Discussion Community

IT Acumens Forum => Programming Discussions for Engineers => SAP Discussion & Study Materials => Topic started by: sukishan on Aug 13, 2009, 07:07 PM

Title: Understanding Client-Dependent and Client-Independent Tables
Post by: sukishan on Aug 13, 2009, 07:07 PM
Understanding Client-Dependent and Client-Independent Tables
There are two types of tables in an R/3 database: client-dependent and client-independent. A table is client-dependent if the first field is of type CLNT. The length will always be 3, and by convention, this field is always named mandt. If the first field is not of type CLNT, the table is client-independent.

This program selects rows from table lfa1 and writes out lfa1-lifnr. When this program is run, only two rows are selected: only those where mandt equals 800. This happens automatically because the first field in the table is of type CLNT. There are five rows in the table, but the program writes out only those rows where mandt equals 800. If the user were to log on to client 700 and run the same program, three rows of data would be found and written out. If the user were to log on to client 900, only one row of data would be found.

The logon client mechanism divides the rows within a client-dependant table into distinct groups. To access a different set of data, the user logs on and specifies a different client number.

The user master records (containing R/3 user IDs) are client-dependent. Therefore, to gain access to a client, the security administrator must create a new user ID for you within that client.

Developers and testers use the logon client mechanism to create and access multiple, independent sets of data within a single table.

For example, assume two typical, asocial programmers are working on an enhancement to the billing system. Jim is modifying the update transaction and Jane is creating a new report to go with Jim's modifications.

Jane sets up data for her test run, executes her report and obtains output. Jim works in the next cubicle, but due to his antisocial tendencies is blissfully unaware that his transaction uses the same tables as Jane's report. He runs his transaction and updates the data. Jim got what he wanted, but Jane then modifies her code and runs her program again. Her output differs from the last run, and the differences many not result from her changes, but rather they may result from Jim's changes. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

If the tables used by Jim and Jane's programs were client-dependent, they could each log in to separate clients, set up independent sets of data, and test their programs without ever talking to each other. They could perform all of their testing in the comfort of their cubicles and in isolation from their coworkers.

To make their tables client-dependant, they only need mandt as the first field and the R/3 system will take care of the rest. When records are added to the table, the system automatically moves the current logon client into the mandt field when the record is send to the database. Their Open SQL select statements will only return rows where the client number in the table is equal to the their current logon client number. The Open SQL database statements insert, update, modify, and delete also provide automatic client handling.

If the tables involved are all client-dependent, there can be more than one group of testers working at a time in one test system. Two teams of testers can test divergent functionality in the same set of programs at the same time provided they log on to different logon clients. The updates done by one team will not change the data belonging to the other team.

A training client could also exist on the test system. The students could log on to one client and the testers could log on to another. Both would run the same set of programs, but the programs would access independent sets of data.

The average R/3 installation has three systems: development, test, and production. By default, each system comes with three clients installed: 000, 001, and 066. It is common to have from three to six clients in the development and test systems, but rarely will you see more than one client in production.