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Statistical Records Part 2: RFC Statistics

My Statistical Records Part 1: Inside STAD [1] introduced the statistical records of an ABAP application server. This time I would like to talk about the internal structure of the statistical records. As an example the RFC records are introduced. This blog is about SAP_BASIS 700 which comes with Netweaver 2004s. The overall concept described here has not changed very much since release 4.6C, but details could be different.

Structure of Statistical Records

First let’s have a look at the structure of the statistical records. A statistical record consists of several parts. The first part is the so-called main record where we find information like transaction code and program name, start and end time, response time, etc. This main record is part of every statistical record.

Additionally we may find other optional parts. Whenever database operations have been performed we will get a database subrecord for this dialog step. If stored procedures were executed on the database we will get a subrecord for DB procedures. If a report has been executed as a batch job we will get a batch subrecord, telling us e. g. the job name and job ID. The following picture illustrates the structure of a statistical record.


All these subrecords are optional, and the SAP kernel will generate these on demand. This saves a lot of disk space in the file system and speeds up writing and reading the statistics file. Here is the complete list of subrecords:

  • batch subrecords
  • database subrecords
  • db table subrecords
  • db procedure subrecords
  • spool print subrecords
  • spool activity subrecords
  • ADM message subrecords
  • client information subrecords
  • RFC client subrecords
  • RFC server subrecords
  • RFC client destination subrecords
  • RFC server destionation subrecords
  • http client subrecords
  • http server subrecords
  • http client destination subrecords
  • http server destionation subrecords
  • smtp client subrecords
  • smtp server subrecords
  • smtp client destination subrecords
  • smtp server destionation subrecords
  • VMC subrecords
  • ESI subrecords (SAP_BASIS 710)
  • ESI destination subrecords (SAP_BASIS 710)

Don’t get confused, we’ll not discuss all of them in detail now. Instead let’s have a closer look at the RFC subrecords.

What are RFC statistics records?

The RFC statistical records can tell us some details of the RFC activity of a program. If a program performs RFC calls then you will get RFC client and RFC client destination records. An RFC server process receives RFC calls and will write RFC server and RFC server destination records. If the RFC server process itself performs RFC calls then it is a client and a server simultaneously. In this case you will see all four different RFC subrecords within one statistical record. STAD displays the RFC overview, if RFC subrecords are present.

RFC Client

Let’s start with the RFC client records. The following picture is a screenshot from STAD for an overview of RFC client process.


We can see that 30 RFC calls have been performed over (at least) 5 connections to 5 destinations for this dialog step. The calling time for the client was 7.212 ms in total, while the remote execution time (for all servers) was 6.688 ms. The calling time includes codepage conversions and network transport. The remote execution time is measured by the RFC server and includes authority check and function execution only. 11.330 bytes have been sent to the servers, and 14.225 bytes have been received. The idle time is the time between two subsequent RFC calls for an open connection. There are two highlighted fields on this screen: Connections and Calls. You may click on these fields to display more details. Let’s continue with the calls, which will display the RFC client records.

An RFC client record describes exactly one single RFC call. The most important information is the function name, the execution time of this function, and the amount of data transported in both directions. The following screenshot of STAD shows an RFC client record.


This screen shows an RFC call of a function called START_TCOLL_REPORT. The Call number is 6, indicating that this call is the 6th call over this particular RFC connection. The Connection ID of this connection is displayed (a GUID) as well as the name of the destination. The calling time and the remote execution time are given, and a few hundred bytes have been transferred between client and server. The time for data transfer (data send time and data receive time) is less than 1 ms. The field communication step shows that sending and receiving happened during the same dialog step which should be the normal situation for a synchronous RFC. For asynchronous RFC sending and receiving may happen during different dialog steps.

Of course it is not possible to log each individual RFC call in this way. The amount of data would be too large to handle. Instead the SAP kernel logs the five most expensive RFC client records only, all others are discarded. Expensive means “expensive in terms of execution time”. The profile parameter stat/rfcrec controls the maximum number of RFC subrecords (default value = 5). Increasing this value is dangerous, because the file system will be flooded with statistical records. And it affects the system performance, because all these statistical records have to be processed by the SAP workload collector (which will be the topic of another blog).

Instead of logging every single RFC call the RFC client information is summarized, and for each RFC connection an RFC client destination record is written. From this record we can see how many RFC calls were performed for this particular connection, how many bytes have been transported in total, and of course the total execution time. Again the maximum number of RFC client destination records is limited by the profile parameter stat/rfcrec. If a client performs RFC calls across more than 5 connections than only the 5 most expensive connections (in terms of execution time) are logged. The following screenshots of STAD shows an RFC client destination record.


