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Final Deletion of SAP Business Data

Archive Content Life Cycle Management


Version 1.1
February 2013

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1
1.1
1.2

INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................... 4
About this Document ...................................................................................................................... 4
Scope ................................................................................................................................................ 4

2
2.1
2.1.1
2.1.1.1

AREAS AFFECTED .......................................................................................................................... 4


ADK Environment ............................................................................................................................ 4
Archive Files ...................................................................................................................................... 5
How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 5

2.1.2
2.1.2.1

Retrieved Archive Files ...................................................................................................................... 5


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.3
2.1.3.1

Management Data ............................................................................................................................. 6


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.4
2.1.4.1

Link Data ............................................................................................................................................ 6


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.5
2.1.5.1

Archive Information Structures .......................................................................................................... 6


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.6
2.1.6.1

Application-Specific Archive Indexes ................................................................................................. 7


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 7

2.1.7
2.1.7.1

Spools and Job Logs ......................................................................................................................... 7


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 7

2.1.8
2.1.9
2.1.9.1

Document Relationship Browser ....................................................................................................... 7


Table Analysis ................................................................................................................................... 7
How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 7

2.2
2.2.1
2.2.1.1

ArchiveLink ...................................................................................................................................... 7
Documents ......................................................................................................................................... 7
How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 9

2.2.2
2.2.2.1

Link Data ............................................................................................................................................ 9


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 9

2.2.3
2.2.3.1

Print Lists ........................................................................................................................................... 9


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 9

2.2.4
2.2.4.1

Change Logs for Documents and Print Lists ..................................................................................... 9


How to Delete the Data ...................................................................................................................... 9

2.3
2.3.1
2.3.1.1

SAP BW........................................................................................................................................... 10
InfoCubes and DataStore Objects ................................................................................................... 10
How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 10

2.3.2
2.3.3
2.3.3.1

PSA Data ......................................................................................................................................... 10


Master Data / Hierarchies ................................................................................................................ 10
How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 10

2.3.4
2.3.4.1

Process Information Logs ................................................................................................................ 10


How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 10

2.3.5
2.3.5.1

IDocs and Application Logs ............................................................................................................. 10


How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 10

2.3.6
2.3.6.1

Management Data ........................................................................................................................... 11


How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 11

2.4
2.4.1
2.4.1.1

DART ............................................................................................................................................... 11
Extracts ............................................................................................................................................ 11
How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 11

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.4.2
2.4.2.1

Views ............................................................................................................................................... 11
How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 11

2.4.3
2.4.3.1

Temporary DB Tables ...................................................................................................................... 11


How to Delete the Data .................................................................................................................... 12

2.5

Others ............................................................................................................................................. 12

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

Note:
These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by SAP
AG for informational purposes only and may not be distributed without further approval. It is
sent without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for
errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group
products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements
accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as
constituting an additional warranty.
In the years since the original publication of this document (version 1.0, May 2005), SAP
NetWeaver ILM retention management and system decommissioning have become
available. Since we realize not all corporate environments have not yet chosen to upgrade
their SAP environments to be able to take advantage of these new ILM capabilities, we have
made the decision to republish this original document for your use until such time as you are
able to take advantage of SAP NetWeaver ILM. Be aware that this document has not been
modified from its original state and is intended only for use until such time as SAP
NetWeaver ILM capabilities can be introduced into your environment.
With the additional use of the new ILM functionalities, it is now possible to automate the once
manual and error prone processes to manage the end-of-life of the ADK and ArchiveLink data
and documents discussed in sections 2.1 and 2.2. Both automated data and document
destruction processes as well as the possibility to manage legal case hold requirements are
now aspects of the retention management and system decommissioning tools to provide for
compliant archiving from the outset. Be aware that the document which follows was originally
intended as a first step in the final deletion process and that SAP NetWeaver ILM has
replaced the first two sections of this document at a minimum.

INTRODUCTION

1.1
About this Document
This document corresponds to Phase III of the Archive Content Lifecycle Management Document created by
the ASUG-Archive Special Interest Group on March 1, 2004. Phase III addresses the deletion of data that
has reached its maximum age according to corporate retention guidelines. It encompasses both ADK-based
functions as well as other areas that are not directly addressed by ADK.
1.2
Scope
Due to the complexity of the relationships between business data and the large number of different areas in
a system or systems where data needs to be deleted, it is not viable to cover every possibility and situation
in this document. Rather, the focus is on those areas that cover the widest range of data and that companies
deal with the most on a daily basis. These are also listed under Phase III of the Archive Content Lifecycle
Management Document created by ASUG. In section Others additional areas of consideration are listed,
which may be completed by the customers and ASUG members themselves, or by those who have the most
experience in each particular area.
Note:
Data that has remained in the database due to ineligibility for archiving because of technical or
business-related problems, such as improper closing or settlement, is out of scope for this document
and shall therefore not be discussed. The reasons for such problems are virtually always to be seen
on the customer side (improper mapping of real world business processes resulting in "gaps" in the
customer's business process, wrong customizing, missing authorizations, etc.).They are therefore
beyond SAP's responsibility and shall be tackled individually by the customer.
2
2.1

