Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SAP CRM Archiving: “Go clean your system!”

Yeah I know it sounds boring, but it’s not! Well at least I hope you agree with me when you have read this blog ;-)

OK, what is Archiving?

Archiving is moving data from the online database via an archive file, and storing it on the file system or an external storage system so that it remains accessible to the users and auditors.
So why would you, as a SAP CRM guru, want to archive?
Basically it comes down to two answers;
  1. Performance; a decrease in your online database results in a better performance thus user experience.
  2. Money; a system can only handle a certain amount of data, when this amount is reached new database space has to be bought.
The problem is not in why we SAP CRM guys and technical guys want to archive, because of the benefits! But you have to convince the business/ the users that archiving is good for them. They often don’t see the need.

I think the Performance improvement is the best argument to get them aboard, because the money part is more an IT thing; it does not “hurt” them directly.


Taking away the fear of the business/users

I am writing this blog based on an Archiving project I did for a client of Acorel, and I would like to share the three most important questions I got from the business/users when I told them we wanted to archive SAP CRM data (in our case transactional data);
  1. Will archived data remain in our SAP BW reports?
  2. Can we check archived data in the SAP CRM WebUI?
  3. Can we archive documents only when the complete process flow is completed (including R/3?)
Good questions if you would ask me; I would not want to archive anything if it means that the BW reports are affected!
What is a question without an answer, so I present you….the answers;
  • Will archived data remain in our SAP BW reports?
    • Yes, archived data will remain in the existing SAP BW reports. But in new BW reports archived data is not taken into account.
  • Can we check archived data in the SAP CRM WebUI?
    • Yes, as of SAP CRM 7.0 you have access to the wonderful feature called “Archived Search”. More on that later.....


  • Can we archive documents only when the complete process flow is completed (including R/3?).
    • No, SAP does take item statuses, preceding documents and follow-up documents into account, but not a complete business process flow including R/3 data.

OK and now the system stuff

The system stuff consists out of 3 step of course with some sub steps;

A. Prerequisites:

  1. Technical customizing in SARA (Filename incl. directory, Max. filesize, Variants of deletion reports).
  2. Customizing of the Residence Times for all business transactions.
  3. Customizing of Pre-Processing job.

B. Archiving steps:

  1. Pre-Processing job.
  2. Writing job.
  3. Deletion job.

C. Display of archived data:

  1. Activating structures.
  2. Filling structures.
 You have to figure out some part yourself (or call Acorel ;-)) but I will give you A.2, C.1 and C.2. You will need a Basis colleagues for all the B points anyway!

A.2. Residence Time Customizing 

IMG: Customer Relationship Management > Transactions > Basic Settings > Define Residence Times (or via SARA).

C.1. Activating structures

IMG: Cross-Application Components > General Application Functions > Correspondence > Archiving > Activate Archive Info Structure for Correspondence Archive

Lot of the Archiving Structures has “PC UI” in their name. Don’t get confused, but these are the correct ones!

C.2. Filling structures

IMG: Cross-Application Components > General Application Functions > Correspondence > Archiving > Activate Archive Info Structure for Correspondence Archive and the from top-menu Environment > Fill structure.

Summary of Archiving Structures to be activated:

  • SAP_CRM_ACT
  • SAP_CRM_SRV
  • SAP_CRM_LEA
  • SAP_CRM_SAL
  • SAP_CRM_OPP
  • SAP_CRM_CFM
  • SAP_CRM_SRC
  • SAP_CRM_CPL

Lessons learned

  • You are never too old to learn, so my lessons learned about SAP CRM archiving are
  • Archiving is really important (cost-wise and performance-wise).
  • Business needs to be really convinced (what is the advantage for them of data being gone?!).
  • Historical data in CRM is much more important to the business/users than in R/3.
  • Archived date yes/no in BW reports, hot topic.
  • Make it a project; do not do in “on the side”!
  • From a technical point of view not super complex.

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