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author's profile photo Aditya Varrier

ABAPers scapegoat for ABAP Dumps


in my 11 year SAP career, I have come across many ABAP dumps and major of them were due to some SAP configurations from functional missing :)

But whenever an ABAP dump occurs, its always the ABAPers who are asked to analyse, with functional not even having a look into what could be the issue :)

Am not raising this discussion out of frustration (I have way back stopped analysing ABAP dumps :) )

Lighter note, I think SAP should re-name ABAP dump to SAP dump.

What say?

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  • Apr 24, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    When I read the title, I immediately thought of the BOFH-excuses.

    I found an online service for them (reload to get another excuse):

    (If you know the BOFH, you’re probably old - that was what, like early 90s (last century!), right?)

  • Apr 24, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    Yeah, I think the general approach is that ABAPer should have functional knowledge, but it doesn't really work the other way around... :)



    • Apr 28, 2017 at 09:47 AM

      That's because it's easier for a techy to learn functional stuff than for a functional to learn technical stuff. Which is why we get paid more...

      oh... wait....

      • Apr 28, 2017 at 10:34 AM

        The grass is always greener on the other side...

        Each consultant should have at least minimal understanding about how the system work. And that includes knowledge about the database, ABAP etc.

        And the best consultants I worked with were able to create at least small reports (and check ABAP dumps). Then, when they asked developer to fix something it was just going smoothly (but I also know ABAPers who would say "don't do my job!").

        Best regards


  • Apr 24, 2017 at 01:05 PM

    I am going to take a stance, which would be fairly unpopular here (considering that the most active members in CC are developers/system administrators), but still... This really depends on the company, where you work, what are the established procedures and with what people you are stuck to work with.
    From my perspective, a proper design and well-written code is not supposed to end up in ST22 dump. Error messages - yes, and a part of these is implementing checks whether specific configuration is present and maintained properly (assuming that this is some ZSAP functionality). To make this happen, the functional consultant and the developer need to work together when designing, developing and testing the solution before it goes into the QA environment. I am aware, that this does not happen everywhere, but it does not seem accurate to generalize, without taking into account a few more factors.
    As a functional consultant, I have done my fair share of ABAP dump analysis. I could have said the root cause was usually missing/wrong logic, poor design or incorrect definitions, but this is not the point. When I ask a developer to analyze a problem, which is ending in dump, this is usually because of:
    * limited authorizations in the environment, where the problem occurred (and no way to obtain a FF user or role assignment with suitable authorizations in reasonable time);
    * not being able to reproduce the error in a test system due to different program versions;
    * we have reached an agreement with the developer that I forward all ST22/SM13 problems directly to him (some people get annoyed if you try to analyze a problem with their code and send them the result).
    My observation is, that the more ZSAP you have, especially if you frequently change providers and you have poor project documentation, the more it is expected from the functional consultants to have ABAP knowledge.

  • Apr 24, 2017 at 04:09 PM

    Well, the transaction name is "ABAP dump analysis" and since it has ABAP in the name it goes to the ABAPers automatically. :)

    Because the short dumps usually contain rather technical information it is probably just more practical to have an ABAPer take a look first. At least they might be able to process the information and present it in a way a functional person could understand. E.g. sometimes I'd just get the program name and find the descriptions for the screen and dictionary objects, which could be sufficient for a functional person to find a problem.

    As others noted, normally there shouldn't be any dumps in a well-run system. So if this is happening frequently you might want to look into improving testing practices. You can also always offer to educate the colleagues on how to "read" the short dumps. Some of them might feel empowered by such knowledge and might just DIY next time.

    SAP could've helped us too though. How about better error handling and short dumps that are easier to read? Hexadecimal codes are not very helpful to humans usually.

    Not sure "scapegoat" is the right word here though. It doesn't look like concern is about ABAPers being actually blamed for the short dumps. It's just the annoyance of being a first "go to" for all the short dumps, if I understand correctly. That's not "scapegoat", that's just tier 1 support. :)

  • Apr 27, 2017 at 06:29 AM

    Hi All,

    serious comments pouring in :)

    However, I agree that if its a ZSAP, ABAPers should analyze, else I think its a collaborative work of functional(s) and technical.

    My intention for this thread was, should SAP change the term from ABAP dump to SAP dump :)


    Aditya V

  • Apr 27, 2017 at 06:55 AM

    or re-name to User dump ?

    say, MB51 -> just Execute

    (no restrictions)

  • Apr 27, 2017 at 07:14 AM

    SAP could follow Microsoft's path and use Something happened instead...

    or even Try that again :)

  • Apr 27, 2017 at 09:48 AM

    A developer is usually the only one who's able to interpret what is actually going wrong from an ABAP dumplog, so, gotta agree with Jelena on that.

