IDoc Statistics Test

Idocs are structured ASCII files (or a virtual equivalent). They are the file format used by SAP ABAP to exchange data with foreign systems. Idocs is the acronym for Interchange Document. This indicates a set of (electronic) information which builds a logical entity. An IDoc is e.g. all the data of a single customer in your customer master data file, or the IDoc is all the data of a single invoice.

An SAP ABAP application creates data and updates the database appropriately. An application can be a transaction, a stand-alone ABAP Report or any tool that can update a database within SAP ABAP. If the application thinks that data needs to be distributed to a foreign system, it triggers the IDoc outbound routine, usually by leaving a descriptive message record in the message table NAST. The application then either directly calls the IDoc engine or a collector job eventually picks up all due IDoc messages and determines what to do with them. If the engine believes that data is ready to be sent to a partner system, then it determines the function module which can collect and wrap the required IDoc data into an IDoc. In IDoc customising, you specify the name of the function module to use. This can either be one which is predefined by ABAP standard or a user-written one. When the IDoc is created it is stored in an SAP ABAP table and from there it is sent to the foreign system.

IDoc inbound routines, on the other hand, are function modules with a standard interface, which will interpret the received IDoc data and prepare it for processing. The received IDoc data is processed record by record and interpreted according to the segment information provided with each record. The prepared data can then be processed by an application, a function module, or a self-written program.

Any slowdown noticed in electronic data exchange between the SAP ABAP system and foreign systems therefore, can be attributed to bottlenecks or errors in the transmission/reception of Idocs. Administrators should hence closely monitor inbound and outbound IDoc traffic to proactively detect probable slowdowns in inter-system communications, and accurately tell where the slowdown occurred and why, so that the communication bottlenecks can be promptly cleared. This is where the IDoc Statistics test helps.

This test monitors the Idocs generated and reports the rate at which these Idocs were processed at various stages of transmission/reception, thus accurately pointing to processing slowdowns and where exactly the processing was bottlenecked. In addition, the test also reports the number of Idocs that were found to be erroneous every second and the exact stage of transmission/reception at which the rate of errors peaked! This way, the test leads administrators to errors in electronic data exchange that may have delayed communication significantly, and where such delays were frequent!

Target of the test : A SAP ABAP instance

Agent deploying the test : An internal/remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for every SAP ABAP instance being monitored.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed

Host

Host name of the server for which the test is to be configured.

PortNo

Enter the port to which the specified host listens.

ClientName

Specify the ID of the client system as what the eG agent will be connecting to the SAP ABAP instance. To know how to determine the client ID to use, follow the instructions provided in Determining the Client ID/Name for the eG Agent to Connect to the SAP ABAP Instance.

SAPUser

Typically, to connect to a SAP ABAP instance and run tests, the eG agent requires the permissions of a SAP user who has been assigned with certain authorization objects. Ideally, you will have to create a new user role on the SAP ABAP instance for this purpose, associate the above-mentioned authorization objects with that role, and assign the new role to an existing SAP user. The procedure for the same has been provided in Creating a New User Role for Monitoring and Assigning it to a SAP User. Once the new role is assigned to a SAP user, specify the name of this user against SAPUser.

Password

The password of the specified SAPUser.

Confirm Password

Confirm the password by retyping it here.

SysNo

An indicator of the TCP/IP port at which the SAP server listens. For example, for a server that listens at port 3200, the SysNo will be ‘00’. Similarly, if the SAP server port is 3201, the SysNo will have to be specified as ‘01’. Therefore, in the SysNo text box specify the system number of the SAP server with which the specified client communicates. To know the system number for the ABAP server being monitored, follow the procedure detailed in Identifying the SAP Router String and System Number.

Router

If the SAP client with the specified ClientName exists in a network external to the SAP server, then a router will be used to enable the server-client communication. In such a case, specify the router string of the router in the Router text box. If both the client and the server exist in the same network, then specify ‘none’ against the Router text box. To know what is the SAP Router string for the ABAP server being monitored, follow the procedure detailed in Identifying the SAP Router String and System Number.

InstanceName

This is set to none by default. This implies that the eG agent automatically discovers the instance name at run time. 

Timeout

Indicate the duration (in seconds) for which this test should wait for a response from the SAP ABAP instance. By default, this is set to 120 seconds.

JCO Version

The eG agent uses the SAP JCO library to connect to the SAP ABAP system and pull out metrics. To enable the eG agent to make this connection and query the metrics, you need to specify the version of the SAP JCO library that the agent needs to use. For instance, to instruct the eG agent to use JCO v2.1.19, it would suffice if you specify the ‘major version number’ alone against JCO Version – in the case of this example, this will be 2.x. Note that if you have downloaded the SAP JCO CONNECTOR files for SAP JCO version 3 from the SAP market place (as instructed by Downloading the SAP JCO Connector files Required for Monitoring ), then the JCO Version configuration should be 3.x. 

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 1:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every time this test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency. 

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise suite embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option.

The option to selectively enable/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Number of new Idocs

Indicates the number of Idocs of this type that were created during the last measurement period.

Idocs

A high value is desired for this measure.

Rate of new Idocs

Indicates the rate at which the Idocs of this type were generated during the last measurement period.

Idocs/sec

This measure gives an overview of outbound/inbound data transfer rate using the Idocs.

Idocs with recent unprocessed interface errors

Indicates the number of Idocs of this type with unprocessed interface errors during the last measurement period.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero.

The detailed diagnosis of this measure if enabled, lists the details of these Idocs such as the Idoc number, type, error message, recipient and sender details, creation and modified timestamps and number of data records.

Idocs with recent unprocessed external system or application errors

Indicates the number of Idocs of this type with external system errors or application errors  during the last measurement period.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be zero.

The detailed diagnosis of this measure if enabled, lists the details of these Idocs such as the Idoc number, type, error message, recipient and sender details, creation and modified timestamps and number of data records.