Context Solution

In the modern enterprises, its very common that dual responsibilities are performed by the same individual. For example a Line Manager in the Training department of an Organization needs access to certain infotypes (like org assignment, personal data, education, etc) for all employees as part of the process structure. In addition to the above, by virtue of his position in the org hierarchy as a Line Manager, he would also need significantly more access (like basic pay for instance) to the employees who report up to him. This is problem of contextual security and is can not be handled properly through the structures that we have covered so far.

Let us investigate further about the possible security solution in this case and try to understand why it might not meet the full requirements. We would need at least two roles for the training manager – on role with training infotypes and a second one with infotypes needed by the line manager. Further we also likely to have two PD profiles as well – on with access to all employees and the other with access to only the direct reports. When the 2 structural and general authorization profiles are assigned to the same person, like to the Training Manager in our discussion, we find that he has access to both sensitive and non sensitive infotypes for all employees. The sensitive access is not limited to only the direct reports as the security system has no way of understanding that access in the manager role needs to be restricted to only the direct reports (the people who are part of the manager PD profile).

The context solution introduced as part of SAP R/3 4.7 seeks to address this very gap in HR securityThe context solution introduces new authorization switches and the corresponding authorization objects. To switch on checks for any of the new objects, the corresponding switches should be set to 1. Its also customary to switch off checks(value 0) for the non context authorization objects. The relevant switches are given below

  • AUTSW-INCON HR: Master Data (Context) for object P_ORGINCON
  • AUTSW-XXCON HR: Master Data – Enhanced Check (Context) for object P_ORGXXCON
  • AUTSW-NNCON HR:Customer-Specific Authorization Check (Context) for customer specific authorization object. The switch corresponds to AUTSW-NNNNN (HR: Customer-Specific Authorization Check) in the non context solution.

In addition to the three switches above there is a fourth switch used by the context solution. This last switch – AUTSW – DFCON – HR: Default Position (Context) – is analogous to ORGPD switch used in normal structural authorization as it controls access to non integrated personnel numbers (persons who are on a default position and as a result are not mapped to the organizational structure).

The fields for the individual authorization objects P_ORGINCON and P_ORGXXCON are given below.


Authorization Field Long Text
INFTY Infotype
SUBTY Subtype
AUTHC Authorization Level
PERSA Personnel Area
PERSG Employee Group
PERSK Employee Subgroup
VDSK 1 Organizational Key
PROFL Authorization Profile


Authorization Field Long Text
INFTY Infotype
SUBTY Subtype
AUTHC Authorization Level
SACHA Payroll Administrator
SACHP Master Data Administrator
SACHZ Time Recording Administrator
SBMOD Administrator Group
PROFL Authorization Profile

You will notice that new authorization objects differ from the corresponding old objects in a single respect. Both of these have the new field PROFL (Authorization Profile). The PROFL field is meant to store the value of the PD profile for which each general authorization is valid. In other words, the PROFL field serves to link the general authorization with the corresponding structural authorization. Context problems, like the one we discussed about the Training manager, can now be easily solved by maintaining the correct PD profile on the role.

The context solution is truly a welcome addition to the other security features of SAP HCM as it allows us to solve scenarios which couldn’t be solved with the means at our disposal till now. However it comes at the cost of increaded maintenance effort as now in addition the PD profiles assigned to the user, we need to maintain the correct PD profiles for the role as well. Also, we should remember that the context solution only addresses the context problems for accessing people (PA master data). There is still no context solution for PD data secured through PLOG.

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