Collective Search Help in SAP ABAP

Preface – This post is part of the ABAP Beginner series.


As discussed in the earlier article i.e. Search Help in SAP ABAP, a search Help in SAP ABAP are reusable objects that are used to assign input helps (F4 helps) to screen fields. If the data for the search help is bought from combination of many elementary search help, then it will be termed as Collective Search Help.


As the name suggest a collective search help is a collection of multiple elementary search helps. It can even be a combination of elementary search help and another collective search help.

Below is the example of how it works (data exchange works):

Collective Search Help in SAP ABAP
It has an import and export parameter, the data is exchanged between the input screen template and the parameters of the assigned elementary search helps using this interface.

Steps to Create a Collective Search

  1. Go to SE11
  2. Search help name -> Create -> Choose a type (here, collective)
  3. Maintenance screen of collective search help will open -> Give a short description to find your collective search help
  4. In the definition tab -> Enter a search help parameter (can be elementary help or collective help) -> if it is an import parameter then check it and if it is an export parameter then check it.
  5. Describe the data element to denote the types of elementary search help.
  6. Now go to included Search help tab -> select an elementary search help
  7. Parameter assignment-> Now system automatically maps elementary search help reference parameter to collective search help parameter -> now click on copy -> Activate.
  8. The search help is ready to use.

Search Help Exit

  1. When you want to use search help beyond normal hits, then we need something called Search Help Exit.
    For example: For current run time data, I want to know the availability of flight seats with the prices enlisted in it. This might not be possible with the normal flow as the data would be fetched in tables containing either no of seats or costs separately.
    In this case we will use Search Help Exit.
  2. It is a well-designed function module with interface same as F4IF_SHLP_EXIT_EXAMPLE. It is called several times by the help processor.


  • Barry Allen

    A Full Stack Developer with 10+ years of experience in different domain including SAP, Blockchain, AI and Web Development.

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