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SAP S/4HANA Data Management

This blog post targets SAP Solution Architects and Technical Architects who are planning or moved their SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA.

Motivation

Data is the foundation for any business, well managed data is critical for any business process. Data Management Strategy is an essential activity to maintain a good system performance and to optimize the total cost of your system operations, data management is relevant for all SAP applications that generate large amounts of data.

Data Volume Management in SAP S/4HANA

Data volume often dominates SAP HANA DB size eventually Memory-footprint of S/4HANA. A comprehensive data management strategy is a critical aspect for successful
SAP S/4HANA transition.

Data  Management Strategy for an SAP S/4HANA journey can be defined with following use cases

  • Data Aging
  • Data archiving
  • Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

Data Aging

Data Aging is a business data management concept for reducing the HANA memory footprint. Data Aging offers the option of moving large amounts of data within a database to gain more working memory.

Moves data from the current area (main memory) to the historical area (secondary storage) of your database and thus make sure only operationally relevant data is loaded into main memory.

Data move can be controlled by specifying a residence time for data in the corresponding Customizing for the data aging object. Typically, only data that resides in in-memory is accessed which results in shorter run times when a query executed for large amounts of data.

Data Aging prerequisites

To apply data aging on your data, the following prerequisites and activation steps have to be met:

  • Using a database that supports data aging.
  • Switch the Data Aging (DAAG_DATA_AGING) business function by using transaction SFW5.
  • Set the parameter abap/data_aging by using the transaction RZ11.

How does Data Aging in SAP S/4HANA works?

The data aging mechanism for ABAP applications is based on a new data aging framework provided by SAP NetWeaver ABAP.  The data temperature is set through an additional data temperature column ‘_DATAAGING’, which is added to all participating tables.

Aging governed by two sets of criteria, residence time and Business logic. The application knows which business objects are closed hence data moved to cold partitions. Therefore, the application actively sets values in this column to a date to indicate that the object is closed, the row shall be moved to the Cold partition(s) during an Aging Run. As the table is partitioned by the temperature column, the rows are automatically moved then to a cold partition. The move influences the visibility of the data and its accessibility.

e.g. Example of aging checks for FI documents

  • Within Residence Time  (Current and previous Fiscal Year)
  • Documents with open items (or recently cleared)
  • Documents that are operationally important

 

Refer to the following sources for additional information on Data Again Framework

  • 2416490 – FAQ: SAP HANA Data Aging in SAP S/4HANA
  • 2315141 – Collective note for Data Aging Framework
  • 2869647 – Guidance for use of Data Aging in SAP S/4HANA

Data archiving

Data Archiving functions to archive any completed business transactions that are no longer relevant for daily system operations.  In the subsequent delete phase, the archived data is removed from the database using the delete program, archived data can be stored in archive files to which the system has read-only access.

The archiving process have not changed in S/4HANA, all the standard SAP archiving programs can be used to archive FI documents in S/4 systems as well. Classic Data Archiving plays an important role in SAP S/4HANA in limiting the size and growth of HANA database.

Data archiving concept from SAP S/4HANA  is based on the archiving objects of the Archive Development Kit (ADK).

Database Tables, Business Objects, and Archiving Objects

An archiving object consists of a minimum of one archiving program and one deletion program. Those tables that belong together from an accounting perspective are combined in one archiving object. A distinction is drawn between tables that are to be archived and tables that are to be deleted. Tables for deletion usually contain redundant data. Some tables that are used throughout S/4HANA (change documents, texts etc…) are treated as separate units and accessed via archiving classes. Each archiving object also contain a read program, with which the contents of the archives shall be searched and displayed.

Financial accounting documents are archived using the archiving object FI_DOCUMNT.

Refer to the following sources for additional information on Data Again Framework

  • SAP Help Portal à Data Archiving à SAP S/4HANA
  • 2222074 – Collective information regarding ADK and AIS (Archive Development Kit and Archive Information System)
  • 2346296 – Technical details about financial accounting archiving

SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

The SAP Information Lifecycle Management (SAP ILM) component provides a broad range of advanced capabilities, including blocking and deletion, residence and retention management, consolidation of legacy data, and more – some of which are relevant to regulatory demands.

SAP ILM is used to support the entire data lifecycle including the storage, retention, blocking, and deletion of personal data for S/4HANA On Premise. Archiving as part of ILM is used to manage blocking and deletion of transactional data. Archiving is in this context not only used as a solution for volume management instead it fulfills blocking requirements in terms of data privacy, as it restricts efficiently the access to archived (and so blocked) data supported with an additional authorization concept.

SAP ILM Business Scenarios

SAP ILM is a powerful solution that can help with the data compliance requirements of many regulations, including data privacy and protection.

SAP ILM External storage requirements

Storage is required when data is moved outside the SAP application database. This is typically for
archiving purposes. SAP ILM supports different storage infrastructures.

In S/4HANA On Premise, Data Archiving (plus SAP ILM) remains the well-established means to reduce the database footprint by moving data that is neither operationally needed nor subject to embedded analytics from SAP HANA to archive files.

Refer to the following sources for additional information on Data Again Framework

  • 2705663 – Collective information regarding ILM (Information Lifecycle Management)
  • 2122906 – ILM: List of ILM objects with assigned archiving/data destruction objects

Comparison of Data Aging, Archiving and SAP ILM

Further Considerations for Data Management

In order to achieve data management goals, the following methodologies are also relevant

  • Data Volume Management for S/4HANA
    • 2243625 – Data Volume Management Value Map
  • Housekeeping (i.e. deletion of temporary technical data e.g. spool, jobs, application logs)
    • 2388483 – How-To: Data Management for Technical Tables

 

– Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG –

3 Comments
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  • @Rami -- Excellence Article. Thank you for sharing with wider group. I have query about the ILM timeline. We are currently on ECC, planning to move to S/4 in couple of years. Current system on going archiving has generated large volume of archived data. My confusion is should we go for ILM implementation now or do it at the time of S/4 migration. I am assuming to enable existing archive file ILM compatible we need to do the conversion and we may need to do another conversion when we go to S/4 as well as for Retention Warehouse Management to access legacy data.

     Could you please share your thoughts for this scenario. Thank you !

  • Hello Rami,

    We are going to make a brownfied migration only for our core model empty of data. And for the data migration, we are doing to use cockpit migration.

    My question is:

    the ECC archives of these objects will still be easily accessible directly via the SapGui S/4 ?
    FI_DOCUMNT --> yes
    MM_EKKO
    MM_REBEL
    MM_ACCTIT
    SD_VBAK
    SD_VBRK
    PA_TRAVEL

    thanks in advance for you answer.

    Regards

    Anne-caroline