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Maybe you have already heard about the new Automated Note Search Tool (ANST). Some of our customers participated in the pilot phase two years ago and finally it has become a standard application.  As its name implies, this new application is intended to search for SAP Notes in order to solve problems, specifically those notes that have correction instructions.

Searching for correction notes:  Two different approaches.

  1. Using your own search terms.

 
 
 
  /wp-content/uploads/2013/03/search1_193723.png
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This approach may fail because it’s tricky to find appropriate search terms

  1. The technical approach:

    /wp-content/uploads/2013/03/search2_193772.png

In your system, you have managed to reproduce the issue and while debugging the process you find out that the error happens in program RPCTC0E0.
You then search for notes that modify program RPCTC0E0 and which have not been implemented yet. This kind of note search neither depends on the search terms appearing in the correction note,  nor on the search terms used by the person searching for a note. If there is a note that solves the issue, this note should modify any of the ABAP objects that are involved in the process. But, how do we collect the ABAP objects that are involved in a process?. The Answer is: an ABAP Trace.

Automated Note Search Tool [ANST].

Our proposal is based on the technical approach. ANST simply automates the task: All you have to do is replicate the issue directly in your system where
the problem is happening and you’ll get notes that may solve the issue.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/search3_193773.png

So, if you have a “known issue”, ANST will help you quickly find the note that solves it, but there is more!

Customer Code Detection:

Sometimes problems turn out to lie in Customer Code [BAdi, user-exit…involved]?.  ANST uses the ABAP trace not only to look for correction notes but it checks whether there is Non Standard Code involved in the process. Figuring out that there is customer code behind a problem may be somewhat difficult and takes some time. With ANST you’ll get a list of customer code objects in seconds.

List of Customizing Tables involved:

Many times you may have encountered that an issue was neither a bug on the SAP Standard side nor was it caused by Customer Code: It was a customizing issue. ANST provides a list of the customizing tables involved in the process and it gives you direct access to them.  It’s like a tailored
IMG.

ABAP Trace as the basis of a diagnostic tool:

ANST makes the most of the ABAP trace in this process, using the trace to find out which update notes, customer exits, and customizing tables exist behind it. Moreover ANST is really useful as a debugging tool as it identifies the ABAP objects involved in the process and classifies them into their respective
components.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/search4_193774.png

Availability:

ANST is delivered under BC-UPG-NA application component in SAP_BASIS .

SAP_BASIS          700         SAPKB70028

SAP_BASIS          701         SAPKB70113

SAP_BASIS          702         SAPKB70213

SAP_BASIS          731         SAPKB73106

Check the note list:

Caution: Of course, before implementing a note you have to check that the note is suitable for your system and also check if there are any side-effects.

To learn more:

SAP Knowledge Base Article:

1818192 Automated Note Search Tool

During the pilot phase, the following SCN blogs were published explaining the main features of ANST:

http://scn.sap.com/community/abap/blog/2010/12/16/automated-note-search-and-customer-code-detection

http://scn.sap.com/community/abap/blog/2011/01/24/automated-note-search-customer-code-detection-ii-release-20

http://scn.sap.com/people/ivan.martinmarra/blog/2011/04/19/automated-note-search-customer-code-detection-iii-release-30

You can also check out this YouTube video for more information:

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72 Comments

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  1. Martin Maruskin

    Hi Kristen,

    nice blog, to be honest I hear about ANST tool for 1st time here. Looks pretty interesting.

    Just want to ask you to check links to other blogs. Some of them are actually not working. Would you mind to check it out? Would be useful for those like me who wants to learn more about the tool.

    cheers, martin

    (0) 
    1. Kristen Scheffler Post author
      (0) 
  2. Tom Cenens

    Hi Kristen

    I wish it was that easy but it’s not so hopefully this tool can bring better “search” capabilities because finding the right keywords to find a specific note tends to be problematic, even when you know a note exists it can be hard to find it back…

    Hopefully the tool does a better job, I’ve tested one of the early versions and it was promising / interesting.

