top of page

SAP ILM Retention Warehouse Guide

SAP ILM Retention Warehouse Introduction

The first phase of the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse process involves decommissioning legacy systems. This is done by transferring data that has been archived or extracted from the legacy system to the Retention Warehouse. The goal is to standardize the decommissioning process.

The Retention Warehouse analyzes the archived data and associated meta information, creating the necessary infrastructure for reporting. This infrastructure enables organizations to monitor and track the archived data effectively.

Administrators can use the ILM Retention Warehouse Cockpit to manage the process. This includes tasks like transferring archive files and attachments, as well as executing predefined steps for data retention and decommissioning.

Organizations can tailor reporting to their specific needs within the Retention Warehouse. This customization allows for detailed insights into the archived data and helps ensure compliance with data retention policies.

Overall, SAP ILM simplifies data management, retention, and decommissioning processes. It provides a structured approach to preserving and governing data while also supporting efficient data access when needed.

System Architecture

The Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) retention warehouse involves several key components and their interconnections. The following typically illustrate how different elements such as data sources, processing layers, storage systems, and management interfaces interact within an ILM framework. Here's a description of what such a diagram might include:

Data Sources: This section represents various sources from which data is collected. It could include databases, cloud storage, file systems, and external data sources.

Ingestion Layer: This layer is responsible for importing data from the sources into the system. It may involve data validation, initial processing, and formatting.

Processing and Transformation Layer: In this layer, data is processed, cleaned, and transformed into a suitable format for storage and analysis. This might involve data deduplication, compression, and encryption.

Storage Layer: This is a critical component of the ILM warehouse. It includes primary storage for active data and secondary storage for less frequently accessed data. The storage layer is managed based on data retention policies, which determine how long data is kept and when it's archived or deleted.

Data Archiving and Retrieval: This subsystem handles the archiving of data that is not frequently accessed. It ensures data is stored securely and can be easily retrieved when needed.

Data Management and Policy Enforcement: This includes tools and applications for managing data lifecycle policies, monitoring data usage, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

User Access and Security: This encompasses user interfaces for accessing data, as well as security measures like authentication, authorization, and auditing to protect data and ensure only authorized access.

Backup and Disaster Recovery: This part of the diagram would show how data is backed up and what systems are in place for disaster recovery and business continuity.

Monitoring and Reporting: This area includes tools for monitoring the health and performance of the ILM system, as well as for generating reports on data usage, compliance, and other key metrics.

External Integrations: This could illustrate how the ILM system integrates with other systems or applications, such as business intelligence tools or external cloud services.

Systems connectivity within the Scope of SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server.

Connection from SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server to Legacy System:

This involves connecting the SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server system to a legacy system. The type of connection depends on whether the legacy system is an SAP or a non-SAP system:

Non-SAP Legacy System: A database connection is required. This is set up using Transaction DBCO (DB Connection Maintenance) in the SAP system.

SAP Legacy System: An ABAP Remote Function Call (RFC) connection is used. RFC is a mechanism that allows an SAP system to communicate with other systems (SAP or non-SAP) by calling functions remotely.

Connection from SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server to the Database:

Here, the focus is on connecting the SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server to a database, but specifically to a new database schema.

The purpose of this connection is to manage database objects related to the shutdown project separately from the primary database objects.

The primary database schema, typically called SAPR3, contains standard objects like tables and views. The new database schema, created for the project, is separate from this and allows for better management and isolation of project-related objects.

Connection from SAP ILM Retention Warehouse System to SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server System

This part is about establishing a connection between two systems: the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse System and the SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server System.

You need to set up an RFC (Remote Function Call) connection.

RFC is a communication protocol used by SAP to enable communication between different systems. In this scenario, it's used to facilitate data transfer or replication between the ILM retention warehouse and the Landscape Transformation Replication Server.

Connection from the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse System to the SAP ILM-Enabled Storage System

This part addresses a different connection, one between the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse System and an SAP ILM-enabled storage system. An HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) connection is required.

HTTP is a widely-used protocol for data communication on the internet. In this case, it's being used to connect the ILM Retention Warehouse with the storage system that's equipped with SAP ILM capabilities, likely for data storage and management.

