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A rant about support.sap.com

I found an obscure bug in the ABAP editor on our system. If you create the syntactically incorrect program

REPORT.
 call function 'DUMMY'
 EXPORTING
 p1 = 'ME
 p2 = ''.

and you have certain combinations for pretty print set (Indent, Keyword Uppercase), together with editor settings, Source Code-based editor, Display all syntax errors) , when you pretty print you get a dump (out of memory) and sapgui crashes.

So, being a good sap citizen, I report this. I get the usual request for access, so I provide that, and make sure that the problem is reproducible with the support user.

Next step is to get a message from SAP Support, asking me if I'm aware that my program has a syntax error in it. And that I need to know that string literals across multiple lines aren't permitted.

Do these people not even read?

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54 Comments

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Short answer: no.

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 12:39 PM

    Just to add, same problem in 750/003 (hey- didn't know we had a 7.5!) and 740/013, if anyone else wants to try it.

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    true, it "works" (-> dumps), funny!

    (SAP_BASIS7510000)

    About the SAP Support Experience: I agree, it's somtimes hard and cumbersome to get past the 1st level; maybe we should start to include "shibboleet" in our messages? ;-)

    • Jan 17, 2017 at 02:32 PM

      Just a tip I want to share to get past 1st level.

      Doesn't matter if it is SAP or other but usually when posting the problem I try to overwhelm the first reader, so... I use oodles of jargon, abbreviations and a variety of multisyllabic words.

      I also try to include some pasted source code, or just mention the various code and its line.

      Then when I'm past first level I communicate in a more focused and consistent matter.

      I think I remember SAP support being in Ireland some time ago, back then I didn't have to use these, for want of a better word, shenanigan-ish tactics.

      Cheers, Rob Dielemans

      • Jan 17, 2017 at 04:17 PM

        Well, simple words haven't worked ( log on to our system with this user, go to SE38, enter zmytestprogm, click on change, click on "pretty print"), so a few predicates, conducives, teleologials and perhaps an impecunious should do the trick.

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 03:38 PM

    It doesn't dump in in our system 731/016

    I've found this note applicable to 740/013:

    2214463 - Pretty Printer: Dump for syntactically incorrect source

    Regards,

    Miguel

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 06:17 PM

    I've had similar issues with BI Platform support. I do all sorts of research to avoid entering tickets and I include the information about where I've looked and what I've tried if I have to open one.

    Several years ago I was trying to configure the Crystal Report Application Server service to run through a firewall. There were several different options for setting ports to achieve this, but I couldn't get any of them to work. Our Dev and QA systems had web servers on the corporate network and worked fine. Our Production system had some web servers in a DMZ with a firewall between it and the network and one web server on the network. I could do what I needed from the web server on the network, but I wasn't able to get it working through the firewall. I explained all of this in the ticket.

    The first email I got back from support was "Can you drop the firewall?" Arrrggghh!

    -Dell

  • Jan 17, 2017 at 10:38 PM

    Why would they read your message when they can just send a random response and get back to drinking tea (or whatever it is they're doing) immediately? What a silly idea.

    By the way, remember my post about an incorrect lock in FILE transaction? Lo and behold - note 2408777. I suspect some personal relationships played role in getting this one out of the cold dead fingers of the tier 1 support. Otherwise I bet it'd still be sitting there.

    • Jan 18, 2017 at 12:03 AM

      i got one of those today from 'tier 1', oh well.

    • Jan 18, 2017 at 10:38 AM

      we're getting the recommendation to apply next support pack as a solution :( Gotta love L1 Support

      They should not be allowed to to recommend SP or EhP without explaining why it should work.

      The should not be allowed to request an open connection without explaining why they have to use your system to reproduce when your instructions clearly state it's not your system but the product

      They should not be allowed to say try this not without justification

      But then, I assume each of those statements are above Level 1 Support

      • Jan 20, 2017 at 09:17 AM

        I suspect strongly that Level 1 Support get demerits on their performance appraisals if they pass too many messages up to level 2. Unfortunately this practice does require that you have a certain level of competence among the Level 1 Support staff.

        Good support people are worth their weight in gold. Unfortunately many companies put newbies in that role as a form of training. Obviously they simply don't have the experience to determine what should be passed on and what shouldn't.

        • Jan 21, 2017 at 12:51 AM

          Hi Matt

          On a positive, in this case they actually replied and provided the justification for next SP (admitted the previous two had issues and the bug we have can only be fixed with Note that needs a certain level). Regardless of cause, at least it allows as to go the System Owner or Architects and request support pack implementation

          Completely agree on Support and perception of junior or training grounds. It's a pity that project is treated more 'complex' compared to support. I bet downtime on a production environment and impeding business process could have a bigger financial impact than a project schedule.