    Veselina does have a point too and I am saying this as an ERP Developer ;-). Though I think SAP is already covering the "Something happened!"-Part, at least partially: 99% of all dumps, at least in an HCM-System, start with UNCAUGHT EXCEPTION RABAX STATE.

    That put aside, my personal (self/company-made, admittedly) issue with that whole topic goes like that:

    1. Dump happens in production, Power Users have no technical authority to look at dump logs

    2. Getting dump log from Administrators

    3. I'm halfway in jail, because, by definition, I'm looking at production data as a developer which isn't wanted by company-policies. However, there's no other way, because nobody else can decipher that stuff.

    4. Rant about that on SCN

    Additionally 99% of these dumps occur due to false production data maintenance which then causes errors in reused SAP Standard logic, so most of the time it really isn't my fault :-P (the 1% is me, though, sorry 'bout that).

    BTT: I vote we should rename it in "Oh Snap!" or "Oh, the Humanity!". That'll sum it all up.

    • Apr 28, 2017 at 09:52 AM

      In any reasonably mature organisation, developers will be supporting stuff in production. Not giving them access to production is about as sensible as not allowing Basis access. With current client, it's recognised that production access is required - so much show that I suffer the same share trading restrictions as the business users.

      • Apr 28, 2017 at 11:49 AM

        - reasonably mature organisation

        - public sector

        Choose one.

        • Apr 28, 2017 at 03:10 PM

          Do you use Firefighter access? It's a lifesaver in the overly cautious environments.

          • Apr 28, 2017 at 06:15 PM

            yes and no - don't want to go into detail because you never know who's reading this...also, I gotta budget my ranting :>

  • Apr 27, 2017 at 12:13 PM

    Hi. You're right Bro (american style sounds better always, never known why , probably because it feels like we would feel the same sensation). The deep true, in my poor opinion, is that everything follows a pyramid concept so don't care about what they say, but you know.ABAP Dumps or SAP Dumps doesn't change the focus that is "something goes wrong as always it happens in life" or translated in a road language "s h i t happens".

    To be honest , SAP could rename it as GODADMN Dump because as far as we know the scapegoat can't be defined :) Bye

    PS: Nice I found that Comments are filtered to avoid writing "s h i t " :)

    • Apr 27, 2017 at 08:51 PM

      Well, "dump" is essentially a polite way to say the s-word. That's why the consultants saying "take a dump" and meaning SAP dump usually causes some giggles. :)

      P.S. Nice work breaking the filter but please don't curse openly on SCN, c'mon now.

      • Apr 28, 2017 at 09:53 AM

        I always blame SAP. ;-)

      • Apr 28, 2017 at 09:53 AM

        But the real meaning of that "dump" isn't "throwing all i have in memory in a place"? Speaking of ABAP Dump/Memory Dump?

        Yes, i'm a boring nerd :D

      • May 02, 2017 at 08:44 AM

        I would add a routine with "Condense with no Gaps" and a "search for" dictionary of Damned Words :D

  • Apr 28, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    I just checked... there is no word about developer! :)

    Best regards


  • May 17, 2017 at 10:53 AM

    Atlast majority of the problems will ask you contact your System Administrator! Basis guys have to sort those problems and eventually they would find that not a Basis side issue!

  • May 17, 2017 at 02:04 PM

    I disagree, dumps are of a technical nature (and in the bad ol' days even used to be printed out on paper).

    It is an unhandled exception and, even if the root cause is of a functional nature, it should be a techie's job to ensure the exception gets handled. It is either the result of sloppy programming, incorrect assumptions ("this will never happen"), or deliberately wanting to draw attention to a techie.

    In all three cases a technical person should look at the situation and at the very least evaluate if the error handling should be improved. SAP also fix dumps that happen because of common misconfigurations.

    • May 17, 2017 at 03:02 PM

      Yeah, but "techie" is pretty broad. A SAP (basis) adminstrator can do nothing about a programming error that threw a dumb. That should be fixed by the developer that wrote that piece of coding.

      • May 17, 2017 at 03:30 PM

        I chose the term 'techie' deliberately, because similarly a developer can't do anything if the dump says Tablespace SAPBLAH has reached MaxExtents, or DB log space is full, or the application server is sick. So it just needs someone with a bit of technical know how to do the initial assessment and route it.

        I think 'administrator' here is a very old fashioned term for helpdesk, more of a generic term aimed at the casual user.

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