SAP number ranges are used to enable assignment of unique numbers to identify different master data and transactional data objects in SAP. Number ranges is a simple but important concept in SAP that is central to how SAP software works.
In SAP, there are many objects defined for each module. As an example, if we take the production and planning module, plan orders and production orders are key objects. In Plant Maintenance, equipment, notifications, maintenance plans are some of the objects. If we take the Material Management module, material master, purchase orders are some of the key objects. From the sales side, sales orders and sold to party are some examples with number range object assignments. These objects are uniquely identified using a number.
This number is selected from an SAP number range. We define number ranges for each object and a unique number from this number range will be assigned for the object. When transactions are carried out in SAP for each of these objects, system allocates a number for the data.
Types of SAP Number Ranges
There are two types of number ranges:
- Internal SAP number ranges – In internal number ranges, system selects the next available number from the number range allocated for the object automatically. For objects such as production orders, purchase orders we use these type of number ranges.
- External SAP number ranges – When external number ranges are used, the person who is creating the object must enter the number. The number which is entered must be within the number range allocated for the object. System will popup a message if the number given is invalid. For objects such as equipment, material numbers, we use external number ranges usually. Deciding whether to use internal or external number range solely depends on the business requirements and the practicality of using it.
SAP Number Range Maintenance
We will use the production order number ranges as an example for the balance of the document. To create production order related number ranger, follow the below SPRO path or directly call the transaction CO82.
SAP IMG -> Production -> Shopfloor Control -> Master Data -> Order -> Define number ranges for orders
When we go into this screen, we can see the number range object which is relevant for production orders. It is AUFTRAG. Number range is always bound to the number range object. In this screen we have three options.
- Display Intervals
- Edit Intervals
- Set NR Status
By selecting the “Display intervals” option we can see all the number ranges which are created under the AUFTRAG object. All the number ranges defined here can be assigned against different production order types which we have defined.
From the “Edit intervals” option we can edit the number ranges which are already defined. If the number range is already in use, it is not possible to edit because it will lead into inconsistencies. The third option is to “Set NR status”. This field represents the last number which has been assigned from the number range. After defining the number range, we can set the NR status manually. When this is set, the system will start assigning the numbers starting from the number that is maintained under the number range status. Maintaining this is not mandatory. It depends on the business requirements.
How to Create SAP Number Range
To create a new number range, click on Goto -> Groups -> Change. This will direct to a new screen where all the number range groups defined are listed with the order types assigned for each group. On the top we can see the unassigned order types.
SAP Number Range Group
To create a new number range group, click on the “Create group” button. This will open a screen where you need to enter the group name and the number range that needs to be linked to the group. Number range consists of from number and to number. Range should be given in a manner where inconsistencies are not generated. Once the range is given, we can save the number range group. If the number range is external, then there is a checkbox with the label “External”. When this is selected, the number range will be considered as an external number range. As explained earlier, if the number range is external system will not assign the number automatically. It must be given by the user.
Once we save the group, next we can assign the order types to the group. For this we need to click on the “assign elements to group” button. After assigning the element to the group we can save the element. After doing this we can create a production order and check if the correct number is assigned from the number range group.
Transaction SNRO for SAP Number Ranges
Transaction SNRO can be used to maintain SAP number range objects. Advantage of this transaction is that we can maintain number ranges against any element irrespective of the module that element belongs to. When we execute SNRO, we can see a field to enter the object name. As discussed earlier, if we know the object name, we can directly input it here. If we enter AUFTRAG, we can see all the production order related number ranges defined.
Custom Number Ranges
In addition to this, we can also define a custom number range object. Custom number range objects are mainly used for customizations done in SAP. This reduces the complexity of assigning numbers in the customized programs.
To create a custom number range object, give the object name and click on the “Create” button. This will open a screen where you need to enter the object name and the length. We can enter a buffer value also. Sometimes we see that certain numbers in the number range are skipped. This is due to the buffer value maintained in the number range.
We can also give a warning percentage. The objective of this is that, when the number range is nearing its exhausting point, system will check the available numbers quantity with the waring percentage. If the available numbers quantity falls below the percentage, system will issue a waring message. This early warning method is useful specially for number ranges linked with material requirement planning.
We have discussed the objective of maintaining number ranges and how to use the number ranges in production orders. This concludes the article on SAP number ranges.
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