10: General Administration Utilities in Software

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10: General Administration Utilities
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This chapter covers all those administrative areas and management tasks which are difficult to classify under any other section or chapter. These administrative tasks deal with the basic monitoring and management of the components which make up the SAP R/3 system. The R/3 system offers a very extensive collection of programs, menus, and utilities for performing administrative tasks. Most of them are located under the functions provided from the Tools Administration menu (transaction code S002). This chapter concentrates on the basic monitoring facilities. Both the performance monitoring and the extended utilities of the CCMS are dealt with in the next chapter. The transport system utilities are explained in Chap. 6. The basic utilities include the following: Checking the consistency of the system installation Displaying and monitoring all the application servers Displaying and monitoring the system work processes Displaying and monitoring the user sessions Posting system messages to all logged on users of a SAP system to inform them of any particular events such as closing the system for upgrades, backups, and so on Managing the SAP update records in charge of performing the changes in the database Displaying and managing the SAP lock entries on the database objects Locking and unlocking transaction codes Using the client copy functions Analyzing the dump files generated by abnormal termination of ABAP programs Using the tracing and logging facilities to analyze system problems
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Basic SAP R/3 System Administration
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The functions available for the basic administration of the SAP system form the group of transactions which should be performed on a regular basis in the daily operation and management of the system. These functions are the responsibility of the R/3 system administrator and/or the system operator. Whenever a problem is detected while doing basic administration it has to be reported and solved as soon as possible. Administrators can help prevent problems from occurring by following certain monitoring practices. In the event problems are detected, the monitoring and administration facilities can help to isolate the problem and solve it more quickly. Having an operator or administrator manual and maintaining an internal incidence log will greatly reduce the time it takes to solve a particular problem in cases where it has happened previously. In case a problem cannot be solved quickly enough, SAP system administrators should contact the SAP hotline or enter the problem in the SAP net support services (formerly OSS).
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Every time a SAP instance is started, the system automatically checks whether there are any inconsistencies. You can manually check the system status for inconsistencies by selecting Tools Administration Administration Installation check. When you call the installation check, the system looks into the table which collects system events and performs the following checks: That the critical database structure definitions are identical in the data dictionary and in the SAP kernel, including tables such as SYST, T100, TFDIR, TSTC, and so on. That the SAP kernel release number matches the number stored in the database
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Displaying and Monitoring the SAP Instances and Application Servers
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Using transaction code SM51 in the command field or by selecting Tools Administration Monitor System monitoring Servers from the menu options, you can display the instances or application servers of the SAP system, as shown in Fig. 10 1. The display will show only those servers which are active. This should be one of the first monitoring tasks run by the administration to determine whether all application servers are up and running.
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Figure 10 1: Server monitoring display. The application servers shown on the screen are the ones which have registered themselves the ones which have connected to the message server. If for any reason the message server process dies, you won't be able to see the servers. On the application server display, you can see several fields which give specific information about the SAP instances. These fields are Name. It's the name of the SAP instance. The name is made up of the hostname of the server, the SAP system name (SID), and the SAP system number. Host. It's the hostname in which the SAP instance is running. Type. The type of work processes for which the application server is configured. From this monitoring screen you can further display which users are connected to any of the instances shown on the screen or see what processes are running by selecting the User or Processes button on the application 348
Monitoring the System Work Processes toolbar. By using these functions, the system takes you to exactly the same transaction as if you were going directly to the user or work process monitoring transactions. On this screen, there are additional options which you can access from the Goto menu or directly by clicking on the push buttons on the application toolbar. Main options are System log. Displays an instance system log OS collector. Calls the operating system performance monitor for summary statistics on the status of the host platform on which a SAP instance is running. Remote logon. Performs a SAP remote logon to any of the servers in the system. Traces. For displaying the so called developer trace files and some other files of the global profile directory. From the SM51 transaction, an interesting and very useful option for system administrators when monitoring, tuning, and troubleshooting the system is to look up the status of the dispatcher queue. This information can be obtained by selecting the application server and then choosing Goto Queue information. Figure 10 2 shows an example of this screen.
Figure 10 2: Request Queue information display. There are several columns in the request queue display, including the work process type, the number of requests waiting in the dispatcher queue to be processed, and the maximum number of requests that had to wait. If there are frequently many requests waiting, it might indicate locking problems or too few work processes. These numbers are reset every time the application server is restarted.
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