Note search for messages

If you are in an SAP transaction and you are confronted with a strange error message, you would like to know if there are OSS notes for this message you are having.

As example we take a message in ME21N transaction. If you have the error, double click on the error message for the details:

Now press the SAP Notes/Search KBA button highlighted in the screen shot above. The system will now search in OSS notes for this specific message and situation. Since our case is simple we get a nothing found message:

More background on this tool: see OSS note 2096401 – FAQs: Performance Assistant – SAP Notes and KBAs search by PANKS.

Debug batch programs

This blog will explain how to debug a background batch program with real background mode (SY-BATCH is X).

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to debug a running job?
  • How to debug a completed job?

Starting the debug mode for batch job

First we plan a single run of the batch job. In our example we run program RSWAITSEC which does nothing more than wait.

In SM37 show the job run:

Select the job and in the command line enter the background debug command JDBG:

Now the debugger starts first in the batch job part. Hit F7 a few time (F7 = jump back out of routine) until you reach the real program:

As you can see here the SY-BATCH variable is X, which means you are debugging with real background mode on.

SM50 background debugging

If you want to debug a running job, you have to goto SM50 and select the background process. Then choose the menu option Administration / Program / Debugging. Confirm the prompt:

Wait until the running SQL statement has completed and debug mode will start.

Please be very careful with this kind of debugging in a productive system.If you cancel the debug session there might be a rollback work statement triggered, which can cause database inconsistencies.

Batch jobs tips & tricks

This blog will give tips and tricks on batch jobs.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to check a job is not running already before starting new one?
  • How to build in a wait step into a batch job?
  • How to set the RV variables automatically in table TVARVC?
  • How to validate that the basic batch job system is working ok?
  • How to analyze the jobs running in my system?
  • How to mass stop and start batch jobs?
  • How to set up batch job interception?
  • How to ignore large spool output of batch jobs?

Prevention of same job still running

If you want to prevent same job from starting, while a previous instance is still running, you need to add program RSBTONEJOB or RSBTONEJOB2 as first step in the batch job. This step will detect if the previous instance is still running and abort to avoid the next steps from being executed. More background in OSS note 557610.

Forcing a batch program to wait

If for some reason you need a batch program to wait between steps, you can use program RSWAITSEC as a step. This program will only do a wait for x amount of seconds.

Setting current date in the TVARVC table for the RV variables

The RV variables for current date, month and year are often used in month end closing batch jobs. Running program RVSETDAT will set the current dates for RV TVARC variables.

Checking basis background job system settings and working

If you want to validate if the background job system function itself is working properly, start transaction SM65 background processing analysis tool.

SM65 start screen

Result is shown correct working, number of batches and wait time:

SM65 result screen

Background job analysis tool

Start transaction ST13 and start tool BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS. Or directly start program /SSA/BTC.

Batch job analysis tool

Pending on your selection you get a graphical overview or a full list for you to speed up your analysis.

Mass stop and start of batch jobs

S4HANA readiness check 2.0

SAP has released the S4HANA readiness check 2.0.

This blog will answer the following questions:

  • How to install S4HANA readiness check 2.0?
  • How to run the S4HANA readiness check 2.0?
  • How to see the results for the S4HANA readiness check 2.0?
  • What are the differences between the old and the new 2.0 version?

How to install S4HANA readiness check 2.0?

SAP OSS note 2758146 – SAP Readiness Check 2.0 & Next Generation SAP Business Scenario Recommendations contains all the installation instructions.

Short sequence of steps:

  1. de-implement OSS note 2310438 – SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA – Managed System
  2. Implement OSS note 2745851 – Business Process Improvement Content for SAP Readiness Check 2.0 and Next Generation SAP Business Scenario Recommendations
  3. Update or implement OSS note 2185390 – Custom Code Analyzer
  4. Update or implement OSS note 1872170 – ABAP on HANA sizing report (S/4HANA, Suite on HANA…)
  5. Update or implement OSS note 2399707 – Simplification Item Check
  6. Implement OSS note 2769657 – Interface Discovery for IDoc as part of Readiness Check
  7. Implement OSS note 2612179 – DVM API to trigger and monitor DVM ST14 analyses for Readiness Check
  8. Implement OSS note 2758146 itself

Next to these notes, if you are using ATC, it is wise to also apply OSS note 2781766 – Enabling ATC check result export for SAP Readiness Check 2.0.

As you can see from the list of OSS notes there are improvements in the area of idocs, data volume management and business process analysis.

For this reason SAP recommends to run the S4HANA readiness tool on productive system.

Run S4HANA readiness check 2.0

There are 2 data analysis programs to run: SYCM_DOWNLOAD_REPOSITORY_INFO and RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA.

First you run SYCM_DOWNLOAD_REPOSITORY_INFO on development system to fetch information about your Z coding:

The tool will launch batch job. After job is done download the zipfile to your local PC.

If you are asked to regenerate the ABAP indexes run program SAPRSEUC in the background and be very patient. See blog on ABAP where used index for more background information.

