Data archiving: store files in SAP content server

With data archiving you reduce the database size of SAP and increase the performance by reducing the amount of records in the SAP tables. The data archiving process write files with the archived data. These files must still be stored securely, since on file level any admin can delete the files and you might loose valuable business data.

This blog explains the setup of storage of data archiving files by using SAP content server as storage medium.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How do I setup the link from SAP netweaver ABAP stack to the SAP content server?
  • Which settings do I need to make in the archiving objects to store the archiving file to SAP content server?
  • How do I store the files in the SARA transaction?

General tips and tricks for SAP content server can be found in this blog.

How to setup archiving technically can be found in this blog.

How to run archiving can be found in this blog.

Linking the SAP Netweaver ABAP stack to SAP content server

First we need to maintain a special protocol in customizing using this path:

Create a new protocol:

This protocol can now be assigned to the SAP content server you want to use for storing the data archiving files. Goto transaction OAC0 to link the protocol to your content server:

If the field protocol is not visible immediately there, click the button Full administration first.

Data archiving object specific linking

After the steps above to make the general connection to content server available, the content server needs to be explicitly mentioned in each data archiving object. For any data archiving object (start transaction SARA first and select the object), click on the customizing button:

In the popup screen now select Technical Settings in Archiving Object-Specific Customizing:

At the bottom fill out the content server repository and decide if you want to start automatically or immediately:

Remark 1: the F4 search help does not work here! Key in the value directly and check using the check button. Then save the data.
Remark 2: always tick the option Delete Program Reads from Storage System. This forces that the archive file is securely stored first, before the deletion run is allowed to start. 

Storing archive files in SARA

After the configuration is done the new button Storage system appears on the screen in the SARA transaction for this specific object:

Storage system

If the button does not appear: check the technical settings above, and remember: this is to be repeated for each object.

Storing files that have been written by the Write phase of the data archiving process can now be stored by pressing the Archive Files button:

Select the file(s) to store:

Now a batch job starts (per file!) to store the archive file into the SAP content server.

After correct storage of the file, the file can be selected in the delete phase.

Print list archiving

This blog will explain how to setup print list archiving.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • What is use case of print list archiving?
  • How to setup print list archiving?
  • How to test print list archiving?
  • How to troubleshoot issues with print list archiving?

Goal of print list archiving

The business sometimes needs to store report output for a longer period of time. They can print the information and put it in their archive. This leads to a big physical archive.

You can also give the business the option store their output electronically in the SAP content server.

Set up or check content repository

First check which content repository you want to use to store the print lists. The type of content repository must be “ARCHLINK”. Menu path in customizing is as follows:

Set up content repository

Or you can go there directly with transaction OAC0.

Content repository A2 is default present in the system and is used in the example below. A2 is pointing towards the SAP database for storage. For productive use a SAP content server in stead of SAP database.

Customizing for print list archiving

In the following customizing path you find all the actions required for the print list archiving:

Print list archivng customizing

First check that print list document type D01 is present and is using ALF as document class:

Print list document type

In the Edit links section, you can set for document type D01 which content repository is should use.

Print list to content repository link

Then check if the number ranges for archivelink are properly maintained (if empty create new number range):

Archivelink number ranges

Then activate the print list queues:

Setup print list archive queues

Next step is to select the action to schedule the storage job. This job should not run faster than every 15 minutes.

Final step is to setup the archive printer. You can later on see it with transaction SPAD as well.

Important here: short name must be ARCH. Device type and device class must be set to archiving.

Set up archive printer screen 1

On the access method tab also set access method to archiving.

Set up archive printer screen 2

Now the setup is complete.

Testing print list archiving

The test procedure is described in OSS note 1792336 – Test if a Print List is being Archived.

If you follow this procedure you will initially run into this strange screen:

Error screen

You didn’t do anything wrong yet. The problem is that the option for print to archive is not displayed by default. First go to the properties of a working printer to enable the archiving output option:

Print request properties screen

The rest of the note is self explaining:

  • Start SE38 and run program SHOWCOLO
  • Print the output list to printer ARCHIVE and archive mode selected
  • Goto SP01 find the spool, select menu path Print with changed parameters
  • Hit the Archive button
  • Start transaction OAM1 and hit the execute button next to Archive queue
  • Start transaction OADR to read from the archived print lists
  • From the list take the document and select the button “Display from storage system”

Troubleshooting

If you have issues, please check the troubleshooting OSS note  1775577 – How To and Troubleshooting guide for storing print lists in ArchiveLink.

SAP database growth control: HANA data aging

HANA data aging is a method to reduce the memory footprint of the HANA in-memory part without disturbing the end users. It is not reducing your database size.