          I actually wrote a blog about my first support role and why I think it's underrated a few years ago: https://blogs.sap.com/2014/07/02/give-support-a-chance/

          Regards

          Colleen

      • Jan 21, 2017 at 09:59 AM

        Should you not already have the system open before you open the incident? If its open they wont have to ask?

        • Jan 22, 2017 at 11:14 AM

          Depends if you wan SAP coming into your system immediately (esp if you have policy for x number of days and most times it's an account with SAP_ALL).

          However, I've had a few times where I've set up a connection and advised SAP when raising an incident and it's been ignored. Asking for a connection to be opened can be a way to delay/push back to customer.

          • Jan 22, 2017 at 03:17 PM

            I guess it can be (depending on the direction of the lens)....I've yet to see any SAP incident (in my 3 short years) that has requested system access just to waste time, it's requested for a reason. Also it is a prereq that has to be met by first level before they can pass to IMS or Dev, ultimately to save time and not to waste it.

            • Jan 27, 2017 at 09:29 AM

              Hi Michael

              Good to know about it being a pre-req. It would be nice if the member collecting information could communicate that

        • Jan 23, 2017 at 07:57 AM

          I have had my systems open when creating a ticket. Sad thing, when they finally took the ticket, the connection was closed again, because I set it to two weeks. Obviously too short of a timeframe for support to be bothered to react.

          So... now I only open system connections, when they asked for it. It's not always needed in my experience.

          • Jan 23, 2017 at 08:49 AM

            Funnily enough - got the message this morning that the system is now closed so they can't get in. Opened it for another 20 days...

        • Jan 23, 2017 at 06:33 PM

          I'm confused why this would be a requirement to open the customer's system when a bug reported is clearly not specific to the customer's system and could be easily recreated pretty much anywhere. Does Support not have access to some kind of a test system?

          We stopped opening the connection immediately (other than for high priority) because it's only open for X days SAP tends to respond on >X day.

          As Colleen mentioned, not everyone is keen on having SAP tier 1 people rummage in their systems with little accountability and for no good reason.

    • Jan 18, 2017 at 07:22 PM

      Erm... Jelena... I am getting a message HTTP request failed, 400, Bad RequestDocument is not released(/SNO/CORE_ERROR_MSG/037). Are you sure that this was not a trial version of the note? :)

      • Jan 18, 2017 at 09:31 PM

        I'm guessing for some reason it's still not released to the wide population. It's actually installed in our system and I can see the note when I use the direct link. But it's not coming up in search by number for me either. Rather odd...

  • Jan 18, 2017 at 02:05 PM

    Matt, how dare you provide free of cost expertise on standard errors! That's not what we learned, now, is it?

    On a serious note, I've had similar situations (not as cryptic/deep-layered as yours, though) and made the experience that my incidents got rejected frequently but once I started raising them with priority "low" (!) they were handled quicker and in a more professional manner.

    Thesis:

    Prio low: Devs directly look at them because "might as well, in between, no pressure after all"

    Prio medium: Dear Cheers, please open system, rugargs.

    Prio High: "Send in the clowns!"

    Prio Very High: Stuff is actually handled quickly

    Cheers, Lukas

    P.S. Have you tried using the SAP Expert ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Chat yet?

    • Jan 18, 2017 at 03:50 PM

      LOL, Lukas. Unfortunately, low priority did not work for me. Had tough time explaining to tier 1 why locking data in display mode cannot be valid design. I guess someone got a whiff that the customers were using low priority as a loophole. "Thou shall not pass [tier 1] !".

      • Jan 19, 2017 at 09:00 AM

        Yeah, same for me. Tried that trick and it didn't work. :(

        • Jan 19, 2017 at 01:23 PM

          So you all can conclude that 1nd level support does read CC threads and learns from that, right?

          (Running and ducking - or vice versa...)

          • Jan 19, 2017 at 06:55 PM

            I doubt they read CC. If they did they would've known better than starting a ping-pong with me. :)

            Most likely some corporate policy that no longer encourages tier 2+ to pick up the tickets before tier 1 has their fun. Or maybe it's just smart people no longer work there.

            There has been some anecdotal evidence though that including your SCN profile link and pinging the support Twitter account are still somewhat effective.

    • Jan 20, 2017 at 09:13 AM

      I have noticed that generally I get better responses with low priority. What they don't realise is - it's a trap. It's low priority because it's obscure, and really technical... mwhahahahaha

      One trick I have done in the past is open a rant like this and link to it from the incident report. It's amazing how people respond when they know they're being watched. But it is last-resort option.