Second program you need to run on production. So you first need to transport all the notes to production. The notes are large and can take up to 20 minutes import time. So take a quiet time at the productive system to import them.

Start program RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA in your productive system:

Select your target version and press execute. This will launch multiple batch jobs. Wait for all the jobs to finish and start program again to download the ZIP file to your PC.

Uploading the data

SAP OSS note 2758146 – SAP Readiness Check 2.0 & Next Generation SAP Business Scenario Recommendations contains the upload URL. The current URL is http://rc.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com .

Hit the start New Analysis button and upload the file from the RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA program. Wait for the SAP site to finish the analysis. It will be visible on the site as Recent Analysis.

Don’t forget to push the update analysis button to upload the second file with the custom code analysis from program SYCM_DOWNLOAD_REPOSITORY_INFO.

The results

Now you can start to enjoy the results:

You can use the settings button to allow more people to view the analysis results.

Background information

More background information can be found at:

Differences between S4HANA readiness check 1.0 and 2.0

Differences:

  • More aspects are covered in 2.0 (like idocs, data volume, business processes, etc)
  • 2.0 is fully online, you cannot make a PDF download any more, but it is easier to give access to the site (entering e-mail is sufficient, no need for S user to access)
  • The analysis programs are faster

Table logging

Table logging captures all table changes. This blog will answer the following questions:

  • How to activate table logging in general?
  • How to check if for specific table the logging is active?
  • How to check table changes for a specific customizing action?
  • How to check general table change?
  • How to delete table logging?
  • When not to use table logging?

Table logging activation

In RZ11 system parameter Rec/Client determines the table logging for the complete system. Make sure the value is set to ALL.

See also OSS note 2437986 – SCU3 | How to enable logging in the system.

Table logging per table

In transaction SE11 enter the table you want to check and then goto the technical settings. As example table T000:

SE11 technical settings table logging

At the section Data Changes you can see that Log Changes has been activated.

How to view table changes?

The common way to view table changes is via transaction SCU3. At the start screen press the button analyze logs:

In the next selection screen enter the table to analyze. In this example we analyze table T000:

T000 table changes

Make sure to set the radio button to Tables. Output of the changes to table T000 then looks as follows:

T000 table changes output

Here you can see changes done by user ILLEGALUSER. At which date and time they were done, and the old and new value.

Checking table changes from customizing

If you are in a customizing action and you want to see who did perform changes, select the menu Utilities and then option Change Log. Select date and time frame to analyze and press Execute. As example here changes to Plant Definition (table T001W):

T001w changes

Custom tables and standard SAP tables

By default a lot of SAP configuration and important setting tables have the log changes activated. But not all. It is not uncommon to activate table logging for standard SAP configuration tables important for your business. For important custom configuration Z tables you might want to activate table logging.

Table logging is not a replacement for change documents. Standard SAP generates change documents for changes to documents that must be kept for tracking and audit purposes. This is common for all major transnational objects and its underlying tables. That is why for example for an important table like VBAK (sales order header) the table logging is off: change documents are already generated.

It is very bad practice to make use of table logging for business data reasons. Table logging is used for recording changes to configuration and if all theses logs are deleted there should be no business impact.

Deletion of table logging

Table logging can be deleted with transaction SLG2.

Make sure only very limited amount of people have access to SLG2 and the below program SBAL_DELETE.

SAT ABAP runtime analysis for ABAP web applications

SAT ABAP runtime analysis is a great tool for analyzing performance issues. This tool can also be used to analyze ABAP web dynpro and FIORI applications.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to run SAT tool for ABAP web applications?

Running SAT tool for ABAP web applications

Start transaction SAT, and press the button Schedule in the block For User/Service.

You now reach the measurement overview screen:

Now select the Schedule Measurement button. In the next screen fill out the user to trace and very important: switch the object type to URL and process type to HTTP:

Do not press the schedule measurement button yet. First go to the ABAP web application to the part you want to measure for performance. Afterwards delete the browser, since it will keep on sending data.

No you have to go back to the SAT start screen and click on the tab Evaluate:

Double click on your measurement line. The system will now read the measurement log files and process them. This can take some time. The end result screen looks again like a normal SAT result screen:

SAT ABAP runtime analysis

The SAT ABAP runtime analysis tool can be used to identify performance problems in ABAP programs.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to run the SAT tool?
  • How to read the results of the SAT tool?

Starting the SAT tool

The SAT ABAP runtime analysis tool can be started with transaction SAT:

Top left there is a Tips & Tricks button. This will bring you the to the following tool:

Here you can compare the optimal and not optimal way of coding. By hitting measure runtime button you can actually compare in real time the difference between the 2 methods.

The performance issue program

To test the tool, we first write a simple test program:

REPORT zperftest2.

DATA: zlt_vbak TYPE TABLE OF vbak.
DATA: zls_vbak TYPE vbak.
DATA: zlt_vbap TYPE TABLE OF vbap.
DATA: zls_vbap TYPE vbap.
DATA: zls_vbap2 TYPE vbap.

