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Author's profile photo Susan Keohan

Sometimes you just need a KBA

No, that does not mean a Kiss By an Associate.  Or a Kick-Back Afternoon.  I mean a Knowledge-Based Article.

I had an issue with a workflow that was running happily for 10 years.  Then we applied support packs, and it started failing occasionally.  The event would be raised, but the object key (PERNR in this case) was blank.

Although my first thought was ‘Hmmm, occasional failures?  It must be a timing issue’ I was able to reproduce the problem in the Dev system, and that was one good thing (don’t you hate it when you can’t reproduce the problem???) The not-so-good thing was that it was caused by a sequence of transactions in HR – which I am assuming is pretty well customized. I have to assume this as I have never worked on a different HR system.

What happened was, in a certain order of events, a custom HR event was raised – correctly, when it should have been – but without any object key. Of course, workflows have a very hard time if they don’t have an object to work on. 

This was quite frustrating, as the HR processes that caused this to occur had to be executed exactly as the HR folks did it.  And they had the benefit of the passage of time (as well as intimate familiarity with the transactions) whereas I, once I started debugging, had to recreate the situation over and over again.

I searched OSS notes, and I searched SCN.  First I tried general terms (why not hope for a quick solution?) such as SWEHR3, HR Events, BUS1065.  And then, as time went on, and I got deeper into debugging, I was searching on various tables, HR event functions, and SWW* and SWE* functions.  I tried deleting the event and re-adding it (hey, it’s worked before, for someone, right?). 

I came across an OSS Note which kind of, sort of, in a vague way looked as though it might apply.  At least, I knew we did not have the note already in our systems.  We applied the note, and boom!  The problem was gone.  When I asked  The Fabulous Eddie Morris if he could enhance the description to this note so it would be easier to find, he referred me to a Knowledge-Based Article (otherwise known as a KBA).

So here’s how it started out:

Well, yeah, now that I can see it, it makes pretty good sense.  It’s not exactly what I was experiencing, but it was darned close. 

So here’s the thing. Although I have known about KBA’s for a while, and even read some, I had sort of forgotten about them.  And yes, while knowing about that specific KBA after-the-fact is great, I can’t be sure I would have zoomed in on it earlier in my searches. 

But there is a possibility that the information I required was in a Knowledge Based Article, so don’t overlook this important source of information.  If you see the little yellow asterisk the next time you are doing a note search, maybe you should click on THAT first – in addition to having a little more language in them than your typical SAP Note, you might notice some kind of key phrase, like ‘after updating your Basis Support Pack or Upgrading’.  If I had done that, I would have found the corresponding note much more easily!

So, what KBAs have you come across lately?  Care to share your story?

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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Susan,

      I couldn't agree more,

      and I am such a closet geek/nerd I have been collecting OSS Notes and SAP Doco from SMP and IviewStudio/SDN/SCN for years and years

      and since last year, every time in my day to day work that I come across an interesting OSS Note or KBA or document, I've been adding it to a Wiki page which I maintain,

      it's here....

      SAP NetWeaver Basis Administrator's Toolbox...

      the funny thing is I use that list myself these days, because if I know I've worked on

      an issue then I am confident I will have added the OSS Note or KBA or article to the Wiki and searching the Wiki is faster than searching my hard disk, that's funny.

      Also, I stress this to more junior members of teams I working in, the SMP (including OSS)  & SCN are full of mountains of fantastic documentation, get onto those sites on a regular basis and harvest the documentation for the areas of SAP you are most interested in and read and study.

      All the best,


      Author's profile photo Susan Keohan
      Susan Keohan
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for reading - and you're right, of course - I should be keeping a Wiki full of the good stuff.  And I can see you added Jocelyn Dart's 'Which Inbox and When?' to your Wiki, so I know you have quality content.


      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Sue,

      those Which Inbox blogs were very nice, and perfect material for a Basis Toolbox 🙂

      I am really surprised more people aren't harvesting the knowledge held in the OSS & SMP and SCN Library.

      All the best,