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Is it possible to remove no longer used Item Master Data instead of just inactivate them?

Hello, everybody

We intend using an Inventory System which generates an enormous number of Item Codes (actually 1 Item Code for each item ordered by a client on his Sales Order).

This is a very strange method of working, but it fits our business well.

Unfortunately, this system generates an enormous number of codes, which grows over the years.

This will eventually slow down SAP.

Our system can only work if we can periodically delete (i.e. remove completely) all the older codes which we are no longer using.


We intend performing Data Archiving every few years, and then immediately do a Data Master Cleanup of the Item Masters.


The problem is that I am not sure if this can be done!

(a) In the SAP document: How to Prepare for and Perform Master Data Cleanup, it seems (???) this can be done (???)

(b) Some experts on the net say this can be done.

(b) However, some experts on the net say that it is impossible to delete Item Masters once transactions have been passed using the Item Masters.

But, suppose we have archived (using Data Archive Wizard), all our old data (using some of our item codes). This means that there are no longer any old transactions using old Item Masters in our live database.

Then, I suppose we could use Data Archive Wizard to actually remove (and not just inactivate) the unused item masters. But some experts say that once transactions have been passed, it is impossible to remove the item masters. We can only inactivate them.

(c) I have also watched a video on YouTube demonstrating how to remove thousands of master files. But these master files were created by error, and no transactions were passed on them. I have not yet seen a video removing master files which once had transactions.


My Question:

If we archive our database first, (using the Archive Wizard), is it then possible to use Master Data Cleanup Wizard to actually remove (and not simply inactivate) the old item masters that we no longer use?

If anyone has successfully removed old item masters, I'll be glad to hear from him.

If not possible (using Master Data Cleanup Wizard), is there any other way? SDK?



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4 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Posted on Aug 31 at 02:33 PM


    As of now there is no other option apart from make them inactive or use data archive.


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  • Posted on Sep 01 at 06:35 AM

    Hi Leon,

    Why can you not recycle items? In other words, why not use the same item codes, and update the item names, and any other settings necessary, just before you create each order?



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  • Posted on Sep 01 at 08:13 AM

    If there is any transaction linked to them then there is no posibility to delete

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    • Hello, Macpherson Mchesi

      >> If there is any transaction linked to them then there is no possibility to delete

      So, if there are no transactions linked to them, we can delete?

      So, if I have archived all my transactions (assume it has been successful), then in the live database, there will be no transactions that are linked to the old item masters (since all the old transactions have been removed by the archive wizard) . So, the item masters should be removable by the removal wizard? True? False?

      Some people have told me that even if I have removed the old transactions (by data archiving wizard), I can't remove the item masters (by master data cleaning wizard). If this is true, what's the use of the cleaning wizard then?

      Really, I don't know what to believe.

      How can I check if there are any transactions linked to the item masters?



  • Posted on Sep 01 at 02:08 PM
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    • Hi, Nagarajan

      Thanks for your reply.

      I already have studied this document, and as I mentioned, it seems (???) to indicate that once we archive the data, we can delete the item masters. But I am not sure if this is what it says! Some experts say that once you have input transactions, you cannot remove the item masters, EVEN if you archive the data first.



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