SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2571786 - Character Length Limit for Fields & Custom Fields


  • What is the character limit for the value in standard fields?
  • What is the character limit for the value in custom fields?
  • Can the size limit of a field be changed?


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Character Limit for Standard Fields

There is no standard size for different fields such as Item ID, Assignment Profile Description, Label ID, etc. When placing any data in the field, the interface will either let you know the amount of data that can go in the field when attempting to save or the field will no longer allow more characters to be added. To generally find out the amount of bytes that can go in a specific field, look into the Data Dictionary on SAP Help portal.

For example, the PA_STUDENT table is for User information. The STUD_ID column has a Data Type of VARCHAR(90) which means the database value can take up to 90 bytes. There are some database fields that can take more bytes than what the interface can accept but that is expected behavior.

Character Limit for Custom Fields

The length limit for all custom fields is set to 120 bytes. This can be validated just like the standard fields using the Data Dictionary.

Why bytes versus characters?

Differing languages can vary on how many bytes per character. For example Japanese, Chinese and Korean can occupy more bytes depending on the character. It can be from 2 - 4 bytes. The system is designed to be able to handle different byte values rather than character values; hence a field is 90 bytes but might only be able to accept 30 characters even if each character is 1 byte.

  • UTF-8 uses 1 byte to represent characters in the ASCII set, two bytes for characters in several more alphabetic blocks, and three bytes for the rest of the BMP. Supplementary characters use 4 bytes.
  • UTF-16 uses 2 bytes for any character in the BMP, and 4 bytes for supplementary characters.
  • UTF-32 uses 4 bytes for all characters.

There are string to byte counters calculators online that can help assist you with calculations of characters for each language [These tools are not supported by SAP].

Are there configurations to allow more bytes to be accepted into any field?

No. The database has been set with these values and cannot be changed by any frontend configurations. Changing the database would require an enhancement request. The process of raising an enhancement request is outlined in article 2090228.


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