of the Data Type
- number of characters
By selecting template you can specify the format of characteristic’s value allowed to be entered
Templates can be defined using IMG → Cross-Application Components → Classification System → Characteristics → Define Templates
Symbols/Characters used to define the templates are defined in IMG → Cross-Application Components → Classification System → Characteristics → Define Template Characters
- Single or Multiple Values
Object’s characteristic can be assigned with a single value or with a range/list of values. These values can be predefined (hard coded), defined dynamically (e.g. by ABAP function module) or any value can be accepted.
- Entry Required flag
If a class containing a characteristic is assigned to an object, than the characteristic MUST be filled with a value in case this flag is set
Values for a characteristic can either be non-restricted (user can enter anything he wants) or restricted using one of the four following options (can be selected by clicking on the Other Value Check button)
- Explicitly set list of allowed values
- Check table
- Function module
- Characteristics defined in a Catalog
The Restrictions Tab purpose is to specify the Class Types where this Characteristic can be used, e.g. 001 means that this characteristic can only be used in Characteristic Classes created for Class Type 001 – Material classes.
You might want some characteristic be defined as dependent on another characteristic within a class. This dependency is based on a user-defined condition. This is useful when you want to ensure that correct classification is applied and no incompatible values are entered for characteristics.
E.g. you have characteristic COLOR with allowed values RED, GREEN, BLUE and characteristic COLOR_FINISHING with values MATTE, GLOSS and METALLIC. In this special case you’d like to define characteristic COLOR_FINISHING to be dependent on characteristic COLOR because entering only the value for characteristic FINISHING would make no sense – using dependency you force the user to enter both or none.
To create a dependency you must have the characteristic already created and assigned to a class. You will not change the characteristic directly in CT04, but you have to go via CL02 (classification classes), select the desired class, go into change mode, select desired characteristic and NOW – you can go to change mode for this characteristic. In change mode navigate in the Top Menu → Extras → Object Dependencies → Editor
After you make the selection, the dependency editor is opened and you can enter your required dependency conditions.