This document was created to help explain a possible reason for performance issues while viewing the document flow for a sales document, for example a contract with many reference documents.
There can be many reasons why a performance issue might occur while viewing the document flow. A program error like documented in note 910143 could be the cause but the cause could also be due to the design of the ALV tree and the number of records that you try to display.
Design of the document flow
The sales order document flow uses the ALV (ABAP list viewer) tree. For more information on ALV please check here: http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/8gY . This was not designed to process large volumes of data (more than 3,000 nodes). Note 1020773 contains more details on this restriction.
Unfortunately this means if you have a contract with several thousand call-off orders and you try to view the document flow the system could hang for several minutes or time out. The sales order document flow uses an ALV tree to conform to accessibility regulations (e.g. US law "Americans with Disabilities Act" (ADA), Section 508 "Rehabilitation Act"). Please see this site for more information on section 508 http://www.section508.gov/ .
The design of the document flow also takes into account that no human user can handle thousands of results. It does not make sense to have so many records returned and the document flow was never designed to work with such large volumes of data.
If you are using this list of all of these documents for another purpose then perhaps you should consider creating a custom report but the standard document flow in the sales area was designed to show human users a comprehensible list of documents in the sales order chain. In some cases if there are just too many subsequent documents the system can terminate the process with an ABAP dump like "TIME_OUT" in "SAPMV75F" or "MV75FI0B_BUILD_RELATION_SUB". It is therefore essential that when designing your sales order process that this is taken into account.
Please review your business process and check if it is possible not to update the document flow on item level. You can achieve this through the customising of the copy control (the flag TVCPA-UPFLU and/or TVCPL-UPFLU).
This should lower the number of records in your document flow for future sales orders. Unfortunately this constraint cannot be changed in the standard system.
Of course if the number of subsequent documents is low and there is still a performance issue when displaying the document flow in an order then review your user exit code to see if this is impacting performance, for example an endless loop on table VBFA etc. Running a trace from transactions ST05 or ST12 can help identify the root cause of the performance issue.
Further details on the sales document flow can be found in SAP note 952091 . This note gives an overview of the available notes on the ALV document flow.
Note 952091 Composite SAP Note: Document flow display
Note 910143 Performance: Document flow display
Note 1020773 ALV tree consulting: Performance in ALV tree