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SAP data archiving - Archiving solutions

Now that we understand the need to archive SAP data it is time to look into the solutions that are available.

SAP-ADK: SAP provides the archive development kit, which is the only process by which you can remove and delete data from your SAP database. The ADK process is performed by SAP objects and must be done as the first step in archiving regardless of any desire to use other solutions to provide storage or access. There are specific configuration elements required for the successful execution of the extraction and deletion processes. The ADK process removes data from the SAP database and stores it in the file system. If you need to store the data externally then you must configure the SAP Archive link interface.
This ADK process must be done. No other solution can archive the data and delete it from your SAP system.

Solutions Available

SAP-AS and DRB: SAP provides this tool that provides some access to data for some modules. Requires development to define the structures for access and reporting based on user requirement.

PBS archive Add-on Software: This is a third party software solution developed specifically for providing access and reporting to SAP archived data. It is a software solution written in ABAP code. Once installed you are able to access and report on archived data, data from the data base and a combination of both. Users utilize standard SAP methods such as transaction codes, menu paths to access and report .PBS is a ready to run solution without any additional development. Once installed you get all of your accesses. It provides full drill down to the lowest level of detail, document flow and integration across SAP modules. With PBS Archive add-on software you can store the archived data in the file system of your server ( outside of the data base) OR you can store the archived data files externally and the software will read and report on the data. So you can run reports and on line queries any time you want to.

Imaging solutions: These solutions capture images of SAP internal documents and images of reports and store them on an external device through the SAP archive link. This implies that you must have generated the documents or reports before the image can be captured.
You can later look at a document or report image that was previously captured but you cannot report or run queries on the archived data or combine reporting on both archived and current data.
Imaging solutions can also be used to scan and store physical external documents.
With these solutions you must purchase external hardware for storage.

Considerations: It is very important to really understand the solutions and their functionality before embarking on a path that would prove to be unusable for your organization. The last thing you want to do is to purchase a solution that will not be used by your organization. So understand fully what you are getting into.

Archiving consists of three steps:

  • The removal of data from the SAP database.
  • The storage of the data outside of the SAP data base.
  • The access to the archived data

Access: The most important consideration in archiving is the access to the archived data. If the solution(s) you use can provide good easy access to the archived data then your users would allow the aggressive archiving of the SAP data. Conversely if the solution does not provide good access then the users will not agree to part with their data and archiving will be a slow painful process.
Access determines where you will be allowed to store the archived data and whether you will be allowed to remove it from your database.

Storage for the archived data: Archived data can simply be stored in the file system of your server outside of the SAP database. SAP-AS and the PBS archive add-on software can read the data from these archived data files. The data is highly compressed about 5:1 so there is significant savings in storage space. Also storing in the file system provides fast access to the data as opposed to storing on external devices, which tend to provide slower access. You can also choose to store archived data on external devices such as optical juke boxes. In this way you get 100% savings in storage space as opposed to storing in the file system, which provides 70-75% savings due to data compression. However, external storage means purchasing additional hardware and the access is slower that storing in the file system.

Imaging solutions work with external storage such as optical devices .The PBS archive add-on software works with both internal (file system) and external storage if you need to Many organizations start by storing the archived data initially in the file system rather than spending on additional external hardware. But again only certain solutions give you this option.

So the bottom line is that there is a direct correlation between the ability to archive your data and the access that is available.












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