Oct 13

How To: SAP PI Data Type Enhancements

I have worked with SAP PI since it was called SAP XI (version 3.0).  SAP XI was pretty rough around the edges and was not what I would call an enterprise class integration tool.  Each successive SAP PI release and enhancement pack has steadily added functionality such that the latest version of SAP PI is finally starting to resemble a fully functional EAI platform.

One such example of additional functionality is the ability to enhance delivered integration content.

Recently, I had to make some modifications to an integration scenario where an SAP ERP system was sending data to an external custom solution.  The good news was the SAP ERP and PI objects were built and delivered by SAP!

SAP ERP Delivered Content

SAP ERP Delivered Content

The bad news was that the interface, as designed, did not meet the business’ need…

How to add fields to delivered content?

How to add fields to delivered content?

So, the $64,000 question is, how do we add fields to delivered SAP PI content?

SAP PI Data Type Enhancement

SAP PI data type enhancements allow developers to customize delivered SAP PI content.  Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

Step by Step SAP PI Data Type Enhancement Instructions

  1. First, create a new data type enhancement in the SAP PI ESR:
  2. Add the required fields to the required data elements and then save and activate your SAP PI changes.
  3. The newly created data elements are now in message type:
  4. Login to the SAP ERP system and activate the proxy changes via transaction SPROXY.  This will create/update the proxy structures that correspond to the newly created data elements in the ERP system:
  5. Finally, create a BADI to populate the new data fields in the SAP ERP system:
  6. Save and activate your ERP changes. Now you’re ready to rock and roll!

SAP PI data type enhancements blends the stability and functionality of delivered content with the flexibility of custom development. It is definitely one of my favorite advances in the SAP PI platform.


About The Author

Former Partner and Senior Consultant at DataXstream, Craig Stasila played a key role in developing DataXstream. For current information regarding Craig Stasila please see his Linkedin profile.


  1. Avatar
    August 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm · Reply


    Could you please explain all the datatypes used in the SAP PI ESR and what is thier purpose and in which situtation they are exactly used??

    Thanks and Regards,
    Naveen Kumar.

  2. Avatar
    February 12, 2015 at 3:36 am · Reply

    Hi Craig,

    Please explain how can I use the DTE in my Message Types and Message Mappings?
    I am using PI 7.4 (single stack). I have created my DTEs but when I am trying to create the corresponding MTs then I am only getting DTs but no DTEs in the list.


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