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The usual procedure when you face an error in your SAP ERP system, which seems to be a bug, is to raise an OSS message to SAP Product Support via the SAP Service Marketplace. Then you will have to wait for a SAP support engineer to investigate, what is the root cause.  Required for this is the remote access and an example to replicate the same issue directly on your system. If  the error is really a known program error, then you get a reply with the information which note will have to be implemented to resolve the case.

Now imagine how much faster and more convenient it would be, if you are able to carry out the note search yourself and find exactly the relevant note, suited for your particular system, which can be downloaded immediately?

This is possible thanks to the newly developed tool, called ANST – which is the abbreviation for Automated Note Search Tool.

The tool is available after you have upgraded your system to one of the following SAP basis support packages (see Knowledge Base Article 1818192):

Software Component                        Release     Package name

________________________________________________________________________
SAP Basis component

SAP_BASIS                                        700           SAPKB70028

SAP_BASIS                                        701           SAPKB70113

SAP_BASIS                                        702           SAPKB70213

SAP_BASIS                                        731           SAPKB73106

The transaction to start the tool is named ANST_SEARCH_TOOL.

After the following newer support package with note 1915529 the shorter transaction ANST will become available:

Software Component                        Release     Package name

________________________________________________________________________
SAP Basis component

SAP_BASIS                                       700           SAPKB70030

SAP_BASIS                                       701           SAPKB70115

SAP_BASIS                                       702           SAPKB70215
SAP_BASIS                                       731           SAPKB73111
SAP_BASIS                                       740           SAPKB74005

The functionality is the same, the shorter transaction name is more convenient.

Now how does it work in the billing area?

First of all the tool will have to be started by entering the transaction (either ANST_SEARCH_TOOL or ANST, depending on your Support package):

Start.png

Thereafter you will see the main screen of the tool.The investigation is based on a trace of the action performed. In the example, supposedly a problem in transaction VF01 occurs.

In field transaction VF01 is entered and a name is given in the description field:

2_Main.png

A description is necessary, here you can choose any meaningful text yourself.

Then pressing button /wp-content/uploads/2013/12/3_button_338229.png“Execute” or F8 the transaction VF01 starts with the tool tracing in the background:

4_VF01.png

Here in VF01 you perform the steps until the error occurs and thereafter return with the back button /wp-content/uploads/2013/12/back_338232.pngto the ANST tool, where you get the following overview screen:

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/overview_338233.png

Listed are all components that had been involved. Depending on in which area the error occurred, you can navigate to there:

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/pricing_338240.png

Suppose it has something to do with pricing, then you mark SD-BF-PR and press the button “Note search” /wp-content/uploads/2013/12/note_search_338241.png

and you will get a list with all relevant notes, that are not yet implemented:

list of notes.png

From this list you can even download the relevant note directly and start with the implementation.

Two other functions are useful. Apart from searching notes, you can get as well an overview of which user-exits and customer modifications had been executed, by pressing the button “Customer Code”:/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/code_338245.png

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/customer_338244.png

Here in the example, two user-exits and one BAdI had been involved.

The third important help is a list of the relevant customizing tables, which you can access by pressing the button “Customizing tables”:/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/tables_338252.png

For pricing the tables that contain condition exclusion logic are listed:

/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/customizing_338254.png

With these three functions/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/note_search_338241.png/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/code_338245.png/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/tables_338252.png you will get a detailed overview of the possible error causes, and it will be possible that you find and correct the root cause yourself.

May the power of ANST help you!

Related reading:

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

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

SAP ANST: experience the magic… – NB Conseil.com

1778716  – Advanced Note Search Tool            

1818192 – FAQ: Automated Note Search Tool

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28 Comments

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  1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

    Hi Tobias,

    Thank you for the article!.  I notice how many different components are involved in a single SD transaction so I can imagine in this case ANST should work well as a debugging tool, separating the objects belonging to different components.

    Cheers!,

    Carlos.

    (0) 
    1. Carlos Martinez Escribano

      Hi Stefan,

      SAP cares customer needs in many aspects e.g. by creating new ways to help customers get faster solutions. Examples on this are ANST and SCN network (blogs, wikis, forums and much more). Things that a few years ago didn’t even exist, now are a reality.

      Cheers!,

      Carlos.

      (0) 
    2. Tobias Reiner Dolgener Post author

      Hi Stefan Udelhoven,

      the availability of such a powerful tool as ANST does not mean SAP will no longer take the responsibility for the software and transfer it to the customers.

      Customers with a valid maintenance contract will always have the possibility to contact SAP Support directly in case of problems.

      The intention of the tool is to help customers on how they can help themselves and speed up the whole process of finding a solution.

      Often the most current SAP notes are missing in the customer system. With ANST the customers can make sure to get the latest coding changes in an automated way.

      Apart from the notes, with ANST the relevant customizing and customer own coding can easily be identified and with it all the relevant factors that influence the system behavior, when an error occurs.

      So the focus of ANST is to assist the customers, not to “slip out of responsibility”.

      I strongly recommend to use it! 😉

      Best regards,

      Tobias

      (0) 

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