As the usage of SAP database increases it’ll results in huge amounts of enterprise data, which is stored in SAP R/3. The new updated data is entered into the system while the old data still resides in the SAP enterprise system. So the Database size increases rapidly. Since some of the old data is critical, it cannot be deleted. Hence, a SAP database keeps on expanding rapidly and enterprise systems, which have limited data retention abilities for a few years, suffer from problems such as data overflow, longer transaction processing times, and performance degradation.

The solution of this problem has led to the concept of Data Archiving in SAP. Data Archiving removes out-of-date data from the SAP database that the R/3 system does not need online, but can be retrieved on a later date, if required. This data is known as archived data and is stored at an offline location. Data Archiving is nothing but removal of Application Data belonging to completed business process from the database. Data Archiving not only consistently removes data from the database but also ensures data availability for future business requirements. The removed data is compressed and stored in another location. Before deleting data in the database, a delete program compares the contents of the archive files with the same data stored in the database; deletion takes place only if both sets of data are identical. We can use the Transaction SARA for Archiving management. For each archive run, a specific program variant determines which data should be archived. Depending on the archive object, there maybe several parameters to maintain. During an archive run, the status can be monitored in RZ20.

Data archiving is an administrative task that must be performed regularly, particularly if you are facing fast growing data volumes. How often you archive largely depends on the growth rate of your database tables.

Three Phase Archiving Process

Data archiving process comprises three major phases. They are:

1. Creating an archive file

2. Removing the archived data from the database

3. Transferring the archived files to a location outside the SAP database

Creating Archive Files

The archived files of data are created in the SAP database by the Archiving Management system. The Management system reads the data from the database and writes it to the archive files in the background. In instances of archived files exceeding the maximum specified limit, or if the number of data objects exceed the stipulated limit in the system, then the system automatically creates new archive files.

Deleting files from the Database

While archiving management system writes data on the archive files, another program deletes it from the database permanently. The program checks whether the data has been transferred to the archive. It is quite important too as it is the last check performed by the system before deleting data permanently from the database. Several deletion programs run simultaneously, because the archiving program is much more faster than the deletion programs. This is important as it increases the efficiency of archiving process.

Transferring Archive Files

Once the Archive management system has finished archiving the data, the next step is to save the archived files at a different location other than the SAP database. This can be accomplished by an automated process in the system or by a manual process. This step is optional since many enterprises may wish to keep the archived files within the current database. However, large enterprises transfer their data periodically as a part of their data archiving processes

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