Digitally signed SAP notes

In the previous blog on SAP security notes you will see that security notes popup around “Digitally signed SAP notes”.

This blog will explain more on how to implement this.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • Why switch over to the new way?
  • How to implement the feature to download digitally signed SAP notes?
  • How to make the relevant settings?
  • Where to find more information?

Why switch over to the new way?

SAP keeps improving their security in all ways. Including OSS notes. There is no direct benefit. After downloading the OSS notes, the handling is identical for old and new way.

Switching over from current way of working to digitally signed SAP notes can be done any time.

SAP has announced the following: "Post January 1, 2020, the download and upload process will stop working unless Note Assistant (SNOTE transaction) is enabled in ABAP systems to work with digitally signed SAP Notes".

How to implement digitally signed SAP notes?

There are 2 basic ways to implement (you have to do only one):

  1. Apply OSS notes 2508268, 2408073 and 2546220.
  2. Apply TCI based OSS note  2576306, which contains all the notes (and manual work) in the notes mentioned in point 1. Your system needs to be able to handle TCI based OSS notes (see this blog on how to do this).
  3. Follow the guided procedure

Guided enablement procedure

The guided procedure is the easiest way to apply and check the digitally signed OSS notes way of working.

Follow the instructions from OSS note 2836302 – Automated guided steps for enabling Note Assistant for TCI and Digitally Signed SAP Notes. Attached this note is an explanatory PDF document that describes all steps in detail. After installation of the OSS note (and prerequisite notes), you can run program RCWB_TCI_DIGITSIGN_AUTOMATION, which will guide you through the steps and verifies the results at the end:

Settings after implementation

If you have done the TCI based import a new customizing node is available:

Spro extension for SNOTE

The first one (direct program in SE38 is called RCWB_SNOTE_DWNLD_PROC_CONFIG) is to set the way of downloading:

Note download procedure

The second one (direct program in SE38 is called RCWB_UNSIGNED_NOTE_CONFIG) is to allow only digitally signed SAP notes:

File type for SAP note

How to validate if the notes now are digitally signed?

To see if all is ok, download and implement a new OSS note. In the note log you can now see the digital signature download in the note log (in nice German words):

Digital signature in SAP note log

Known issue notes

Please read OSS note 2721941 – Download of digitally signed note – changes to configuration report and other minor changes carefully. It contains last minute fixes and changes.

Where to find more information?

More information can be found at the following sources:

Security OSS notes via System Recommendations

This blog will explain how you can optimize your process of security notes via System Recommendations.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • What is the System Recommendations tool?
  • How do I set up the System Recommendations tool?
  • How do I deal with the results of the System Recommendations tool?
  • Where to find even more information on the System Recommendations tool?

What is the System Recommendations tool?

System Recommendations is a tool that runs in SAP solution manager. It weekly check SAP for new security notes and compares it with your own system. New notes will be alerted as new in the System Recommendations list. Notes you have applied will be removed from the list.

This automated procedure save you a lot of time checking for and follow up on security notes.

Alternative in SAP Focused Run

SAP Focused Run has a superior alternative for checking security notes with it’s Configuration and Security validation tool. Read more in this blog.

Setting up System Recommendations

If solution manager is properly setup, system recommendations is already enabled.

To verify if the system recommendations job is running start transaction SOLMAN_SETUP and select Mandatory Configuration and then Basic Configuration. Then select in the roadmap on top step number 2 and look for the system recommendations job, which will typically run every week:

System recommendations job

Adding a system to System Recommendations

In SOLMAN_SETUP goto the managed system configuration of the system you want to add to system recommendations.

Select the full configuration for the system. On the roadmap select step 5: Enter System Parameters. On the screen below tick the box for Enable System Recommendations:

Managed system configuration Step5 landscape parameters

Now the system is added you need to wait until the weekly job runs.

System recommendations result

In solution manager goto the System Recommendations tile:

Fiori tile for system recommendations

Upon clicking you get the list of systems and OSS notes per category:

System recommendations overview

Now you can zoom in for example on the security notes:

Security notes

Per OSS note you can keep track of the status:

System recommendations status change

Dealing with the list

Some notes you can implement via SNOTE automatically. After they are implemented (normally via transport import if you run System Recommendations against productive system) they will be gone with the next run of system recommendations.

Some notes depend on kernel patch: also here, you can mark the status as to-be-implemented and wait for the actual implementation of the kernel patch.

Some notes might be non-relevant: you can mark them and they will no longer show in the open list of security notes.

DB and OS versions

The security notes will pickup all the database and OS versions for security notes, even if you don’t run them. To reduce the list goto transaction SM30 and maintain the content of table AGSSR_OSDB:


Flag the unused Databases and OS to Inactive and they will be filtered away next run.

