FAQ: Long-term archiving

The volume of archived documents increases with continuous archiving. This inevitably increases the response times when accessing these archived documents. At the same time, the need to display documents decreases the older they are, and is nearly zero after some years. Without introducing the PBS long-term archiving all indices for an account would always be read even though you want to select specific, mostly younger indices using a filter. The long-term archiving concept now offers the possibility to split the PBS archive so that only exactly defined sections of the archive can be accessed permanently and the other sections are only taken into account according to specific preconditions in the selections. A sensible classification that is recommended by PBS is the classification according to archiving years:

For each new year you start with a new PBS index directory. Data is only added to this new, now current directory. The previous directories remain unchanged from the time a new directory was selected. But you can still access the previous directories according to specific criteria via a PBS table. This way, you can define that only specific users or processes in the background can access older directories. For example, you can assign only the directory of the current year and the previous year to the standard user. This user can then access the data of the current fiscal year and the previous year. Moreover, data from the years before last is available that is still in process or has been closed in the current year or the previous year.

Users with special authorizations can be given access to older directories. If, for example, an auditor of the financial authorities wants to audit a period that was more than four years ago, controlled via a PBS table, you can allow him to access the directories of the last four years (when doing this, you can use the fiscal year authorization in the SAP system to prevent the auditor from being able to select younger periods even though all younger directories and the database are read).

If older directories are no longer required, you can exclude them from access, and remove them to slower media such as optical data carriers or non-online capable media such as backup tapes. Then, if necessary, they are easier to reload and activate for the access. These (reload) processes can be executed using an HSM system.

An archiving concept for the PBS indices is realized with this removal in exactly the same way as for the archiving concept for SAP archives.

At present, the long-term archiving concept is realized in the modules

  • CFI for the SAP archiving object FI_DOCUMNT (from SAP R/3 Release 4.0b) and for the SAP archiving object MM_MATBEL (from SAP R/3 Release 4.6c)
  • CSD for the SAP archiving objects SD_VBAK, RV_LIKP and SD_VBRK (from 4.0b)
  • CCO for the SAP archiving object CO_ITEM (from 3.1i)
  • CMM for the SAP archiving objects MM_EKKO (from 4.6b),  MM_EBAN (from 4.0b) and MM_REBEL (4.6b)
  • CPP for the SAP archiving object PP_ORDER (from 3.1i)
  • CPM for the SAP archiving object PM_ORDER (from 3.1i)
  • CHR for the SAP archiving object PA_LDOC (from 4.0b)
  • CPCA for the SAP archiving object EC_PCA_ITEM (from 4.6c)
  • CSL for the SAP archiving object FI_SL_DATA (from 4.6c)
  • CWM for the archiving objects RL_TA and RL_TB (from 3.1i)
  • CCU for the archiving object CHANGEDOCU (from 4.6c)

All other possible long-term archives depend on the customer requirements. This problem does not occur in some modules (CCO, CPP, CPM and CHR) due to the technique that is used (see the corresponding documentation in the administrator manuals of the respective module).

Normally, it does not change anything for the end user. It is only the administrator who has to add some tasks to the standard procedures:

Additional archive paths (directories) have to be created.
The old archive path must be entered in a PBS table. This table controls which directories are active.
The authorized users have to be assigned to a user group in the respective PBS table for the special access to older directories. Finally, the current archive path and the historical archive paths have to be activated.