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Myths – SAP Data Archiving

While I am wondering how Information Life Cycle Management (ILM) could help the customer effecively managing the life of their corporate data, most of my customers still could not find any reasons to start an data archiving exercises.  They either suspect whether data archiving could really improve the system performance, or afraid of whether the data would not be available just in time when they need it.

This Blog discusses general misconceptions on data archiving. I have been managing many data archiving projects, with the shortest one last only for one month, and the longest one lasts for 12 months. Customers always misunderstand data archiving projects in the following aspects:

Storage space are so cheap, why we bother to remove obsolete data?
       False.  Data Archiving is critical in every SAP projects, and customer should be well trained with the concepts. A healthy system’s data could be removed from the system as long as its life as end, and a regularly archived system should have a better performance.

After obsolete data are archived, performance would be improved.
    True or False.
        It is true that some standard transaction run more effectively with less historical data. For example, Material documents created 5 years ago are usually not required in the system, and they could be archived. MB51 runs more effectively with less number of MKPF and MSEG records.
    However, archiving does not solve all performance problems. Badly written customers reports might now run 10 hours instead of 15 hours, and in user’s perception the performance was not improved.
After data was archived, they could no longer be accessed.


    There are at least the following ways to read the archived data:
        – Some standard transactions can read archived data, e.g. FB03 and VA03.
        – Archive Information System (SARI) – Default archive data retrieval utility
        – Document Relationship Browser – Special utility to read related sales document.  Completely integrated into standard transaction like VA03, VF03, etc.
        – Modify customer report to read archived data.

The last method, modify customer reports, requires advanced ABAP skills. To be explained in next blog.

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