Shared objects memory

ABAP programs (standard SAP and custom) use the shared memory objects technology.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to set the shared objects memory size?
  • How to monitor usage of shared objects memory?

Monitoring shared objects

Shared objects can be monitored with transaction SHMM:

In the start screen you can see the objects now loaded and how much memory they consume. In the start screen you can also delete and invalidate the shared memory objects.

The deletion can lead to short dumps. Only use this in emergency cases and when you are really sure

In the second tab you can see the total memory overview:

Setting shared memory objects memory size

In RZ11 with system parameter abap/shared_objects_size_MB you can set the shared object size in MB. A restart of the system is required to activate any change.

Older documentation says 500 or 1000 MB is sufficient. In newer systems a value of 3000 to 5000 in not uncommon.

Licenses for SAP solution manager

SAP solution manager licenses have been renewed last few years by SAP.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • Do I need a user license for solution manager users?
  • If I run solution manager on HANA, do I need to pay HANA database licenses?
  • How can I get Focused Build and Focused Insights?

User licenses for SAP solution manager

Since 1.1.2018 the requirement of having named users was dropped by SAP.

HANA database licenses

If you want to run HANA database below SAP solution manager as database, you need to procure the infrastructure. The HANA database rights are included in SAP solution manager. This is the only exception SAP has. For all other use case you need to pay for HANA as database as well.

Using SAP solution manager for non-SAP components

You can use SAP solution manager to manage non-SAP components as well. Especially the ITSM service desk component can be used for this. When you use this function for non-SAP components, you will need SAP enterprise support rights for SAP solution manager in stead of the SAP standard support.

Focused Insights and Focused Build

SAP offers Focused Insights and Focused Build as extra options on top of SAP solution manager. Both are installed as add-on. Focused Insights brings extra dashboard building capabilities. With Focused Build you can get an extra grip on your solution build process.

In 2019 both solutions require SAP MaxAttention or need to be procured. As of 2020 both solutions are part of standard maintenance contract. For 2019 prices and 2020 announcement see the SAP blog.

Focused Run

Focused Run is separate solution with separate license to optimize the running of large SAP landscapes.

More background information

More information can be found on the SAP solution manager usage rights website.


Transaction SPOOL

Transaction SPOOL can be used as a central starting place for all printing and spool related settings, tools, error analysis.

Simply start transaction SPOOL:

Now switch from Standard Mode to Expert Mode to enable all tool.

Double clicking on the line will start the tool. On the right hand side are the transaction codes and the OSS note numbers for specific additional explanation.

SAP support backbone update

SAP has announced an update on its support backbone to go live per 1.1.2020. If you did not prepare your systems for it, you might loose support functions.

Even recently you might see this big warning on SAP support site:

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • Where can I find more background information on the SAP support backbone update?
  • Do I need to upgrade SAP solution manager?
  • How to switch to digitally signed OSS notes?
  • Do I need to change my OSS RFC’s?
  • What else do I need to do?

Background information on SAP support backbone update

The landing page for SAP support backbone update can be found by following this link.

The webinar recording explaining all the highlights can be found by following this link.

The official OSS note is 2737826 – SAP Support Backbone Update / upcoming changes in SAP Service and Support Backbone interfaces (latest) in January 2020.

What will change per 1.1.2020?

Basically the connection from SAP solution manager and the on premise SAP systems connection to the SAP backbone will change. This will impact many areas like OSS notes, EWA’s, landscape planning etc.

What do you need to do if you don’t want to loose any functionality?

Solution manager

If you don’t want to loose any functionality in SAP solution manager you will need to upgrade to Solution manager 7.2 to support package 7 or 8. If you are on 8 you have to do less manual work than on 7. On solution manager support packs 5 and 6 some functions will work, but with manual work and limitations. On solution manager 7.1 and solution manager 7.2 up to support pack 3, the connection to SAP support backbone will be lost on 1.1.2020. You can already upgrade to SP8 now and prepare solution manager.

For the automatic configuration of the connectivity follow the instructions in OSS note 2738426 – Automated Configuration of new Support Backbone Communication.

OSS notes

For OSS notes there are 2 changes: the RFC to SAP and digitally signed OSS notes.

For the RFC connection read and follow the instructions from OSS note 2740667 – RFC connection SAPOSS to SAP Service & Support backbone will change (latest) in January 2020.

OSS notes via SNOTE must be switched to digitally signed OSS notes. How to do this: see blog.

Next to this, you will need to change the OSS note RFC destination. The generic user will no longer work. You will need to change it to named technical user, or change to the connection from RFC to https connectivity.

If you setup digitally signed OSS notes there is an option for fallback to insecure.

Attention: this fallback will no longer work after 1.1.2020.

ANST

ANST is a great function to help you find OSS notes relevant for your issue. For more explanation on ANST look at this blog. The ANST reaches out to the SAP support backbone to check for recent notes. To keep the function working you need to setup a new webservice in SOAMANAGER (if the SOAP runtime is not active follow instructions in this blog). To setup the specific webservice follow the instructions in oss note 2730525 – Consuming the Note Search Webservice. Then apply OSS note 2732094 – ANST- Implementing SOAP Based ANST Note Search.

DMIS plugin notes analyzer

When you are using DMIS plugin for SLT data replication you will need to regularly apply OSS notes to solve bugs. This blog will explain how to quickly analyze the needed notes using the DMC note analyzer program.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to install the DMC note analyzer program?
  • How to run the DMC note analyzer program?

Installation of the DMC note analyzer program

The DMC note analyzer program is delivered via SAP oss note 2596411 – SLT / NZDT / S4HANA Migration Cockpit (DMIS2011 SP11-SP15; DMIS2018; S/4HANA 1610, 1709 & 1809) – Note Analyzer.

Minor manual work is needed for the implementation of this OSS note.

Running the DMC note analyzer

With transaction SE38 start program DMC_NOTE_ANALYZER. On the start screen select whether you want to check for the central system or the source system:

DMIS notes analyzer program start screen

Now start the run.

After the run is done the missing notes are listed:

DMIS notes analyzer program output

From the overview you can start to download the notes and apply them.

SGEN: code generation

After any support pack and upgrade you want to check and make sure the ABAP code in the system is ok and pre-compiled for business use. The SGEN code generator tool does the job for you.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to run SGEN?
  • How can I see the result behind SGEN?

Running SGEN

Starting SGEN is simple by starting the transaction code SGEN. The initial screen looks like this:

Select the option you want to use. The most common feature option is the Regenerate after SAP system upgrade. Press continue. You now reach the load generator screen to distribute the load across many parallel processes:

SGEN load generator

Select the servers and press continue.

SGEN is a resource intensive process: performance during the run will be pretty low....

In the load monitor you now release the job and you can start to monitor it:

SGEN generator monitor

You can also monitor in SM37 the batch job for program RSPARAGENER8M .

Data behind SGEN

Table GENSETM contains the results of the generation run. The field GENSTATUS is the generation status. Values of this field:

X = generated

E or S = error

I = initial

Data archiving improvement notes 2018

In 2018 SAP ran an improvement project which resulted into a set of OSS notes that will make data archiving more robust and easy.

All of these notes come with manual work. Select the ones really useful.

Archiving write process improvements

Write variant maintenance has been made easier by allowing copying of variants (useful if you have many plants and company codes and want to store each one in different archive file): 2520093 – Archive administration: Enhanced variant maintenance (writing, preprocessing, and postprocessing).

To be able to detail the written file name of the archive file implement this oss note: 2637105 – Print list for archiving write jobs: Placeholders for session numbers, archive file key in title.

Archiving storage process improvements

Archiving system technical check button is available in OAC0, but not in SARA. After applying this note you can also check it in the technical settings in SARA: 2599263 – Connection test for storage systems for archiving object.

Deletion process improvements

To be able to quickly continue with interrupted archiving sessions apply this note 2520094 – Continue: Information on existence of interrupted or incomplete archiving sessions.

This note will implement checks to warn you about uncompleted previous store and delete runs: 2586921 – Run selection for deletion: Information about the existence of unstored archive files.

Some archiving object use the AIS (archiving information system) to enable the end user a quick retrieval of archiving information. This note will give warning before start of deletion if the AIS is note active for the object: 2624077 – Starting delete jobs: Check for active info structures.

Archiving overview and logging improvement

To get a better overall overview of all logs apply OSS note 2433546 – Archive administration logs: Information about errors in hierarchy display.

Direct navigation to Archive File Browser: apply OSS note 2544517 – Archive administration: Direct navigation to ArchiveFileBrowser. This note only gives you a link. You can already start the archive file browser using transaction AS_AFB:

Archive file browser


TAANA improvement to count dynamic subfields

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to get the new TAANA function for dynamic subfields?
  • How to run TAANA dynamic subfields?

