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Quick note on Plan Visualization in NetWeaver

Ok, just a very quick note today with loads of screen shots and only a few lines of text.

The core statement is (for the ones with little time at their avail) is:

With a current BASIS SP (my test system is on SP 9) you can create Plan Visualization from within NetWeaver and display it later in SAP HANA Studio.

And here’s how 🙂 , but first something else I really like:

With NetWeaver 7.3 there is now the option to store stack traces together with the SQL calls in the SQL Performance trace (ST05).

Why is this really useful?

Think of well structured programs that encapsulate all DB access into a nice DB access ABAP class, like we have it with SAP BW.

If you review a SQL trace of such a program you may easily find, which SQL statement runs the longest, but finding the ABAP application logic that actually triggered it could become tricky.

Every time you click on ‘Display Call Position in ABAP programs’ you will always only end up in the DB access class.

Typically you now would have to set a break point in this class and wait until “your” statement comes along… not very efficient.

Today, you just activate the stack collection in the ‘Performance trace‘ menu of ST05 like this:


After that, you find the stack trace collection is active:


Now, run the trace as usually and display it:


Select the trace line you want to know the call stack for and click on the ‘stack’ icon marked in the picture above.

Then you’ll get a dialog window, containing the ABAP call stack that was active when this specific line of the trace had been written out:


If this wouldn’t be good enough, you can even double-click on the stack level you are interested in to navigate to the ABAP source:

ABAP source.png

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Ok, but now back to the Plan Visualization…

Back in the trace list, you have to click on ‘EXPLAIN…‘ icon to display the explain plan for the statement of interest:


Clicking onto the obscure ‘Execution Trace‘ button, will trigger the creation of a XML trace file, that contains all information required for the Plan Visualization function. In fact it’s the same file format that SAP HANA studio uses to store PlanViz files in the file system.

Once finished you get a message box:


As the file name ‘xml.plv‘ indicates, it really is just a text file containing XML tags:


Visualize it!

Now, to actually get the graphical output, all you have to to is to open a SAP HANA studio and to drag and drop the ‘xml.plv‘ file into it.

Alternatively you can use the ‘File’ -> ‘File open…’ option.


You don’t even have to be connected to the system to get the graphic output, as all information are in the XML file.

This means: no problems with permissions on DB level, no system access required.

Whatever you say, I like it! 🙂

But I’m pretty sure that you will agree…

There you go, now you know!

Thanks for taking your time again.

Cheers, Lars

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  • Hi Lars,

    While i tried uploading the file from st05 into hana studio.

    Observed that an error appears

    "Could not display plan"

    Plan viz overhead is not valid Timeline type.

    Please let me know, what to do.



    • Hey Mandanna,

      did you check whether your SAP HANA studio fits to the HANA server you obtained the planviz from?

      Generally I'd say this kind of problem should rather find its way to a separate thread or into a support incident as it is not about the blog content.

      - Lars

        • Well, the recommendation is to have the SAP HANA studio (and all client software) at least on the same SP level (that would be SPS 9 in your case).

          That is stated very prominently in every SP release note...

          - Lars

  • Hi Lars,

    On S4H 1809 FPS01 (SAP_BASIS 753 0001 SAPK-75301INSAPBASIS SAP Basis Component)

    The menu “Execution Trace” seems renamed to “Execution Trace (Planviz)” but is disabled.

    Do you know how to activate it?

    Best Regards,


    • Hi,


      Seems fixed in the code:

      Skip the source line and we get the button enabled and then the xml.plv file. Strange, why?


      Thank you.


      Best Regars,