Start Routines Bogging Down Your System? Try These Alternatives

  • by Michael Shtulaizen, SAP NetWeaver Technical Manager, Strauss Group Ltd., Israel
  • June 15, 2010
The presence of a start routine changes the selected data structure and granularity. It has a negative impact on the source data retrieval process, even if you have not implemented it. In some scenarios, a start routine can change execution time from minutes to hours and even produce a different result. In most cases, you can implement an alternative solution to obtain the best loading performance.
Key Concept
A transformation is a stage of the extraction, transformation, and loading process that allows you to consolidate, cleanse, and integrate data from heterogeneous sources. When you load data from one BI object into another BI object, the data is passed through a transformation, which then converts the source fields into the target format.

In large-scale SAP NetWeaver BW implementations, a support team has to handle two antagonistic trends:

  • The permanent growth of data scope that should be processed in the same restricted window of time
  • Strongly defined scheduling for the actual release of data to end users

In many cases, you can improve the data processing time by taking a look at the transformation’s start routine. However, in other scenarios including the following, the use of a start routine is required:

  • Analyzing a group of semantically associated records (all documents items)
  • Normalizing a data structure (inserting records)
  • Optimizing the data process by performing a single selection for a group of fields

Because a start routine causes redundant source data retrieval and has a negative effect on your loading process performance, you should avoid using it in all other scenarios.

I’ll explain how start routines work within transformations and then I’ll show you two views of transformations, one with a start routine and one without. I’ll then explain how a transformation’s start routine could affect performance. To help you avoid unnecessary start routines, I offer three alternatives — a transformation end routine, data transfer process (DTP) filtering, or a transformation update rules routine — and explain which situation is best suited for each alternative.

Michael Shtulaizen

Michael Shtulaizen is the SAP NetWeaver technical manager of Strauss Group Ltd., Israel. He has been working with SAP BW since 2002. He has rich development experience in SAP environments (more than 10 years) that allows him to propose original solutions in SAP NetWeaver BW systems.

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