More features

System recommendations function has more features. If you want to read all of them, please read the SAP full document. You need to use transaction SM30_DNOC_USERCFG_SR to configure these settings. 

OSS note backbone settings

If you have issues updating most recent notes, or anything at all, please check in transaction SM30_DNOC_USERCFG_SR. Make sure there is no entry there for SYSREC_RFC_CALL. If it is there delete it. This is due to the SAP technical backbone change.

More background information

More background information can be found at the SAP pages on system recommendations and in SAP oss note 2554633 – System Recommendations configuration guide for SAP Solution Manager 7.2.

Bug fix OSS notes

Please check these notes for potential bug fixes:

Security Optimization Service

In SAP solution manager there is a free out-of-the-box tool available to quickly scan for security items in your system: the Security Optimization Service.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to run the Security Optimization Service?
  • How does the questionnaire work?
  • How does a sample result look like?

How to run Security Optimization Service

In solution manager 7.2 go to the tile Active Sessions for Service Delivery:

Service delivery Sessions

You now arrive in the sessions overview screen:

Sessions overview

If you are first time using: hit the button Content Update to fetch the latest content from SAP. When done, you are ready to run.

Select the button create to make a new service. From the list choose the option SAP Security Optimization:

New security optimization service

There might be multiple. In that case select this one (the others won’t work):

Then select the system for which you want to run the service. Do this by clicking the Add button in the Technical System section:

Select system

Finish the roadmap. After the final step the detailed roadmap will appear:

Security optimization session roadmap

In the first step select the logon and test the connection:

Select system logon

In the next step you need to assign a questionnaire:

Create and assign questionaire

If you run the SOS before you can re-use or change the template. The first time you need to create the questionnaire:

Questionaire maintenance

In the questionnaire you can maintain whitelist. In the example above user from the basis team is added to the list of system administrators. These users will no longer appear in the report as exceptions.

More background information on the questionnaire and the impact can be found in OSS note 2036188 - How questionnaire influences results of Security Optimization Service.

Save the questionnaire and return to the roadmap.

Next step is to start the data collection:

Data collection

If you have a recent run, you can select it here. If no run is present, hit the button Schedule new ST14 analysis run. Pending on your system size and speed the run will take between 5 and 60 minutes. If the run is finished select the run and complete the roadmap.

The SOS session is now scheduled.


You need authorizations in the backend system for ST14. If that is missing you get this message:

This refers to OSS note 696478 – SAP Security Optimization: Preparation, additions.


Usually the run is done overnight and you can fetch the results next day. Go to the active services tile, select your run and go to the column Documents. Click on the document to get the results.

Example of an SOS report can be found at this URL.

Follow up

If you find issues: solve them and rerun the report.

If you find many users with too many rights: start to revoke the rights and rerun the report.

If you find basis and authorization staff in the list with rights they should have, add their user ID’s to the corresponding section in the questionnaire, and rerun the report.

In general it will take a few runs to come to a more cleaned up system.

Referring OSS notes

Relevant OSS notes:

Use remote ATC for baselining Z code

In the previous blogs we have explain how to run ATC from central system to remote system. This will enable you to for example run the ATC against an older release, which doesn’t have the ATC tool capability.

But there is one other common issue with older systems: you have lots of existing legacy Z code. If you want to clean up or start with new guidelines the ATC is initially not helpful since it will give you lots of errors.

This blog will explain the concept of baselining the current Z code with an initial run to give you a clean start.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to setup the ATC baseline?
  • How to run the ATC baseline?
  • What are the known limitations of the ATC baseline functionality?

Setting the baseline

To set the baseline, first run a full ATC remote check. This will give many issues. In the ATC results screen select the run and press the button Baseline to mark the current results as baseline.

Set ATC baseline

You can choose that the current results are simply suppressed, are treated as exemptions or are treated as low priority.

If you run ATC tool again, please make sure in your run variant that you now select the consider baseline tick box:

ATC run settings for baseline

If you don’t change any coding in the remote system the next run of ATC should give you a clean run with no issues (in case you have chosen suppression).

ATC after baseline

In the remote system we now do 2 coding changes:

  • We had before the baseline a bad program called ZCRAP1. To this program we do a change.
  • We created a new program called ZCRAP2.

Now we run the ATC tool again with the baseline to ignore the baselined findings.

ATC results after baseline

The ATC tool now finds issues in both the changed and the newly created program.

The unfortunate thing is that for the old program, it does not look at the newly added lines, but it looks at ALL the issued in the analyzed code (also the existing). 
This might lead to some surprise if you add 1 line to a 1000 line existing bad code: this will give lots of errors. It is up to you to decide to fix the existing errors or just exempt the existing ones.

Baseline suppression known issues

The baseline suppression has some known issue situations. These are listed in OSS note 2552932 – ATC: Baseline Does not Suppress all Findings.

Bug fix notes: