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.

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?
  • How to check the correct setup in the SAP EWA report?
  • Where can I find a checklist to see if I am completely done?

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.

While switching to new SAP support backbone you might get a connection error. Follow the instructions from OSS note 2781045 – ANST / ST22 note search “Connection cannot be established” to solve it.

Online checklists

SAP has now published online checklists, based on your solution manager version. You can find the checklists on this link.

Support backbone configuration check in EWA report

If you install ST-A/PI 01T sp02 or higher in your system (see OSS note 2827332 – Service Data not Complete due to ST-A/PI not Up-to-date), the EWA report of that system will give information about the correct connection to SAP support backbone and correct use of technical user for the communication.

Example:

In the process OSS note 2802999 - SDCCN activation fails without errors or red icons in Migrate tab might need to be applied as well to solve an SDCCN error.

SNOTE tips & tricks

This blog will give tips and tricks for the SAP SNOTE transaction. Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to update SNOTE itself?
  • How to check if there are new versions available for notes?
  • What is TCI?

If you are looking for way to check which OSS notes are needed, read the ANST blog: the automated notes search tool.

Notes for SNOTE itself

Also SNOTE itself can have bugs or has new functions. Download and implement most recent vesion of OSS note 1668882 – Note Assistant: Important notes for SAP_BASIS 730,731,740,750,751 to update SNOTE itself.

Downloading and implementing new versions of OSS notes

SAP regularly updates its own OSS notes. To check in your system if there are new updates for OSS notes relevant to you goto transaction SNOTE. Then choose “Goto -> SAP Note Browser ->Execute (F8)”, and then choose “Download Latest Version of SAP Notes” in the application toolbar. This will download all the latest versions. Check for the status “Obsolete version implemented” in the implementation state column.

Activation of inactive objects after implementing OSS note

In rare cases after implementing an OSS note some of the ABAP objects are in an inactive state. To activate them, select the menu SAP note and then Activate SAP note manually.

Or you can run program SCWB_NOTE_ACTIVATE to activate the coding of the note:

SCWB_NOTE_ACTIVATE

TCI: transport based correction instructions

Transport based correction instructions contain notes that are larger than normal OSS notes. This tool leverages the SPAM transaction to apply these large packages.

Relevant OSS notes:

Start with reading the PDF document attached to OSS note 2187425: TCI for customer. This contains the exact instructions to enable TCI based correction instructions. ABAP persons: please execute these instructions with help of a basis person; you will need SPAM access rights and 000 actions are involved, which are typically done by basis.

The TCI only recently has a rollback function. Please check if you can update/patch to the version where the rollback works. See the PDF document in OSS note 2187425 on the undo function.

Digitally signed oss notes

For digitally signed oss notes see the special  blog.

 

ANST: automated notes search tool

This blog will explain one of the most usefull new tools from SAP when having to find bugs in standard SAP coding. The ANST (automated notes search tool) is not receiving the recognition that is should get. In usability it is same ease as the SNOTE tool.

If you love SNOTE you will also love the ANST tool! Just try it out.

Questions that will be answered in this blog:

  • What is the ANST automated notes search tool?
  • How does is work?
  • Why should I always use this tool before submitting an incident to SAP?

ANST (advanced notes search tool)

The ANST tool can help you in:

  • Quickly finding OSS notes for your issue
  • Check if you Z code is causing the issue or dump, or it is a standard SAP issue

OSS note 1818192 is the ANST FAQ note which also has the minimum version. This note also has an extensive explanation. The how to use below is just a summary.

OSS note 2605555 also contains an excellent PDF inside as attachment, that gives a step by step manual.

How to use the ANST tool?

Start tcode ANST.

ANST start screen

If you launch it for first time you might get an error "ANST001 Fatal Error. Customizing table is not filled". If this is the case follow the solution steps in OSS note 1909768.

In the transaction code box key in the transaction where you have the issue. As example we will use tcode S_BCE_68001417 (search for authorizations by complex criteria). The user admin is complaining about an incorrect number of selected authorizations that are shown in that transaction.

So key in the transaction code and description (you can keep it same).

Now press execute: the transaction will be called. In the authorization object screen fill out S_DEVELOP and execute again to get the results:

Initial S_BCE_68001417

Now leave the transaction recording.

In the left bottom of the screen you can see the recording being written into the trace file:

Create trace file

Depending on the complexity and amount of screens you have passed this can take up to 1 to 10 minutes.

The result is shown after the trace file. The result is sorted per SAP module. If you open the details, you can also see the exact program blocks that were hit during the recording.

ANST trace result list per module and program block

Now you can select the modules (if wanted specific code blocks) where you thinks is the issue. After selection hit the Note Search button. The SAP system will now connect to SAP service marketplace and look for the most recent notes for your version, which have not yet been implemented.

Note search result

The middle note seems to be very relevant. From this screen you can can already link to the note (click on note number) and start download to SNOTE already.

Tips on the selection of the components:
1. Never select more than 1000 components: ANST will reject this
2. The less components you select the faster you get results, and shorter list of potential notes as well
3. If you want you can later retrieve the recording and make a different search on different components: no need to re-record
4. Most of the times you can ignore the basis and cross application and basis notes
5. Run the recording and the result together with your functional consultant: he can help filter the components and select usefull notes

Using ANST to analyze short dumps

The ANST tool can be used as well to analyze short dumps. Just start the ANST tool and run the steps including the step where the dump occurs. After the dump the ANST tool will trace the modules including the point where the dump occurs.

Make sure OSS note 2535278 is applied: this contains bug fix for the short dump case.

Checking for customer code issues

After the trace file is generated and you have searched for OSS notes, it can be there is still an issue caused by your own customer code. To exclude this (or to check it anyhow), you have to use the buttton Customer Code from the trace result screen with all the components. Be a bit patient while the tool is scanning for modifications, user-exits, BADI implementations and enhancement spots it came across in the recording.

If you want to analyze implicit and explicit enhancements as well with ANST you must apply OSS note 2408785 first.

ANST clickable demo

SAP has made a nice clickable demo to show you how it works: link to demo.

Use of ANST tool before submitting incident to SAP

Even if the ANST tool does not help you search for the correct OSS note for your issue, the ANST tool can help you in speed up of the incident solution for SAP.

If you want to report the issue to SAP as an incident download the ANST trace file. If you report the incident mention:

  • ANST tool is used and add the recording
  • Add list of already implemented OSS notes
  • You alredy checked for customer code

With this information the first line processor will have a quick job assigning the incidinet to the real issue solvers in Walldorf. This will save you valuable time, since the first line normally come with simple list of notes, or also run the ANST tool themselves, and then come with obvious notes.

Increasing the maximum number of objects limit

If you are using the ANST tool on a transaction with many objects (for example ME21n purchase order), you will notice that you cannot search for more than 1000 objects at the same time. Then you have to open subsection and select subtree and run it more than once with different selections. But sometimes one node really expands into more than 1000 objects. In this case, you best increase the maximum object limit. In ANST start screen choose the Settings button can increase the Max.Object counter on the far right of the settings (scrolling required)

ANST max notes search settings

Needless to say, more objects do take more time to analyze. But it is worth the wait.

Relevant OSS notes

Some interesting OSS notes to review:

2735032 – ANST: Scan Source Code for Implicit Enhancements

While switching to new SAP support backbone you might get a connection error. Follow the instructions from OSS note 2781045 – ANST / ST22 note search “Connection cannot be established” to solve it.

ANST for web applications and FIORI

ANST can also be used for web applications and FIORI. See this blog.