This blog will answer following questions:

  • What is HANA data aging?
  • How to switch HANA data aging on?
  • How to set up HANA data aging for technical objects?
  • What about data aging for functional objects?

What is HANA data aging?

HANA data aging is an application method to reduce the memory footprint based on application data logic. It is not a database feature but an application feature. The goal of HANA data aging is not to reduce the database size (which it is not doing), but to reduce the actual memory footprint of the HANA in-memory database.

Let’s take idocs as example: the idocs that are processed ok you need to keep in database for an agreed amount of time before business or audit allows you to delete them. Lets say you can only delete after 1 year. Every action on idocs now means that full year of idoc content is occupying main memory. For daily operational tasks you normally only need 2 months of data in memory and rest you can accept that it will take bit longer to read from disc into memory.

This is exactly what data aging is doing: you partition the data into application logic based chunks. In this case you can partition the idoc data per month and only have last 2 months in active memory. The other 10 months are on disc only. Reading data of last 2 months is still fast as usual. When having to report on the 10 months on disc, the system first needs to load from disc into memory; will be slower.

To reduce database itself, you would still need to do data archiving.

Advantage of the data aging is that the more expensive memory footprint costs can be reduced in such a way that the end users are not hampered. Data aging is transparent for them. With data archiving the users will always need to select different transaction and data files.

How to switch on data aging?

To switch on data aging on system level you need to do 2 things:

  1. Set the parameter abap/data_aging to on in RZ11
  2. In SFW5 switch on the switch called DAAG_DATA_AGING

This only enables the system for data aging.

Data aging switch on for technical object: example for application logging

With transaction DAGADM you can see the adminstration status of the data aging object. You first see red lights that the objects are not activated for data aging.

Per object you have extra transactions (which unfortunately differ per object…) to set the retention times. For application logging this is transaction SLGR. Here we choose in this example to data age all log after 180 days:

The advantage of this tailoring is that you could only age some of the objects if you want.

The transaction and OSS note for each of the objects can be found on this SAP blog.

Next step is to setup partitions for the object. To do this start transaction DAGPTM and open the object you want to partition:

SBAL partitioning

Initial screen is in display mode. Hit change button. On the bottom right side hit the Period button (Selection Time Period). In the popup enter the desired start date, time buckets (months, years) and amount of repetitions:

Partition intervals

Now the partions are defined. To execute the partitioning hit the execute button to start the partitioning in the background. Wait until the job finishes. Before running this on productive system check the runtime first on non-productive system with about same data size if possible.

After partitioning the screen should look like this:

Now we can activate the object in transaction DAGADM. Select the object and press the activate button. Popup appears to assign the object to existing data aging or new group:

The data aging run will be done per group.

To start the actual data aging run start transaction DAGRUN.

Here you can schedule a new run with the Schedule new run button.

To see the achieved results of the data aging goto transaction DAGADM and select the object. Then push the button View current/Historical data.

Functional data aging objects

Functional data archiving objects exist as well for Financial documents, sales orders, deliveries, etc. The full list and minimal application version can be found on this SAP blog.

Words of caution for functional archiving:

  • The technical archiving objects are more mature in coding and usage. They are used in productive system and are with lesser bugs than the technical objects
  • Before switching on a functional data aging object you need to prepare your custom ABAP code. If they are not adjusted properly to take the partitions with the date selections (or other application selection mechanism) into account all benefits are immediately lost. A Z program that reads constantly into full history will force a continuous read of historical partitions….

Background information

More background information can be found in OSS note 2416490 – FAQ: SAP HANA Data Aging in SAP S/4HANA.

SAP database growth control: technical cleanup

This blog will explain about technical cleanup to reduce the SAP database growth and to regain control of it.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to run the standard SAP clean up jobs?
  • Where can I find full list of items that could be cleaned up?
  • How to run the cleanup of some common objects?
  • Database reorganization after cleanup?

This blog assumes you have followed the step in the blog to get insight into your fast growing SAP tables.

If you run ECC on HANA or S4SHANA check out this blog on data aging.

This blog focuses on technical data objects archiving and clean up by performing deletion. If you want to setup functional archiving, start reading this blog.

List of technical clean up items

A full list of all possible technical clean up items can be found in OSS note 2388483 – How-To: Data Management for Technical Tables. The chapters below describe the most common ones.

SAP standard clean up jobs

Using SM36 you can plan all SAP standard jobs (which include a lot of clean up jobs for spools, dumps, etc) via the button Standard Jobs.

By hitting the button Default scheduling in an initial system, or after any upgrade or support package, the system will plan its default clean up schedule.

SM36 standard job scheduling

S4HANA has different set up of standard jobs. See blog.