AREAS AFFECTED
ADK Environment

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.1.1 Archive Files


The ACLM process is centered on the archive files because archive files constitute the largest portion of
ACLM content to be managed. The starting point for every ACLM activity should therefore always be the
destruction of stored archive files, followed by the elimination of other data and information objects
surrounding the archive files, such as management data, link data, original documents, and so on.
Following this archive-file-centric approach, your first task is to identify the data that needs to be deleted. For
example, data from FI, HR, etc. Once the data has been identified, you can list the archiving objects that
were used to archive this data.
Under Management in transaction SARA you can see when a certain archiving session took place for a
particular archiving object. If the archived data was separated and organized according to a period, it will be
easier to identify which files need to be deleted. If the data was archived according to other criteria, such as
company code, then it will be more difficult to identify the files to be deleted for a specific year.
Please note that the date that appears in the Archiving Session Details only refers to the date when the
session took place. It does not refer to the date of creation of the data that was archived. Therefore, it may
occur that archiving sessions that were created only some time ago contain data that is much older. The only
way to find out the age of the archived data would be to open each archive file separately, something that is
hardly feasible. A good alternative would be to always include an Archiving Session Note for each archiving
session, stating the source (for example, HR data) and period (for example, March 1999) for the archived
data. This makes it easier to identify the archived data when it has reached its end-of-life.
Archive Routing (as of SAP NW 2004s) facilitates the segregation of archived data according to specific
criteria. This makes it very easy to delete this data when it has reached its end-of-life, without affecting the
storage of adjoining data.
2.1.1.1
How to Delete the Data
The deletion of the archived files depends on the way they were stored. Basically, archive files can be stored
in the file system, on an external storage system, an HSM system, etc. If the archive files are stored in the
file system, then they have to be deleted manually on OS level. If, for example, they are stored on an
external storage system then their deletion depends on the delete functionality provided by the vendor. In
certain cases, and if this does not affect archived data from other periods, the media (for example, a CDROM, tape, etc.) will have to be physically destroyed. ADK does not offer a tool for deleting the archive files
themselves.
The deletion of the archived files depends on the way they were stored. Basically, archive files can be stored
in the file system, on an external storage system, an HSM system, etc. If the archive files are stored in the
file system, then they have to be deleted manually on OS level. If, for example, they are stored on an
external storage system then their deletion depends on the delete functionality provided by the vendor. In
certain cases, and if this does not affect archived data from other periods, the media (for example, a CDROM, tape, etc.) will have to be physically destroyed. ADK does not offer a tool for deleting the archive files
themselves.
Caution:
Before deleting archive files it is VERY important that you consider all the surrounding information
related to the archive files, such as infostructures, management data etc. This information may also
have to be deleted. Therefore, first identify the different areas you need to consider. Then decide in
which order to delete the different data types. For more information on the archiving sequence, refer
to the chapters below.
2.1.2 Retrieved Archive Files
In SARA you have the possibility to retrieve archive files (Storage System Retrieve Files), for example, if
you need to perform a batch analysis that reads large amounts of data. The process of reading the data
straight from the archive would take very long. By retrieving the archive file prior to the analysis you can
speed up the process.
Retrieved archive files, which are only copies of the actual archive files, are placed in an exchange directory.

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.1.2.1
How to Delete the Data
As of SAP Web AS 6.20 you can use report RSARCH_LIST_RETRIEVED to delete retrieved archive files.
First, use RSARCH_LIST_RETRIEVED to create a list of retrieved archive files. To delete retrieved copies of
stored archive files, select one or several entries in the list and then choose Delete retrieved file. The file is
deleted on the OS level and the administration entries are adjusted automatically in the archive
management. You can then access the archive files again directly in the storage system. For more
information, see SAP Note 597646.
In releases where this report is not available retrieved files must be deleted manually in the file system. Also,
the administration data in the archive management must be adjusted manually for each archive file.
Caution:
Retrieved archive files should be deleted BEFORE the actual archive files.
2.1.3