This screen shows the details for a particular RFC connection. We can see the connection ID, the type of RFC (synchronous), the types of the local and the partner engines (R/3 System in both cases), and the combination of user name and client number used for logon. Destination is the name of the RFC destination (see Tx SM59). Instance is the name of the local application server from where this call was issued, and IP address is the local IP address. From the remote application server we see Partner instance, Partner IP address, and Partner Release (not all RFC server will provide this information, but a SAP application server will do so). In total six calls have been performed for this particular connection during this dialog step, and the total calling time was 2624 ms.

RFC Server

To show the complete picture the following STAD screenshots depicts the RFCserver records. Again we start with the overview.


This screen shows the overview for an RFC server process during a dilaog step. One incoming RFC call from one connection has been received. The RFC server has received 12.415.680 bytes, and the server execution time (authority check and function module execution) was 711 ms, while the calling time (including code page conversions and network transfer) was 6.656 ms.

Let’s go to the details of that particular RFC call (click on the hotspot behind the field Calls). The following screen is very similar to the one of an RFC client. We can see the name of the executed function module, the connection ID, and the destination name NONE (an RFC call within the same application server) as well as the performance metrics.


The next screenshot shows the RFC server destination record. It shows the details of the RFC connection and the summary of all RFC calls for this connection. We can see that this connection has been used for an asynchronous call without a response. The details of this screen are similar to the RFC client destination record (see above).


Please note that the lifetime of an RFC connection is independent of a dialog step. Depending of the scenario and the implementation an RFC connection may be used during several subsequent dialog steps of an application or program. The RFC client/server destination records are created in the context of a dialog step and will always show the activity for a connection during this dialog step.

There are some details of an RFC server process which are important to know. Let’s assume an RFC client performs several calls to an RFC server. If the connection is not closed explicitly then it will be used for all these calls. But when will the RFC server process write a statistical record? After each RFC call? No, that’s not the case. The SAP kernel will write a statistical record after the roll-out of the RFC server process from the work process, and the roll-out will occur if no subsequent RFC call is received within a timeframe of 500 ms. At that point the data for the statistical record is collected, and this includes the RFC subrecords, of course. If subsequent RFC calls follow within 500 ms then the context of the RFC server will not be rolled out from the work process. This is a performance optimization, because it avoids frequent roll-out and roll-in which would increase the RFC execution time. Please note that the overall response time of an RFC server process may be 500 ms larger than the calling time. The overall response time is shown by STAD on the main list, while the calling time is shown with the RFC details (see the RFC server destination record).

The design principle of client/server single records and client/server destination records has also been used in a similar way for the http and smtp subrecords. Check it out, STAD will display all of them.

To learn more about RFC please read the interesting article by Masoud Aghadavoodi Jolfaei and Eduard Neuwirt [3]: Master the five remote function call (RFC) types in ABAP.

If you want to learn more about SAP performance optimization the following book might be interesting for you: T. Schneider, SAP Performance Optimization Guide, 4th ed., SAP PRESS, ISBN 978-1-59229-069-7

Related Weblogs and Articles

[1] Statistical Records Part 1: Inside STAD

[2] NW2004s Workload Statistics Collector: Implementing a BAdI as user exit

[3] Master the five remote function call (RFC) types in ABAP

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  • Hi Andreas

    We have a request to determine who( what user-id) executed a certain transaction on a certain date and from which Terminal or Frontend this transaction was executed. When we use STAD, we can get this information from the statistical data that that are still in the stat files.

    Is there a way we can get this same info from table MONI or ST03N or some other way ?

    The data we are looking at is 3 months old, so STAD wont give us the info, but it still exists in ST03N as we keep 4 months of data.

    We can get data that tells us which User-ID did a particular  transaction on what date, but can’t get the Terminal or Frontend that the transaction was performed on. Do you know if this is possible ?

    Thank you

    • Hi Avishkar,
      the aggregated data of ST03N can give you the relation between transaction and user, but not the date when this user has executed the transaction. And the frontend statistcs of ST03N will not give you any details about users or transactions, sorry. From ST03N there is no way to answer your question. But there is the possibility to implement a user exit (see SAP note 143550). Check out the blog [2].
      Regards, Andreas
  • Hi, Andreas. Great blog!

    I’m looking at RFC subrecords and I see the same connection ID being used by two different business transactions.

    Does this mean that the two transactions are related in some way (one spawned the other), or is it just coincidence because the connection was reused?