    Shouldn’t this post be in SAP Netweaver Administrator space or something? It seems more related to SAP Basis then anything else?

    Best regards

    Tom

    (0) 
    1. Kristen Scheffler Post author

      Hi Tom,

      Good to hear about your positive testing experience!

      I have added a discussion in the Netweaver Admin space that points to this blog to help cross-polinate.  Thanks for the thought!

      Kristen

      (0) 
  3. Kumar Akshat

    Hi Kristen,

    ANST looks promising. I don’t know what all input goes into the tool to to search for the Notes but I guess the object names involved in a transaction is one of the inputs and that it should help in significantly narrowing down the search results.

    Having said that and considering the huge number of objects involved in a normal transaction, it will be interesting to know the actual user feedback.

    (I tried running ANST_SEARCH_TOOL in my system but couldn’t find it. I guess I have to wait for an enhancement package.)

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Akshat,

      The name of the objects are used as search terms but the application searches in the correction instructions of the notes. Depending on how much the object has changed from the latest version of the object you have in your system you’ll get more or less notes. If you get many notes it means that the object is modified very frequently or your system needs to implement support packages as it was not updated for a long time.

      To get the tool in your system just apply sap_basis support packages: SAPKB70028 or SAPKB70113 or SAPKB70213 or SAPKB73106. It’s no enhancement package.

      Best Regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
  4. Eric Poellinger

    Hi Kristen

    I’m guessing it is not possible to get ANST without applying the full Basis support package (i.e. we cannot apply an advanced correction to get the tool)?

    Eric

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Hi Eric,

      Unfortunately that’s not possible anymore. Just by applying the relevant support packages you get the application. In the past there was a transport request for the beta version but it’s not available anymore. The beta version had dependencies with ST-PI component that makes the application unstable in the long term. Hence we don’t deliver it anymore.

      On the otehr hand the aplication has many objects that make it impossible to deliver it through correction instructions.

      Best,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
  5. Abdelhadi Khouri

    Hi Kristen,

    Hi Carlos,

    It looks and sounds to be a very interesting tool, thank you very much for the blog.

    I hink It’s an opportunity to experiment on how it could make the life easier in reallity!
    Today I was just want to play a littel bit with ANST tool in our NW731 with SAPKB73106 but when executing the transaction ANST_SEARCH_TOOL I got Fatal Error and the error  message no. ANST001:

    “Fatal Error. Customizing table is not filled!”

    Something I should consider before working with ANST?

    Thanks.

    Best regards,

    Hadi

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear All,

      Unfortunately the content of table ANST_SETTINGS was not delivered in the support packages, but fortunately it’s just to add one entry manually. You have the details at the end of kba 1818192 including a screenshot.

      Regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
      1. Abdelhadi Khouri

        Hi Carlos,

        Thank you.

        I add the entry manually as described in KBA 1818192 and the transaction works now fine, I have to wait for a real test when having an appropriate error next.

        By the way it was also the same error on SAP systems with SAPKB70113.

        I wish you a pleasant weekend.

        Regards,

        Hadi

        (0) 
        1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

          Hi Hadi,

          We’ve not finished yet. We also discovered that the content of table ANST_CUST_OBJ was missing. We added a last point in note 1818192 as to how to get the content of the table easy and quickly by running a program attached in the note and then put the table entries in a transport request via SM30. Unfortunately adding entries to the table using SM30 is not possible as you get a dump (than will be fixed too).

          After this ANST works!!!

          Sorry for these inconveniences.

          Carlos.

          (0) 
  6. Tirupati Addagatla

    Hi Kristen,Carlos

    In many sap notes they didn’t mentioned about Release 730 and 711.

    In which support pack the ANST tool will be delivered for 730 & 711 release. Please advise.

    Thanks

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Tirupali,

      The tool is delivered via support package for the following releases:
      700, 701, 702 and 731 and also for the future releases).

      We have not ported the tool to 710, 711, 720, 730, because we have only
      a few customers on these releases.

      Sorry for the inconvenineces.