Management Data

Management data refers to the data that is created along with the archive files and which contains
information about the archive files, such as number of data objects, archiving status, logical file path, etc. It
only contains additional information, but has no knowledge about the actual contents of the archive file.
2.1.3.1 How to Delete the Data
To delete management data, first archive it using archiving object BC_ARCHIVE. After they have been
archived, the files can be deleted.
Caution:
Management data should be deleted AFTER the actual archive files.
2.1.4

Link Data

When an original document, such as a scanned invoice, is associated to a business object that was created
in the database, for example, a sales order, and a link entry is created. Up to SAP R/3 4.6C this data is kept
in TOAx tables. As of SAP R/3 4.6C this information is kept in table ADMI_FILES.
Link entries in TOAx tables can be archived with archiving object ARCHIVELINK. There is also the archiving
class ARCHIVELINK that automatically archives link entries when an archiving object is used, but this is not
supported by many archiving objects. Link entries in table ADMI_FILES can be archived using archiving
object BC_ARCHIVE.
If you have upgraded to 4.6C or later, but have archived data in lower releases, you will have link data in
both the TOA tables and in ADMI_FILES. You need to apply both methods for deleting this data. There is no
migration option for these files.
2.1.4.1 How to Delete the Data
The archived link data must be deleted on operating system level as described under the How to Delete This
Data section for Archive Files (see above).
Caution:
Link data should be deleted AFTER the originals and archive files. If you delete this data before you
delete the archive files you will never find the original document again.
2.1.5

Archive Information Structures

Behind each archive information structure of the Archive Information System (AS, transaction SARI) there is
a "normal" transparent database table (ZARIX tables) in which the data from the infostructure is stored.
2.1.5.1 How to Delete the Data
To delete an information structure (actually, only the entries related to a particular archiving session are
deleted, the information structure as such remains untouched), use the function Delete Structures in AS
Status Management.
Note:

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

Please note that if you delete an infostructure after the ADK management data (see above) of the
corresponding archiving sessions has been removed, the AS will produce an error. Although you will
still be able to delete this infostructure, the error may be somewhat irritating. Therefore, we
recommend that you always delete the infostructure BEFORE the management data is removed.
2.1.6

Application-Specific Archive Indexes

Some applications use their own index to provide access to individual archived objects. Examples of such
application-specific archive indexes are MKPF_ARIDX for material documents (see SAP Note 599966) and
ARIX_BKPF for financial documents (see SAP Note 807726).
SAP recommends that, if there is a choice, you use AS instead of application-specific archive indexes. For
more information, refer to the SAP Notes mentioned above.
2.1.6.1 How to Delete the Data
Such indexes can be deleted using Index Delete Index from the Archive Administration. In transaction
AOBJ you can see for which archiving object these functions exist (column Index Delete Program).
Caution:
Application-specific indexes should be deleted BEFORE the ADK files. It may not be possible to
delete infostructures after the archive files have been deleted because the deletion requires
information from the archive files.
2.1.7

Spools and Job Logs

During data archiving several spools, jobs and job logs are created.
2.1.7.1 How to Delete the Data
Old job logs and the corresponding jobs are removed automatically by the ABAP program RSBTCDEL,
which should be scheduled to run periodically. Spools can be deleted using the program RSPO0041, which
should also be a part of normal house-keeping activities in an SAP system.
If spools are kept as print lists, they can be archived via ArchiveLink. The link data is then kept in tables
TOADL, see chapter 2.2.3.
2.1.8

Document Relationship Browser

As the Document Relationship Browser (DRB) does not save any of the data it displays, no data needs to be
deleted.
2.1.9

Table Analysis

The data on which an analysis was run in the Data Analysis function (transaction TAANA) does not
necessarily say much about the data that was analyzed. It is therefore not critical from an end-of-life
perspective, but it is still good to check if some data could be a candidate for deletion.
2.1.9.1 How to Delete the Data
You can get rid of old analyses using Utilities Reorganize Table Analyses. Among other things this
function allows you to delete analyses created before a particular date.
To entirely delete an analysis use Table Analysis Delete.
A good way is to first archive (delete) the data from the database, then run the analysis again. This
eliminates old data from the analysis as this data is no longer contained in the database table that is
analyzed.
2.2

ArchiveLink

2.2.1

Documents

Documents in the ArchiveLink environment are incoming and outgoing documents such as PDFs, scanned
documents such as bills or invoices, and print lists, etc. These are always linked to business objects in the
database. The original documents can be archived via the ArchiveLink interface to a third-party storage
system, such as a content server.

