As the description says, the meaning of that field is to set the internal length of the field in Bytes. During my whole career as ABAP Developer, I had never filled that field manually. Usually you’ll not bother yourself about it. But if you do, then take into consideration following information:

  • Length is in Bytes, so remember that it doesn’t mean, that one character takes one Byte
  • In display mode, you’ll not notice probably any change
  • When you’ll setup this incorrectly, you may have problems when you allow grid to be editable, for example:
    When I’ve set the INTLEN to ‘2’ for column FLTIME, then although I’ve entered the value of ‘12’ into the column, system didn’t allowed me to save it.


Figure 94 Error in edit mode caused by wrong value of field INTLEN (ZDEMO_AIN_CL38)


Figure 95 Error message of  ZDEMO_AIN_CL38



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As you can imagine, INTTYPE is just a presentation of DATATYPE in internal SAP format in most of cases. I wrote most of cases because it can also say if the field in internal table is a reference to other type, or for example a table.

Just like DATATYPE, you don’t need to fill this field manually, when you’ll leave it empty, ALV grid will automatically setup a proper type according to referenced internal table field. But if you’ll have unstoppable need of filling it, then the behaviour of the column will be exactly the same like you would use DATATYPE field, means JUST, OUTPUTLEN, INTTYPE, INTLEN and DD_OUTLEN fields will be also field and the difference on the screen will be not that huge.


Figure 93 Fieldcatalog of the ZDEMO_AIN_CL37 for Internal ABAP type T

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DATATYPE field has small influence on the way the column is displayed. You can omit this field and then ALV grid will automatically fill this field and additionally JUST, OUTPUTLEN, INTTYPE, INTLEN and DD_OUTLEN on a base of the type of the output table field.  

But if you decide to fill it, then on a base of DATATYPE you’ll notice different justification or output length. But still all checks of the data entered in edit mode will be done on a base of the real data type of the linked internal table field.

Possible data types form system NW 7.52 SP04 can be found bellow.

Data Type

Short Description


Posting Period YYYYMM


Character String




Currency Key for Currency Field


Currency Field in BCD Format


Decimal Floating Point Stored in BCD Format


Decimal Floating Point Stored as Binary Number


Decimal Floating Point with Scaling (obsolete)


Decimal Floating Point Stored in BCD Format


Decimal Floating Point Stored as Binary Number


Decimal Floating Point with Scaling (obsolete)


Date in Format YYYYMMDD


Packed Number in BCD Format


Floating Point Number


1-Byte Integer, 0 to 255


2-Byte Integer, -32.768 to 32.767


4-Byte Integer, -2.147.483.648 to +2.147.483.647


8-Byte Integer


Language key


Long Character String


Long Byte String


Numerical Text


Obsolete Data Type


Quantity Field in BCD Format


Byte Sequence


Byte String (BLOB)


Character String


Character String (CLOB)


Time in Format HHMMSS


Unit Key of Quantity Field


Obsolete Data Type

Table 2 Possible data types in NW 7.52 SP04

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The main functionality of the ROLLNAME is to provide a data element that will be responsible for showing F1 help on the grid cell. If in data element the documentation is available, then it will be shown. If not, or if the ROLLNAME will be empty, you’ll receive the message “No documentation available” when you’ll press F1 on a grid cell.

Figure 84 Result of F1 with empty ROLLNAME


In the demo program I’ve used data element S_CONN_ID to show you how does it work.

Figure 85 ZDEMO_AIN_CL35 Selection Screen


On the first sight you can notice that if you’ll use ROLLNAME, then the column description, tooltip and column short and long texts are taken from the data element.

Figure 86 ZDEMO_AIN_CL35 Results with ROLLNAME

Figure 87 ZDEMO_AIN_CL35 Change layout screen


Additionally to this, the main behaviour is also there. F1 shows the documentation from the data element.


Figure 88 ZDEMO_AIN_CL35 F1 Help for CONNID column



Just to show you where this information comes from, here it comes the view from SE11 and data element S_CONN_ID.

