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Data Destruction using SAP Information Lifecycle Management

Information lifecycle management is a solution which help you manage data during its cycle. It helps  to determine the validity of data and also help to delete them permanently. This in some aspects, is also compliance requirement to retain data for some period and then delete it mandatorily.

In this article I would cover the different ways to destroy (permanently deletion) data using ILM.

During data lifecycle, data resides in database or in an archive file in a compliant store. The tables where these data set resides can be part of an archiving object or not. Depending on that, it can be dealt differently for destruction.



The picture shown here depicts 3 aspects which are addressed in ILM for Destruction.

A. Data which is part of an archiving object definition but not relevant for archiving

B. Data which is part of archive object

C. Data which is NOT part of an archiving object


Case A:

Destruction of this can be triggered using the Write reports of the archiving object. Pre-requisite is archiving object should be ILM enables and all ILM configurations are done in the system.

From SARA -> Write step, in the report selection screen, one can choose the ILM action –  Data Destruction and execute.

During the execution, retention check is performed on the set of data. The data which has expired would be permanently deleted.


Case B:

Destruction of this can be triggered once the data is put into archive file via archiving process and archive file is stores in ILM aware store. During the archiving process, the expiration dates are determined. After crossing this date, the archive files can be destroyed. This can done via transaction ILM_DESTRUCTION.  Pre-requisite: Archive file should be stored into ILM aware store and should be expired.


Case C:

Destruction of this data set can be defined in the Destruction object definition. Using this destruction object(DOBJ), process can be triggered during which ILM rules are applied on data and checked for retention. Only the data which is expired would be deleted. This is triggered via the transaction ILM_DESTRUCTION.


With the ILM data destruction, we would successfully manage huge volumes of data, retain only the required set and can also adhere to compliance requirements. It would impact on TCO as data base is freed up and also required data is in a complaint, cost effective Storage media.

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  • Hi Revathi,

    We are planning for POC for SAP ILM along with Hadoop storage.

    Still now we dont have clarity whether ILM supports Hadoop storage?

    We have VIM componet in ECC system and the data directly stores in IXOS Archive server. Can we migrate the data from IXOS  to SAP ILM ?

    Can you please help with Architecture and functionality how it works without open text archive server.

    Please provide the reference documents.



    Srinivas Reddy