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A message solved, with persistent customer interaction

I said I’d not be writing any more Unicode blogs, so while this story relate to our Unicode conversion, it’s more about getting a bug fixed.  We finished our conversion in February 2008, and before the end of the month I noticed a discrepancy in a database-related transaction.  So, after discussing this with our Basis and database teams, I opened a ticket with SAP.

A previous story (in 4 parts – 1 2 3 4), told a story of a problem ticket that went astray, with no solution being found by the folks we reported it to, solving it ourselves in some desperation to avoid a business interruption.  This story takes a bit longer to resolve, but I’ll tell it tersely.

The usual response to a bug report is “open the system” which we did, but due to delays on both our side and SAP’s, the connection closed numerous times.  The bug (in DB05) was barely noticeable (I think I’m the first to see it) so I didn’t push very hard in the beginning.  Weeks went by.  Our quality system was refreshed, so we started over. The analyst went on training.  The usual suspects.

June 6, 2008: “Are you back from training yet?” — me.

Then the problem got moved to another queue (I won’t bother to document how many people touched the ticket other than me).  The response was confusing.  I then headed to the woods for an 8 day camping trip / service project, didn’t look at the ticket.  Without warning, the ticket was “confirmed automatically” near the end of July.  Looking back, the final update from SAP is vague and misleading. Not to mention I didn’t get a warning.

Then I went on another week-long camping trip at the end of July.  When I returned and processed my email queue I discovered the “closed” ticket state.  That annoyed me, so I emailed Global Support to get it opened up again, as no fix had been supplied.  While not the reply I wanted, they advised opening another ticket and referring to the prior one.  Starting over might be more productive in cases like this.

So the new ticket said “Re-opening message …”.  This time the ticket went through 8 different SAP problem solving teams, back and forth with us, opening our system, etc.  I kept pushing back saying, “this bug exists in all of our systems, you should be able to see it easily based on my description.”

Finally, Monday October 6. 2008, I got the SAP “Proposed Solution” which turned out to be the long-awaited fix.  And (another) SAP note to call my own, number 1257263.

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  • Hi Jim,

    a bright example of support by SAP Global Support. Alas, it is a common story…

    In a case we described a SAP’s bug quite clearly from the beginning but forced SAP to issue a note only after several weeks of debating and waiting, when at last we added to the message our own enhancenment of the standard code with the proper solution…

    I’m afraid that there are a lot of bugs in DB05 yet. For example, they skip ‘.include’, but what about ‘.inclu-xx’ or ‘.append’? DB05 fails…

    Best regards,