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Author's profile photo Katarzyna Fecht

Displaying an ABAP Short Dump – No Matter What!

Worth reading?

Rare in customer systems, inevitable in development systems: ABAP runtime errors cause dumps. Keep on reading to learn how to access detailed information on ABAP runtime errors that recently occurred, even in the unlikely case that the standard ABAP dump analysis tool – transaction ST22 – doesn’t work properly.


The described procedures apply to SAP NetWeaver Releases 702 and higher. Many of them, however, are valid in earlier releases. 

“Post mortem” screen

A runtime error has just occurred! The user in front of the screen immediately notices this: Detailed information on the runtime error replaces the application GUI in the current SAP GUI window. If you see the button image “long text” at the top of the screen, then select it. The full-fledged “long text” displays.


The “post mortem” screen has a great deal to offer. For example, users with debugging authorization can switch to the ABAP Debugger and scrutinize the current context of the broken main session! Unavoidably, this chance is irrevocably gone after the affected user has left the post mortem screen …  

Fortunately, the long text is by itself a valueable diagnostic resource, it is pretty helpful for finding out what is wrong. It’s best if you immediately store it as a text file with system->list->save …. Now the long text is on your fingertips even after you close the post mortem screen – you can attach it to emails, to a CSS message and so on.  

If you haven’t done this, that’s not bad. Behind the scenes, a “short dump” has been stored in the system database to log the runtime error. By default, short dumps remain in the system database for several days. Users who have an authorization for authorization object S_DEVELOP ACTVT 03 can retrieve the associated long texts again and again. Below you find the recommended procedures.

Transaction ST22

(works fine in 99.99 % cases) 

To retrieve short dumps and their long texts, first try the standard tool, the well-known transaction ST22. Here you may see the short dump at the top of the standard list, if it occurred recently. Otherwise you search for it with various criteria. Use the search criteria to restrict the search and speed up display of the results! 

To display a long text you simply select the short dump from the hit list. The long text is well structured and in the navigation panel to its left you can conveniently jump to its individual sections. For excellent advice on how to efficiently analyze long texts, refer to the pair of weblogs:


  • Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part I
  • Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part II


We only supplement the following useful “tricks” for handling the display:


  • Notice that while you move the mouse over the long text, sometimes the mouse pointer symbol image changes to image.This happens, in particular, when you place the mouse pointer over a program name or over a variable name. You can jump right to a detailed view with a single-click!
  • Try out the functions available at the top of the listing, especially “Unformatted Display”. The function set depends on the short dump type.
  • May I recommend the image “Unformatted Display” view to you? It is brief yet comprehensive. You see plenty of short dump attributes listed as pairs (ID, value). To “decode” the meaning of a particular ID, point at it with a mouse and hold on for a few seconds! A quick help reveals the name of the short dump attribute.


Both the hit list and the long text display are built upon ALV tools. What if ALV itself is having trouble?  Don’t worry, there are still two other ways to display short dumps.

Transaction ST22OLD

Transaction ST22OLD delivers the so-called classical dump analysis, the predecessor of the ST22 toolset. Just as in ST22, you search for short dumps with (less expressive) selection criteria and navigate to well-formatted long texts (the navigation panel is not available). The functions available at the top of the listing differ from the newer transaction.  

By the way, you can switch to the ST22OLD display directly in the transaction ST22. Select “use the old dump analysis” at the very bottom of the initial ST22 screen.  


The ST22OLD screens are built upon basic Dynpro techniques. But what if even the Dynpro framework has collapsed? You resort to transaction ST22L.


Transaction ST22L

ST22L is the effective “last resort” on the ABAP side to find short dumps. You can list runtime errors that occurred on a certain day. Both the subsequent short dump list and the short dump display appear as a simple ABAP list.  

Further Reading 

I hope you don’t face ABAP runtime errors at all! Otherwise always take a thorough look at the short dump information! To learn how to get the most out of it read the weblogs: 

  • Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part I
  • Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part II.   

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      Author's profile photo Matthew Billingham
      Matthew Billingham
      "Rare in customer systems" - that made me smile. With the customers I've worked with, there's anything between a handful to several hundred per normal day. Both on ECC and BI systems.

      btw - it would be nice if you could do a quick edit and provide links to the "further reading" weblogs.


      Author's profile photo Martin English
      Martin English
      Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part I
      Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part I

      Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps: Part II
      Analyzing Problems Using ABAP Short Dumps:  Part II

      They can also be reached from the SDN Community home page, by selecting Custom Development, then ABAP, and looking for "ABAP Testing and Troubleshooting" under Key Topics.

      Apart from the entries listed above (you'll find them under "Dump Analysis"), you'll find a lot of useful techniques and information on "Runtime Analysis" and "Performance Analysis", and useful design techniques like "Unit Testing" for OO programs, the Debugger, Analysis of test Coverage  etc


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member