Friday, July 11, 2008

How to get a quick response from SAP OSS?

  • If you are still dealing with on old SAP version then tell them it's affecting your plan to upgrade or eSOA transformation planned for 2012 :). A 'High' priority call for an old version does not carry same weight as it does for a new version. Thumb rule is that any SAP ERP version having characters [ e.g. B, C, D etc. ] should be considered dead and should not be treated.

  • Take a look at one of the SAP OSS Notes and prepare a very similar document [ except the OSS Note Number, that will be generated for you by OSS later ]. The document should clearly indicate the problem, prerequisite, version affected, scenario and of course a hint on correction required :). Make sure that no custom scenario/code is mentioned in the problem description. It means you should first be able to replicate the problem in a SAP standard scenario. If relevant, provide the information on which lines they should put the break-point along with the test data.
  • I wonder why SAP does not have a Big Switch to On/Off all custom code enhancements. For urgent situations, it can be really useful in establishing whether the problem is due to custom code or SAP standard. [ Deactivating specific BADIs and enhancements is OK but there is no Big Switch ]
  • Assign correct component responsible for the issue. In case you've found the exact problem in the code then check the component of that particular package. For example, if you are facing an issue with file download in one of the FI transactions that does not essentially mean it belongs to FI area. You may find that issue is due to Unicode or GUI related functions hence the component should be selected accordingly.

  • Remember that initially the message might get assigned to junior consultants. Their aim is to buy some time till an experienced consultant can have a look. At first stage, be prepared to get some not so perfect workarounds or even wrong suggestions. Your aim should be to counter incorrect suggestions and get your message assigned to a senior consultant, unless you want to get caught into a chain of OSS Notes and correction programs.

  • Always be ready with the system open for SAP to check even if you have replicated the problem for a standard scenario, they will check it on your system.

  • Understand that there are some good/practical reasons why SAP OSS does not work the way you think they should.

All said and done, I've high regards for SAP OSS as a SAP knowledge warehouse. There is a wealth of information, enough to resolve most of your SAP related issues. I use SAP OSS, not just to find corrections for the problems with SAP standard, but also while preparing my own custom solutions. There is good chance that the kind of solution you want to implement, the technical aspects of the solution might well have been used in a standard SAP solution.

If you know how to search for technical stuff, in other words, you don't have to feel lucky to find something relevant then SAP OSS is a very useful resource for learning, customising solutions and resolving bugs. You can use SAP OSS to find relevant APIs, application/config details, Guides, correction programs, code-snippets [ to decide an exact position for break-points rather than debugging a complete SAP application ].

Comments on your experience with SAP OSS will be appreciated.


  1. Hi Ram,

    I'd like to share a recent experience I had, about custom development done by SAP consulting.

    I recently posted an oss message about a dump in a standard BAPI when an input parameter did not exist in database (it was in ECC6/nw7.0), and I was very surprised by SAP answer (first time it happens since 8 years I develop and post OSS messages!)

    There was a misunderstanding between sap and me for several weeks, because I was thinking the BAPI was fully standard (I had debugged everything and I had even corrected the problem and communicated that to sap), and sap answered to me that it wasn't a bug because our custom program had to pass correct values to BAPI !? Of course their answer was not correct, and they were not fair about that because they continued to say that during several weeks, without argumenting, and I (stupidly) wasted time to find proofs in BAPI official documentation that BAPIs have to control input values, and that dump should never considered as "work as designed" (it's why they told me).

    Finally (a little bit late!), they told me that the bug was in a part of the program developed by sap consulting in our project : in fact, we have big parts of custom development done by sap, some that will be integrated later into the standard, some that will remain custom.

    But technically speaking, we can't make the difference as sap consulting use SAP namespace (neither Z* nor Y*) for objects. Even our consulting people did not remember that this part of code was done by sap.

    So, I apologized and closed the oss message, and kept my custom correction on sap consulting code.

    Conclusion is that when there is SAP consulting on your project, find a method how to differentiate their code from SAP standard code to avoid wasting weeks and energy!

    sandra rossi (my name on sdn)

    (btw, could you enlarge the textarea to enter comments ? because the maximum is around 50 characters wide by 12 characters high)

  2. Thanks Sandra for sharing your experience. I guess the namespace for custom developments by SAP or 3rd party vandors starts with char '/'.

    But you are right about making sure if the development is provided by 3rd party partner or SAP consulting ( so not sap standard ).

    For Ref - OSS Note 84282 - Development namespaces for customers and partners


Info : Comments are reviewed before they are published. SPAMs are rejected.