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Methods for applying major changes to forms

There is very little documentation on recommended approach when major changes are needed in a form. (i.e. When changing the layout set ONLY is not enough, like adding fields, changing printing order,etc.) Assuming we try all resources available before changing the print program: Should we use .INCLUDE (when available) or better .APPEND to extend the communications structure between the program and the layout set? How much can we rely on User Exits and Customer Functions to fill in added fields? Is it better to use this approach or just use PERFORM in PROGRAM directly? Is there a rule of thumb for this?

The approach to take very much depends on the policy of your company. I have had many clients who are quite happy to copy the standard print programs and make them their own - though they lose the advantage (if any) of updates to the standard SAP objects. Other client insist the print program is only copied and modified where there is a real business need. My experience is that the first approach has never caused any problems, and would be the one I recommend.

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