Clean up of old idocs

Idoc data is stored in EDI* tables. Largest tables are usually EDI40, EDIDS and EDIDC.

Old idocs can be deleted using transaction WE11.

Idoc deletion

In batch mode you can schedule it as program RSETESTD.

In the bottom of the selection screen are the technical options:

Idoc deletion technical settings

The idoc deletion job can fail if there is too many data to process. If they happens remove the 4 tickboxes here and use the separate deletion programs: RSWWWIDE, RSARFCER, SBAL_DELETE and RSRLDREL2. These 5 combined programs will delete the same, but run more efficiently. This procedure is also explained in OSS note 1574016 – Deleting idocs with WE11/ RSETESTD.

Also check these OSS notes:

Clean up of table logging

Table logging is stored in table DBTABLOG. Deletion can be done using transaction SCU3 and then choosing the option Edit/Logs/Delete, or by using program RSTBPDEL.

After you apply OSS note 2535552 - SCU3: New authorization design for table logging: new transaction code SCU3_DEL will be available.

DBTABLOG deletion

More background information: OSS note 2335014 – DBTABLOG | Reduce size. Bug fix OSS notes:

Clean up of application logging

Application logging is stored in tables BALDAT and BALHDR. Deletion can be done using transaction SLG2 or by using program SBAL_DELETE.

The last options to fine tune the number of logs per job and the commit counter setting do not appear by default. Select menu option Program/Expert mode first.

Tuned setting for commit counter is described in OSS note 2507213 – SBAL_DELETE runs too long.

Delete old RFC data

Old RFC data can be deleted using transaction SM58, selecting some data, then in the overview screen select the menu option Log File/ Reorganize. Or by starting program RSARFCER.

More background information in OSS note 2899366 – Huge entries in table ARFCSDATA.

In this note you can also read to check SMQ1 as well, since qRFC’s are also stored in ARFCSDATA table. See blog on qRFC’s.

Delete old change pointers

Old change pointers occupy space in tables BDCP2 and BDCPS. You can use transaction BD22 or report RBDCPCLR/RBDCPCLR2 to delete them.

Delete change pointers

MDG change pointers

If you are using MDG: it has its own set of change pointer tables. Clean up transaction code is MDGCPDEL. Program for batch job clean up is RMDGCPCLR.

Workflows

Workflows are stored in many tables starting with SW*.

You can delete work item history with transaction SWWH or program RSWWHIDE.

Delete workflow item history

This clean up will only do the work item technical history and not the workflow itself. If workflow itself can be deleted or is to be archived is a functionality decision that the depend on the business and audit needs.

The workflow deleting program can create large amount of spools. If this is not wanted use the NULL printer.

If your business is using the GOS (generic object services) to see workflows linked to a business document, and they cannot retrieve the archived work item, please follow carefully the instructions in OSS note 2356250 – Not able to view archived workflows.

Workflow archiving

Workflow archiving can be done with archiving object WORKITEM. For archiving setup read this blog. This note explains how to run the archiving of the WORKITEM object: 2157048 – Workflow Quick Start Guide to WORKITEM Archiving. Data display for the archived workitems is explained in OSS note 2748817 – How to display Workitems from archive.

Bug fix OSS notes:

Workflow deletion

If you want to delete the actual workflow you have to run program RSWWWIDE.

Take care that before deleting workflows you have checked that these are not needed for audit or financial proof. Some workflows will contain approval steps with a recording of who approved what at which time.

Large amount of documents in SAP inbox

If you have a large amount of items in your SAP inbox, you can delete them via program RSSODLIN. Background is in OSS note 63912 – SAPoffice: Delete user sessions.

Deleting SAP office documents

SAP office documents can be deleted with program RSBCS_REORG. See note 966854 – Reorganization – new report. Note 988057 – Reorganization – information contains a very useful PDF document that explains what to do in cases that RSBCS_REORG is not directly can delete an SAP office document. In most cases you have to run a special program that breaks the link between the document and the data. After that is done you can delete the content.

Test this first and check with the data owner that the documents are no longer needed.

Bug fix OSS notes:

Change documents

Change documents do contain business data changes to business objects. If tables CDHDR and CDPOS grow very big, you start with an age analysis. You can propose to business to delete change documents older than 10 years. 10 years is the legal time you need to keep a lot of data. Deletion is done via program RSCDOK99. If business does not want to delete, but keep the data in the archive, you can use data archiving object CHANGEDOCU. Retrieval of archived change documents is via transaction RSSCD100.

Updating statistics

If you are running Oracle database it is wise to include in technical clean up job as last step the online reorganization of tables or indexes using program RSANAORA. See blog.