      Carlos.

      (0) 
    1. Kristen Scheffler Post author

      Hi Satendra,

      Thanks for your comments.

      We also have an online demo and quiz available to get you familiar with the tool.  That can be found here: http://service.sap.com/~sapidb/011000358700000533232013E/index.htm

      Also check out how you can contribute to the future of the Automated Notes Search Tool and add your comments on this blog that Carlos published: http://scn.sap.com/community/software-support-and-maintenance/blog/2013/09/10/the-future-of-sap-automated-note-search-tool

      Thanks,

      Kristen

      (0) 
  7. Bobby Gunawan

    I am using NetWeaver 7.40 and have read configuration from note 1818192 – FAQ: Automated Note Search Tool.

    But I can’t find RFC named “SAPSNOTE” in SM59.

    I tried to substitute the RFC Destination to SAPOSS in table “ANST_SETTINGS”, but when I click “Note search” in ANST_SEARCH_TOOL, there’s very obvious error message: “INTERNAL_ERROR”

    I’m surprised none ask this before.

    Is SAPSNOTE RFC is not yet delivered in NW 740?

    FYI, I have working OSS connection and have no trouble downloading from tcode SNOTE.

    Regards,

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Bobby,

      Go ahead creating SAPSNOTE RFC in SM59:

      Technical settings.

      Target System   OSS
      Msg. Server     /H/147.204.2.5/S/sapdp99/H/oss001
      Group           1_PUBLIC

      Save as      (IP Address  /H/147.204.2.5/S/sapdp99/H/oss001

      Logon&security

      Language      EN

      Client        001

      User          OSS_SNOTE

      PW Status     saved

      Password CPIC

      Activating Note Assistant

      Best regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
      1. Bobby Gunawan

        Hi Carlos,

        Thanks, I’ve configured the SAPSNOTE, but still

        INTERNAL_ERROR

        Message No. ANST001

        Should I troubleshoot this ANST_SEARCH_TOOL using ANST_SEARCH_TOOL too?!

        Regards,

        (0) 
        1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

          Dear Bobby,

          Set a break-point at the following place

          Include LANST_SEARCH_NOTESF01

          CALL FUNCTION ‘/SPN/RFA_BB_API_SEARCH’

          After pressing F5, check the content of the following variable  lv_msgt that should give you the exact error.

          Regards,

          Carlos.

          (0) 
          1. Bobby Gunawan

            Ok, so I have debugged the program and here’s the value of LV_MSGT:

            ValType = Blank

            Val. = Blank

            Hexadecimal Value =

            200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000200020002000

            Regards,

            (0) 
            1. Bobby Gunawan

              Value from ls_log-error_code is:

              /SPN/RFC_CX_TREX_EXCEPTION

              which is not caught in the error handling code:

              IF ls_logerror_type = ‘ERROR’.

                       CASE ls_logerror_code.

                         WHEN ‘/SPN/RFP_CX_OPEN_API’.

                           cv_longtext = text019.

                         WHEN OTHERS.

                           cv_longtext = ‘INTERNAL_ERROR’.

                       ENDCASE.

                     ENDIF.

              My question is, what is “/SPN/RFC_CX_TREX_EXCEPTION” error??!

              (0) 
              1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

                Dear Bobby,

                Unfortunately I won’t be able to solve the issue because it’s not an error specific of ANST.

                E.g. go to transaction ST22 and choose one dump: You’ll see there’s an icon to search for notes on the top of the screen. click on the icon and probably you will get the same inernal_error.

                Please verify if your customer is really charged per message. The issue  could be reported in component BC-TRX-API.

                If you can’t open a message, try to bring up the subject in the basis forums.

                Thank you and best regards,

                Carlos.

                (0) 
                1. Bobby Gunawan

                  Hi Carlos,

                  Appreciate your help, thanks!

                  Unfortunately it’s a new system, so no dumps generated yet.

                  Anyway, I’ll update again when I found something.

