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Command line or scripted deployment for BODS ETL code (atl files) is not straightforward, SAP recommends to use central repository approach for code movement and deployment across various environments. This paper provides a proven method to achieve command-line deployment of atl files to local repositories. This approach is out of our requirement and currently using for our code deployment.

I have developed and tested for BODS4.X in LINUX and UNIX environments , with minor adjustments to these commands we can execute on windows installations. All code snippets are tested for for BODS4.x on LINUX version

“al_engine” is the master piece and facilitates all operations on metadata, like deploying code from command line, altering datastores, generating executable script for jobs. The GUI approach uses this utility to manage repository metadata.

Note: al_engine command usage and options are provided in Appendix section.

All we have developed is basic shell scripts and couple of pearl scripts (when needed a hash comparison), playing with datastores was the hardest part of whole exercise and then creating execution command comes next complex one.

This is back-end deployment process and needs .atl file export of the code need to be deployed to the repository.

We developed separate individual script for each purpose like checking active process in the repository, backing-up the repository,  deploying atl file to repository, updating datastores with environment specific configurations, generating the execution command for a specific job, here comes the next challenge that is collaborate all to gather and develop a master script do drive all these individual pieces with greater flexibility and takes care of all possible exceptions. I achieved that by developing one master script with lot of custom options which gives greater flexibility to the user to drive any of the functionality i.e. one script can do all job it just the options need to be supplied by the user. This was the major achievement.

I have organized this document in sections each section talks about individual operation needed for deployment, final section talks about the master script usage; have provided some code snippets in appendix section to help your development.


1. Check active jobs in the repository

This section talks about any active jobs currently running in the repository, the deployment may be inconsistent and could lead to corrupt repository if there are any common objects between the active job and the atl file being deployed to the repository. If there are no shared objects it may be safe to go sometimes but it is not recommended to move forward with deployment if there are any actively running jobs.

This script is responsible for notifying any active running jobs in target repository, this script have capability to notify the user by an e-mail notification after the process is completed and there are no active processes in the repository.

Code snippet:




FROM al_history

WHERE service NOT IN ('di_job_al_mach_info', 'CD_JOB_d0cafae2')

AND end_time IS NULL;

Note: This query need to be executed in the target repository database

                This query lists all processes/jobs with end time NULL which means the process still in progress. For all completed jobs end time will be timestamp of completion. We may cannot completely relay alone on this query because sometimes because of abnormal job aborts BODS metadata may store NULL in end time field. In combination to this of we use the operating system’s process pool also then it will give a solid evidence that there is an active process running in background, below is shell cide snippet for that.

UNIX/LINUX code snippet:

PROCESS_COUNT=$(ps -ef | grep al_engine | grep -i $REPOSITORY | grep -i $REPOSITORY_DATABASE | wc -l)

Refer Appendix for parameters in detail

A shell script with these two snippets can be programmed to poll these two commands for 5 minute intervals and notify the user when there are no active processes in the repository; this will save time and provides flexibility to the administrator.

2.     Backup current Repository code

This step is important and essential; we can easily get back the previous state of the repository if something goes wrong with current deployment code. Again al_engine command is used to back up the repository code. There are options to export specific object from the repository too.

BODS 4.x version mandates the passphrase for every atl export from the repository, and same passphrase need to be supplied while importing the atl file to any other repository. While importing If the passphrase is wrong or blank all datastore passwords will be invalid and need to reenter only the passwords of each datastore.

Below code snippet is to export a repository

UNIX/LINUX code snippet:


Refer Appendix for parameters in detail

                This script will generate “export.atl” file in current directory with full backup of the repository, we can rename and move this file to desired location for future purpose usage.

3.     Import .atl file

Previous two sections are preliminary steps to make sure if something goes wrong (Backup) or to prevent something going wrong (check active process) .This section talks about the actual deployment process that importing atl file to the repository, this step is a typical step how we import atl file/code to a repository.

Below code snippet is to import atl fileto a repository

UNIX/LINUX code snippet:


Refer Appendix for parameters in detail

                This command imports the atl file to the repository, if there are any error/issues with the file or import this command will throw an error, if the import is successful this will display a success message on the console. We can import only one atl file with one command, this command should be executed several times if more than one atl files need to be executed.

$PASSPHRASE should match the passphrase  passed to the atl file at the time of export from local repository , for an incorrect or blank passphrase atl file still gets deployed/imported to the repository with blank passwords of all datastores from the atl file.

