How To Add Visibility To Your Interfaces

10 Feb How To Add Visibility To Your Interfaces

MarkSchwinDinger Mark Schwendinger

If you’ve used SAP PI, you most likely have seen the extensive logging available in transaction SXMB_MONI.  But what if you don’t have SAP PI, or you are using a different middleware, or have set up direct ECC interfaces with a handful of 3rd party software packages?  Maybe you have RFC’s, web services or RESTful interfaces.  What kind of visibility and logging do you wish you had for those interfaces?

We are all familiar with the scenario – a user in a 3rd party system encounters an unusual error when communicating with SAP ECC.  You want to help, but when you try the same reported action – it works fine.  What was different?  Without a log, there’s nowhere to confirm what data was passed.

Enter SAP’s Application Log.  It’s not a new idea, but in my opinion, it is an under-utilized idea.  If you haven’t used it, take a peek at transaction SLG1 in an ECC system.

SAP uses the Application Log for its own standard modules.  And it’s available to log your own events.

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Developers can utilize the Application Log to capture everything about the usage in an interface; inbound and outbound data and any messages in between.

What are the benefits of using SAP’s Application Log?  Plenty – no need to create any custom tables or a custom report to examine those tables, you’re using SAP standard functionality.  You can define your own retention period, a day, a week or months.  When the expiration date is passed, the logs will be removed.  No extra coding, and no unchecked database growth.
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What about high traffic scenarios?  Then consider only retaining interface calls that resulted in warnings or errors.  Also consider a fairly short retention period, and double check with your Basis team that SAP’s background job to remove expired log entries is scheduled appropriately.

I have highlighted many benefits of using the Application Log, but I especially appreciate the ability to empower analysts and users to troubleshoot and support production environments without the need for any developer (ABAP, middle-ware or web) to trudge through endless logs in the hopes of identifying your root cause.  Give yourself a long term, supportable interface with the Application Log.

 

Mark Schwendinger is an ABAP Developer with experience across many modules in ECC, as well as CRM and PI and of course, 3rd party intergration.  He has been developing code for more than 16 years and can be reached at mark.schwendinger@phxend.com

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