To start with, SAP Data archiving concept is based on the Archive Development Kit (ADK) where the archiving objects are used to remove business-complete data, (data no longer needed in online business processes), from the database and to store it in such a way that it is still accessible in the future. But as I understand it this is a pretty familiar concept for all fellow SAP developers/consultants who are involved in Data Archiving… What I want to share with you is what I perceive as the enhanced service of this ‘classic’ archiving procedure with XML-based Data Archiving mode.
Basically, the purpose of XML-based data archiving is the same as ADK-based archiving. The key difference, which adds high value, is that it is based on universally accepted and widely used standards: XML format is used to archive business objects, HTTP(s) as a communication service, and WEBDAV as a general protocol for connecting storage systems.
This technology is composed of the XML Data Archiving Service (XML DAS) and the XML DAS Connector. XML DAS is part of the SAP J2EE Engine (SAP NetWeaver ’04), which means that the archiving takes place on the JAVA stack of an SAP Web AS. The J2EE engine itself contains the meta data while the actual data that is archived is saved in a file system connected via the WebDAV protocol.
So to sum up, we can think of two logically (also can be physically) separate systems: the application system whose database is to be cleaned up, which contains the data to be archived and the XML DAS Connector; and the archiving system in which XML DAS is running. The application system is connected to the XML DAS service via the XML DAS connector.
The archiving process is almost similar to ADK-based archiving as far as definition of archiving object is concerned, wherein you define an XML Archiving object in transaction AOBJ, the definition of which determines which data is archived and how. While the ‘Normal’ Archiving object uses ADK, the ‘XML Archiving Object’ uses the XML archiving API to execute archiving programs.
The third step of normal archiving, process of storage of archiving files, does not exist as a separate step, as data is written directly to the WEBDAV system, which is configured in XML DAS. (The first two steps being Creating Archive Files and then Deleting the archived data from the database).
Just to have a first look as to how this XML DAS service works, you can open the XML DAS Administration on your browser with the following path:
http://Your local SAP J2EE Engine Host:HTTP port/DataArchivingService/DAS
Later on you can add to your know-how by referring to the following detailed documentation link on ‘help.sap.com’: XML Based Archiving.