4.     Update DataStores

The datastore configuration may not be the same across Development, QA and Production environments, we can automate or achive through a command to update datastores information of a repository. If the datastore already available with respective configuration in each environment we may can skip that datastore configuration from the atl export. A brand-new datastore need to be configured correctly in the environments. We can achieve this through command-ine.

UNIX/LINUX code snippet:


Refer Appendix for parameters in detail

One configuration text file for all datastores with details (datastore name, configuration name,database instance, schema and password), will help to set the configurations in one file and use the same file to update datastores, the code snippet need to run iteratively for e6ach datastore configuration

We have tested this process only for ORACE database, other databases and other type of datastore configurations must be tested before implementation.

Datastore configuration information is case sensitive, make sure you are following the same case

5. Create execution command

Al_engine don’t play a bigger role in creating execution command, instead we will write all values and construct the execution command for a job. We need to read the object ID from metadata tables and all other values are from the environment. Generally the execution command is exported from management console; this will not facilitates the developer to pass dynamic values to the global variables defined in the job. i.e. if we need to pass values for the global variables from external environment , it is not possible to generate a generic  executable command form management console.

        Be low code snippet facilitates to

UNIX/LINUX code snippet:

${LAUNCHER_DIRECTORY} \"${LOG_DIRECTORY}\" -w \"inet:${HOST_NAME}:${PORT_NUMBER}\" \" -PLocaleUTF8 -R\\\"${REPOSITORY_PASSWORD_FILE_NAME}.txt\\\" -G\"${JOB_GUID}\" -r1000 -T14 -Ck -no_use_cache_stats ${CONFIGURATION_NAME} -LocaleGV ${GLOBAL_VARIABLES} -CtBatch -Cm${HOST_NAME} -CaAdministrator -Cj${HOST_NAME} -Cp{PORT_NUMBER} \"

UNIX/LINUX code snippet with Global Variables dynamic values for them:

${LAUNCHER_DIRECTORY} \"${LOG_DIRECTORY}\" -w \"inet:${HOST_NAME}:${PORT_NUMBER}\" \" -PLocaleUTF8 -R\\\"${REPOSITORY_PASSWORD_FILE_NAME}.txt\\\" -G\"${JOB_GUID}\" -r1000 -T14 -Ck -no_use_cache_stats ${CONFIGURATION_NAME} LocaleGV -GV\"\$gv_parameter_1 =`AL_Encrypt "'$1'"`;\$gv_parameter_2=`AL_Encrypt "'$2'"`;\" -CtBatch - Cm${HOST_NAME} -CaAdministrator -Cj${HOST_NAME} -Cp{PORT_NUMBER} \"


1. Parameters in detail




Local Repository name, typically the database schema name used for the repository


Password for above schema


Database instance name on which this repository (schema) available


Mandatory for BODS 4.X, optional for BODS 3.X versions

Alpha numeric string serves as password for this  for atl file.

If not provided same passphrase at the time of import of this atl file all datastores will have blank passwords.


Physical machine name of the server on which the $DATABASE_INSTANCE is installed/available


Type of the database Eg: Oracle


.atl Filename to import to the repository

This can be a full qualified absolute path with filename (including extension)


XML file absolute path, with datastore credentials, see below for sample xml file.

Creating shell/Executable script


Absolute path of the BODS launcher

Typically at



Absolute path for to produce log files

Typically at



BODS server machine/host name


BODS executable port number (configured at the time of installation)


Password file name.

If password file is at different location than the default provide absolute path

Default password file path: /local/apps/bods3/dataservices/conf


Job ID from metadata tables below is query to get the job ID from metadata tables

select distinct trim(GUID) from AL_LANG

where upper(name) = upper('<JOB_NAME>')

Above query should be executed in target repository database schema.


System configuration name if there are multiple configurations in the BODS environment.

Blank for default or no system configurations.

2.     Datastore XML file

Below is the sample XML file with datastore configuration, first 32 0’s are specific to BODS 4.X version, for previous versions 3.X versions the first 32 0’s can be skipped.

There should be one xml file per configuration per datastore, for example if you have 10 datastores with two configurations each you need to generate 20 XML files.

Automate with a shell/pearl script which reads datastore configuration file, generate below XML file per confutation and update the respective datastore dynamically within the script and remove this XML file immediately after the update is done.

