When somebody says SAP IMG or SAP SPRO, they usually mean the same thing – the main transaction for doing configuration of SAP ERP and S/4HANA software.
IMG is a tool which is used in SAP to customize the SAP system to meet the organizations requirements. IMG stands for IMplementation Guide. SAP IMG provides a structured guide to carry out the SAP system settings and changes. We call these SAP changes as SAP system configurations. These configurations allow to set up the system to meet the business requirements of a company where SAP software is being implemented.
We use the transaction code SPRO to access SAP IMG. SPRO stands for SAP Project Reference Object. SPRO transaction code allows us to access SAP IMG and carry out the configurations. All the modules in SAP such as Production and Planning, Material Management, Sales and Distribution can be configured from the IMG structure.
When we execute the SPRO transaction, we can access the SAP Reference IMG and Project Analysis.
SAP Reference IMG
SAP Reference IMG includes all the functions which can be carried out in the SAP system across all the application components. As mentioned earlier, all SAP modules can be customized from SAP Reference IMG. SAP Reference IMG is delivered with each SAP system. Based on the version of SAP, new functions will be added to the SAP Reference IMG structure.
When we click the SAP Reference IMG button in SPRO transaction code, a hierarchical structure will open. This structure is organized by the components and each component can be further expanded to view the customizing functions available.
For example, when we expand the “Enterprise structure” component, there are three main subcomponents as definition, assignment, and consistency check. If we expand the “definition” subcomponent, we can find the plant creation functionality under the “Logistics-general” node. From this node, we can create a plant in SAP based on the requirement of an organization. SAP provides further option such as copy and create the plant using an existing plant.
As the above example explained, all the customizing activities can be carried out by executing the functions in each of the components. This task will be carried out by the SAP Functional Consultants.
There is another option to directly call out the configuration subcomponents without going through the SPRO transaction code. We can directly call out the configurations using the transaction of the configuration. It is available for some of SAP IMG activities but not for all of them.
For example, to create a storage location we can execute the transaction code OX09. By doing this we don’t need follow the IMG menu path and we can directly access the customizing component.
Project Analysis in SAP IMG
During SAP implementation projects, we create SAP customizing projects in SPRO transaction. The main reason for this is to reduce the complexity of the customizing activity and to organize the customizing tasks in an orderly manner. Scope of the project can be determined by the country, components or the customizing activities. When all the customizing components are assigned to a project it is easy to view all the changes done within the project and we can have multiple projects created based on the requirement.
We can use the IMG information button to view the customizing information. SAP also provide the option for printing the IMG. This can be enabled by going into user-specific settings option in IMG.