Since my last few posts were all about OSS Notes, I want to share one more thing before I move to a new subject, but this time it is a COPY and PASTE from SAP OSS Note 1818192 – FAQ: Automated Note Search Tool It is not something that I created, I really copied from SAP OSS Note above.

I didn’t knew this transaction ANST – Automated Note Search Tool and it seems that SAP released that around 2013, it seems to be very handful, but most of the people that I talked about it, they never heard about this transaction.

Description

Automated Note Search Tool (ANST) is the solution which could help you in such a situation where you need a quick solution. This is an easy approach towards identifying the right fix for an issue.

This can be done by accessing ANST where you can specify the program or transaction or any other possible options available and start the issue replication process. Once the issue is replicated, it will generate a trace that is grouped based on SAP application components which encompasses all the ABAP objects used/executed during the replication. Once the trace is generated, you have options to:

  • Search for SAP notes
  • Problematic Custom Codes
  • Missing Customizing Entries
  • Possible list of ABAP objects from which you can choose appropriate objects to start debugging

More than just a SAP Note Search Tool, ANST allows you analyze deeper into the problem by taking you to the object and code level.

Three step process

  1. When a problem occurs, start transaction ANST/ANST_SEARCH_TOOL and then choose the most appropriate option from which you can start replicating the problem. Once you are done with this, and then execute the program (or press “F8”) to replicate the issue. When the issue is replicated navigate back to ANST using the “Back” button in standard toolbar.

Options shown below may change based on the components installed on the system you are using it.

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  1. Once you have successfully replicated the problematic scenario, a trace will be generated grouped based on application components. You can then choose one or more components for SAP Notes search. From here you can also go for searching custom code and customizing tables. These actions can be performed by the buttons: “Note Search”, “Customer Code” and “Customizing Tables” available in the toolbar above. B2
  2. Based on the issue and components selected, most relevant SAP Notes will be searched and displayed. After this you need to identify the most appropriate SAP Note and implement it. You can display the note directly from here and also download the note is required.B3

Features within ANST

This section will cover the features which are available during the various steps mentioned above.

Initial Screen

In the initial selection screen for ANST from where you start the trace, there are around eight features or options available.

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  1. Execute: To execute or to start the replication for an issue with inputs provided.
  2. Application Documentation: To know more in detail about ANST and how to perform a SAP Note search.
  3. Open trace: To open an existing saved trace. Following popup provides selection criteria using which you can open a trace. If you are not aware about any of inputs, then let all the fields be empty and execute. B5
  4. Object Customizing: This is the customizing table for ANST where you can give your preference about the various object types to be used during the note search. This also means that only the selected object types will be visible in the trace. This is helpful in case there are lot of steps to be followed for issue replication and large number of objects are involved. B6
  5. Settings: This is customizing table where you can define general preferences and some technical parameters required for ANST.

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  • Date: Starting date from which the SAP Notes will be searched. Any SAP Note released before the specified date will not be considered during the note search.
  • ALV on Res: Result of note search will be displayed in ALV if this is checked. In case you do not want to download the note from here, uncheck this. Result will then be displayed in read only mode.
  • Max Size: Number of objects packaged together in block for the note search. This is to ensure good performance during the note search. Keep the value below 800. This is used internally for technical purpose.
  • RFC Destination: Specify the RFC destination name which will be used during the note search.
  • Custom Objects Checkbox: These are the checkboxes for the custom objects which ANST can identify from the generated trace for the Customer Code feature. If selected these objects will be searched for the customer code. Currently this includes:
      • BADis (This also includes explicit enhancements)
      • Repaired Objects
      • Field Exits
      • User Exits
      • Transaction Variants
      • BTE – Business Transaction Events
  • Max Objects: This represents the maximum number of objects which can be selected for the note search. This is also depicted beside each application component inside the trace. If the total number of selected objects based on your selection exceeds this, then search cannot be performed and an error message will be displayed instead. Reduce the number of objects/application components and try again.

6.  Delete Trace: This is to delete an existing saved trace. Select the trace(s) which you want to delete and click on “Yes” in the following popup. After this the trace will be permanently deleted.B8

7.  Trace On/Off: This option provides you to start and stop the tracing at any point in time. This is helpful when you want to start the tracing not from the beginning of issue replication. Also the trace can be stopped at point in time. This works for all supported options in ANST i.e. for SAP GUI based applications and web applications as well. Currently it is restricted to the single user using the ANST. For example, you start and stop the trace for web-applications if you are logged in with the same user which has started the trace in ANST using this feature. More details refer:

http://scn.sap.com/community/software-support-and-maintenance/blog/2014/09/08/anst–start-and-stop-the-trace-whenever-you-want

  1. Save Trace: Check this option if you want to save the trace for future use. Give a meaningful description of the trace in the field above. Trace will be automatically saved during the replication of the issue and after the trace has been actually generated. This is helpful in case where you do not want to replicate the issue again and again.