Transferring Data from the Legacy System

Replicating data from a legacy system to the SAP ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) Retention Warehouse involves several steps. This process ensures that historical data from older systems is preserved and managed in accordance with retention policies and compliance requirements. Here's a general outline of the process:

Assessment and Planning:

Evaluate the legacy system to understand the type, volume, and format of the data that needs to be replicated. Plan the replication process, including timelines, resources required, and any potential challenges (like data format differences or compatibility issues).

Data Mapping and Transformation:

Map the data structures in the legacy system to the corresponding structures in the SAP ILM system. This might involve transforming data formats to be compatible with SAP ILM.

Determine any necessary data transformations or conversions to ensure data integrity and accessibility in the new system.

Configure SAP ILM and Retention Warehouse:

Set up and configure the SAP ILM system and the Retention Warehouse to receive and store the replicated data. Ensure that the configuration aligns with your data retention policies and complies with any regulatory requirements.

Develop Data Replication Procedures:

Create or utilize existing tools and procedures for the actual data replication. This might involve custom scripts, SAP Data Services, or other ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools.

Test Replication Process:

Conduct a test run of the replication process using a subset of data. This helps identify any issues in data mapping, transformation, or transfer.

Resolve any issues identified during testing before proceeding with full-scale replication.

Execute Data Replication:

Carry out the data replication process from the legacy system to SAP ILM and the Retention Warehouse. Monitor the replication process closely to ensure data integrity and to address any issues immediately.

Data Verification and Validation:

Once replication is complete, verify the integrity and completeness of the replicated data.

Validate that the data in SAP ILM and the Retention Warehouse is accurate and accessible as expected.

Update Retention Policies if Necessary:

Review and update retention policies in SAP ILM to accommodate the newly replicated data, ensuring compliance with legal and business requirements.

Replication, Export, Extraction

The processes of Replication, Export, and Extraction in SAP ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) Retention Warehouse involve the management of data within the system. Here's an explanation of each process:


Replication in SAP ILM Retention Warehouse involves copying data from a source system, such as a legacy system, into the Retention Warehouse.

The main concept is to replicate the data from the legacy system into the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse using tools like SAP SLT (System Landscape Transformation) or other data replication methods. This replication ensures that a duplicate set of data is available for archiving and retention purposes in the SAP ILM system, allowing you to maintain historical records and comply with data retention policies.


In the context of SAP ILM Retention Warehouse, exporting typically refers to the process of transferring data from the Retention Warehouse to external storage or archive systems.

This export process is essential for complying with data retention policies and legal requirements. Data that is no longer needed for active business processes can be exported or archived in a compliant manner. Exported data is often stored securely and can be retrieved if needed for legal, audit, or compliance purposes.


Extraction in SAP ILM Retention Warehouse involves the retrieval of specific data or meta-information when an SAP system is being shut down or decommissioned.

The Retention Warehouse contains extraction services that allow you to archive the necessary meta-information to ensure that you can access and manage the data even when the source system is no longer operational.

Extraction ensures that relevant data is preserved and accessible for compliance, legal, and historical purposes.

In summary, Replication involves copying data into the Retention Warehouse, Export focuses on moving data out for long-term storage, and Extraction ensures that vital information is retained when decommissioning SAP systems.

Setting up SAP ILM to govern data preservation within the framework of SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server (SLT)

  • Set Up ILM in SAP before configuring ILM for data extraction in SLT. Ensure that SAP ILM is properly set up. Establish the rules for data retention and archiving in SAP ILM. This is crucial for compliance with legal requirements and internal data management policies.

  • Ensure that ILM objects relevant to your data are activated. This step is necessary for the ILM process to recognize and manage the data according to the defined retention rules.

  • Define SLT Configuration: Set up an SLT configuration (also known as a replication configuration) to specify the source and target systems, and other parameters relevant to the replication process.

  • In the SLT configuration, select the tables or data objects that need to be replicated. This selection should align with the data categories covered by your ILM policies.

  • Map ILM Policies to Replicated Data: Ensure that the data being replicated by SLT is managed according to the ILM policies. This might involve aligning the replication process with the retention rules defined in SAP ILM.

  • Set up mechanisms for archiving and deleting data in the target system based on the ILM policies. This ensures that data is retained only for the required duration and is then properly disposed of.

  • If sensitive data is being replicated, consider implementing data anonymization or masking techniques within the SLT process to ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.

  • Regularly monitor the SLT replication and ILM processes to ensure they are functioning as expected.

