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ST12 Trace – Step by step instruction on how to use it for analysis

Analysis using ST12 Trace


The ST12 trace analysis will follow the below mentioned steps,

  • Selection of Trace Parameters
  • Start and Collect Trace
  • Analyzing the Collected Trace

Trace Parameters

The Trace parameters can be categorized as below,

·         Trace For

·         Type of Trace

Trace For

·       ST12 trace can be captured for “User/Tasks”, “Work Process”, “Current Mode” and “For a Schedule”

·       The User/Tasks allows the developer to select a User for whom the trace is to be captured and a task for which the trace is to be captured. Task can vary from Dialog, batch etc. Selecting * in Tasks indicate all the tasks will be captured.        


·         The Workprocess allows to select the server for which the trace is to be captured. In general all the servers will be captured when not specified.


·    The Current Mode option is used trace the flow of a Transaction or a Program


·    The Schedule option is used to run the trace for a batch job for a varied selection criterion as Job name, User name, Program associated with the Job.


            Type of Trace          

ST12 trace can be initiated as an ABAP Trace or Performance trace or both. Setting the Size&Duration Parameter to MAX as highlighted will ensure that the whole trace is captured in case the trace extends to a long duration.


Start and Collect of Trace

            Let us assume that the trace is to be taken for flow associated with checking the Info type 0001 data of a user through PA20.

·         First set the required Trace parameters. Let us select User/Task option by giving the Comment, User Name, and Task type as *. And select Start Trace


·         Now open the transaction PA20 and give in the Person number and the Info type and select on Overview button highlighted below,


·         Now Select End Trace in the ST12 trace screen, this will take us to the collect trace screen. Click on the execute button to collect the trace details. Make sure the highlighted check box is unchecked if the trace is to be used for future analysis.


Analyzing the collected trace

Once the trace is collected the trace is ready for analysis. In the bottom pane as highlighted, select the Trace which is of concern to us.


Then select either one of the 4 highlighted options for the analysis

ABAP Trace

·         The ABAP trace is one of the most useful analysis options available in ST12 trace. It provides a Top Down flow of any Hotspot/Program/Transaction and provides a Functional Time Distribution of a flow. It displays the hierarchical order in which the call statements are executed. So it can be used to identify the issues in the flow hierarchy.


·         The above screenshot is a Per Call View of the ST12 trace. The view can be changed into a Modularized by selecting the Per Mod Unit button as highlighted above. This will give a modularized flow of the Code called inside a particular module.


·         The “Top Down Call Tree”(as highlighted below) option clicked when the cursor placed on a Modularization Unit Call(Method/Performs) displays all calls to the selected unit labeled as ‘0’,’1′ are statements inside this modularization units, ‘2’ the statements in modularization units one level below, and then iteratively down up to 30 levels. Letters are used to designate lower levels.


·         Double clicking on any of the line navigates us to the source code. This can be used to identify the impact point.

·         ST12 trace captures the minute details of the flow such as the Loop statements performance, which can be used for a detailed analysis of the flow.


·         As the ABAP trace captures the complete flow, this can be used as an effective tool to identify the Customer Modifications or User Exit.

Note: The call hierarchy considers the call on Forms, Methods, Functions, SQL statements, Loops, Call Screen to PBO, PAI Modules.

Comparison of ST12 with ST05 trace



Traces only a specific user context or a transaction

Traces every action of a user on a server

ST12 trace automatically turns off with a transaction

ST05 trace has to be manually turned off

Stores the trace into database and is permanent

Stores the trace into local files and overwritten regularly

Provides a Top-Down flow used to find performance hotspot, issues identified by which are usually solved by code changes.

Provides a bottom-up flow which is suitable for identifying DB bound performance issues, which are usually solved by Performance Tuning.

Performance Trace

Performance trace of ST12 is equivalent to the ST05 trace. It displays performance parameters of all the database statements executed in the flow.

SQL Summary

SQL summary provides the details like Execution time, No. of records selected, Total duration, server details, etc. on a query on a database table. Double clicking on any record takes the flow to a screen which displays the list of programs which has queried on the table and the SELECT query as such.


Statistical Records

The statistical records display the time related parameter of a particular transaction flow.


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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      Author's profile photo Syam Babu
      Syam Babu


      Very Informative blog.



      Author's profile photo Amala Srinivasa Rao
      Amala Srinivasa Rao

      Good explanation 🙂

      Author's profile photo Himanshu sharma
      Himanshu sharma

      Very well compiled.



      Author's profile photo Deidre Logan
      Deidre Logan

      I love this transaction.  I just installed a new SCM ehp3 box and the tcode ST12 is gone and the program /SSA/STA is missing from SE80.  Anyone know what happened to this very helpful tool?

      I went to an SAP Expert Guided session in 2013 to learn how to use this tcode and it is gone in the SAP Netweaver system. 


      Deidre Logan

      Author's profile photo Harald Lesche-Holzbecher
      Harald Lesche-Holzbecher

      This is replaced by transaction SAT

      Regards Harald

      Author's profile photo Markus Karsch
      Markus Karsch

      ST12 is part of AddOn ST-A/PI

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Nice blog with good explanation.

      for more details, you can go to SAP Note 755977 - ST12 "ABAP Trace for SAP EarlyWatch/GoingLive"

      I have learned from above SAP Note only.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very nice explanation with screenshots..made my learning a breeze

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Jagadeesan,

      Nice Blog and quite informative which will help all us working in SAP to troubleshoot the performance issues.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      great job, instruction easy to understand and to follow,

      helped me to figure out what I was doing wrong


      Author's profile photo Rajkumar Narasimman
      Rajkumar Narasimman

      Nice document 🙂 Well explained.

      Author's profile photo bhavya sri
      bhavya sri

      Very helpful document. Very well organised 🙂 .

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very helpful, thanks very much.

      Author's profile photo ananthachari enjarapu
      ananthachari enjarapu

      Very usefull thank you

      Author's profile photo Surya Prakash
      Surya Prakash

      Very Helpful. Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Concise and well written! Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Herick Morais
      Herick Morais

      Great post, thanks!

      Author's profile photo Carlos Garcia Gutierrez
      Carlos Garcia Gutierrez


      Author's profile photo Shankara BV Reddy
      Shankara BV Reddy

      We are not able to find the personal number from user can u tell me how can we find personal no  particular user

      Author's profile photo HPE Basis S ISIT HPE Basis S ISIT
      HPE Basis S ISIT HPE Basis S ISIT

      Nice information