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.2.1.1 How to Delete the Data


A delete function for stored documents is available in the ArchiveLink function Administration of Stored
Documents (transaction OAAD) and in the application itself. In the latter case this is not a native function of
the application but rather a service provided by the Generic Object Services (GOS), which in turn integrates
functions from other services, such as SAP office or ArchiveLink. In many applications, for example, the
Business Workplace, GOS can be called via System Services for Object. Initially, only the link between
the document and the business object is deleted. If this is the last link pointing to the document in the
Content Server, then the document is also deleted.
The physical deletion of the actual document stored on the third party storage system is triggered by the
ArchiveLink delete function, but cannot be guaranteed, because it is beyond the scope and responsibility of
ArchiveLink. This then depends on the storage system used.
When a business object is archived the associated link entries are usually not archived and deleted
automatically. This is only the case if the archiving object uses the archiving class ARCHIVELINK, which is
available as of SAP Web AS 6.20.
2.2.2

Link Data

See section 2.1.4 Link Data under Archive Files above.


2.2.2.1 How to Delete the Data
See section 2.1.4.1 How to Delete the Data under Link Data above.
2.2.3

Print Lists

Print lists are stored via ArchiveLink using archiving object ARCHIVEPRI. The stored print lists are listed in
table TOADL.
2.2.3.1 How to Delete the Data
Stored print lists may be difficult to delete. First assess if you really need to delete them. It may not always
be necessary. If so, it may be difficult to know which print lists correspond to the data that you want to delete,
because there is no direct link to the business object or objects in question. One way to determine which
print lists must be deleted is to conduct a search within the time frame of the business object that is to be
deleted. However, it may be impossible to find the appropriate print list for deletion, since they may have
been run based on non-time-based criteria. Therefore, it may not always be possible to find and delete the
correct print lists.
If you know which print lists to delete, use the delete function available in the Administration of Stored
Documents function (transaction OAAD).
If you want to delete archived print lists, you must delete the archive files on operating system level, as
described in section 2.1.1.1 How to Delete the Data under Archive Files above.
2.2.4

Change Logs for Documents and Print Lists

As of SAP Web AS 6.40, ArchiveLink provides change logs for documents and print lists to show who
accessed which document or print list when to make any changes. The change logs for documents and print
lists reside in tables TOALOG and TOALOGP, respectively.
These can be archived using archiving objects ARCHIVELOG and ARCHIVELOP, or together with the
appropriate archiving object using archiving classes ARCHIVELOG and ARCHIVELOP (only if the archiving
object supports the archiving class).
2.2.4.1 How to Delete the Data
If you want to delete archived change logs, you must delete the archive files on operating system level, as
described in section 2.1.1.1 How to Delete the Data under Archive Files above.

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.3

SAP BW

2.3.1

InfoCubes and DataStore Objects

Data from InfoCubes and DataStore Objects, formerly known as ODS (Operational Data Storage) objects,
can be archived using the BW data archiving functionality. Although based on the Archive Development Kit,
BW data archiving differs from data archiving in other SAP solutions. Archiving objects for BW InfoProviders
(generic term used for both InfoCubes and DataStore objects) are only delivered as metadata in the
Business Content like the objects they are depending on. For example, BW archiving objects are only
delivered in the form of SAP BW proprietary metadata. The actual repository objects, such as database
tables and access programs, as well as the archiving programs (write, delete, reload) are only generated in
the target system upon content activation of the respective InfoProvider.
2.3.1.1 How to Delete the Data
Regarding the deletion of archive files that contain archived BW data, the same rules and recommendations
apply as those given in the general section on ADK files. See chapter 2.1.1.1.
2.3.2

PSA Data

The data storage areas in the Staging Engine are called Persistent Staging Areas (PSA). PSAs are only
temporary, so data is stored there only until it is has been consolidated in the warehouse segment of SAP
BW. Therefore, there is no strong need to think about archiving PSA data.
2.3.3

Master Data / Hierarchies

Master data does not necessarily come from SAP R/3, but also from other SAP components and even from
non-SAP systems. Master data includes language-dependent texts, time-dependent, and time-independent
attributes of characteristic values in SAP BW. As of today, master data cannot be archived in SAP BW yet.
BW has its own hierarchy format and repository.
Hierarchies can be time-dependent and/or can have versions. Thus, they can grow in time and might
require archiving. For performance reasons we recommend not to exceed the number of 100,000 nodes and
leaves per hierarchy. Hierarchies that are used in reporting have to be activated. For activation, the entire
hierarchy (including time-dependency) has to fit into the main memory. This is also a limit for the size of
hierarchies.
2.3.3.1 How to Delete the Data
The deletion of master data or hierarchies requires expert knowledge as the deletion would lead to grave
data inconsistencies. It should only be performed in case of error after the possible consequences have
been investigated. Usually, there is no need to delete this type of data. BW supports only the deletion of
master data that is no longer used. Unfortunately, the where-used analysis does not take archived data into
account.
2.3.4

