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“Hidden” tool: Analyzing workload caused by background jobs

Do you know this problem – last night you had an overload situation of your SAP backend system which was supposedly caused by too many background jobs running in parallel, now tell me which jobs caused the problem? Everybody dealing with this or similar workload questions knows that an analysis solely based on transaction SM37 is very cumbersome. As SM37 provides job data only in a list form it is hard to tell which jobs ran in parallel and utilized which server.

So what can you do? One alternative is that you dump the job information into an Excel spreadsheet and begin a tedious analysis for many days. The other alternative you use an existing graphical analysis tool that exists basically in every SAP system for years – the BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS. This tool was introduced at the end of 2005 with the plug-in ST-A/PI 01G*.

You can either call the tool via transaction ST13 > BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS or via transaction SA38/SE38/SE80 and execute ABAP report /SSA/BTC.

The entry screen is similar to transaction SM37 but as this is an analysis tool you can only select the status Active, Finished and/or Canceled and not Released or Scheduled.

The output screen contains then three elements:

  1. The first shows the selection criteria again and provides the information about how many job executions had a runtime of more than 5 minutes and how many with less than 5 minutes.
  2. The second section is a job list similar to transaction SM37 but shows per default only the long-running jobs (>5 minutes) and shows the Variant, Executing Server, Work Process etc., and the Duration is shown in a hh:mm:ss format instead of seconds.
  3. The third section is the main feature. All the long-running jobs are represented graphically in a kind of GANTT diagram. The length of a bar represents the job runtime. The jobs are arranged in a way that you can read which application server and which work process has been utilized at which point in time. Additionally you see the average CPU idleness of the respective host server per clock hour (similar to transaction ST06). The colour scheme is the same as in SM37 – green jobs finished successfully, red jobs cancelled and blue jobs are still active. The beauty of the tool is that jobs that started outside the selected time-window but still run during that time are shown as well as jobs running longer than the selected time-window are also shown. In contrast transaction SM37 displays only those jobs where the start and end time are completely within the selected time frame. From within this graphic you can do a forward navigation seeing details of the respective job and navigating either into transaction SM37 or STAD.


The tool was designed to identify system bottlenecks which are caused by background jobs. This tool should help to identify if there are possibilities to re-schedule jobs at different times or perhaps shift workload from one server to another.

SAP is very committed to the topic of background jobs. If you followed previous SDN blogs about Job Management you will have learned that offers a comprehensive Job Management suite together with the two software tools SAP Solution Manager and SAP Central Processing Scheduling by Redwood (see especially SDN blog SAP is first vendor to provide a comprehensive Job Management Suite).

OUTLOOK: With the next SAP Solution Manager support package (ST400 SP23) it will be possible to further analyze (with SAP BW means) the background job workload of an entire SAP system. You will then be able to answer questions like

  • What is the workload caused by cancelled jobs in comparison to finished jobs?
  • What is the workload caused by jobs created from different users?
  • What is the workload per executing server?

More information about this new functionality will be provided soon here in SDN. You can already see some example screenshots under (SMP login required) /jsm > Media Library > Job Management Suite.ppt

Please be aware that the tool BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS is locally available in every SAP backend system with a recent ST-A/PI plug-in. So no SAP Solution Manager is required for that. Nevertheless it is possible to call the respective BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS tool centrally from within the Job Management Work Center in the SAP Solution Manager. More details on this tool can be found in a dedicated PowerPoint presentation under (SMP login required) /jsm > Media Library > Workload Distribution Analysis for Background Jobs.ppt


Update on 14.08.2013: Yesterday Tom Cenens published a new blog how he took the BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS data and used SAP Lumira (formerly SAP Visual Intelligence) in order to visualize the data differently. If you are interested, please check

List of selected related SDN blogs:

Job Interception: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs

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  • Thanks for this very interesting blog : I did not know this utility and I had several times to use Rxcel for analysis.

    There is a big presentation problem with your blog.
    I had to copy/paste the text in notepad to be able to read it….

    • Hello Olivier,

      I also noticed that there were some problems with the graphics – the public view differed a little bit from my initial view. I corrected it and it should be fine now. It might be that you were just accessing the page while I posted the changes in parallel. Please check again if it is also okay now for you.

      Best regards

  • Hi, I find this transaction on my DEV R3 System, but it is not found on my PRD R3 System.  Any idea why this would be when both systems are on ECC 6.0?


  • In the security forum we sometime have some “panic” threads related to this.

    There is an feature in the BTCOPTIONS table (not default) to audit them, but it is optional and mostly too late.

    Is there a chance that some STAD data can be included and the report can be scheduled in the background with a variant for job data which which is no longer available?

    The collector jobs aggregate the data, but if someone deletes the job “fast enough” (24 hours)then it should still be available in STAD for an analysis.

    Problem is that often you don’t find it within 24 hours…

    A generic analysis tool writing data (including deleted jobs) would be more practical for customers than a developer trace.


    • Hello Julius,
      honestly I have to admit that even after discussing with some colleagues, we are not quite sure what the requirement is. Perhaps you can clarify the use case again with some other words.

      Anyway I already mention a few things:
      1) The tool BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS allows also to download job data into an Excel spreadsheet even with STAD data. Described in the PPT highlighted in the Blog. Unfortunately the STAD download is not always properly working depending on the SAP_BASIS release.
      2) With XBP3.0 (as part of SAP_BASIS) it is possible that central job scheduling tools like e.g. SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood can retrieve the STAD record together with the scheduled job. So you could have the relevant STAD and job data available in the scheduler independent from the R/3 reorg.
      3) If you use the Job Request/Job Documentation functionality in SAP Solution Manager then you can also request and document that jobs are deleted/discontinued in the backend system.
      4) Do you refer to report BTCAUX06?

      Best Regards

      • HI Volker,

        In table BTCOPTIONS one can activate a feature that the deletion of a job is recorded in the developer trace. But mostly this is too late, as it is optional.

        See SAP Note 850885 for details.

        I was hoping that perhaps this information could be made available via your “hidden tool”. Might have been co-incidence (like the STAD data often is).

        If it is not I guess it was not in the functional specs either. 🙂

        I think it would be a good idea though, as many customers ask for this.


        • Hi Julius,

          okay now I get it. This is not yet realized but we will consider it for the future.
          But actually this problem should become obsolete with the latest feature we will provide and where I need to find the time to describe it in another blog. Via an exception table it will be possible to re-direct users from SM36, SM37 or SA38 into a Job Control web form in SAP Solution Manager in order to request
          – the scheduling of a new job
          – a change to an existing job
          – the deletion of an existing job

          This means that a user is no longer able to delete a job secretly but he can only request the deletion of a job.

          The whole thing is already outlined via screenshots in the presentation “Job Management Suite” under > Media Library


          • Cool! Thanks Volker.

            What would also be usefull is if the user could request a transaction code for which the report of would then technically be scheduled. Users should not need to know program names.

            This would also be usefull for security, as the user could not schedule the job with a time delay and then switch the program name before it is released.