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SAP on DB2 for IBM i – speed up your imports

News from Development – August 2008

In the first edition of this blog I have given an overview about existing support resources available in the SDN. In this issue I would like to present a recent development that can increase performance of several maintenance tasks. If you are an administrator of an SAP system running on IBM DB2 for i the following information may come in handy.

One tool that is used in many maintenance tasks is R3trans. This program does all the transports between SAP systems. It is called when you transport some custom developments in your system landscape but it is also called when importing support packages. Importing languages or Add-Ons into your system is another situation where R3trans is used. Installing a new enhancement package requires a lot of transporting also and the biggest amount of transports have to be processed during upgrades. And in all these cases performance is key. Downtimes have to be minimized and imports and upgrades should be as fast as possible.

Since these performance aspects are of high importance, members of the IBM/SAP porting team have analyzed the R3trans program to find ways to improve it. During imports R3trans executes a huge amount of SQL SELECT statements. Taking a closer look at those statements the porting team was able to modify them in a way that the IBM DB2 for i database engine can use full advantage of its optimization routines. Therefore the database processing time for those statements went down significantly.

Tests on our internal systems showed a remarkable performance gain. I would like to present a language import as an example. Note that the example is showing the import duration of a single language package only. A language import consists out of several packages but the overall improvement in the language import duration is comparable.


You can see that the import time went down from more than 1:06 hours to less than 6 minutes. We got results from one customer who used the recent version of R3trans that support package import was down to a third. Of course you cannot expect such big improvements in all situations where R3trans is used, upgrade duration for example is affected by a lot of other processes and R3trans is mainly used during uptime. But during uptime R3trans is used in some long running phases and in these phases we have seen runtime going down by a factor of two.

To get advantage of this gain you only need to use a recent version of R3trans which you can download from the SAP Service Marketplace. The improvements have been introduced with patch level 170. After installation of the new R3trans version you do not have to change any configuration. All tasks handled by R3trans will run faster.

Note that this improvement has currently been added to the 7.00 release of R3trans only, other releases will follow. So stay tuned as I will keep you informed in this blog.

For more information also see SAP Notes 1174931 and 1232017.

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  • Just a short update: The R3trans patch is now available for all kernel releases:

    Kernel release      R3trans patch level
      4.6D                2425
      6.40                 258
      7.00                 172
      7.10                 128

    Please notice that we now recommend a least patch level 172 instead of 170 for release 7.00 as some smaller improvements have been added.

    Best regards,

      • Hi Bernd,

        you can also expect an improvement for the export work that is done by R3trans, meaning exporting transports from a system. In general all SPAM and STMS related tasks using R3trans will benefit.

        If you are referring to database exports/imports for system copies, those are handled by R3load and R3load is already using optimized SQL statements.

        SAP on IBM i Development

    • Hi Robert.

      Looks like the two images are too big for the new layout. Scrolling is possible but not very user friendly. I will check if I can reformat it.