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Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde

Using Azure BLOB for storing files in SAP

This blog post has been drafted with support by Dharshan A from SAP.

Update: The functionality of using Azure BLOB storage in SAP ILM is now supported in standard SAP ILM.

Refer to the documentation here.

Storage Systems in Enterprises

Data Storage is an important topic in today’s enterprise systems. Availability, cost and scalability are crucial factors in determining the right storage systems for a company’s data. SAP systems have often a need to communicate with external storage systems. These systems hold data complementary to the business data in SAP. Like for example – a storage system stores the direct customer invoice, automatically scanned as PDF document, which is linked to a billing document in SAP S/4HANA or SAP ERP. Although such storage systems have been operating for a while, the scenario is undergoing a paradigm shift with cloud storages.

ILM Store

SAP ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) is a component of SAP Netweaver which among other functionalities has – ILM Store. This functionality allows an SAP system (like SAP ERP or  SAP S/4HANA for example) to connect to different types of storage systems to store and read files. The most common types of files are –

  1. Archive files – These are files with “.adk” extensions created from Data Archiving component in the SAP system. The archive files contain older business data, taken out of the database for performance and compliance reasons.
  2. Unstructured content – These refer to all the documents such as PDF invoices, fax documents etc; which are linked to business objects in SAP. The systems which store these documents are referred to as “Content Repositories” by SAP system.

Both these types of files were supported even before the ILM Store functionality was introduced. However, ILM Store introduces functionality where different types of storage mediums can be used as a storage system for archive files and as content repositories. ILM Store contains:

  1. Published Interface – A well-defined interface where new types of storage systems can be “plugged in” to the existing processes in SAP source system. This guarantees seamless integration in SAP system, regardless of the actual storage location of the file.
  2. Pre-built Adapters – Off the shelf adapters built for specific storage mediums. The product supports – SAP IQ, SAP HANA, Hadoop and file system as storage systems.

Origin is an important entity in configuring ILM Store. An origin helps the ILM Store to segregate and store the files in the right storage system. For example, an origin will usually be the logical system for archive files (xyzclnt100 for system XYZ client 100) and the content repository name – like say “CR” for storing the unstructured content. Using the origin, different types of storage systems can be used together – like all archive files should be stored in SAP IQ, while the unstructured content should be stored in Hadoop, for example.

Below is a schematic illustration:


Storage of Archive file in Azure BLOB – Technical Landscape

The Azure adapter is built as a package from SAP DMLT organization, based on the interface defined by ILM Store. Hence, it’s an enhancement and doesn’t cause any modifications. However, the package will always need to be adapted to the specific customer release versions due to inherent differences in the underlying technical platform capabilities, which are release specific.

DMLT stands for Data Management and Landscape Transformation – an organization in SAP which offers a holistic approach for all data-related needs with data quality and data integration services.

There are two deployment options as illustrated below:


Option 1(Integrated) – In this deployment approach, the ILM Store component in the source system (like SAP S/4HANA or SAP ERP) is itself used to connect to Azure BLOB. The advantage of this approach is that additional instances for ILM Store is not needed. However, the source system needs to have the right release levels to support ILM Store functionality. Also, the options for performing performance optimizations are somewhat limited compared to option 2.


Option 2(Centralized) – In this deployment model, the ILM Store functionality activated in a separate instance and the source SAP systems connect to the ILM Store system via HTTP. The advantage of this deployment is that the ILM Store instance can be upgraded/patched independent of the source systems. Also, performance optimizations are possible by adjusting the resources on the ILM Store system. This is a recommended approach if there are multiple source systems.


Archiving entities in Azure BLOB – Nomenclature

Azure BLOB has the following entities in order to organize the storage:

  • Account: This refers to the storage account. The base URI includes the storage account. It is recommended that there are at least two accounts per source system – one for the ADK (archive) files and the other for storing the attachments (content repository).
  • Container: This entity is a logical “folder” which in turn contains the actual BLOB’s. In the ILM usage, the container is dynamically controlled by the ILM Store functionality. New containers are created as required/configured. There is no need to change the default configuration in ILM Store unless there is a specific requirement to do so.
  • BLOB: This is the ADK file or the attachment. The ADK files are un-readable without the SAP system since it’s a binary format file.


Configuration of Azure BLOB as storage in ILM

This section explains the overall steps in order to get the Azure BLOB configured as an ILM Storage. Below are steps:


Refer to the link below on more information about the ILM Store configurations. After creating the origin, the configuration program present in the Azure BLOB interface package needs to be run:

For archive files, the ILM Store needs to be finally defined in the transaction – ILMSTOREADM. Here the RFC created for the ILM Store needs to be specified.

For content repository, a content repository needs to be defined in transaction OAC0 with the storage type as “ILM DB Store”.

Advantages of cloud storage

Here are some advantages of cloud storage for Data Archiving in SAP:

  • Cost: Cloud storage services offer attractive pricing often compared to on-premise solutions. Hence cost can be a strong motivation to adopt cloud storages.
  • Flexibility: As the data size grows, the archive files will also grow. A cloud storage is very flexible in being able to support more data storage compared to on-premise solutions.
  • Maintenance: A cloud storage will require no specific efforts to backup/maintain/patch.


In the current trend of growing importance of cloud storage, enterprise systems are increasing adopting cloud storage to address their growing need for data storage. This article provides an overview of how Azure BLOB by Microsoft can be used a storage system for various needs in an SAP system.

