FOR ALL ENTRIES statement tuning on Oracle database

In very weird cases you get performance issues on one system and not on the other. This can happen when running Oracle and using the FOR ALL ENTRIES statement for very large data sets, while it is fine on smaller sets.

The background is Oracle blocking factors. The full background can be read in these 2 SAP notes:

The solution is to give an Oracle hint (see note 129385 – Database hints in Open SQL) with a lower number of blocking factors.

%_HINTS ORACLE '&prefer_in_itab_opt 1&&max_in_blocking_factor 100&'

Performance issue solved…

If you migrate to HANA or different database, you need to remove or redo the hint again.

Call transaction security

An ABAP developer can call a different transaction from a custom build program or transaction. This can be very helpful for certain user requirements and can save an end user time when the system is helping him with jumping from one transaction to the next logical transaction.


For authorization this can be a bit messy.
What for example will happen with this coding:


Will the SU01 transaction now be called successfully or not?


Suppose the user does not have rights to call SU01. The coding is still trying to go to this transaction.

Depending on the value of system parameter auth/check/calltransaction a couple of things can happen:

  • No check
  • Always check
  • Lookup if check is needed in table TCDCOUPLES

Table TCDCOUPLES links the calling transaction to the jumped to transaction and determines if the transaction authorization for the new transaction is required or not.

But what in case there is no entry or the entry in TCDCOUPLES is vague? Then it again determines on the value of parameter auth/check/calltransaction to be strict or not strict.

Entries in table TCDCOUPLES are maintained via transaction SE97:

Standard SAP example output:

Formal OSS note of SE97: 358122 – Description of functions of transaction SE97.

Updating TCDCOUPLES is a lot of work and no longer SAP best practice. See this SAP blog.

Correct way of coding

The correct way of coding is more simple: always indicate that the authority check is mandatory:


In this way the coding forces the check independent of the system parameter and entries in TCDCOUPLES.

Finding incorrectly coded CALL TRANSACTIONS

The fastest way of finding incorrectly coded call transactions is by running the SAP CVA (code vulnerability analysis) tool. This tool scans for CALL TRANSACTIONS with missing authority checks. It also scans for other variations like dynamic use of CALL TRANSCATION.

Alternatively you can use CODE_SCANNER (see blog on usage) with this special input:

Basically you tell the program to look for any program with CALL TRANSACTION and not having WITH AUTHORITY-CHECK in it. Do realize it can potentially miss programs in case there are 2 calls (1 correct and 1 incorrect). The CVA tool will not miss this case.


You might wonder: what is the situation for the LEAVE TO TRANSACTION statement? That is more simple. LEAVE TO TRANSACTION will always check the user rights for object S_TCODE for the transaction.

Report SNIF: search active customer enhancements

Report SNIF can be used to find active customer enhancements like BADI, user exit, BTE event.

To start the report go to transaction SA38, enter report SNIF and execute:

Select the items you want to search for that are implemented and press execute. Wait until the result shows:

Here you can see which exits are active. Double click on a line will jump to the code.

Background OSS notes

Write system log entries from custom ABAP

For some specific requirements (like system monitoring) you might need to write entries into the ABAP system log (transaction SM21).


In SE92 (see this blog) create a new message for the system log. It is best to create your own Z message code in stead of re-using standard SAP.

Writing to system log

OSS note 5462 – Writing SysLog entries from within ABAP/4 programs explains 2 methods, for which using function module RSLG_WRITE_SYSLOG_ENTRY is the preferred one.

Program RSLG0014 can be used to test the writing and basis for code re-use:

DWDM: Enjoy demo center

The enjoy controls are old, but still much in use.

If you need to re-use and idea and code, you can use transaction DWDM: the Enjoy Demo Center.

Double clicking program name will show the ABAP code on the right.

Double clicking on the title will give you the output of the example code.

The HTML control as WWW browser can be used to test the internet connectivity from your SAP server to internet.

Some developers might have restrictions on their laptop and use this program to browse.... 

Custom code adjustments for HANA database migration

If you convert ECC to S4HANA you need to execute custom code adjustments for both HANA database migration and for functional application changes. This can be read in this blog and this blog.

If you only want to migrate an existing database to HANA for a netweaver ABAP stack (either standalone or for SAP ECC), you will also need to adjust custom code.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • Which custom code ABAP changes to I need to perform mandatory for a HANA database migration?
  • Which custom code ABAP changes are highly recommended to perform for a HANA database migration?
  • Which other tools should I use to help to smoothen the HANA database migration?

Mandatory custom ABAP changes for HANA database migration

There are mandatory ABAP changes to be made for HANA database migration. The main ones are:

  • Native SQL statements
  • Use of Database hints
  • Search in pool and cluster tables
  • Use of ADBC interface
  • Search for problematic statements without ORDER BY

The first few will not appear too much and are relatively easy to fix.

