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What time is it?

Everyone from the artist formally known as Prince to High School Musical knows what time it is.  They ask to see if you know.  Well SAP is not much different when you need to acquire data from multiple system log files.  The actual time, system time and time zones are all critical settings for obtaining expected results.

We participated in the GRC 10 Access Control ramp up and quickly migrated to the new centralized emergency access management process.  Having a centralized location where you could log into multiple backend systems was a great enhancement.  We performed extensive end to end testing and went live with no major issues.  After a few days we noticed performance issues with several systems due to the logic used for pulling the log file information into GRC.  These issues were never noted in our non-production systems since the log files were much smaller.

As we worked through the performance issue we implemented several SAP notes to address the root cause.  After several changes SAP determined that for larger companies a major change in the program logic was the only solution.  We implemented these notes and quickly noticed exponential improvements.  However, as a ramp up customer we learned the value of testing.  A note that may fix an issue in one landscape did not fully address the root cause in another.  Our landscape includes most SAP applications such as ECC 5, ECC 6, SRM, CRM, SCM, Solution Manager and more.  As we performed end to end testing we noted that a couple landscapes were not collecting log file information.  As the programs were debugged it took a period of time before the main root cause was identified as an inconsistency between the time zone and time setting.  These issues were new since to increase performance the logic for reading the log files had been updated.

You might think that the root cause was a quick answer.  Actually, since the process was working in several landscapes with no issues the focus was on SAP notes, support packs, and finally program logic.  With hindsight being 20/20, SAP provides a program to troubleshoot time zone settings.  When you execute program TZCUSTHELP, the results will quickly highlight if there is an issue with your time zone or time settings.   I strongly recommend that you perform this step as part of your system implementation.    SAP has also made this more visible through SAP notes such as 1595462 and 741734.  May your time be in sync as the inconsistencies will cause you to loose valuable time!

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