Displaying and Managing Lock Entries in Software

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Displaying and Managing Lock Entries
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Lock entries are system objects in charge of protecting the integrity of the data by synchronizing the access, so users cannot modify the same data at the same time. The lock objects are defined in the ABAP dictionary as a way of locking a data object. This is explained in Chap. 7. To display and perform some basic operations on lock entries, from the main administration menu, select Administration Monitor Lock entries (transaction code SM12). Figure 10 9 shows this display.
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Figure 10 9: Lock entries initial selection screen. This screen works like a selection criteria display. You can select lock entries for displaying by client, user, specific tables which have locked rows, and by lock entry arguments. By entering the wildcard * in the client and user, the system displays all current lock entries. Clicking on the continue button will display the list of current lock entries, as shown in Fig. 10 10. The display includes the following columns: Cli refers to the SAP system client. User shows the SAP user ID holding the lock. Time indicates the time when the lock was generated. Shared is an indicator which tells whether the lock object is shared or not. With shared lock objects, more than one user might lock the same data. Table includes the name of the table with locked rows. Lock argument shows the fields used by the lock entry.
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Troubleshooting of Lock Entries
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Figure 10 10: Example of lock entries list. Lock entries are deleted automatically by the system when the programs release the data objects. However, it might sometimes be useful to display and possibly manually delete the lock entries when a system error has occurred and the dispatcher cannot release the lock. For example, this might happen in cases where users shut down their systems without logging off from R/3 in an orderly manner. If this happens, users will not be able to access the locked data. To display additional information about a lock entry, click on any of the entries from the list and select the Details button on the application toolbar. This window shows interesting information such as the transaction code being performed by the user, the application server hostname, and the lock object name.
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Troubleshooting of Lock Entries
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Frequent monitoring of lock entries should be a common practice by either R/3 administrators or operators, since unreleased locks can block other users from working in the same transactions for updating information. Normally, the locks are automatically released when transactions are committed or when users are finished working on the data. Special attention must be given to locks which are held unreleased for several hours. Although this is not always a cause for alert, since in special circumstances such as long running background jobs which update the database, it can be a completely normal process. The lock monitoring functions offer the utility to manually delete unreleased locks. However, you should not delete locks directly before analyzing the reason for the lock. Once you discover the problem and solve it, the lock will automatically be released. As much as possible try to avoid manually deleting lock entries, and do it only when you are sure that it will not affect an update process, a background job, or an active user. Otherwise, it might lead to data inconsistencies. Some of the most frequent reasons for unreleased locks are as follows: Abnormal termination of the SAPGUI. If users shut down their PCs without logging off R/3, or if the SAPGUI terminates for other reasons, such as network or communication problems, the user session may remain active in the SAP system. If this happens while the user had lock entries, sometimes these locks remain unreleased since the user is no longer active in the system, and therefore they cannot be automatically released. 362
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Troubleshooting of Lock Entries In these cases you can manually release the lock either by deleting it from the lock entry list, or you can log off the user from users monitoring screen in the application server where the user was logged on. This information can be found in the lock entry details window. The user will not be able to reclaim the old lock before the abnormal termination and must redo the work again. To manually delete a lock entry from the lock entry list, click on the line holding the lock you want to release and click on the Delete icon from the application toolbar, or select Lock entry Delete from the menu bar. Inactive SAPGUI. Another common reason for holding a lock for a long period of time is when users currently working on the system leave their presentation services with unfinished transactions. Before manually deleting a lock entry which is preventing other users from working in the same tasks, try to locate and directly check with the user. Otherwise, you should either manually log off the user or delete the lock if this is seriously preventing other users' work. However, make sure the lock is not coming from an important background job. You can check this in the WP no. in the lock entry details window. Problems in update processing. When there are update modules which are unprocessed by the system, these modules do not release the locks. The update process only releases the locks when either the update records have been completely processed or they have abnormally terminated with an error status. Only update modules with status INIT or AUTO (unprocessed updates) can hold locks. Normally, the lock entry list will highlight those entries which are held by update processes, especially by U1 update components. If you press the Refresh button often on the lock entry list, you can sometimes see highlighted entries, which are released very quickly. From the entry lock details window you can also distinguish lock entries held by the update processes because they have the Backup flag set. To correct this situation, before manually deleting a lock entry, you should investigate the cause of the update problem. Refer to the previous section on update monitoring and troubleshooting on how to proceed. For example, check that updating is activated and that the update work processes are running. Once the update problem is solved, the lock will automatically be released. Testing for Other Locking Problems Previous basic troubleshooting only covered the problems related to unreleased lock entries, assuming that the lock mechanism was working correctly. There are, however, situations when the problems might affect the whole enqueue process. The Extras menu options from the initial lock entry screen provides some useful diagnosis functions which will automatically pinpoint problems in the enqueue server. The available options are Statistics. The system displays a small report with the enqueue statistics. Diagnosis. With this function, you can test whether the enqueue process is working correctly. The R/3 system will test the locking environment and will report the found problems, if any. Diagnosis in update. With this option, the system performs a test with locking objects contained in update tasks. 363
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Working with the Client Copy Options Function info. This option presents a brief but interesting summary of how the enqueue process works and which are the requirements. The fact that the system profile parameters must be correctly set for the enqueue server, message server, and enqueue work process deserves special mention. TRICK The Lock Entries screen contains a hidden menu that should be handled with care. You can get this extra menu by entering TEST in the command field. The system will display an additional menu entitled. Error handling, which is used in special cases for advanced troubleshooting of the enqueue processes. For instance, you can activate a log of the enqueue process and display the file, so you can establish exactly where the locks are being set or rejected.
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