Figure 89 SE11 for S_CONN_ID



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TOOLTIP, as in any other places in on your PC, is responsible to show short info about the column when you hover your mouse over the column header. It’s very useful when you have a lots of fields in you grid and you’re optimizing the width of the column by minimizing the description of the column itself. It is common behaviour for example for checkboxes or for icon columns. In this case the Tooltip is very helpful for explaining the user the meaning of the column.

Figure 81 ZDEMO_AIN_CL34 Tooltip of an column



Additionally if you’ll not use SELTEXT field, then the value from TOOLTIP will be used as description used to describe the column in the change layout screen.

Figure 82 ZDEMO_AIN_CL34 ABAP Code for Tooltip

Figure 83 ZDEMO_AIN_CL34 Change layout screen



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SELTEXT is one of the fields that are linked to the texts of the grid columns. This particular one is responsible for displaying the name of the column in the change/display of layout popup.

Figure 79 ZDEMO_AIN_CL33 Column description in the layout popup


In case the TOOLTIP field is empty, the value from SELTEXT will be also used as tooltip and will appear when you hover the mouse over the column in the grid.





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Conversion Exit was already mentioned while describing the EDIT_MASK field, but here it is called in a bit different way. Before saying how, it is important to understand the conversion exits. They are no more and no less than a function modules that helps to represent the internal values into understandable or more readable values. An basic example is field MATNR which is 18 characters long in ECC and 40 in S/4 HANA, and if it contains only numbers (for example 123),  then the internal value is stored with leading zeros, for example 000000000000000123 in ECC system. As you can imagine reading 123 is easier than 000000000000000123, that’s why field MATNR uses conversion exit ALPHA which deletes the leading zeros in case there are only numbers inside the fields.

There are many standard conversion exits, you can find the by searching of FM that begins with CONVERSION_EXIT_*. You’ll notice that after the second underscore there is a five characters name of the conversion exit, and then _INPUT or _OUTPUT. _INPUT and _OUTPUT describes if the FM is responsible for converting external value into internal (INPUT) or form internal value into external (OUTPUT).


Figure 75 Search of Conversion Exits

In the example program ZDEMO_AIN_CL32 I’ve setup column CONNID to use conversion exit NUMCV. As you see you don’t put the full name of the FM into the CONVEXIT field, it only assumes to get the 5 characters describing the name of the exit. It knows automatically that for output it needs to use CONVERSION_EXIT_NUMCV_OUPUT and for input (in case of editable fields) CONVERSION_EXIT_NUMCV_INPUT.


Figure 76 ZDEMO_AIN_CL32 Conversion Exit NUMCV for field CONNID

When you run the program you can select if you want to see the CONNID with or without conversion exit. In case you want to see it with it, the values of the field will be represented with leading zeros. You may be wondering why it is opposite when you don’t use conversion exit as the internal value in the database is with leading zeros. For some of the types (like NUMC) the output is always done without leading zeros, so if you want to explicitly set to see them, you need to use conversion exits.

Figure 77 ZDEMO_AIN_CL32 Output with Conversion Exit NUMCV


The next figure shows the output without the conversion exit.


Figure 78 ZDEMO_AIN_CL32 Output without Conversion Exit NUMCV



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OUTPUTLEN can be used to setup the width of the column (if you don’t use automatic column width optimization). When automatically created, usually it have the value of the maximum field width, but when you create it manually you can setup it to whatever value you want.


Figure 72 ZDEMO_AIN_CL31 Output length for field CITYFROM


My experience shows that it is useful when you have a field that have maximum length of few characters but the description of the column is long. In such case with OUTPUTLEN you can decide if you want to adjust the column width to the width of the value or to the width of column description.

Below some examples of the different settings of the OUTPUTLEN for the field CITYFROM.


Figure 73 ZDEMO_AIN_CL31 Output length set to 3 for column CITYFROM


Figure 74 ZDEMO_AIN_CL31 Output length set to 6 for column CITYFROM



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