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Structural authorizations vs. role-based

I have been working with authorizations for a couple of years now, but I don't have any experience with structural authorizations. Can you explain to me the difference between structural authorizations and the linking of roles to an organizational unit within the HR organizational structure (via the PFCG)? In other words can structural authorization stand alone? I know the user can be linked to a kind of profile (via HR-customizing-str.autho), but does this mean he/she doesn't need to have a role assigned (in SU01)?
Structural authorizations are about views of the organization. They most certainly cannot stand alone, but rather allow more flexibility in how roles are assigned. For example, an HR administrator role could be assigned to several plant HR people. It is unlikely that you want people at plant A to be able to see information for plant B or vice versa. You can do this with role based authorizations, but it is much more difficult to maintain.

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