Trace Screen

Now let’s have a look at the different options available at the trace screen which is generated after you have replicated your issue.

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  1. Application specific toolbar: This provides you to Expand/Collapse, Select/Deselect through the sub tree. You can search through the entire trace tree based on any element. Provides you the option to change the layout and also print the entire trace tree.
  2. Note Search: Once you have replicated the issue, you can use this option to search for SAP Notes. This works based on selection of application components/objects from the trace. Based on the selection note search is performed. Once the note search is completed, a list of most relevant SAP notes are displayed to you. This is described further in the next section. If you do not select any application components/objects from the trace, you will be prompted with message.
  3. Customer Code: There might be the case that issue is not due to SAP standard code but due to customer code. In this case no relevant SAP Notes can be searched, instead you can use this feature to search for customer code and objects. Unlike Note Search feature this does not depend based on the selection of application components/objects. This helps you to find the list of customer code (if there are any) involved during the replication of issue from the entire trace.
  4. Customizing Tables: Sometimes issues could also be related to missing or wrong customizing entries. In this case this feature will be useful for you. This also does not depend on the selection of application components/objects. This helps you to find the list of customizing tables (if there are any) involved during the replication of issue from the entire trace. The list is again grouped based on the application components.
  5. Application Component Sub-tree: Trace is grouped based on the application components. This sub-tree displays the name of the application components and also the number of objects it contains inside the round braces.
  6. Object Leaf Node: This is the leaf node of the trace tree which displays the object type, object name, change on date, package and the software component for each individual object inside the trace.

Result Screens

In this section, we will go through the various result screen which are available in ANST.

  • Note Search Result: This screen shows all the SAP Notes which are relevant for the current problem which you are facing and could possibly also solve the issue. This contains standard ALV toolbar on the top using which you can sort, filter, search etc. through the list. B10
  1. Download Note: Double click on this icon to trigger the download of the selected SAP Note. After the download is triggered, you will be navigated to SNOTE transaction.
  2. Status: This tells you about the status of the SAP Note on this system. For example if selected SAP Note is available or not, implemented or not etc.
  3. Note Priority: This gives the priority of the SAP Note. This present the corresponding number priority which you see in the header data section for any SAP Note.
  4. Note Number: This displays the SAP Note when clicked in an external browser using SAP service market place.
  5. Application Area: This tells you about the application component name for which this SAP Note is released.
  6. Note Title: Short text for the SAP Note.
  • Customer Code Result: This screens shows all the customer objects and repaired objects (SAP standard objects changed by customer). This contains standard ALV toolbar on the top using which you can sort, filter, search etc. through the list.B11
  1. Object Type: This tells you about the object type for example if it is a class method, function module, class definition etc.
  2. Object Name: This gives you the actual name of the object.
  3. Package: Name of the package or development class to which this object belongs to.
  4. Component: This represent the software component of the package for the object.
  5. Type: This represent the customer code type which is specific to ANST. This is same as described in the point 5.e for Initial Section screen.
  •  Customizing Tables Result: This screen shows the list of customizing tables which are involved during the issue replication. This list is further refined and grouped based on the application component. B12
  1. Application Component: Customizing tables are grouped based on the application component. This represent the name for the application component.
  2. Table Name: This represent the name of the customizing table.
  3. Object Date: Last changed on date for the customizing table.
  4. Description: Short description for the table.
  5. Package: Name of the package or development class to which this table belongs to.
  6. Component: This represent the software component of the package for the table.

Points to remember:

  • ANST SAP Note search is based on the objects present inside the generated trace. Hence, search will be optimal if there are less number of objects. So try to replicate the issue with minimal steps involved.
  • ANST SAP Note search depends on the RFC connection which you maintain in the “Settings” options available. Do ensure that you have maintained RFC destination: SAPSNOTE in SM59 pointing to SAP OSS system.
  • Always read SAP Note before implementation if it really matches to your problematic scenario.
  • Using it for the first time and you get an error message: “Fatal Error. Customizing table is not filled.” Refer the SAP Note: 1909768.
  • When you are using ANST for a web application and you get an error message: “Web trace cancelled by the user.” Refer SAP Note: 1885730. After following this if the error still occurs then raise a ticket.
  • If you could not find any relevant SAP Note which can solve the issue, then report the case to SAP support by raising a ticket to PB-UPG-NA component.
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