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Enhanced Search Help and weird input field length limitations behavior

Hey folks,

I am experiencing some 'weird' behavior with an enhanced search help on a classic SAP dynpro field.

The current setup is:

  • ABAP 7.40 SPS11 on HANA
  • classic dynpro screen
  • an input field with a custom data element of type characters length 110 - input length is set to 110 in screen field properties
  • a custom search help with 1 output field ( same data type ) using a custom search help exit
  • the search help works fine and the enhanced search 'works' in the sense that auto suggest values appear

So what is the issue ?

If the search help is activated then I can only enter a value of maximum 60 characters in the input field ... if the search help is not activated then I can enter 110 characters. I checked and rechecked the search help and input field settings but cannot find anything strange.

Anybody having any clue or suggestion on why this is happening ?

Another 'weird' behavior is that the auto suggested values contain a list of all values in the table ( currently only 8 but should be much more in production ) and the possible matching text value is set in bold ... which is confusing the users as they type a word and still non-relevant values are shown ... Is there a way to configure this so that only 'matching' values are shown ? ( Like is shown in some SAP video's showcasing this functionality )

Activating or deactivating the 'fuzzy search' option in the search help does not change anything about the 2 points above ...



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    author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jul 11, 2016 at 05:28 PM

    Hi Steven,

    By design, the enhanced search functionality limits searches to 60 characters. For data types that allow fewer than 60 characters, then enhanced search expands the field to allow for 60 characters.

    Does that answer your question? In the end, are you able to select the right value from the drop-down list?

    A field that accepts 110 characters sounds like a free text field that shouldn't really be searched on... Depending on your use case, perhaps you should disable enhanced search for this field. Alternatively, in the SAP client settings you can disable enhanced search, or set it to be only enabled with a key press.

    As for the search results, these are what are returned by HANA. The search results are not configurable, or at least they weren't configurable when we implemented the feature. It was not possible for HANA to tell us what keywords matched for a row or why it returned a particular row. So as you have noticed, the keyword highlight in the drop-down rows is just a guess.

    Using "fuzzy search" instructs HANA to also search for words similar to the search terms. For example, searching for "world" might return results with "word" or "worlds" in them. I would expect more search results to be returned when fuzzy search is enabled.

    I hope that helps!

    Best Regards,


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    • Former Member Steven De Saeger

      Hi Steven,

      The limit of 60 characters is not arbitrary. According to research done by Nielson on Internet searches, 60 characters is supposed to be more than enough for any search. In addition, we had to work around many technological limitations. I don't remember exactly why, but we had to limit the search character length to something well below HANA's maximum (which was about 200).

      Unfortunately, using the enhanced search to ensure that you are not writing the same description a second time is definitely out of scope of what we were trying to accomplish.

      Enhanced search is designed to work with DDIC search helps. Search help exits are known to potentially conflict with enhanced search results. Exits can potentially prevent results from showing up in the drop-down list, or as you experienced, cause extra results to be added.

      I hope that helps, and I'm sorry that we couldn't do better given all the limitations we had to work around.


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