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Why does MERGE DELTA OF produce an UPDATE DML statement against the table being delta-merged?


For Sarbanes Oxley auditing I audit DML statements to SAP-owned data by users other than SAPSID. This a monthly report of this activity is almost always empty but recently I discovered that the SQL Statement "MERGE DELTA OF...." executed by user system against a SAP-Owned table also produces an "UPDATE" record in the audit log associated with that Delta Merge operation.

As advertised, the only syntax that the UPDATE dml statement allows is 'SET COL_NAME=<some

Does anyone know what is being "UPDATED" ?

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The MERGE DELTA statement has historically been implemented as part of the column store update operations. This is similar to the UPDATE COMPRESSION command, which still is exposed as an UPDATE with some HINTS.

One could argue that since the representation of the table contents in the internal structures is changed, UPDATE (i.e. data changes) is a somewhat correct. However, I would agree that this an unfortunate choice as SQL commands are generally only concerned with the data itself and not with how it is represented in the internal database structures.

Anyhow, the commands are issued by some user on custom tables. If that user shouldn't issue the commands, then revoking the privileges to do so would be the best course of action.