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SAP HR Ad-Hoc Query

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Old 04-29-2011, 05:15 PM
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Default SAP HR Ad-Hoc Query

One of the key requirements of a Human resources management system is the ability to facilitate decision-making use of the information in the system. The reporting functionality within SAP HR is one of the main reasons why clients have chosen SAP rather than another HRIS - one of our former research articles takes a closer look at the different reporting tools available and how to make most use of them.

Reporting can become very challenging when the differing needs of many decision-makers - human resources, payroll and benefits professionals, line managers, and executives - must be met. SAP HR has responded to this challenge and offers a variety of access methods designed for the needs of different users. This article focuses on the functionality of Ad-hoc Query, a tool that still isn’t used by all companies who have SAP HR. Some of these organizations are still unfamiliar with the full potential of Ad Hoc query and are afraid to use it. This article has a closer look at how easy it is to use ad hoc query and how this simple but powerful tool can make your reporting so much more efficient and less time consuming.

AdHoc Query as an Ideal Tool for Different Types of Users

The advantage of Ad Hoc Query is that it enables occasional system users or people with little experience to define their own reports according to their personal requirements in an easy and quick fashion. It is an ideal query tool for anyone who needs to obtain human resource information when and as needed.

An overview of different types of available HR information (for example Personal data, Addresses, Basic pay, Organizational assignment etc.) is displayed in a list, which includes all the infotypes and the relevant fields, users need to pull the information from. This list is obtained by creating a functional area. Users simply select the information they want by marking checkboxes in the list. Report results can then be formatted to users' needs and preferences; for example the presentation style or the sequence of columns in the report can be changed. Users can create and then format the output of the desired report all in one screen and save the query to run it whenever needed.

HR Professionals

The Human resources, payroll, and benefits departments need to run a great array of reports – SAP provides reporting tools supporting both regulatory reporting via a series of standard reports as well as query options that support customized reports and strategic analysis tools. While the legally required reports are included as a standard part of the SAP HR system and have some degree of selection options (usually organizational assignment selection options), these reports cannot be altered by the user to suit his or her specific requirements – they might not include all the data users need to obtain, might not have the option to be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet or might not have the right format. This is where Ad Hoc Query is so significant. HR Ad Hoc Query enables users to create company-specific reports that respond to their ever-changing needs for information about employees and the organization. The user simply selects the fields he needs to report on from a check-box screen. This report creation process requires minimal training and allows users to perform detailed analysis of human resources, payroll, and benefits information to support the needs of their organization. Integration with Microsoft Word and Excel allows users to format and modify the output to suit their needs or to save their reports in HTML format in order to e-mail them to other users.

Occasional Users

Even individuals such as Managers outside the HR/Payroll/Benefits departments who have no previous experience with SAP HR can use Ad Hoc Query to define the reports they need. It is critical for these managers to be able to report on information about their staff. It happens all too often that they need a specific report and have to ask HR to produce the right data – this is both frustrating for the Line Manager having to wait and for HR who might have other critical deadlines. Ad-hoc reporting, which provides occasional users with easy access to the right information for their specific decision-making needs is an ideal solution. And since users can run and create their own reports, it frees both HR and the User considerable amounts of time.

Line managers are able to access information about their specific organizations when they need it, in the formats that they require and can easily access data in the SAP HR system, as well as information from other business applications, to obtain the company-wide information they need for analysis and planning.


As will all other SAP applications, flexible security and access authorization can ensure that access to information is restricted to defined areas for each user. HR reports almost always contain confidential data and special attention needs to be brought to setting up proper activity groups. Whereas regular HR users will use the Ad hoc screen within the HR module to create and run their reports, Line Managers – rather than using the HR module should be using Manager’s desktop which provides access to the same standard and ad hoc reporting capabilities as described above but also include cross-application functions such as workflow tasks or CO reports, the display of Intranet and Internet pages etc...


Prerequisite Activities

Before users can create and run their own reports, an administrator must create a functional area and a user group. These are created using the ABAP query component and necessary to set up the appropriate working environment for end users. The R/3 System contains hundreds of thousands fields in logical databases and tables and a logical database is simply a special ABAP program that combines the contents of specific database tables. For example the logical database “PNP” contains all tables related to HR Master data.

Since a user cannot be presented with thousands of fields to choose from – even from one particular logical database, to create a report, functional areas are created. When creating a functional area, first a logical database is selected, such as PNP which contains all the relevant tables for a particular module or sub-module. When selecting PNP which is relevant to HR master data, the administrator needs to pick which infotypes should be included in that particular functional area from the total number of infotypes attached to the logical database. A functional area determines which fields of a logical database can be evaluated in queries.

