SAP End-To-End Exception Management
In today’s business scenarios, processes are often distributed cross-system and over multiple application components. Thereby customers use SAP components in combination with self-developed and legacy components which are based on Non-SAP Technologies. SAP Exception Management includes the pro-active monitoring of mission critical components that are required for a smooth and reliable flow of the core business processes in heterogeneous cross-technology landscapes. In addition, it provides tools for deeper error analysis, processing and documentation.
More and more SAP customers operate today in complex heterogeneous IT-landscapes with business processes distributed over multiple application components. Typically, in such environments, orchestration of business processes is also distributed over multiple components, which then are also based on SAP as well as Non-SAP components. Thus, usually a central End-To-End Modeling of Business Processes is not available.
In case of an exception within a process flow, i.e. in case of an error or interruption, a corrective action or a check of the corresponding processing steps and/or business objects is necessary. End-To-End Exception Management provides tools for pro-active monitoring of instrumented mission critical processes, components and/or interfaces regarding exceptions, performance and completeness. In addition, it provides capabilities for detail analysis, documentation and a coupling to the End-To-End Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure.
Besides Monitoring of instrumented processes and components, End-To-End Exception Management offers the capability to centrally manage mission critical single exceptions (e.g., Web Service exceptions or ABAP dumps), i.e. exceptions that happen at one location and have only influence for this location.
SAP Exception Management is able to consume all kinds of exceptions in one central place, making SAP Exception Management Cockpit (SAP EMC) the central management tool for mission critical exceptions in customer landscapes.
SAP Exception Management Cockpit (SAP EMC) is the central place to monitor and analyze critical multiple step as well as single exceptions. Multiple-Step Exceptions are exceptions which happen at a specific location but have influence on predecessor steps within one application component/technical system. In case of such an exception, usually different processing steps have to be rolled back. Single exceptions happen at one location and have only influence for this location. This means all predecessor steps are not influenced by the exception.
The SAP EMC overview shows a summary of all retrieved broken process flows and technical exceptions cross-system and cross-technology. Exceptions are thereby distinguished by type and category and customers have the possibility to adapt the POWL overview to their own needs. For single exceptions the following categories are currently supported by default: ABAP Dumps, Web service exceptions, JobLog errors, SysLog errors, AppLog errors. For each of those categories selective exception retrieval, e.g. specific user, job name, WebService etc. is possible.
By selecting a specific category all related exception instances are shown. For a specific exception instance it is possible to
- Context sensitive Jump-in to the Guided Procedure Browser
- Show exception details for a deeper error analysis
- Create manually a notification which contains links to error details and related Guided Procedures
In addition, for multiple step exceptions, it is possible to assign a processor as well as a processing status.
The error details of the selected exception instance contain, e.g. the error messages, a detailed error context, the call stack and the payload of the processed unit as well as related exceptions.
For multiple step exceptions in addition, the different process step information are displayed, containing predecessor/successor relationship, duration, context information as well as executed unit calls.
Exception Documentation and Correction
Guided Procedure Framework
The Authoring environment of the Guided Procedure Framework allows customers to define their own Guided Procedure for problem resolution and documentation via specific automatic and/or manual activities.
From the SAP EMC a context sensitive jump-in to the Guided Procedures Browser is possible and thus allows for searching related documentation and predefined solutions to deal with the exception occurred.
Coupling to Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure
Exception Management specific data provider allow retrieval of context sensitive exceptions metrics for Technical Monitoring via the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure. In contrast to the standard exception metrics from system monitoring, which are mainly of statistical nature, exception management metrics correspond to single exceptions and can be, e.g., specific per category and user. Thereby, the central Exception Management store acts as a data source. Customer specific exception metrics which are collected via the Monitoring and Alerting Infrastructure lead to alerts in the generic Alert Inbox. This coupling allows the reuse of the automatic notification as well as the incident mechanism.
SAP Exception Management Logging
SAP Exception Management Instrumentation Platform (SAP-EM IP)
In many cases, the pre-requisite of completely modeled business processes is not given at customer side. Therefore, in order to enable sufficient exception management, i.e., logging of technical and business exceptions during runtime, an instrumentation of critical locations in the source code is necessary. Therefore a SAP-EM Instrumentation Platform is introduced. SAP-EM IP is based on static code instrumentation in the ABAP case (SAP-EM IPA) and dynamic instrumentation based on Byte Code Injection in the Java/C# case (SAP-EM IPJ). SAP EM-IPA is part of ST_PI and can therefore be deployed independently of the product. Here, instrumentation can be done via implicit and/or explicit enhancement points when enhancing the SAP coding or directly in customer coding.
By instrumentation the actual business process flow is chopped into single processing steps. Within one process step multiple modularization unit calls (local/remote API calls) can be execute. During runtime SAP EM-IP logging information is optionally written to a local EM store at the managed system and transferred to the central exception store located in SAP Solution Manager.
The SAP Business Passport Concept
In order to collect all logging and tracing information belonging to one process instance, the SAP Business Passport (SAP BPP) is introduced. SAP BPP is a token used to uniquely identify a process instance, i.e. a single execution of a certain process type. Once a Business Process Instance ID and a Business Process Type ID are generated and injected in the SAP BPP, the BPP is transferred cross-system and cross-technology from one processing step to the successor processing step via the SAP Passport V3 and is persisted together with the logging and tracing information per processing step. Besides a unique identifier, the SAP BPP contains the predecessor/successor relationship of the instrumented Processing Steps as well as the Business Process Type information.
Which information is to be logged?
Via the SAP-EM Instrumentation Platform all relevant information for every critical processing step is logged in a dedicated logging format. The logged information contains the technical information derived from the SAP Extended Passport, the process information derived from SAP Business Process Passport, processing step information including involved modularization unit calls, exceptions messages, payload as well as the execution time of a processing step.