The last one: the statements without ORDER BY needs some explanation. Some current custom code might work properly with the current database, since some database will present the data to the ABAP application server in a specific sorted way. When migration to HANA database the HANA database might present the same records to the ABAP application server, but in a different sorting or in a random order. This might lead to issues in further handling in custom code. The solution is to analyze the code and to add explicit sorting as per need of the custom program. To scan the usage in live system, see below chapter on SRTCM.

All these changes can be detected with the SCI variant FUNCTIONAL_DB:

Run this SCI variant via the ATC tool on your custom code:

Wait for the run to finish and go to the results. The best overview is when you click the Statistics View button:

Clicking on an item will drill down to the details.

Performance related coding changes for HANA database migration

The second set of custom code changes is from the performance side. For this set you need to run the ATC tool with SCI variant PERFORMANCE_DB:

The PERFORMANCE_DB variant has 2 main parts: mandatory fixes, good to fix.

The mandatory fix is the unsecure use of SELECT FOR ALL ENTRIES. If this is not properly checked, it might blow up the system:

What happens here? If in the current database the SELECT FOR ALL ENTRIES for whatever reason is not giving results this might be running fine. But on HANA the entire table is read in this case. To scan the usage in live system, see below chapter on SRTCM.

The other part is the performance best practices for HANA:

This ATC run can yield a very long working list:

Where to start? Since even the priority 1 and 2 can yield a very long list.

Use the SQLM and SWLT tools. These tools will help you to prioritize the ATC run result from the PERFORMANCE_DB variant. SQLM will take statistics data from production. You start with the heavy used programs. SWLT will combine the heavy use with the ATC run. The output is the heavy used program which can be improved.

SRTCM tool

The SRTCM tool is specifically designed to scan for 2 main issues: Empty table in FOR ALL ENTRIES clause and Missing ORDER BY or SORT after SELECT. The tool is run on a productive system and will list the actual usage in a productive system.

To switch on start transaction SRTCM and press the Activate Globally button.

Let the tool run, and later Display Results from either running system or snapshot:

Show results;

Clicking on the line will jump to the direct code point.

Note for Oracle as source database: 3209584 – RTM: RTM_PERIODIC_JOB canceled with runtime error SQL_CAUGHT_RABAX (ORACLE).

Custom code decommissioning

SAP solution manager offers a custom code decommissioning cockpit tool. This tool you can use to delete unused custom code. Unused code does not need to be migrated, which will save you effort.

SAP references

CVA: Code vulnerability analysis

CVA is a licensed SAP tool to scan custom code for potential security issues.

CVA is built in code inspector and analysis is run via the ATC tool.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • What checks does CVA perform?
  • How to activate CVA?
  • Is CVA licensed?
  • Where to find more information on CVA?

Activating CVA

SAP CVA Code Vulnerability Analysis is a licensed tool. You need to activate it before you can use it. To activate run program RSLIN_SEC_LICENSE_SETUP:

The activation refers to OSS note 1855773 – Security checks for customer-specific ABAP programs which explains the license, restrictions, etc.

Call to SAP: if you really think security is important for your customers and their custom programs, don't ask money for CVA tool, but allow free usage!

Check the bug fix OSS notes below. Apply them before your first run.

Checks in detail

The SAP CVA checks can be seen in SCI variant SLIN_SEC:

And then open the variant and click the information button for details:

A full list of checks can also be found on this SAP blog.

And per netweaver version the checks are listed in OSS note 1921820 – SAP Code Vulnerability Analyzer – support package planning.

Setting up ATC variant and run

Start transaction ATC and press Schedule Run:

First create a new variant and refer to SCI variant SLIN_SEC:

Now schedule the run for your Z code:

The run can take a few hours.

More on ATC set up and running can be found in this blog.

Run results

Start transaction ATC and go to the results part:

Select your run:

The ATC result screen will show, but list can be very long:

Both Z programs and user exits will be shown (starting with S or X).

Press the Statistics View button top right to get a better overview:

The result list is now sorted per security item:

Don't let yourself be impressed by high numbers of the first run. Most issues are in old code: consider clean up. Focus on the priority 1 and priority 2 first. Finetune result set for priority 3 to lower the numbers.

Now you can zoom in to the issue per item by clicking on the line:

The details show the issue: hard coded user name. Clicking on the underlined code name in column Object Name will zoom into the code point to fix:

In this case hard coded break for a user. Fix is easy: delete the line of code.

Remote analysis

It is possible to use ATC remote analysis (see blog) for CVA. The full setup is explained in this SAP online help link. See also OSS note 2232083 – ATC/CI: SAP NetWeaver Application Server add-on for code vulnerability analysis – remote check runs – installation.

Checking license usage

Run program RSLIN_SEC_LICENSE_SETUP to check license usage:

Or run this from transaction SLIN_ADMIN.

SAP reference material

Generic presentation on SAP CVA can be found on this link.

CVA FAQ: follow this link.

CVA full list of checks: follow this link.

CVA as part of CI/CD development pipeline: follow this link.