A functional area also allows defining auxiliary fields. In many cases, the information that a logical database supplies is insufficient. For this reason long texts are normally stored in tables that are not part of the logical database. These long texts are, however, useful when evaluating queries, for example when you want to display the full text of an advertisement (within recruitment) rather than just its number. Both additional tables and additional fields can be added to a functional area. Any table can be added as additional tables, provided they are defined in the ABAP Dictionary and when adding a field, the ABAP code must be specified and the field assigned to a functional group.

By creating functional areas and assigning them to user groups, the system administrator determines the range of reports the end-users can access.
Four essential questions have to be answered before creating a functional area in order to determine the reporting requirements:

1) Which logical database do we need data from? PNP – HR Master and time data, PCH – Personnel Development, PAP – Applicant Master data or other?
Choose Database PNP if you want to create a functional area covering only Human Resources master data and/or time management data.
Choose PCH if you want to create a functional area covering only Human Resources Planning data.
Choose Database PCH, (since this database can refer to Database PNP) if you want to create a functional area covering Human Resources master data and following an organizational structure from Human Resources Planning.

2) Which infotypes do we need to include in the functional area?
PNP includes infotypes 0000 to 0999 and 2000 to 2999,
PCH includes infotypes 1000 to 1999 and
PAP includes infotypes 4000 – 4005 (as well as some PA infotypes)

3) Is there any information we need that is not available in the logical database? If so, where is this information? This step might involve having to create additional fields – (e.g. to display the long text of the ethnic origin instead of the code only).

4) What should the report selection criteria be? For example, employee subgroup, job, personnel subarea etc.
Once these questions have been answered, the administrator can create the functional area using transaction SQ02.
Step 1: In the field Functional area, specify any name and choose Create. First, you enter a description of the functional area. Since the end-user sees this name when creating a query, it should easily identify the functional area.

Step 2: You can also enter an authorization group at this point – which is not to be confused with user groups. Authorization groups can be assigned for any reports and determine a user’s right to execute a program whereas user groups help you to control access and change authorizations for queries.

Step 3: Next specify the logical database,

Step 4: In the Selection screen version field, you can enter an ID for the version of the selection screen. If you leave the field blank, the system calls the standard selection screen when the query is executed.

Step 5: Save the functional area, choose the infotypes you want to include – this list should have been determined previously and execute to fill the functional area with data.

Step 6: The system will display the screen for defining functional groups. This screen is divided into 2 trees: the first one “Functional groups” will display all the infotypes that were included into the functional area. By opening one functional group, users can display what fields are currently selected and decide which fields are needed and which one’s are not. Adding and removing fields for each functional group is carried out via the second tree “Logical database” which lists all the fields that can be included for selection for each infotype. Determine which fields you want to include into the functional groups in the second tree. If there are certain fields that will almost always be used in a report, such as personnel number or employment status, these should be added into the functional group “key fields”.

Step 7: Save and generate your functional area.

Step 8: Functional areas are available to an end-user for each user group of which he is a member. In these functional areas, the end user can define queries and execute them to generate the desired lists. A functional area therefore needs to be assigned to one (or several) user-groups. Go to the user group screen (via environment > user groups) and assign the functional area to the chosen user groups. Each user group should contain user names.
Now that you have generated your functional area and assigned it to a user group, users can create and manipulate their own Ad hoc queries. Unlike ABAP query, in which you users have to define reports, Ad Hoc query only requires to choose the selection (e.g. report should be run for an employee subgroup, or job or personnel area or cost center etc) and output fields (what should the report display and in what order?) by flagging them in a tree structure reflecting those infotypes chosen when creating the Functional area.


Users can access Ad hoc query via: Human resources -> Information system -> Info tools.

From the initial Ad hoc query screen, users must decide if they want to run the report they are about to create for either individual personnel numbers or use the function Selection via Organizational structure to restrict the display to those personnel numbers that belong to the organizational unit selected. If no organizational unit is selected, the system will select all employees that correspond to the selection criteria.

The next step is to select both the selection fields and the output fields. By clicking on the field “Field selection” – users will be presented with the functional groups inherent to the functional area attached to their user group. They simply need to open up the tree structure, select the appropriate fields. For each field, users can decide whether they want to select it as a selection field or as an output field. For output fields users can further decide if they want to display the value (i.e. ethnic origin code “50”) or the actual text of the field (i.e. “White non-Hispanic”)

Once all the fields have been selected, those marked as Selection fields will appear on the “selection fields” column of the screen and those marked, as output fields will appear under the output column. Choose a value for your chosen selection criterion (or leave it empty to select all employees) and proceed to the “define output” tab. The order of the output fields can be changed here as well as the layout of the report – users have the choice between a basic list, a spreadsheet, word processing document, statistics, ranked list etc

Now the report is ready to be run. By clicking on the “Select” ****on, the report will select all the relevant personnel numbers found. Personnel numbers, which includes employees’ names, can be displayed by clicking on the “list” ****on. If required, users can mark personnel numbers to be excluded from the report field.

