How to: Maintain tables without SE16N “maintenance authorization”

An employee wants to edit entries in a table in the development system for test purposes, but the maintenance function in transaction SE16N does not work. As an authorized person, you can quickly deal with this problem, because: This is not an authorization problem. The solution lies in the coding. But knowledge is power. So here is the explanation.

You have a ticket on your desk in which a user asks for help because they cannot maintain table entries using the “Maintain entries” button in SE16N. However, they actually have all the relevant authorizations (or all that they are allowed to have) via S_TABU_DIS or S_TABU_NAM.

Then you can save yourself the time-consuming further troubleshooting at this point. It is very likely that there is no authorization error. The cause lies in the coding. This is not a case for you as the authorizer. Especially as there are usually good reasons to deactivate this function.

For knowledge beyond your own authorization horizon:

Should it nevertheless be necessary in exceptional cases (for example, because a developer needs the function for testing purposes), there is a way to enable the function via the back door. In such a case, the problem can be circumvented via the debug mode.

Attention, this is where you as the authorizer come into play again: For this to work, the corresponding user needs a role with the object S_DEVELOP and the characteristics “DEBUG” and ACTVT 02. Remember that these are very far-reaching authorizations. Ideally, you should only assign a corresponding role on a temporary basis.

Step 1: start SE16N

Enter the name of the table to be edited in the start dialog of transaction SE16N and execute the command with F8.

Schritt 2: start debug mode

Now enter /h in the command line of the SAP window. This starts the debug mode. Then click again in the command line and press Enter again to open a new debug unit.

A table opens. Enter the following variables in the “Variable” column:


Enter “x” as the value for both variables in the “Value” field and confirm with F8.

Schritt 3: Edit table in SE16N

The table now opens automatically in change mode and the user can make the planned additions and adjustments.

Good to know: As soon as the user ends the session, debug mode is also ended. But be careful: changes in the tables that are saved remain active even after the end of debug mode and can affect your processes.

Conclusion: As an authorized user, you can sit back and relax with this problem. The “Maintain entries” checkbox is not controlled via authorization objects.

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