Technology Blogs by SAP
Learn how to extend and personalize SAP applications. Follow the SAP technology blog for insights into SAP BTP, ABAP, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP HANA, and more.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

A number range is a mostly continuous group of numbers to which the unique ID created for an SAP object belongs. It is used with a wide range of SAP business applications, because it enables to access database records individually by using unique keys. Number ranges are used to assign numbers to complete the keys of the individual database records of a business object automatically. Such numbers are, for example, order or material master record numbers.

If all available numbers have already been assigned in a number range, the correct function of the associated application is often no longer guaranteed. This is especially the case if the corresponding number range object is non-rolling, which means that - if there are no more numbers left - the application can reject the creation of new records.

In case you want to learn more about concept of number ranges, see the following links:

Therefore it is necessary to monitor your number range objects to take actions before the number range intervals are exhausted. In this context it is important to know that number ranges don't store a history. At any point in time there is only the latest value known.

Such a task is made for SAP EarlyWatch Alert - an automatic service analyzing the essential administrative areas of an SAP system. With SAP EarlyWatch Alert you are informed reliably before severe technical problems occur. To check and display these information, use the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Workspace in SAP for Me. It’s the central landing page for the SAP EarlyWatch Alert service offering different apps, which give you a comprehensive overview on your system landscape regarding stability, configuration, hardware utilization and performance.

For wave 1, 2021 we decided to deliver early a new app in the workspace to gather your feedback – the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Number Range Forecast. For your managed ABAP systems it monitors your number range objects including a history that is collected over time out of service download data. Moreover, it forecasts the available entries in number range objects including a prediction when the limit is reached, broken down into a mean, best-case and worst-case scenario.

Note that there are prerequisites that the managed ABAP system and the number range object itself must meet to use the number range forecast - see also SAP note 2901633:

    • The system needs ST-SER 720 as of SP19, and ST-A/PI 01T*. Also, you have to activate online collectors using report RTCCTOOL.
    • For the number ranges, only productive clients are taken into account (from client 000 only SPO_NUM is used). Also, the current number range level must be larger than the FROM value and it needs a certain fill level.

To start the app, click on the title area of the corresponding card, or one of the time limits displayed. These serve as a filter, just like the drop-down list box Time Range in the app itself: so only number range objects reaching the limit in a certain time range according to the worst-case scenario are listed. It is obviously unknown when precisely this limit is reached in the future. Of the various possibilities, the worst-case scenario is an unfavorable, yet possible forecast - with a probability of 80% the limit is reached later.

After calling the app the critical number range objects of the managed SAP ABAP systems are listed. By default, these number range objects are sorted by the date the limit will be reached in the worst-case scenario. Like in the other cross-system apps of the SAP EarlyWatch Alert service, you can use the global filter to restrict the data displayed to specific customers or systems.

Another filter especially available for the number range forecast is the Rolling Behavior, where the number range objects are displayed depending on their behavior: If there are no more numbers left, the application can either reject the creation of new records (Non-Rolling) or create new records at the beginning of the number range intervals (Rolling). Keep in mind, however, that after a rolling number range has rolled successfully, then it is not reported any more.

Choose an entry from the list to know more about the number range forecast of the corresponding object. The measurement points of the used numbers in their temporal evolution are displayed. For the possible future trend, you can see three different dashed curves:

    • Forecast Low 80%: The actual measurements will be above this curve with a probability of 80%.
    • Forecast Mean: Based on the considered measurements, this curve represents the most probable future trend.
    • Forecast High 80%: The actual measurements will be below this curve with a probability of 80%. This curve represents the Prediction: Worst-Case Date in the list.

By default, all measurement points for the number of number range entries available in SAP EarlyWatch Alert are used for the forecast. If, however, some of the data points would disturb the calculation, e.g. because the boundary conditions during measurement time have changed, you can restrict the points used for the forecast. To do so, select the points in the diagram you want to use for the recalculation.

In the example below, the increase is largely uniform – except for one jump beginning 2021. Probably this was a unique effect, so I select only the measurements after that and choose Recalculation:

After the recalculation, these points are shown in orange – and you can see that the forecast is much more accurate:

When you choose this number range object the next time, all measurement points are used for the forecast again. To save the selection permanently, choose the icon Save Data Points.

The results of the forecast are also considered in the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Report. You can find it in the topic SAP System Operating, subtopic Critical Number Ranges of the corresponding ABAP system. A link in the report allows an easy navigation to the SAP EarlyWatch Alert Number Range Forecast:

Keep in mind that the forecast is based on the existing measurements only. Deviations from the forecast, e.g. by unforeseen events, are always possible. Therefore, reaching the technical limit may occur earlier in reality than predicted in the worst-case-scenario. So never rely on the prediction only, but remedy the situation as soon as possible.