Complementing LSMW with SAP Data Services

15 Apr Complementing LSMW with SAP Data Services

“What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts.” – Ray Eames

Long before the popularity of modern vintage carData Integration platforms (like SAP Data Services, Informatica and Data Stage), developers and Functional Consultants typically depended on the SAP Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW) to transfer data from legacy systems into an R/3 System.

I must admit, I did not form a good impression when first introduced to LSMW. For example, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is too outdated compared in today’s data integration tools. How about the 14 steps just to create a simple batch recording! And then there are the additional steps on how to view a batch job results.

My bad impressions did not last for long. As the saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”.

In this blog, I will share with you the different events that led me to change my viewpoint on LSMW.

Fresh from the Business Object Data Integration tool training (BODI – the earlier version of SAP’s Data Services), I joined my first Data Migration project. BODI was the data integration tool of choice of our client to extract and transform data. In addition, we had to use BODI integration to Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI) to load data onto SAP.

It was a quiet day on the Project when the change request came. The business requirement was to load “Assignment of Settlement Rule” onto SAP – I had one day to complete the task.  To load four columns into the SAP target may sound easy, but after 30 minutes, BODI through its BAPI integration to SAP couldn’t do the job.  I found BAPI’s Settlement Rule direct table load had an issue as it bypassed the standard SAP consistency check and authorisation.

What saved me that day? After discussion with my Project Lead, I experimented with LSMW as an alternative. Because of LSMW’s tight integration with SAP I was able to quickly load data into the table through its batch recording and the issue was solved!

On another occasion, my Project Lead gave me an assignment that I will never forget. He moved me to another team to find the resolution to an issue in what I believed to be the Mother of all data loads – General Ledger Balances (GLB).  I jumped into a situation where the BAPI could not load more than 999 line items in the billing document. Which is a problem when creating the Finance documents!

I split the financial document into more documents in BODI, send the transformed data via BODI – IDocs Message onto SAP, and executed IDocs through LSMW. As the result, I loaded the GLB data to SAP and solved our team issue!

The last example I have involves the third day of Post Go-Live support on the project. At that time, SAP Users started using the system. We received a request to change the status of three thousand WBS Elements to “Release” (REL), to allow actual cost posting.

LSMW saved the day once again! Through BODI I generated the same list of WBS Elements and I carried out LSMW mass data uploads to modify the master data in the system.

Everyone can agree that the modern day Data Integration tools are well designed and very easy to use compared to LSMW. I believe LSMW will live on and will continue to remain a strong option for loading data to SAP. It is a very powerful tool available in SAP to upload large amounts of data. Its integration with SAP Data Services via direct input file upload, BAPIs or IDocs only proves how useful this tool can be.

Dave Tuazon is a Senior Consultant for Seed Analytics, an SAP Services Partner, and global provider of solutions for SAP Data Governance and SAP Data Migration.

You can contact Dave via e-mail (dave dot tuazon at seedanalyticsgroup dot com), find him on linkedin (, and follow him on Twitter using @DTuazon@26

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