Archiving HR data with SARA to comply with GDPR

Hello, everyone.

Most of you know about archiving HR data, that there are a number of layers to backup your information system. For ERP class systems there is operating system level backup, database backup and sometimes ERP itself can do a backup.

In SAP functional consultants usually, mix backuping and data archiving. Backups stand for system copy and data copy that basis guys do regularly to prevent data loss in case of crash or incident. In my 15 years career, I’ve not met even one consultant who was about data archiving. They think it’s a basis scope of work and don’t want to dive into it. But actually archiving is not only about archiving itself, it’s more about data management, performance management, data integration. Who knows if you want to use data archiving technology to transfer data to another SAP or other system.

Let’s setup data archiving for HR change docs. Assume change docs themselves are set already and we can see data changes in S_AHR_61016380 transaction.

Everything could be setup in SARA transaction in 3 steps:

  1. Setup archive paths, logical and physical files
  2. Setup archiving programms variants
  3. Schedule archiving programms

To setup change docs we need to use standard object PA_LDOC “PA: Long Term Documents”. Open SARA.

SARA transaction

On Customizing button a window opens where we do all the settings. Choose Technical Settings. Here we set a logical path to each archiving object. In our case it’s ARCHIVE_DATA_FILE. Pay attention to this object checkbox “Delete Jobs – Automatically” is set. It means the system deletes data from the database immediately after archive processing. For some objects, there is no need to delete records physically from the database.
data archiving job in SAP

Then we can setup a path to store archive. In the same Customizing menu a little below choose “Cross-Client File Names/Paths”.

First of all, define filename. For each operating system there could be different file folder what is wise. If you hit F1 there will be a help with macro fields.

SAP File location

Then we need to define filename building rules.
filename mask

Save and exit to SARA.
Hit “Write” button to run archiving.

Create archive file

Here we need to define archiving program variant. By default, it takes all records until today. If you need to change it adjust variant with dynamic data selection.

After variant plan when we want archiving to run with the button “Start Date”. Don’t forget to define spool parameters. Hit F8 to run.

The system schedules background job. In my case, I set it to run immediately, so I’ve got the archive in the filesystem on my server.

FAR FIle Manager

Hit ‘Management’ button to manage archives and ‘Read’ to view the content.

Logged Changes in Infotype Data
It’s important to check this to read data from archive from the filesystem.

Select archive file to view.
Archive Administration

And here is the result.
Infotype audit

Thank you! Your shares and feedbacks are appreciated!