Setting up the batch history functionality within the Batch Information Cockpit
Summary: In this blog I will talk about my experiences while setting up the batch history functionality within an SAP system. It will not be about the customizing settings in detail (see SDN document “Batch History – Enhanced Manufacturing Functionality with SAP ERP 6.0 EHP 4” at http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-1818 for a pretty good introduction into this).
The batch history function is a feature to display all uses of a batch within the business processes and their objects (e.g. within Sales Orders, Transfer Orders, Usage Decisions …). As it is a very complex and resource consuming process to get this information in a list on one screen, it is not possible to do this within the standard batch information cockpit (BIC). One alternative is to activate the enhanced selection “BROB” (via “enhanced selections” in the customizing), but using this, selections can only be done for one material/batch combination. There is a SAP note for removing this limit as well (1171021 “BIC related objects with specific selection criteria”), but it is not recommended as you have to do this via modification and it might cause heavy loads on the system.
So how is the batch history working in detail? The customizing process has been described in Navaneeth AN and Jürgen Wettengl’s SDN contributions. Please take a look at their documents (see link section). Please note that SAP now provides a report to fill the customizing with predefined standard settings (see note 1734684).
The implementation can be done as follows:
- Define objects and their fields that should be indexed
- Implement the customizing settings
- Implement missing SAP notes
- Run RVBOBJTABUPD to fill the index
- Plan RVBOBJTABUPD for periodical reindexing
1. Define objects and their attributes
In order to implement the batch history feature, the first thing is to define which objects should be indexed and which fields/attributes of these objects should appear in the index. It should be planned very carefully, as entries in the index table (TOBJ_D_INDEX) cannot be overwritten later on. This means that if you later change some fields, or want to remove some objects, you can do this in the customizing. But the existing entries in the table remain unchanged. Well, unless if you consider the deletion of table entries via SE16/SE16n as an option. There is also no deletion report existing for this (acc. to SAP it might be implemented in a future EHP).
2. Implement the customizing settings
Practical is to define a maximum of 3 additional attribute fields in order to keep the major information on one page. The users still are able to directly jump into the objects via right click.
Update concerning 1. and 2.: With note 1734684 SAP provides a report (RVBOBJTABCUST) which fills the customizing with standard values. If you want to use this report, execute it and then adapt the predefined customizing entries acc. to 1. and 2.
3. Implement missing SAP notes
It seems that the batch history feature is not used by so many SAP users. We found some major bugs and reported them to SAP. Finally reaching the development support we got direct support and tested the fixes provided by them:
- One major bug we found was that the jump into objects displayed (e.g. sales order) via right click was not possible. SAP fixed this in note 1674480.
- Another bug/strange behavior was that even if you deactivated objects in the customizing (we did this for warehouse-related objects like transfer orders or quants, as they result in long runtimes of the indexing job), they still were indexed by the job. They were then just not displayed within the BIC. SAP fixed this in note 1698842.
- Another issue was that some users reported an error message “The maximum number of internal modes has been reached”. This has been solved by SAP with note 1710452.
4. Run RVBOBJTABUPD
Jobs with a long runtime can be canceled by the system, resulting in an inconsistent index table that has to be deleted and rebuilt. That is why I recommend limiting the selection for the initial built of the index to about 2500 materials per job. Depending on the amount of batches this can still result in a runtime of 10 hours or more for each job. Check note 1447637 if you cannot plan the report as background job.
5. Plan RVBOBJTABUPD periodically
Depending on you companies requirement the job should then be run periodically (daily, weekly, monthly). Currently these periodically jobs have about the same runtime as the initial jobs, which can make a daily/weekly runtime impossible. SAP has confirmed that this is an issue. A rework of the batch history indexing strategy is currently (Q2/2013) ongoing.
Batch History – Enhanced Manufacturing Functionality with SAP ERP 6.0 EHP 4:
Customizing Requirement for Batch History Functionality:
A new product is available from SAP that also deals with batch traces: SAP Global Batch Traceability