The expert mode enables users to request more complex reports providing enhanced functions for the Selection and Output fields. It is particularly useful when reporting on specific subtypes or wage types which is only possible using expert mode – in “Simple mode” the report will select all subtypes or wage types of a particular infotype. The expert mode needs to be turned on each time before running the report – saving the report in expert mode does not suffice.

Finally, by clicking on the “output” field, the report is run and will display all the found data in the chosen format. From this screen, the report can be emailed, graphical statistics can be run and the list can be sorted according the various criteria. Before exiting, the system will prompt the user to save the Query. It makes sense to save a query so that it can be run again at any time in the future. A title and a name (proposed by the system but it can be overwritten) should be given at this point. The tab “Saved queries” allows to access all saved queries.

Users can also report on the selected personnel numbers using other reporting tools. By choosing Goto > Standard report, a dialog box appears in which they can either enter a report name directly or display a list of possible reports.


R/3 Release 4.6C has introduced “InfoSet Query”, a new tool based on SAP Query technology that enables end users to quickly and easily generate or modify ad hoc reports on their own. Via this new tool, which uses the SAP role concept, users can create and publish Web reports that can be accessed via a browser, and export reports to Microsoft Word and Excel. That's good news for end users, and even better news for IT departments, which are often overrun with end user requests for these types of requirements. This new tool is called InfoSet Query and includes the following new functions:

Reporting on Personnel Planning Data

Up to now, Ad Hoc Query only enabled to select sets of persons. No Personnel Planning data could be used to make initial selections. As of this release, users can select objects from Personnel Planning by using an InfoSet specially created for selecting a specific object type, such as business events or positions.

Deactivating Object Selection

The object selection such as the person selection can be deactivated to work in "basis mode". Thus, users can access all basis mode functions - for example, they can select according to texts.

Drag & Drop

As of release 4.6, users can “drag & drop” to select fields. They simply need to drag one or more selected fields to the required area. They then serve as selection and/or output fields.

Displaying the Last Queries Used

Up to now, users could only load former queries using a dialog box accessed by choosing Query -> Open – which is still available. But the Query menu now includes the last five queries used. A simple mouse click enables users to load them.

Processing Fields With Text

Up to now, you could select entries in separate columns for fields with text to determine whether the value and/or its text was output.
In 4.6, each InfoSet field is flagged with an icon that indicates whether it is a simple field, or a field with text.

Displaying Field Characteristics

The InfoSet Query screen enables you to show an additional screen area containing technical information on a field. If you want to show the screen area for a field or display technical information on a different field, access the context menu for the field in question and choose Display field information.

User Settings

Up to now, Ad Hoc Query was always started using the standard settings (for example, the basic list was always used as the type of output list).
As of this release, your settings are saved and then reloaded the next time InfoSet Query is started. For example, if you create a statistic, exit InfoSet Query (or log off the system), and then re-access InfoSet Query later, statistics is used again as the type of output list.

New Maintenance for HR InfoSets

Up to now, texts on particular field values were presented as additional fields, which had to be selected explicitly when a functional area was created.
As of this release, texts are determined automatically. That is, if you select a value field for an InfoSet, its text is automatically selected too.
The selection of infotypes in an InfoSet can be changed as required later. Up to now, infotypes could only be added. As of this release, it is also possible to remove infotypes later (provided that none of the fields is used in a query).

Simulated infotypes

These infotypes enable users to run evaluations and reports using data from different data sources (infotype data, time evaluation results, personal work schedule data) available in an overview using the infotype concept. For example, users now have the option of defining time infotypes by combining any relevant time types, absence and attendance types, or wage types to create specific balances they looking for. The system reads the relevant tables in cluster B2 and stores a balance in a “simulated” infotype for each day. These balances can be queried as though they are infotypes (EE times = IT2502, Quota statuses = 2502) These simulated infotypes can be used similar to regular infotypes for Ad Hoc Query reports because they are provided in the same manner as other infotypes in the logical database PNP.

With the improved functionalities in release 4.6 there is really no excuse for not using Ad hoc Query – which is all about empowering the users and giving them instant access to information without having to involve HR or IT departments. Ad hoc query is the most powerful and user-friendly tool for evaluating Human Resources data. Its simple range of selection and output fields enable users to access data from all areas within HR - and this without any programming s****s.

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Old 12-08-2021, 01:38 AM
fridaynightfunkin fridaynightfunkin is offline
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Thank you for the information of the requirements for SAP HR! it is really useful information for me! mapquest directions
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