      • Jan 20, 2017 at 09:18 AM

        Just a step far from this, right?

        horsehead-6.jpg (44.9 kB)
      • Jan 20, 2017 at 06:55 PM

        Hi Matt B, we're investigating your ticket, but need more information from you. Can you please direct message me with your incident number? Thank you.

  • Jan 19, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Ok, i've to open a ticket about Material Ledger... and i'm scared like hell!

  • Jan 19, 2017 at 05:39 PM

    Well, here we go. I'm about to open a new customer support ticket, first one in a while. Fortunately it's not currently a high priority item for us -- business will go on, I just might not get my Adobe Document Server support packs updated in production as soon as I currently have planned. But, fingers crossed, we'll see how this goes.

    • Jan 19, 2017 at 06:56 PM

      [making popcorn] :)

    • Jan 19, 2017 at 07:24 PM

      Ticket opened. The countdown begins! :)

      For any interested, the ticket is related to a problem that also has been reported by someone else here: https://answers.sap.com/questions/104677/problems-with-print-preview-in-adobe.html

    • Jan 23, 2017 at 06:49 PM

      Well, once again I appear to be getting quick and decent support. Incident still isn't resolved, but there is activity:

      1. Submitted as Medium priority on Thursday.
      2. Picked up by SAP Support (and component changed) on Friday.
      3. Returned to me in "Customer Action" on Sunday with a recognition that multiple customers are having the issue and they're working it, and providing me with a beta test to try to see if it resolves the problem.
      4. Today (Monday) I tried the beta test. Unfortunately it didn't solve the problem, and now the ticket is back with SAP. However, I believe they do understand the problem and they are working it.
    • Jan 26, 2017 at 06:20 PM

      5. We've bounced between components a few times, and thus between different support groups, and now we are back to the original component that I submitted the Incident under.

    • Jan 30, 2017 at 06:39 PM

      6. Escalated to development (and another new component). SAP Note released (https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2405874), which is encouraging, though at present the Note just says "we're aware of the problem, our partner is investigating, we'll update here when there's a resolution." The Note is accurate about the issue, however, so I have confidence now that I've been understood.

  • Jan 20, 2017 at 07:06 PM

    Hi Matt B, we're investigating your ticket, but need more information from you. Can you please direct message me with your incident number? Thank you.

  • Jan 20, 2017 at 11:48 PM

    We're sorry about issues with Product Support processes. We're investigating and will get back when we have more information. Thank you.

  • Jan 21, 2017 at 09:33 AM

    Finally the new Community has a rant on SAP support.

    Looks like the transition period is over.

    • Jan 23, 2017 at 07:59 AM

      An oldie but goldie. ^^

      • Jan 23, 2017 at 08:30 PM

        I've got a theory that all rants about support are essentially the same (reaction time slow, first level incompetent unwilling mouse pointer hunters, developers somewhat naive half-whits existing in vacuums disconnected from the really real world, here's how to skip the queue and get what you want - or some permutation of that) and that the rant posts themselves serve a venting function for everyone involved.
        They also establish a forum as "the place where to put rants" - which happened just here :-)

        • Jan 24, 2017 at 08:23 AM

          That's a theory? I thought that was reality? ;)

        • Jan 24, 2017 at 07:50 PM

          With the enablement of some helpful SAP folks we've just established that SCN is not only the place for the rants but is where you can actually get assistance. :)

  • Jan 23, 2017 at 09:23 AM

    Well, it looks the solution in order to receive a proper support is to raise a big storm here on the new SCN.

    Nice to know!

    • Jan 23, 2017 at 01:37 PM

      What's most fun is that the problem itself is really quite obscure and won't affect many people. It is low priority.

      • Jan 23, 2017 at 01:42 PM
        It is low priority.

        Is that actual "low priority" – or declared "low priority" according to Lukas's recommendation? :)

        • Jan 23, 2017 at 03:49 PM

          Actual low priority. It's a bug in the editor, it should be fixed, but is just an annoyance. Especially as it crashes sapgui and throws you out of all your sessions.

  • Jan 25, 2017 at 09:21 AM

    Well - it's resolved now. For anyone interested, OSS note is 2419324

    • Jan 26, 2017 at 06:23 PM

      Of course, only in German, but that's a start! Always consider it a success when a reported issue is resolved and results in a Note for others.

  • Jan 30, 2017 at 05:44 PM

    Glad to hear that the incident has gotten resolved. And, if you need additional help with an incident in the future, please reach out to the Customer Interaction Center. They are happy to assist. Here's a link to their phone numbers, email address, and more: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/560499/E (SAP Note 560499)

    And, we took the feedback about Product Support processes and shared it with SAP managers so they could work on improvements with their teams. We want our customers to have a good experience with SAP, and we'll continue to look for ways to improve our service. Thank you.

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