Initially for BODS 3.X version plain XML file was used (without 32 0’s in the beginning of the file), for BODS 4.x the tool expects every value, file passed in encrypted format, the 32 0’s string says this file is encrypted,(Actually not) this is a work around.

SampleXML file

00000000000000000000000000000000<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

<Datastore name="MY_DATA_STORE">


<DSConfiguration default="true" name="Configuration1">







3.     Al_engine Options in detail

        -A : BW Request ID consisting of RequestID [30 characters], Selection Date [8 characters], Selection Time [6 characters]

        -v : Print version number

        -D : Print debug messages





        -Did<id>        : Specify the Designer session's unique id

        -Dit<it>        : Specify the Designer session's execution iteration number

        -Dt<timestamp>  : Specify the Designer session's execution timestamp

        -Dscan          : Execute in Data Scan mode

        -Dclean         : Cleanup any Data Scan temporary files

        -DDataScanRows =<n>

        -T<TraceNumber> : Trace numbers. The numbers are:

          -1           : Trace all

           1           : Trace row

           2           : Trace plan

           4           : Trace session

           8           : Trace dataflow

           16          : Trace transform

           32          : Trace user transform

           64          : Trace user function

           128         : Trace ABAP Query

           256         : Trace SQL For SQL transforms

           512         : Trace SQL For SQL functions

           1024        : Trace SQL For SQL readers

           2048        : Trace SQL For SQL loaders

           4096        : Trace Show Optimized DataFlows

           8192        : Trace Repository SQL

           524288      : Trace Nested View Processing

           1048576     : Trace Assemblers

           4194304     : Trace SAP RFC(BAPI) Function Call

           33554432    : Trace adapter/client calls

           67108864    : Trace broker communication layer

           2147483648  : Trace Audit data

        -l<FileName> : Name of the trace log file

        -z<FileName> : Name of the error log file (only if any error occurs)

        -c<FileName> : Name of the config file

        -w<FileName> : Name of the monitor file (must be used together with option -r)

        -r           : Monitor sample rate (# of rows)

        -test        : Execute real-time jobs in batch test mode

        -nt          : Execute in single threaded mode

        -np          : Execute in single process mode

        -no_audit : Execute with Audit turned off

        -no_dq_capture    : Execute with Data quality statistics capture turned off

        -Ksp<SystemConfiguration>    : Execute with system configuration

        -Ck          : Execute in checkpoint mode

        -Cr          : Execute in checkpoint recovery mode

        -Cm<MachineName>       : Name of machine that administrates this job

        -Ca<AccessServerName>  : Name of access server that administrates this job

        -Ct<JobType>           : Type of this job (e.g. -CtBatch or -CtRTDF)

        -Cj<JobServerHostName> : Name of job server's host that executes this job

        -Cp<Port>              : Port of job server that executes this job

        -CSV                   : Commandline Substitution Parameters (e.g. -CSV"$$DIR_PATH=C:/temp")

        -U<User>         : Repository login user

        -P<Password>     : Repository login password

        -S<Server>       : Repository server name

        -N<DatabaseType> : Repository database type

        -Q<Database>     : Repository database

        -g               : Repository using Windows Authentication (Microsoft SQL Server only)

        -X               : Export the repository to file "repo_export.atl"

        -XX[L]              : Export the repository to file "export.xml"

        -XI<Filename.xml>             : Import information into the repository

-Xp@<ObjectType>@<FileName>                : Exports all repository objects of the specified type to the specified file in ATL format.

        -Xp@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>   : Export the specific repository object to the ATL file

-Xp@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>@DE: Export the specific repository object and its dependents with datastore information to the ATL file.

-Xp@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>@D : Exports the specified repository object and its dependents to the specified file in ATL format, excluding datastore information.

-XX[L]@<ObjectType>@<FileName>                : Export the specific repository objects to the XML file

-XX[L]@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>   : Export the specific repository object to the XML file

-XX[L]@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>@DE: Export the specific repository object and its dependents with datastore information to the XML file

-XX[L]@<ObjectType>@<FileName>@<ObjectName>@D : Export the specific repository object and its dependents without datastore information to the xml file

                <ObjectType> can be one of the following

                        P : Exports all Projects

                        J : Exports all Jobs

                        W : Exports all Workflows

                        D : Exports all Dataflows

                        T : Exports all Idocs

                        F : Exports all user defined File formats

                        X : Exports all XML and DTD Message formats

                        S : Exports all Datastores

                        C : Exports all Custom functions

                        B : Exports all COBOL Copybooks

                        E : Exports all Excel workbooks

                        p : Exports all System Profiles

                        v : Exports all Substitution Parameter Configurations

                        K : Exports all SDK transform Configurations

                [L] - Optionally, export a lean XML.

