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Differences between LSMW and BDC


BDC and LSMW are the two data migration techniques (from legacy to SAP). BDC technique is usually done by ABAPers.

Batch Data Communication (BDC):

BDC(Batch Data Communication) is basically a program which is either generated by SAP after a recording or programmed by a abaper. It’s like running the transaction manually but all the data is populated in the screens automatically. BDC basically uses recording.There are two ways of implementing BDC, the Call transaction metod and the Session method. BDC is designed for a technical consultant.

Legacy System Migration Workbench(LSMW):

It is used for migrating the data b/w the Non-SAP and SAP application to do for that we can take the Non-SAP application data and Converts the data into the Legacy data.(Legacy data means Cleansing data and Purging the data. After the Legacy data creation convert the data in to the "Flat file".

That flat file is in the form of text file or excel format. If the file is in the form of text format we can create the ".txt" file ("ABC.txt") and in the form of excel ".xls" file is created. flat file for dos and .xls file for IBM. The converted file (.txt/.xls) is either upload or download. The Upload functionality if used for .txt file to SAP and where as Downloading is the concept while SAP to .txt/.xls file. LSMW is basicaly designed for a fuctional consultant who do not do much coding but need to explore the fuctionality

Difference between BDC and LSMW

  • LSMW offers four ways to import data into SAP, and they are: BDC, Direct Input, BAPI(BO) and IDOC.
  • LSMW is generally for normal SAP applications. BDC basically for customized application.
  • LSMW is a Non-SAP to SAP communication TOOL, while BDC is a SAP to SAP communication UTILITY.
  • LSMW is a more user-friendly tool, through which one can do the same work as the BDC. One just has to follow the 14 steps.
  • In BDC, we can schedule the job, so the uploading can be done at the same time or later periodically while in LSMW it has to be done at once only.
  • In LSMW, mapping is taken care of with the help of SAP, whereas in BDC one has to provide explicit mapping directions.
  • So through LSMW, one cannot upload huge amount of data. Hence we use LSMW for updating or inserting below 5000 records and we use BDC to upload records more than 5000.
  • Coding is not very flexible in LSMW, whereas in BDC coding is very flexible and applications can be easily customized. this is mainly because LSMW is devised specially for functional consultants who do not perform coding, while BDC is mainly used by technical consultants, who perform coding
  • BDC and LSMW both are use for loading data into SAP system. The difference is LSMW is loading tool by SAP where you can use various methods to upload, massage data or cleansed your data while loading into SAP from legacy system. The method can be BDC, BAPI, Idocs or SAP ABAP codes. Usually in BDC the user has to write an ABAP program or use other utility to load legacy data.
  • In case of BDC session can be processes multiple times according to the requirement coming to LSMW it is used only one time, but it can have periodical update. but the functionality can't be changed here.
  • LSMW is recommended for large amount of data.


  • 18 Apr 2018 9:02 am Sanaz Helpful Answer


    Thank you for the article.

    There are two sentences in this article which are opposite to each other:

    • So through LSMW, one cannot upload huge amount of data. Hence we use LSMW for updating or inserting below 5000 records and we use BDC to upload records more than 5000.
    • LSMW is recommended for large amount of data.

    Please clarify the above issue.

    Thank you again.


  • 17 Apr 2018 9:28 pm Richard L. Errington

    The article fails to recognize the full flexibility of LSMW. Yes, it is a good tool for functional consultants, but in the hands of an experienced technical consultant it can do wonders. LSMW processes can be schedule and run from the SAP scheduler with variants. And it can handle VERY LARGE amounts of data. Used it at a client to convert over 350K Material Masters and 6 Million Equipment Masters.