Process Information Logs

Process information logs consists of control data from the BW request. It will be possible to archive this data
as of the next SAP NetWeaver release. In the same release, a new mechanism Data Transfer Process
(DTP) will be used. This process information cannot be archived yet.
2.3.4.1 How to Delete the Data
Process information logs must never be deleted.
2.3.5

IDocs and Application Logs

IDocs and application logs are also used in BW. They are archived in the usual way using the standard
archiving objects IDOC and BC_SBAL, respectively.
2.3.5.1 How to Delete the Data
Regarding the deletion of archive files that contain archived BW data, the same rules and recommendations
apply as those given in the general section on ADK files. See chapter 2.1.1.1.

10

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.3.6

Management Data

Management data for archived data also exists in SAP BW.


2.3.6.1 How to Delete the Data
Management data for archived data cannot be archived or deleted.
2.4

DART

DART is a tool used mainly for legal compliance purposes and long-term reporting. With the tool snapshots
in the form of extracts can be taken of a specific set of data. These extracts can then be used for long-term
reporting purposes, for example for audits.
2.4.1

Extracts

Before archiving, DART extracts can be taken of the data relevant for future audits or revisions. Usually
extracts are taken of data in the financial (FI) or controlling (CO) areas and of meta data. The extracts are
stored in the file system. When they are viewed, they are reloaded to temporary tables and newly generated
to DART extracts.
DART extracts can also be moved to third-party storage systems via ArchiveLink. To view stored extracts,
they need to be imported again from the third party storage system.
Extracts can be taken based on different criteria. For example, an extract based on a specific fiscal year can
contain more than one company code, although this is not common. It mainly depends on each companys
own requirements. SAP recommends that if you are dealing with large data volumes, you take a separate
extract per company code, and that you run extracts every month. For smaller volumes, once a year may be
sufficient for example. This strategy makes the deletion of the extracts easier once the legal retention
requirements have been fulfilled.
DART writes management data to a data extract log. This data only shows the action, not the contents of the
extract. It can be called in transaction FTWL by double clicking on the extract entry.
2.4.1.1 How to Delete the Data
Extracts stored in the file system can be deleted with the DART delete function. The selection of the extracts
for deletion can be based on time. Therefore, as mentioned above, try to run your extracts in such a way that
they can later be selected more easily for deletion.
The management data remains visible in DART even if the corresponding extract has already been deleted.
However, as mentioned, this data only reflects the actions that occurred involving the extract, not the actual
contents of the extract.
The deletion of extracts that have been stored on third-party storage systems is beyond the realm of SAP
and depends on the functions offered by the storage system.
2.4.2

Views

Views are excerpts of extracts (flat files). They are mainly used for short-term viewing or reporting and can
be displayed with third party tools such as IDEA. Views are stored in the file system and are organized
according to year.
Views can also be exported to third party storage systems via ArchiveLink. To display them again, they need
to be imported to the system.
2.4.2.1 How to Delete the Data
Views kept in the file system can be deleted using a standard delete function in DART.
The deletion of views that have been stored on third-party storage systems is beyond the realm of SAP and
depends on the functions offered by the storage system.
2.4.3

Temporary DB Tables

As mentioned, for viewing, extracts are reloaded to temporary database tables and then newly generated to
DART extracts.
11

FINAL DELETION OF SAP BUSINESS DATA (VERSION 1.1)

2.4.3.1 How to Delete the Data


When the DART extracts have been newly generated for viewing, the tables are deleted. Therefore they do
not present any great problem in the context of the deletion of data that has reached its end-of-life.
2.5

Others

In the chapters above we have concentrated on the deletion of data from the major areas where the vast
majority of data is located. However, there may be additional areas depending on the SAP solutions a
customer is actually using where data is stored that is potentially relevant for end-of-life scenarios. The
following list provides an overview of possible areas to be taken into account in order to make sure all
relevant data records are destroyed.
Caution:
Please note that this list does not claim to be complete as other areas may be added according to
the customer installation. It is only meant as a guide for identifying areas potentially relevant for endof-life scenarios.

SAP Office

SAP DVS

Information Systems: LIS, VIS

SEM

Replicated data in different components/solutions

Backups of all kinds, copies to other systems

Local PC copies of all kind

APO, XI, Messaging, Workflow

Records Management, Document Finder, KPro, Case Management

Business Document Service (BDS)

EDI

TREX

Any third-party products you may be using, where data is also persisted

Customer-specific tables (Z tables)

12

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