                  Regards,

                  (0) 
                    1. Pavel Korpos

                      Dear Carlos,

                      we have got the same issue Bobby had. Internal_Error after clicking on “Note search”, debugging result: LV_MSGT = “blank” Hexadecimal:200020002000…..

                      RFC destination SAPSNOTE is set and tested ok. RFC Destination SAPOSS has the same result.

                      Could you provide an advice, please?

                      (0) 
  8. Ashok Dhayalaraj

    Hi Kristen,

    We just now upgraded to the patch level suggested to get the tool. I checked the notes to setup SAPSNOTE RFC connection, but it talks about setting up transaction OSS1. Kindly let me know whether I can use SAPOSS instead of SAPSNOTE.

    With Regards,

    Ashok

    (0) 
      1. Ashok Dhayalaraj

        Hi Carlos,

        Substituting SAPOSS works for us. I wanted to have a few scenarios in SD/MM/FICO area since we do not use HR in our project, which is shown as the scenario in the FAQ of the tool. Kindly help.

        Thanks and Regards,

        Ashok Dhayalaraj

        (0) 
        1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

          Dear Ashok,

          Tris is what I do to recreate an scenario for a given component. Let’s say FI.

          1.Go to the note search functionality of the service marketplace.

          2. Search for notes with the follówing condiciones.

          A. Filter component FI*

          B Valid for support packages leves of sap_appl higher than the sp leves Youtube currently have in the system where you William recreate the scenario.

          C Filter those notes that belong to category program error or similar

          D  Read the corrección notes you get and choose one that seems to be simple to reproduce. Recreate in tour system the scenario described in the symptoms section of the note.

          Finally ANST should find the note.

          This is what I do to créate examples and it works.

          May I ask you to kindly share the examples with the community. E.g. Creating a video in Youtube and posting the video in scn?.

          thanks a lot!

          Carlos.

          (0) 
            1. Ashok Dhayalaraj

              Dear Carlos,

              Also, one more thing, when I tried out the tool, it does not show the user exits like MV45AFZZ which is used in SD. Kindly suggest.

              Thanks and Regards,

              Ashok

              (0) 
              1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

                Dear Ashok,

                Include MV45AFZZ is a standard include reserved for customer modifications, so if you have implemented those modifications, it should have been recorded as a repair and registered as such in table TADIR (Field SCRDEP). Isn’t this the case?.

                Regards,

                Carlos.

                (0) 
                  1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

                    Hi Ashok,

                    You mean include MV45AFZZ has been repaired in your system to put your own code?. In this case, it should be detected as CC by ANST.

                    I think this a different type of user-exit that you don’t activate using CMOD. This is simply a standard  include that is reserved for customer code.

                    Regards,

                    Carlos.

                    (0) 
                    1. Ashok Dhayalaraj

                      Dear Carlos,

                      Thanks a lot for the input. We were able to identify the codes called within the standard include. I will post some screens for the same soon. Also, Kindly let us know when the issue on identifying the performs inside include, since it would be helpful to identify pricing routines(created using transaction VOFM).

                      Thanks and Regards,

                      Ashok Dhayalaraj

                      (0) 
                      1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

                        Hi Ashok,

                        For the pricing routines createwd using transaction VOFM, I’m note familiar with them but  note 327220 has some info that could help identifying them (I understand that the current ANST can’t do it?):

                        […]

                        2.2 Namespaces

                        The VOFM has separate number ranges in order to distinguish VOFM objects

                        delivered by SAP from customer-specific VOFM objects. These number

                        ranges are often also called “VOFM namespaces”.

                        […]

                        And so on.

                        we should investigate more as to how to identify them.

                        As this is an enhancement suggestion, please post your idea to:

                        http://scn.sap.com/community/software-support-and-maintenance/blog/2013/09/10/the-future-of-sap-automated-note-search-tool

                        In the link above we collect ideas for future improvement of ANST.

                        Thanks for your collaboration.

                        Carlos.

                        (0) 
                        1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

                          Dear Ashok,

                          Finally, a colleague of us reported the same issue as you and a new note will be released to fix the issue.

