A Strong Team: PBS ContentLink and IBM DR550

Constant data growth of approximately 20 percent per year together with the increasing demand for system performance were the reasons behind data archiving at Windmöller & Hölscher KG, a leading German manufacturer of packaging machines. The final deciding factor was the planned migration of SAP R/3 4.6C to ERP 6.0 as the amount of data was already very large for that. The expectations and aims with regards to SAP data archiving included a reduction in the amount of data by approximately 70 percent, faster response times in the SAP system, as well as ultimately compliant and audit-proof archiving. Archiving was also considered to be efficient preparation for the migration. Preparation for SAP data archiving started with use of the PBS Database Analyzer PLUS. It enabled the largest archiving objects and modules to be determined quickly. These were the financial accounting documents, the CO line items, the material ledger data, the production orders, the project data, the SD documents, and the CO profitability reports. Along with archiving, Windmöller & Hölscher KG decided to implement the respective PBS archive add ons (CFI, CCO, CML, CPP, CPS, CSD and CCOPA) to also enable easy and fast access to the archived data. The complete archiving project was able to be completed in less than six months from the actual state analysis, through the release for production, to the PBS Workshop regarding GDPdU data storage and extraction compliance (principles for data access and verifiability of digital documents). During this time there were even some project delays, such as those caused by long runtimes during SAP R/3 archiving of material ledger documents. The strong commitment of all those involved in the project headed by ComSol AG compensated for this.

Conclusion

Everyone is completely satisfied with the result of the project at Windmoeller & Hölscher KG. Archiving could be completed quickly thanks to the preparation supported by the PBS Database Analyzer PLUS. The volume of SAP data after archiving has been reduced by up to fifty percent, and the system performance has been improved considerably as a result. This has made work much easier for end users. Furthermore, the PBS archive add ons being used support transparent and simultaneous access to archived and non-archived data. The user-friendly navigation using transactions that are identical to SAP transactions is intuitively comprehensible for SAP users. In addition to making work easier for users during their daily work, things are made a lot easier in the case of a company audit. The lean and almost maintenance-free PBS Interface ContentLink provides direct connections between SAP and modern storage systems, in the case of Windmöller & Hölscher KG to IBM DR550, where the data is stored in a compliant way. In the case of data medium transfer, the respective data extracts can easily be created using PBS tools. What convinced Windmöller & Hölscher KG finally was the contribution of PBS Software, primarily through the reduction in costs and reduced burden on operational systems. The system house ComSol ensured an efficient implementation and satisfaction of the end users. PBS ContentLink that was used for the first time by Windmöller & Hölscher KG as a pilot customer, stores archive data in an unchangeable format directly in the IBM storage system DR550. In this way, legal requirements for being able to make available data and documents in their original format at any time can be fulfilled.
In the meantime, PBS ContentLink has been enhanced to include numerous additional functions. When data is stored via SAP ArchiveLink it is enhanced by PBS ContentLink with metadata that can also include retention and storage periods. The WebDAV protocol used by SAP even includes automatically this support of metadata. PBS ContentLink meanwhile provides the unique parallel support of both SAP protocols within the same solution. In addition to SAP ArchiveLink, the new WebDAV 2.0 interface was recently certified by SAP. This opens up all options during the implementation of a future-proof, seamless Information Lifecycle Management strategy. PBS ContentLink also ensures a transparent view of the document status and supports central data management in the SAP Document Management System. In this way, the combination of SAP Document Management and PBS ContentLink enables the implementation of an ILM-compliant storage strategy including Retention Management. For many SAP customers, the use of PBS ContentLink provides an inexpensive alternative to a classic DMS system. The communication solution does not require a database and is highly scalable due to its web-based architecture. Installation effort is low and enables a highly available configuration even with simple tools.

Overview

Task
SAP data archiving was unavoidable both with respect to performance as well as to the planned migration from SAP R/3 to SAP ERP 6.0. The objectives were a reduction of data, a considerable improvement in performance, as well as GDPdU-compliant archiving of data.

Solution
By using PBS archive add ons it is possible to access seamlessly both archived and current data even after SAP archiving has taken place. The archived data is stored via PBS ContentLink in a compliant way in the IBM DR550 storage system.

Benefits
Reduction in operating costs, reduced load on operational systems together with faster response times, efficient release upgrade, very high flexibility and scalability, transparent data access, as well as compliant data storage.

"Both PBS Software and ComSol’s project implementation met our high requirements". Annette Freude, IV-Z Head of Central Data Processing