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OSS Notes – An Underutilized Resource for Developers.

I often find Basis consultants searching the OSS Notes – – site for solutions to problems/bugs in the standard SAP system highlighted by their SAP colleagues (mostly those with a functional background). It is a common misconception that the Notes may be used only to find remedies to the erroneous behavior of R/3.

In my opinion, they are the consultant’s/developer’s best companion and an excellent tool for self-study. Just like athletes are asked to do exercises daily, I recommend developers visit this site regularly. Programmers could save a lot of time and improve their knowledge through sensible utilization of this site.

The team members of the various SAP research centers write many of the Notes. These Notes list facts they learn from their work and observation along with solutions to bugs occurring as a result of programming errors (logical or conceptual) done by SAP programmers. SAP R/3, from the developer’s perspective, is simply a software system built in the ABAP language. It may be possible that a programming problem that you are about to face has already been addressed in a lot of detail in an SAP Note. Good examples are Notes of the type “Program ________ is extremely slow.” Such Notes give you the coding of why such a problem occurred along with correction instructions showing the way it should have been.

Another advantage offered by OSS Notes is that they provide valuable insights on different platforms such as various operating systems and databases. You may find Notes on SQL Server or hints on an Oracle database. Moreover, they are frequently updated thus giving you the opportunity to be in touch with the latest enhancements (and releases) in all functional areas of SAP.

The art of Note navigation lies in searching for the relevant information in the most intelligent manner. You can even narrow your search down by selecting a particular application area. You can write something like “performance” in the field “Search Text” if you are interested in performance critical issues. Or you’d like to know more about select statements, try using “SELECT”. If you are interested in certain errors, simply type the error text such as ‘DBIF_RSQL_INVALID_RSQL’, and so on and so forth.

So let’s waste no more time. Go ahead and explore this site with a learning objective. Right now:

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  • all S and C-users can search over OSS (SAPnotes) thru SDN in the search fields.  Its a much easier and more full featured search and classification than you’re used to.  Give it a try!!


  • If you have upgraded your SDN account by registering your customer or partner number, you can use Dev Today (in the SDN top navigation menu bar) to push the latest OSS Notes to you based on the topics you have expressed interest in.  Try it – you might like it!