                          The note number is 1972514 and hopefully will be released in the next few hours.

                          Sorry for the inconvenience,

                          Carlos.

                          (0) 
  9. Aditya Varrier

    Hi Kristen,

    super, waiting for a dump in PRD to happen, in order to use it 🙂

    Kidding, waiting for BASIS to implement the package to have a first look at it.

    Cheers,

    Aditya V

    (0) 
  10. Ankit Sharma

    hi Kristen Scheffler,

    Thanks alot for providing this meaningful information.

    I got the overview of this tool in this SDN itself and implemented in my System using OSS.

    But, my concerns starts from here :

    1. I could not get the output in ALV format, any thing I can do to get the ALV format output ?

    2. Even thou there was no error in the flow, and I clicked over search button, I got a number of SAP Notes. Why is it behaving so ?

    3. I can find the objects module wise,, BC and all, just wanted to know, Can I find the objects based on how they apear in the controll flow, may be Stack Wise ?

    Thanking You All.

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Ankit,

      1. The output is ALV by default:

      Untitled.jpg

      Am  imissing something?.

      2. ANST works searching for updates for a process that you reproduce in your system. ANST displays the updates for all the objects in the trace of the simulated process, no matter whether you got the error ot not. What it should aleays happen is that if there is an error and a note that corrects the error, the note will be found.

      3. Right now the objects are classified by component. If you want to follow the program flow, you can use transaction SAT.

      Regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
  11. Bharath Komarapalem

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks for providing such a good information.

    I am working in SAP Transportation Management 8.1 and 9.0 system. I see ANST transaction does not exist in SAP TM system.

    Could you please guide what should be the necessary steps to get this transaction available in TM system as well. Any notes should be implemented?

    Thanks,

    Bharath.K.

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Bharath,

      Although I’m not familiar with SAP TM, I reckon that SAPTM component runs over a SAP Netweaver plattform. Am I right?. In this case check your netweaver release and in which Support Package was ANST released for it (Note 1818192)

      Regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
  12. Gaurang Gujar

    Hi Carlos,

    Does ANST tool SAP Enterprise Portal related Dumps ?

    I have already asked the Basis team to Implement the tool am just being curious.

    Regards,

    Gaurang

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Dear Guarang,

      We have to investigate yet why in some cases it works with dumps like in the following demo:

      http://youtu.be/hggA4wTSNpc

      In other cases, the dump terminates the process, but anyway there is a note search icon in transaction ST22 as of release 702 (See first comment on the following article):

      http://scn.sap.com/community/software-support-and-maintenance/blog/2013/08/31/sap-automated-note-search-tool-im-loving-it

      Regards,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
      1. Gaurang Gujar

        Hi Carlos,

        In my case when an user clicks on the workitem in his UWL an it gives an ST11 dump.

        I guess there is no ST11 dump integration with ANST.

        What will be the procedure in such case ?

        Attaching the screenshot below for reference

        Untitled.jpg

        Regards,

        Gaurang

        (0) 
    2. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      On further investigation we’ve determined that TA ANST works with dumps as long as the issue is started from the relevant transaction and not from SE38 + Program name.

      We’re still checking the issue an trying to solve it. For the time being, use the transaction.

      (0) 
      1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

        The solution given is contained in note 2079148: When you start a program from ANST and there’s corresponding transaction, you will be given the option of starting the program through its corresponding transaction (There may be more than one trabsaction of course).

        (0) 
  13. Nic Teunckens

    Been using “ANST” on a regular basis, if not to solve issues, than to check on current state of play on standard reports … Keeps me up to speed on Performance related Notes in (resource intensive) Utilities reports … Great Tool!

    (0) 
  14. Yathiraju Sellappan

    I started using ANST when it was first released to public. It helps. Today, I could search a solution for EWM Monitor issue, implement and test within an hour of customer raising the complaint in production system. As explained in the blog above, my initial search for the SAP Note was not successful. However, within ANST, I could see the right SAP Note quickly.

    (0) 

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