Continuing my series of posts about SAP archiving, here I want to address three commonly asked questions:
1. How can archived data be accessed? There are a number of ways of accessing your archived data:
The user will be able to display archived data directly from any relevant SAP transaction within the relevant SAP application
Users can also enquire on archived data via two other interfaces: the Archive Information System and the Document Relationship Browser (DRB)
Reporting on archived data is also possible, although this depends on the specific application, how detailed the required result is, or whether archived data can be processed together with data from the database – that is, whether mixed reporting is possible.
By using the tools available in the standard SAP system: the Archive Development Kit (ADK) and the SAP Archive Information System (SAP AS), it is also possible to modify access to archived data in line with specific customer requirements.
2. Does Data Archiving fulfil auditing requirements?
While not intended as an auditing tool, data archiving does support audit requirements in that it retains data and makes it available over a long period. However, prior to archiving you should put in place a long-term auditing policy.
3. When should you start archiving?
SAP’s recommendation is for organisations to start archiving from day one i.e. as soon as your system has gone live. It might be tempting to put it off if you think it might be some time before the volume of live data is large enough to impact performance. But when we surveyed European SAP software users, nearly half said their data was growing faster than they expected. So if your system is already live, the sooner you start archiving the better, because:
- The archiving process will be quicker
- This will prevent performance problems rather than cure them
- It will minimise storage requirements
It is important to bear in mind, however, that the archive itself will become larger over time so you need to have plans in place to manage the retention and deletion of data. This will be the topic of a future blog.