How to get the new TAANA function for dynamic subfields?

Simply apply improvement OSS note 2614476 – TAANA: Several dynamic subfields with reference to same reference field.

How to run dynamic subfields in TAANA?

We will use table JEST as example. This table as a pretty annoying setup. The main field OBJNR is in fact 2 fields: the first 2 characters are object identification, and the second part is a number for the object. But if you want to analyze how many objects type you have this is problematic with SE16.

JEST table content

In TAANA we can use the dynamic subfields. Start transaction TAANA and create an Ad Hoc Anlysis for table JEST. First hit Execute to start, enter table JEST and in this screen hit the Ad Hoc Variant button:

TAANA JEST Create Ad Hoc Variant

 

 

 

 

Now select the OBJNR field:

Ad hoc analysis with offset and subfield length

In the Offset field fill 0. And in Subfield length 2. This means take first 2 characters of field OBJNR. Press ok and start the run in the background.

The end result is a cross section with counts on the types of the first 2 characters in JEST-OBJNR:

TAANA JEST results

SE16H: HANA specific implementation of SE16

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to use SE16H?
  • Where to find full list of SE16H functions?
  • Which bug fix notes for SE16H should I apply?

SE16H: HANA specific implementation of SE16

SE16 is one of the most used transactions for data analysis on any SAP system. SE16H is the HANA specific implementation which leverages some of the HANA specific strengths.

Transaction code to start is simply SE16H. We now enter VBAK as example table. Just pressing execute will give simple list of first 500 entries. Nothing new.

Now we run again, but tick the Group and Sort tick boxes for the Document Category field:

SE16H VBAK example input

The output now is a sum of the sales orders in table VBAK grouped by identical Document Category:

SE16H VBAK example output

TAANA vs SE16H

If you run on HANA, the SE16H transaction is a faster option than the classical TAANA transaction, since SE16H runs online and TAANA runs as batch.

List of all SE16H functions

The full list of all SE16H functions can be found in OSS note 1636416 – CO-OM tools: Functions of transaction SE16H.

SE16H bug fix notes

Please consider the following bug fix OSS notes for SE16H:

SAP database growth control: data archiving business discussions

This blog will give answers to the following questions:

  • When to start data archiving discussion with the business?
  • How to come to good retention periods?
  • What are arguments for not archiving certain data?

Data archiving discussion with the business

Unlike technical data deletion, functional data archiving cannot be done without proper business discussion and approval.

Depending on your business several aspects for data are important:

  • Auditing and Sox needs
  • Tax and legal retention periods
  • Product data requirement
  • And so on…..

Here are some rules of thumb you can use before considering to start up the business discussions about archiving:

Rule of thumb 1: the system is pretty new. At least wait 3 years to get an insight into which tables are growing fast and are worth to investigate for data archiving.
Rule of thumb 2: if your system is growing slowly, but the infrastructure capabilities grow faster: only perform technical clean up and don't even start functional data archiving.
Rule of thumb 3: if you are on HANA: check if the data aging concept for functional objects is stable enough and without bugs. Data aging does not require much work, it is only technical and it does not require much business discussions. Data retrieval from end user perspective is transparent.

Data analysis before starting the discussion

If your system is growing fast and/or you are getting performance complaints, then you need to do proper data analysis before starting any business discussion.

Start with proper analysis on the data. Use the TAANA tool to get insights into the data: how is the distribution of data per document type, per year, per plant/company code etc. If you want to propose retention period of let’s say 5 years, you can use the TAANA results to show what percentage of data you can move out of the database.

Secondly: if you have an idea on which data you want to archive, first execute a trial run on a recent production copy. There might be functional blocks that prevent you from archiving data (like not closed documents).

Third important factor is the ease of data retrieval. Some object have a nice simple data retrieval function, and some are really terrible. If the retrieval is good, the business will more easily accept a shorter retention period.

As last step you can start the business case: how much data will be saved (and how much money hence will be save) and how much performance would be gain. And how much time is needed to be invested for setting up, checking (testing!) and running the data archiving runs.

In practice data archiving business case is only present in very large systems of 5 TB and larger. This sizing tipping point changes in time as hardware gets cheaper and hourly manpower costs go up.

The discussion itself

Take must time in planning for the discussion itself. It is not uncommon that archiving discussions take over a year to complete. The better you are prepared the easier the discussion. It also helps to have a few real performance pain points to get solved via data archiving. There is normally a business owner for this pain point who can help push data archiving.