        -XC              : Compact repository

-XV<ObjectType>@<ObjectName>              : Validate object of type <ObjectType> that exists in the repository

                <ObjectType> can be one of the following when validating objects

                        J : Job

                        W : Workflow

                        D : Dataflow

                        T : ABAP Transform

                        F : File format

                        X : XML Schema or DTD Message format

                        S : Datastore

                        C : Custom function

                        B : COBOL Copybook

                        E : Excel workbook

                        p : System Profile

                        v : Substitution Parameter Configuration

                        K: SDK Transform Configuration

-XR<ObjectType>@<ObjectName>              : Remove object of type <ObjectType> from the repository where ObjectName can be "datastore"."owner"."name" in case of objects (for example, table, stored procedure, domain, hierarchy, or IDOC) contained in a datastore.

                <ObjectType> can be any of the object types mentioned for XV option. In addition they can be one of the following

                        P : Project

                        t : Table or Template Table

                        f : Stored procedure or function

                        h : Hierarchy

                        d : Domain

                        i : IDOC

                        a : BW Master Transfer Structure

                        b : BW Master Text Transfer Structure

                        c : BW Master Transaction Transfer Structure

                        e : BW Hiearchy Transfer

                        x : SAP Extractor

-Xi<ObjectType>@<ObjectName>            : Imports the specified object into the repository.

                <ObjectType> is the same as -XR above

        -x              : Export internal built-in function information

        -xi<datastore>  : Print datastore's imported objects to file "<datastore>_imported_objects.txt"

        -f<Filename.atl>[@NoUpgrade]  : Import information from ATL into the repository. By default this option upgrades the SDK Tranforms prior to importing them to repository, and does not import the read-only configurations. Specify @NoUpgrade to ignore the upgrade step or to import read-only configuration ATLs (e.g. sample_sdk_transform.atl).

        -F<Datastore.Owner.Function> : Import function(s)

        -H<filename>                 : Import a DTD or XML file to Repo

        -I<Datastore.Owner.Table>    : Import a single table

        -M<Datastore>                : Import tables and functions

        -Y<Datastore.Owner.Treename> : Import a tree class

        -el<Datastore.Owner.DBLink>  : Import a database link.

        -et<Datastore>               : Print all imported database links for the current Datastore.

        -G<guid>    : Execute a session specified by a GUID

        -s<Session> : Execute a session

        -p<Plan>    : Execute a plan

        -passphrase<Passphrase>      : Import/export the passwords from/to atl using the passphrase.

        -epassphrase<base64-encoded-passphrase>     : Same as -passphrase except that it accepts base64 encoded data to allow any special character in the passphrase. The passphrase must have been transcoded to UTF8 character set prior to applying base64 encoding.

        -GV<global var assign list> : A list of global variable assignments, separated by semicolons t   the whole list in double-quotes.

        -a<ABAPProgram> : Generate ABAP code

        -V<name=value>  : Set the environment variable <name> with <value>

        -L<list of value>    : List of Object Labels from UI (separated by , or ; or space) to filter Use double quotes around list if space used as a separator.

        -yr"<repository parameter file in quotes>"   : Read repository information from "file" (default path: %link_dir%/conf/)

        -gr"<repository parameter file in quotes>"   : Write repository information to "file" (default path: %link_dir%/conf/)

        -jd"<datastore delta file in quotes>"   : Modify datastore values using "file" (default path: %link_dir%/conf/)

        -test_repo  : Test repository connection

        -b : Populate AL_USAGE table

        -ep : Populate AL_PARENT_CHILD table

        -ec : Populate AL_COLMAP and AL_COLMAP_TEXT tables

        Tree following options are for portable database targets (controlled release).

                -WE : Delete properties of portable targets for datastore's database types other than default.

                -WP : Populate properties of all portable targets for all datastore's database types.

                -WD<datastore> : Datastore to which -WE and/or -WP is applied. If <datastore> was not specified, the option will apply to all portable targets.

        -ClusterLevel<Distribution level> : Execute job with distribution level (e.g. -ClusterLevelJOB, -ClusterLevelDATAFLOW, -ClusterLevelTRANSFORM for sub data flow)

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