  • Periodically perform audits to ensure that the data retention and archiving are in compliance with legal and organizational policies.

Setting up Data Extraction in an SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server Environment

  • Ensure that the SAP systems involved (both the source system and the system where SAP LT Replication Server is installed) meet the necessary prerequisites in terms of software versions, patches, and hardware specifications.

  • Install the SAP LT Replication Server on a dedicated SAP system.

  • Ensure that the SAP LT Replication Server version is compatible with the source system.

  • Set up the Data Dictionary (DDIC) and the necessary authorizations.

  • Create a database connection to the SAP LT Replication Server using DB Connect or Secondary Database Connection (SDC).

  • Define a configuration and replication scenario in the SAP LT Replication Server.

  • Use transaction LTR (or LTRC in newer versions) to create a configuration.

  • Specify the source system and the target system (where the data will be replicated).

  • Choose the tables or data objects that need to be replicated.

  • Initiate the data load for the initial transfer of data to the target system.

  • Set up real-time replication to continuously replicate changes from the source system.

  • Configure SAP ILM in the target system to manage the lifecycle of the replicated data.

  • Define ILM policies and rules to handle data retention, archiving, and destruction according to compliance requirements.

  • Perform tests to ensure the replication is working as expected.

  • Validate the data in the target system for accuracy and completeness.

  • Regularly monitor the replication process for any issues or delays.

  • Perform routine maintenance and updates as required.

Replication of Data from the Legacy System

  • Understand the data structure, volume, and format in your legacy system.

  • Determine which data needs to be retained according to legal and business requirements.

  • Define how data from the legacy system will map to the SAP ILM structure.

  • Configure SAP ILM: Ensure that SAP ILM is properly set up in your SAP environment. This includes configuring retention management, setting up archiving objects, and defining retention rules.

  • Establish the Retention Warehouse within the SAP ILM framework where the legacy data will be stored.

  • Choose appropriate tools for extracting data from the legacy system. This could be SAP Data Services, custom scripts, or third-party tools, depending on the legacy system's compatibility.

  • Perform the data extraction, ensuring that the data is in a format compatible with SAP ILM.

  • Convert the extracted data into a format suitable for SAP ILM. This may involve restructuring, field mapping, and format conversion.

  • Cleanse the data to ensure accuracy and completeness before importing it into SAP ILM.

  • Prepare Import Scripts/Tools: Depending on the format and volume of data, prepare the necessary scripts or tools for data import.

  • Import the cleansed and transformed data into the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. This step should align with the mapped data structures and retention rules.

  • Post-import, validate the data within SAP ILM to ensure it has been imported correctly and is consistent with the source.

  • Apply the appropriate retention policies to the imported data within SAP ILM.

  • Test Retention Workflows: Conduct thorough testing of the retention and archiving workflows to ensure they work as intended.

  • Perform quality assurance checks to ensure data integrity and compliance with retention policies.

  • Regularly monitor the data within the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse for compliance with retention policies.

  • Perform routine maintenance and updates as necessary.

Archiving Data from the Legacy System

  • Understand the scope, format, and volume of data in the legacy system.

  • Determine which data needs to be archived based on business requirements, legal compliance, and data relevance.

  • Create a strategy for how the data will be transferred and stored in the SAP ILM system.

  • Set up and configure the SAP ILM environment, ensuring it's ready to receive and manage archived data.

  • Establish rules and policies in SAP ILM for data retention, ensuring they align with regulatory and business requirements.

  • Use appropriate tools or scripts to extract the relevant data from the legacy system.

  • Clean and transform the data into a format compatible with SAP ILM, ensuring data quality and consistency.

  • Choose the appropriate archiving tools or methods, which could be SAP Data Archiving, custom scripts, or third-party solutions.

  • Transfer the prepared data to the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. This involves storing the data in a way that aligns with the predefined retention policies.

  • After archiving, validate the data to ensure it has been accurately transferred and is retrievable.

  • Verify that retention policies are correctly applied to the archived data and check for compliance with relevant regulations.

  • Continuously monitor the archived data to ensure adherence to retention policies and data integrity.

  • Conduct regular audits to confirm compliance with legal and business data retention requirements.

Running an Archiving Procedure via the Legacy Extraction Workbench

  • Understand the data types, structures, and formats in the legacy system that need to be archived.

  • Determine which data needs to be archived based on business, legal, and compliance requirements.

  • