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Former Member

Difference between attributes and fields?

Hi All,

I am new to SAP Master Data Management.

Can anybody please explainl me what is the difference between attributes and fields?? in simple words with examples.

PS: Studied materials could not understand any.

Thanks and Regards,

Ahamed.

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3 Answers

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    Former Member
    Mar 17, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Ahamed,

    Difference between Attribute and Fields:

    1. Field is common for all records whereas attributes are for some particular records and are the main characteristics of a product.

    2. Attributes can be of 3 types only: Text, Numeric and Coupled numeric

    3. Fields are created in console but attributes are in Taxonomy mode of Data manager.

    I think you can understand Point 2 and Point 3 easily.

    So, elaborating Point 1: with a simple example:

    when to go for attribute and when to go for Field.

    Say you are maintaining Shirts and Glass master data in your repository.

    For Shirts you have 2 attributes Size and Color.

    For Glass you have 2 attributes Color and Material.

    Suppose if you create four fields in your main table as Shirt-Size, Shirt-Color, Glass-Color and Glass-Material. So in this case your two fields are always empty. I mean if this record is for shirt then you have two populated fields Shirt-Size, Shirt-Color and two fields will be always empty Glass-Color and Glass-Material since this record does not belong to Glass and Vice Versa.

    So as it is said that Attribute is for particular records or in other words an attribute is like a field, but one that applies only to a

    subset of the records in a table. you should here go for Attribute as exactly two fields will be occupied if it is Glass i mean Glass-Color and Glass-Material and similarly for Shirt records.

    Can you think of your repository with two fields always empty which leads to performance issue as every single field for a record occupies some bytes and we are unnecessarily creating two empty fields for every record which occupies some bytes for every record in our database. So that's my point here Field is common for all records i mean field should be that which has value for every record. For example Material Number should be field not attribute.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Mandeep Saini

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    Former Member
    Mar 17, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Hi Ahemad,

    A Field is created in MDM Reposiotry at the Console level while an attribute is created in taxonomy mode in Data Manager. When a field is added or deleted from a MDM Repository this tends to Schema change but adding or deleting attributes dose not change the Schema of the Repository. A field can be of diffrent type example text, integer ,Text Large etc. Three types of Attributes are available Text , Numeric and coupled Numeric. Reffrence guides can be a good help for more description .

    In MDM, an attribute is like a field, but one that applies only to a subset of the records in a table. For example, u201CLengthu201D is an attribute that applies only to subset of records for Categories u201CShoesu201D. By contrast, a field is part of every record in a table. For example, every product in a repository probably has a Name; therefore u201CNameu201D should be defined in the database as a field, and not as an attribute.

    Hope it give some idea .......

    Regards,

    Vinay Yadav

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    Former Member
    Mar 17, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Hi Ahamed,

    A field is created in MDM Console and applies to all of the records in an MDM repository. By contrast, an attribute is created and linked in the MDM Client (Data Manager) in Taxonomy mode and applies just to records in categories to which the attribute is linked.

    I have mentioned some difference between Field and Attributes, below:

    1. Field: represents a schema change, so the MDM repository must be unloaded to add a field. Attribute: does not represent a schema change; the MDM repository must be loaded to link an attribute.

    2. Field: category-independent; applies to all main table records. Attribute: category-specific; applies just to main table records in categories to which the attribute is linked; cannot be linked to the taxonomy root.

    3. Field: appear in schema order and cannot be hidden in the Record Detail tab. Attribute: appear in priority order in the Record Detail tab u2013 and can be hidden entirely u2013 on a per category basis based on the link priority.

    4. Field: included in both the Records grid and Record Detail tab; always of interest even with large record sets. Attribute: not included in Records grid; included in Record Detail tab only for the selected records; generally of interest only when you select a single or several main table records.

    5. Field: there is no field type for representing two-dimensional data. Attribute: there is a coupled numeric attribute which is used for representing two-dimensional data.

    For detailed information, refer to MDM 7.1 SP04 Console Guide, page number:99 (FIELDS VS. ATTRIBUTES u2013 A COMPARISON).

    Thanks/ -Tarun

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