SELECT * FROM vbak INTO TABLE zlt_vbak UP TO 100 ROWS.

LOOP AT zlt_vbak INTO zls_vbak.
  SELECT * FROM vbap INTO zls_vbap.
    DO 10000 TIMES.
      zls_vbap2 = zls_vbap.
    ENDDO.
  ENDSELECT.
ENDLOOP.

Now we start the SAT tool, enter the program name. Make sure the tick box evaluate immediately is on and press Execute.

Now the measurement will start.

Result of the trace tool

The result of the trace tool is as follows:

On the left side you see the split in where the program spends it time. Here you can see that most of the time is spend on internal processing and not on SQL statements. SQL statement can be analyzed from the SAT tool or from the ST05 SQL trace tool.

By double clicking on the the internal access the right hand side of the screen is filled. Here you can see in which code blocks the most net and gross time is spent. It does not always point you to the exact statements that are not ok, but it can point you to the program that is causing the biggest delay.

In our case the DO 10000 TIMES loop is the performance killer. With only SQL tracing this cannot be found.

ST05 SQL performance tracing

Performance issue solving is an important job for ABAP and basis consultant. One of the helpful tools is ST05 SQL performance trace tool.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to switch on ST05 SQL trace?
  • How to read the results from the ST05 SQL trace?
  • How to use the ST05 SQL trace with multiple application servers?

The test program

First we create a small test program for our performance analysis.

REPORT zperftest.

DATA: zlt_vbak TYPE TABLE OF vbak.
DATA: zls_vbak TYPE vbak.
DATA: zlt_vbap TYPE TABLE OF vbap.
DATA: zls_vbap TYPE vbap.

SELECT * FROM vbak INTO TABLE zlt_vbak UP TO 1000 ROWS.

LOOP AT zlt_vbak INTO zls_vbak.
  SELECT * FROM vbap INTO zls_vbap.
    DO 10 TIMES.
      CALL FUNCTION 'BAPI_MATERIAL_EXISTENCECHECK'
        EXPORTING
          material = zls_vbap-matnr+0(18).
    ENDDO.
  ENDSELECT.
ENDLOOP.

Off course this program is written very badly to be really slow and making performance issues.

ST05 SQL trace

Start the ST05 SQL trace tool with transaction code ST05.

You can activate the trace for all users with the button Activate trace. But this is usually not needed and will only give you a long trace to analyze.

The usual method is to activate the trace with a filter, mostly on user name to trace a specific user action:

If the authorization team already started on ST01 authorization trace, you cannot start the SQL trace. First stop the ST01 trace. 

Now you can start the performance test program in a different session. Just wait until it is finished. It is important the user you are tracing is only doing this action and does not perform any other action, since these other actions are also recorded and will make the analysis harder to read.

When completed go back to the ST05 and click Deactivate trace.

Trace analysis based on duration

Now press the Display trace to see the results. If your trace is large you will get this screen:

This is quite common and click yes. If your result is really too big, change the 5000 on the first screen in to a good maximum, or try to record a smaller time frame.

Result now looks like this after sorting on the column duration:

You can see that the total SQL commands took 48 seconds in total. The longest SQL single command took 78 milliseconds (which is very fast, so long running SQL’s are not the issue in this example).

In your case you might find very large single SQL commands. By selecting the line and pressing the button Display ABAP call location, you can jump to the place in the coding that fired the SQL command.

Summarized trace analysis

Since we have many records and many small ones, we need to use the summary tools. In the trace analysis select menu path Trace and then Structure Identical statements. This will give the following surprisingly short overview:

In the third column you can see that there are 100 identical calls, and also a high number of redundant calls.

If you now click on the second line to the ABAP call position you jump to our badly performing program and see that the majority of the delay is coming from the do 100 times loop. The first line is coming from standard SAP in the BAPI call.

This happens in real live as well that not all calls will point you into the right program. You might have to check multiple lines to find the right program causing the issue.

Multiple application servers

Development systems normally have only 1 application server. Productive servers can have more. If you have to analyze a performance issue directly on production with ST05, you have to be aware that the performance trace is per application server. If needed, you can select in ST05 as specific server, or you can select all. The trace display is still per server.

Delete ABAP developer keys

This blog will answer the following questions:

  • How to delete old ABAP developer keys from my system?

ABAP developer keys clean up

If ABAP developers leave their key is still in your system and could potentially misused. Also when SAP comes to measure licenses they might peek in table DEVACCESS to see which developer keys are present.

Unfortunately SAP does not deliver a standard program delete an unused ABAP key. See OSS note 1710320 – How to delete SSCR Object and/or Developer Keys – SAP ONE Support Launchpad.

So you simply have to write your own customer program with a code that looks like:

DELETE FROM DEVACCESS WHERE UNAME EQ '<USERNAME>'.

Maintenance view on DEVACCESS

Alternative solution is to create a maintenance view on table DEVACCESS. This will require a once off modification key. Then you can delete and insert developers keys via the normal SM30 table maintenance transaction.

Developer key hack

The developer keys are not safe, so don’t rely on them. See this blog.