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What is IDOC

IDOC = Intermediate Document

IDOC is simply a data container used to exchange information between any two processes that can
understand the syntax and semantics of the data.
When we execute an outbound ALE or EDI Process, an IDOC is created
In an inbound ALE or EDI process, an IDOC serves as input to create an application document.
In the SAP System, IDOCs are stored in database.
Every IDOC has an unique number(within a client).
IDOCs are independent of the sending and receiving systems.(SAP-to-SAP as well as Non-SAP)
IDOCs are based on EDI standards, ANSI ASC X12 and EDIFACT. In case of any conflict in data size, it
adopts one with greater length
IDOCs are independent of the direction of data exchange e.g. ORDERS01: Purchasing module :
Inbound and Outbound
IDOCs can be viewed in a text editor. Data is stored in character format instead of binary format.
IDOC Components
Basic IDOC Type (we30)
Basic IDOC Type defines the structure and format of the business document that is to be exchanged.
IDOC Type has a
specific name
list of permitted segments
hierarchy of segments
mandatory/optional segments
minimum/maximum range of each segment.
Segment defines the format and structure of a data record. Segments are reusable components.
For each segment SAP creates
Segment Type (version independent)

Segment Definition (version dependent)

Segment Documentation
The last 3 characters is the version of the segment
Definitions keep changing as per the version but the segment type remains the same
IDOC Run-Time Components
An IDOC is an instance of an IDOC Type
At run time the following events occur
A unique IDOC no. is allocated by SAP
One control record is attached to the IDOC
Segments translate into data records
Status records are attached
Syntax rules are checked.
Each IDOC has 3 parts
Control Record
Data Record
Status Record
We02 or We05
Control Record
All control record data is stored in EDIDC table. The key to this table is the IDOC Number
It contains information like IDOC number, sender, recipient information, channel it is using, which
port it is using etc.
Data Record
Data record contains application data like employee header info, weekly details, client details etc
All data record data is stored in EDI_DD40 table and EDI_DD
Status Record
Status record are attached to an IDOC at every milestone or when it encounter errors.
All status record data is stored in EDID8 table.

Where and How IDOC is created

Where and How an IDOC is created?
Lets take an example to understand this:
Whenever a Purchase Order (PO) is created we want to send the IDOC to a vendor.
The PO is sent in the form of an IDOC to the vendor (partner). That partner has to be EDI enabled in
that system.. SAP should realize that it could send doc to this vendor electronically. (Creating a vendor
is not sufficient). Partner Profile should be EDI enabled i.e. A partner profile should exist in the sap
Quotation, RFQ, PO, SO, Invoice, delivery challan etc are some of the commonly exchanged
documents through IDOCs . We create only one profile for both inbound and outbound IDOCs.
Partner profile should contain message typeto be able to exchange the IDOC.
We define partner type, partner function and message type (it distinguish if an IDOC is being sent to
same person in same function for different reason e.g. SO)
Process Code
Creating Outbound Process Code (WE41)
What is Process Code?
Process of filling the IDOC with application data is done by Function Module. But, function module is
not assigned to a Partner. It is encapsulated by a Process Code and this Process Code is assigned to a
Partner in Partner Profile.
Assigning Function Module to Process Code
- Go to Transaction WE41.
- Switch to Change Mode and click New Entries.
- Enter Process Code Name and assign the Function Module created.
Partner Profile
Creating Partner Profile (WE20)
What is Partner Profile?
We must maintain the business partners with whom we communicate via IDocs, in Partner Profiles.
Steps to create Partner Profile
- Goto Transaction WE20.
- Click on Create Button.

- Enter the Number of Vendor Created in Partner No. and LI in Partner Type fields.
- Save the Data.
- For Outbound Partner Profile we have to create Outbound Parameters
- Specify Partner Function, Message type created, Port (create a port in WE21),Basic Type and Output
- Goto Message Control Tab and link the Message Type and Process Code created.
- Save.
Change Application Data to be transmitted
Change Purchase Order Created using transaction ME22n for the Vendor to which partner profile has
been created.
Go to Messages , add the new Message Type to the list and Save the Purchase Order.
An IDOC will be created for the purchase order and will be dispatched to PORT mentioned.
Check the status of IDOC (WE02)
The IDOC status can be checked using transaction WE02
If the status is 03, it implies that IDOC is passed to Port.
Summary: IDOC Workflow
The sequence:
1. Checks whether Partner profile exists or not
2. Whether that PP has a outbound parameter
3. Whether NEU message type is there or not (message control)
4. Checks the process code (gives the name of Function module)
5. Checks immediate transfer or batch transfer
6. Based on that it checks the receiver port
7. Then it will trigger the RFC destination
8. Then it triggers the event on subsystem/customer system
9. Transfer the IDOC to a port and transfer the Idoc in terms of file and it triggers the customer system
10. Customer knows from where it should pick up the file .it picks up the file.

Extending an Existing IDOC Type

Used in cases where some additional information is required in addition to that supplied by the
Standard IDOC Type.
In Transaction WE30 we create the IDOC as an Extension and specify the basic type for which it is an
We add the segments needed as children to existing ones.
None of the Reference Segments can be deleted or changed.
Extension Child Segs
Basic Type (ORDERS01) --- F 1 , F 2 , F3 , F4 , F5
Cannot be modified
IDOC Views
An IDOC type can be used for more than one message type, which results in IDOCs containing more
fields than required for a particular message type.
IDOC views are used to improve performance in generating IDOCs to ensure only the relevant
segments are filled with data.
IDOC Views are important only for Outbound Processing.
IDOC TypeF 1 , F 2 , F3 , F4 , F5
Processing Logic
The processing logic associated with the IDOC is the function module that is written to handle the
inbound/outbound IDOC.
Its written just like any function module but has to follow a standard interface (i.e. Import, Export,
Changing & Tables) parameters and it is should be RFC enabled.
In this function module we are effectively building up a table of type EDID4 (IDOC Data table) and
change the control record