ABAP – Validation of manual input

SAPI faced a scenario where I had an ALV grid where all columns were made generic of type (let’s make it simple) CHAR255. Each column has its name in field catalog in format TABNAME-FIELDNAME (+ more human readable column header texts of course). What I needed to achieve was to make validation of data that user entered in the ALV cells. Since the cell validation is not available by default (because of type CHAR255) I had to make it dynamically.
In this article I’d like to share my solution
If you know the Data Dictionary table name and field name you can get the search help name (if it exists) by calling a FM F4IF_DETERMINE_SEARCHHELP.

If this module returns valid data you can use it to call second FM called F4IF_SELECT_VALUES which returns itab with values that are normally displayed when the search help is triggered.

Generally the second FM can return enormous number of results so it’s wise to limit the search with a filter (filter the one and only value – which was entered by the user).

If the second FM returns any result, it means the value is accepted as valid.
If no result is returned, it means the value enetered by user is not valid for the given field.

Now let’s take a look at how exactly this can be implemented:

DATA:
* Table and field name you get during runtime
  g_tabname TYPE dfies-tabname,
  g_fieldname TYPE dfies-fieldname,

* Search help helper variables
  gs_shlp TYPE shlp_descr,
  gt_allowed_values TYPE TABLE OF ddshretval.

* Constants used for testing
CONSTANTS:
  gc_test_ok    TYPE werks_d VALUE '2021',
  gc_test_error TYPE werks_d VALUE '6058'.

FIELD-SYMBOLS:
  <fs_selopt> TYPE ddshselopt.

* We are testing against MARA table and its field MATNR
g_tabname   = 'MARC'.
g_fieldname = 'WERKS'.

* Get the search help if it exists/is defined
CALL FUNCTION 'F4IF_DETERMINE_SEARCHHELP'
  EXPORTING
    tabname           = g_tabname
    fieldname         = g_fieldname
  IMPORTING
    shlp              = gs_shlp
  EXCEPTIONS
    field_not_found   = 1
    no_help_for_field = 2
    inconsistent_help = 3
    OTHERS            = 4.
IF sy-subrc = 0.
* Check if its a collective search help - in this case pick first one from list of included search helps
  CALL FUNCTION 'DD_SHLP_EXPAND_HELPMETHOD'
    EXPORTING
      shlp_top = gs_shlp
    IMPORTING
      shlp_tab = gt_shlp_tab.

  CLEAR gs_shlp.
  CHECK gt_shlp_tab[] IS NOT INITIAL.

  READ TABLE gt_shlp_tab INDEX 1 INTO gs_shlp.

* Test with correct value
  APPEND INITIAL LINE TO gs_shlp-selopt ASSIGNING <fs_selopt>.
  <fs_selopt>-shlpname = gs_shlp-shlpname.
  <fs_selopt>-shlpfield = g_fieldname.
  <fs_selopt>-sign = 'I'.
  <fs_selopt>-option = 'EQ'.
  <fs_selopt>-low = gc_test_ok.

  CLEAR gt_allowed_values[].
* Collect values from search help filtered
* by the plant user entered
  CALL FUNCTION 'F4IF_SELECT_VALUES'
    EXPORTING
      shlp           = gs_shlp
      call_shlp_exit = 'X'
    TABLES
      return_tab     = gt_allowed_values.
  IF gt_allowed_values[] IS INITIAL.
    WRITE:/ ' Plant ', gc_test_ok, ' is not valid'.
  ELSE.
    WRITE:/ ' Plant ', gc_test_ok, ' is OK'.
  ENDIF.

* Test with invalid plant
  CLEAR gs_shlp-selopt[].
  APPEND INITIAL LINE TO gs_shlp-selopt ASSIGNING <fs_selopt>.
  <fs_selopt>-shlpname = gs_shlp-shlpname.
  <fs_selopt>-shlpfield = g_fieldname.
  <fs_selopt>-sign = 'I'.
  <fs_selopt>-option = 'EQ'.
  <fs_selopt>-low = gc_test_error.

  CLEAR gt_allowed_values[].
  CALL FUNCTION 'F4IF_SELECT_VALUES'
    EXPORTING
      shlp           = gs_shlp
*     call_shlp_exit = 'X'
    TABLES
      return_tab     = gt_allowed_values.
  IF gt_allowed_values[] IS INITIAL.
    WRITE:/ ' Plant ', gc_test_error, ' is not valid'.
  ELSE.
    WRITE:/ ' Plant ', gc_test_error, ' is OK'.
  ENDIF.
ENDIF.

The output (depending on data in your system) will be like on picture below:Validation using search help

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