The solution is meant to use a direct connection to Microsoft Azure BLOB, from SAP systems. This makes the solution more attractive, compared to scenarios where there is a need of an additional system as storage system. Please reach out to the authors of this article if more details are needed.

More Information

If you need more information about how to obtain the Azure interface package from DMLT, please send an email to:

Here are some links to get more information:

Microsoft Azure BLOB API –

ILM Store configuration guide –

Blog  Post on ILM Store configuration –

Information on DMLT services –

Information on SAP ILM services of DMLT –

Data Volume Management –

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      Author's profile photo Satya PRASAD
      Satya PRASAD

      Great Article.

      some queries.

      1. is there a separate license required for "Azure adapter" from SAP DMLT organization or the "Azure BLOB interface package" ? . if yes what is the procedure to acquire it?
      2. please add any specific OSS notes related to the subject
      3. BLOB: This is the ADK file or the attachment  - does it mean that each attachment or ADK file is treated as single BLOB, & the retention rules defined by ILM RM policies are applied to the ADK file or Attachment?  or can a BLOB contain multiple files or attachments? would like to understand how the ILM policies are applied to the BLOB or containers when attachments or ADK files are created with this approach

      Thanks & Regards

      Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde
      Sumanth Hegde
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Satya


      1. No, there is no separate licence. You need to email the id with respect to how to obtain the package.
      2. No specific OSS for Azure BLOB storage.
      3. Yes, you are right. One ADK file is one BLOB, similarly one attachment is one BLOB. The retention rules will be enforced from the SAP system. And this is directly for BLOB’s and not for containers.
      Author's profile photo Satya PRASAD
      Satya PRASAD

      Thanks Sumanth ..Appreciate the quick response

      Author's profile photo Srigiri Pradeep
      Srigiri Pradeep

      Hi Sumanth,


      We are using the option - 1 from your blog. We have followed the document and configured ILM store for Microsoft Azure Blob and defined policies as well. As a next, we need to perform the steps to archive the Idocs from S/4 to Azure Blob. Could you pls guide or let us know on this. Your help is much appreciated.




      Author's profile photo Roland Kramer
      Roland Kramer


      See also the Blog - as you can also use SAP IQ Database as ILM target.

      Best Regards Roland

      Author's profile photo Phani Kumar Vankadari
      Phani Kumar Vankadari

      HI Sumanth,

      We have a S4Hana onprem server and ILM packages are preexisting.

      Do we need additional license to use ILM and store docs on azure?



      Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde
      Sumanth Hegde
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Phani


      The business function for ILM and ILM_STOR is required to be ON.

      There is no additional license fee but you would need the DMLT Azure package to be imported.




      Author's profile photo Sandeep Samantray
      Sandeep Samantray

      Hi Sumanth,


      We have a requirement for migrating ILM landscape from AIX on DB2 to Azure on RHEL with DB2 database. How the existing file system can be migrated to cloud? We are thinking of Blob , but for this is there any program run or changes needed on database level on premise as well?


      What will be the best option to migrate the existing file system to cloud which is of huge size around 20 TB?




      Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde
      Sumanth Hegde
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sandeep

      This depends on how the existing file system is configured in the SAP system. Are you using the SAP ILM Store functionality for using the file system as a storage mechanism?

      If so, then this will be a migration from one ILM Store (filesystem) to another ILM Store (Azure BLOB).




      Author's profile photo Asif Shaik
      Asif Shaik

      Hi Sumanth,

      What is Type of storage account Block blob or Page blob? which one is recommended by SAP?

      Didn't find any article related to it. Could you please help.

      Moreover, found the confusing information in the Azure blog.

      As we start this article, please note a very important selection criterion for Azure Blob storage:

      Premium Tier BLOCK BLOB low latency storage is not suitable for this purpose which has only LRS and ZRS storage redundancy options.

      From <>



      Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde
      Sumanth Hegde
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Asif

      We need to distinguish between the standard SAP offering and our DMLT package, which is an Add On from SAP consulting.

      So, the blog link you refered to here describes the standard offering.

      For lower releases, we need the DMLT package described in this BLOG post. Now, coming to type of BLOB's, block BLOBs are required here since the archive files/attachments are written once and they might be quite large too.


      Author's profile photo Srigiri Pradeep
      Srigiri Pradeep

      Hello Sumanth,


      Appreciate if you can help me.

      We have configured the ILM Store based on the Guide Quick Configuration Guide for the ILM Store
      Version for Microsoft Azure in the S/4 system. We have setup the policy rules for the ILM Object and we are good. Could you please let us know the next steps on how to perform the steps for archiving - any link. As I couldn't find an appropriate document. Your help is much appreciated.


      Thanks Pradeep

      Author's profile photo Sumanth Hegde
      Sumanth Hegde
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Pradeep

      Is the BLOB storage also configured?

      In the case, you need to run the standard archiving process using SARA, nothing different.



      Author's profile photo Srigiri Pradeep
      Srigiri Pradeep

      Hi Sumanth,


      Yes, Blob storage also configured with ILM Store. When we run the standard archiving process through SARA, we are unsure on what should be the logical file name(attached the screenshot)logical%20file%20name.What is the correct logical file and what should be physical file path for the same. pls suggest

      Second screenshot, IRM as archive store connection is successful but do we need to select the File conversion for ILM? Kindly suggest


      Pls guide, Thank you,


      Author's profile photo Srigiri Pradeep
      Srigiri Pradeep

      Hi Sumanth,


      I have successfully archived to Azure Blob. Now I want to delete the archived file and from SARA when I select delete, I don't see the archived sessions when I select Archive sessions. Could you pls assist here.