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What is document Archiving in SAP?

Document archiving helps to delete the data from the database and archive in a separate file system. This activity will enable the business to reduce its data load in the database and improve system performance. Once the data is written and saved to archive files, you can retrieve the same in future for information purposes. Data archiving can be done in regular intervals (yearly) and is of two main steps:

  1. Write data to the archive files.

  2. Delete data from the database.

Benefits of document archiving 

  1. Improve system performance and response time.

  2. Reduce maintenance cost.

  3. Reduce the cost of memory and disk space.

  4. Can retrieve the archived documents as and when required. (It is not completely deleted)

Prerequisites to archiving.

  1. Clear all the possible open items up to current date (customer/vendor/GL)

  2. Maintain the residence period of data (this is the period that the documents should be in the system to qualify for the archiving)

Maintain residence period of data.

T code - SARA

  • Enter the object name and click on "customizing."


  • Maintain account type life and document type life


Archiving Object

Archiving object handles which data and how the data is archived. There are several objects build in the system for each module (FI/CO/MM SD etc)

Process of Archiving documents 

  •   Analysis is done to identify which tables containing the highest volume of data. This activity is done by the Basis consultant. Ex:- We need to identify first few tables that covers approximately 80% of the total volume of the data base. With this step we can finalize which tables' data we are going to archive.


  • Once the tables are finalized, need to identify the archiving objects relevant to that table. You can do this in t code DB15. Ex: - If the table is BSEG, then you can check what are the relevant objects to be used in archiving using t code DB15. With this activity, you can finalize    the objects that will be used in archiving data.


  •  Archive Administration: T code - SARA

The data archiving is done via t code SARA. This t code will also direct us to different othe  branches like maintaining residence period for documents, finding suitable object to tables (DB15), status of archiving jobs, information systems etc...


Under "Actions" the sequence of steps can be seen that takes place when archiving                            documents

Write - With this step, the data will be written to archive files. But the deletion of data is not yet taken place.  New variants are created to specify which data to be written and then delete. The data we specify in the variant will be different depending on the object.

Delete - The written data is deleted from the database when you execute delete function.

Both Write and Delete functions can be executed in test and production mode. If you select test mode, the data will not be written or deleted from the data base. It will just show a log of the entries that will be written and deleted. The actual write and delete will happen in production mode.

Some of the objects will have below steps also;

Pre-processing - With this step, system will add a deletion flag to the data to be deleted from the database. This step is executed before delete programme.

Post - processing - Post processing will check and delete the data if there is any, that could not be deleted with the delete programme.

Read - Read data will allow you to display the archived data via data retrieving programme.

Management - Under Management you can see the status of the archiving sessions took place in the system. The sessions will be shown in;

Green color - Completed sessions.

Yellow color - Incomplete sessions (data is archived only)

Red color - Sessions with errors

Retrieve Archived Documents - T code SARI

After the documents are archived and deleted, we need to retrieve this information for the future reference purposes. Archive explorer will allow us to display the archived documents if required. In order to get data to the Archive explorer, we need to activate the Infor structures allocated to each object.

Info structures - This will enable to retrieve and display the archived data. You need to activate the infostructures assigned to each object before retrieving documents.


Once you have activated the infostructure, the same can be executed in Archive explorer.

After executing above, there are input fields as company code/fiscal year/document number etc.. With these input parameters, you can display the archived documents.

The same function is available in the reports line GL/Vendor/Customer line-item display.

FBL3N - Display archived information.


Other related T codes

TAANA - Table Analysis

This function will enable you to analyze the volume of data in each table with respect to different parameters company code/fiscal year/GL etc... You can view the number of entries in each table before and after archiving documents. It will help to get an idea of the volume of data that was reduced after archiving.


The above blog covers an overview of document archiving in SAP. This article is related to functional aspect of Archiving. There are lot more activities to do when it comes to technical functionalities related to document archiving like create physical and logical paths, analyze the total database size and table composition for that volume etc..
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