SAP HANA’s System Usage Type: Use this Simple Setting to Prevent Major Mistakes in Your Production System

  • by Ned Falk, Senior Education Consultant, SAP
  • April 30, 2015
Learn the steps needed to configure the new SAP HANA Support Package 8 system usage type feature to enable warnings when the SAP system thinks you’re doing things you should not be doing in your SAP HANA production system.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn:

  • How to initially configure the system usage type parameter for an SAP HANA system
  • How to change this parameter in existing systems
  • The effects of production usage types versus non-production usage types
Key Concept

The system usage type is one of many new features available in the newest release of SAP HANA, Support Package 8. This feature allows the technical database to assign a code to describe the purpose of an SAP HANA database instance (for example, a test or production system). If a production system usage type is assigned, special warnings are provided when specific tasks are attempted.

The SAP system’s Windows user interface (UI) for SAP NetWeaver (the UI used by SAP ERP Central Component [ECC], CRM, and BW), offered some great features to help identify which system you are logged on to. In addition to identifying the system itself by name, you could change the color of the Windows screen based on the system you were currently in—development, test, or production. This is not a standard feature offered by SAP HANA’s Eclipse-based GUI.

As a matter of fact, until recently, you could do not do anything to identify a system in your SAP HANA studio as a production versus a test system. Not being able to easily recognize your current system makes it easier to inadvertently cause a problem. For example you could restart production (a very big deal) when you meant to restart development instead (assuming your security people allowed you the access to do either).

Now with Support Package 8 of SAP HANA, you can configure your production SAP HANA database in a way that allows the SAP HANA studio system to warn users when tasks they are performing in a production environment may not be appropriate. SAP HANA’s name for the feature is the system usage type.

To learn more about this feature, follow this SAP Help link: Configuring SAP HANA System Properties. What is not covered in this SAP Help section is how, exactly, to set up the usage type during the initial installation. This setup is the focus of this article. In addition, this Help link states that a system restart is required to use this feature. While this may be true for a multi-host scale-out of SAP HANA, in the case of a single-host configured system, a simple refresh of the system is all that is needed. You can also learn more about this feature by attending HA200 class.

The Initial Setup for System Usage Types

The ability to make changes to the system’s usage type is the domain of the systems or database administrator. Therefore, your user or the roles granted to your user must include the system privilege called INFILE ADMIN. For a new system, this can be set during installation. I explain how to set up the INFILE ADMIN system privilege in the next section of this article, Change the Usage Type for Existing Systems. If you have the opportunity to install a new system, I recommend that you definitely set the parameter then so that you do not forget later.

Ned Falk

Ned Falk is a senior education consultant at SAP. In prior positions, he implemented many ERP solutions, including SAP R/3. While at SAP, he initially focused on logistics. Now he focuses on SAP HANA, SAP BW (formerly SAP NetWeaver BW), SAP CRM, and the integration of SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects tools. You can meet him in person when he teaches SAP HANA, SAP BW, or SAP CRM classes from the Atlanta SAP office, or in a virtual training class over the web. If you need an SAP education plan for SAP HANA, SAP BW, BusinessObjects, or SAP CRM, you may contact Ned via email.

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