ABAP code security issues explained: follow this link.

Bug fix and improvement notes

Bug fix and improvement OSS notes:

BTE events

BTE events are Business Transaction Events. These events can be used to put custom specific logic in ABAP code interface when this event occurs.

It is used by standard SAP, partner software, and you can create your own interfaces.

Pros and cons

The BTE can solve business specific issues in a graceful way with custom code. This is a large pro.

The biggest con is that the technique is hardly known. When there are issues inside the Z coding for BTE, they are tough to spot and to detect. Good documentation is required of the event usage (both on paper specification and inside the Z code).

BTE events

The main transaction for BTE events is FIBF:

The screen is indeed empty.

The main parts are below Settings and Environment.

To list all the events, choose Environment, Info System (P/S):

And the result screen:

If you select a line and press the Display Act Comp button, you can see the details, including the existence of a customer implementation:

Background and references

Many good blogs already exist. So no need to repeat here.

List of blogs and sites:

Clean ABAP code ATC variant

Clean ABAP is the ABAP variant of the clean code principles. All background on clean ABAP code can be read in this blog.

This blog will explain how to upload the ABAP coding for the Clean ABAP ATC variant in your system and activate it.

Load ABAP Git code

To load the ATC variant code for clean ABAP you first need to install the ABAP Git code. Follow the instructions in this blog to do so. Simplest is the offline variant.

Download the ABAP clean code package

Now go to the Github code pal site for ABAP clean code and download the package:

Select the button Code and choose the option Download ZIP.

Upload the package

Now start the ABAP git that you loaded in your first step. Choose the option New Offline:

Give the repository a name and select a package:

Then push the button Create Offline Repo.

Now select Import Zip:

Import the file you downloaded in step 2 from the code pal site.

Next step is the Pull zip:

You might get a screen with differences. Do not select anything there, only press Ok.

Then wait until all the Y objects are pulled into the system. This might take 5 to 10 minutes.

Activating the SCI checks

Now start transaction SCI. Select menu option Code Inspector, Management of, Tests. Select all the newly load Y checks for Clean ABAP code:

Important now: Save them!

Now you can create a global SCI variant:

Select all the Clean code ABAP checks and save the variant:

You might get weird issues upon saving for other items, like for example missing CL_CI_CATEGORY_TOP. In that case, go to transaction SE16 -> look for table SCITESTS -> and look for CL_CI_CATEGORY_TOP if there is no entry. Enter the table SCITESTS and click "Create Entry", add CL_CI_CATEGORY_TOP entry and save.

Test and usage

Take a program you want check. Then select menu option Program, Check, ABAP Test Cockpit with….:

Select the ZCLEAN_ABAP SCI check we created above. Run the checks.


Tip: click on the blue line to jump to the Clean Code site exactly explaining about the issue.

Clean ABAP

Clean ABAP is the ABAP implementation of Clean code. Clean code is one of the key principles to adhere to when going Agile. Clean code is part of agile software development craftmanship. Read more on clean code in the original book.

Clean ABAP reference site

Clean ABAP is published and maintained on a dedicated Clean ABAP Github site.

The site itself is excellent and also has a special chapter how to best start with Clean ABAP.

The site is extensive and might be overwhelming. If you are a more traditional person, you can also read the SAP Press book on Clean ABAP code.

Blog on SAP site on clean ABAP can be found here and here.

Patterns and anti-patterns

The Clean ABAP explanation on the site contains both patterns (how you should do) and anti-patterns (how you should not do).

Anyhow the Clean ABAP principles are fully built on Object Orientation. That is a must.

Introducing Clean ABAP in your organization

Regardless if your organization is doing Agile or Waterfall development, or other development methodologies, Clean ABAP can be applied anyhow.

First step is to embrace the Clean ABAP as a principle direction. It will take time to get there. Not all developers will pick up as fast as you might want to. It also takes time to refactor old code to the Clean ABAP principles.

Discuss as developers as a team which part of the principles and improvements you want to pick up first. If you master a few, you can make it mandatory. Then take the next set. Some might pick up more at a higher pace. But keep the discussion going to improve and pick up every 2 weeks (sprint) at least 1 improvement item.

For a nice overview: read this SAP blog.

Peer review or pair programming: ATC variant

You can make the Clean ABAP code rules a part of your peer review or pair programming.

There is an ATC variant that can be uploaded that check for the clean ABAP code rules. Read this blog for instructions on how to do this.

Boy Scout rule

The boy scout rule is as follows: leave the place nicer than when you arrived, even though you didn’t make the mess. When you do this repetitively the world becomes a cleaner place.

This also applies to poor code: don’t just do your change, but take along some minor improvements as well. When you do this a couple of times, the poor code will improve every time towards good code.

But this principle you also need to embrace and explain. There might be unlucky situations where the clean up part might cause unexpected bug. This might happen in 0.01% of the cases. When it happens you might get resistance and pushback. But stand up for the principle, and simply correct the bug. It is worth it in the long run.