    • Hi Tim,
      if you find the same connection ID for two different business transactions I would think that these two were executed by the same user session (same context ID). The connection ID is the same, because the connection hasn’t been closed explicitely, but the transaction ID has changed between these two RFC calls.
      Kind Regards,
      • That makes sense. Thanks.

        I’m still trying to find the link between two business transactions that I believe are executed as part of the same business process.

        I see in the Client Destination subrecords of a business transaction, an OUTBOUND_TID. I believe what I’m seeing is a Transactional RFC and the transaction ID assigned to the spawned transaction.

        I see that same transaction ID in the INBOUND_TID of a Server Destination subrecord of another buiness transaction.

        Is this how I find the link between two business transactions of the same business process?


  • I had a question regarding batch step records (I am using SWNC_GET_STATRECS_FRAME):

    Is it possible to ever get more than one batch entry associated with a Main Record? (or is the number of rows in the BATCH_STEP table always 0 or 1).

    The reason I am asking is because if there can be more than 1 batch record for a given main record, then I don’t see how the execution time (and other statistics) can be attributed correctly to each batch sub-record since the batch_step table only contains STEP, JOBNAME, and JOBCOUNT.

    Thank you.

    • Since SAP_BASIS 700 each batch step of a batch job will write a complete main record to the stat file. The batch specific information (step number, job name, job ID) is attached to this main record as a batch subrecord (table BATCHSTEP). You will not observe more than one batch subrecord in this table.
      Regards, Andreas
      • Hi Andreas,
        Thank you, this makes sense now. I have another question, this time about the rfc server destination table:

        Most of the entries in that table are suffixed by “DIA” and “CON”.

        For example:

        What do the “DIA” and “CON” suffixes mean?

        (I am trying to get the number of RFC calls and I am not sure whether I should use CALL_NUMBER_DIA or CALL_NUMBER_CON…)

        Thank you,

        • This is a bit difficult to explain. The metrics *_DIA are measured per dialog step. CALL_TIME_DIA is the RFC calling time for this particular dialog step.
          The metrics *_CON are measured for the RFC connection. CALL_TIME_CON is the total RFC calling time for this particular RFC connection. If you perform several calls to the same destination in several dialog steps then you will see that the CALL_TIME_CON will increase from step to step, while CALL_TIME_DIA shows only the calling time for each dialog step. I hope this helps.
          Kind Regards,
  • Hello Andreas,

    I have a question regarding the units of the values returned by JCO.

    In the older version of the tables, I recall that the Normal Record times were in microseconds whereas the times in the RFC tables were in milliseconds.

    For the new tables (basis 700), it looks to me that the values returned by JCO are ALL in microseconds.

    Is my assumption correct?


  • Andreas,

    I’m looking at a system where much of the work is automated using transactional and queued RFCs. In[3], I see that these RFCs start another business transaction (SAP LUW). These business transactions in turn spawn others.

    Using the Transaction ID in STAD records, I can see all the dialog steps for a single business transaction (an SAP LUW).

    Is there a way by looking at the main and sub records that can see the flow between business transactions? The parent-child relationships between transactions?



      • Thanks. I am investigating stattrace now.

        Is my understanding correct: A tRFC or qRFC starts another SAP LUW, which means a new business transaction is started (i.e. a new transaction ID is assigned to the sub-transaction.)


      • Hi
        When my rfc stats shows the calling time and receiving time is huge compared to the execution time on external rfc server (BIA). Any idea how to optimize the calling time / what to ccheck?


        • Difficult question. I would try to validate the statistics; maybe statistics show only parts of the truth. Could you analyze the external RFC server? Analyze logs and traces (if available).
          Best Regards, Andreas
  • Hi Andreas,


    Thank you for the great article. 🙂

    However, I’m having some trouble correlating the info you provided with the info displayed in ST03N (SAP_BASIS 740 SP17; SAP NETWEAVER 7.4).

    For a given month, I can see the number of calls made to a specific RFC destination, both under RFC Client and RFC Client Destination.

    For some RFC Destinations, the number is higher under RFC Client, for others, it’s higher under RFC Client Destination:

    – the RFC Destinations in each list are the same and in the exact same order;
    – the 2nd and 4th are the instance itself (“HOST_SID_00” and “SIDCLNT100”);
    – the 3rd and 6th are to other SAP systems (“XXXCLNT100” and “YYYCLNT100”);
    – the 5th is to SAP Solution Manager (“SM_SIDCLNT001_BACK”);
    – higher values are marked red;
    – similar values are marked green.

    I’m confused.
    Can you explain what exactly am I looking at here?


    Kind regards,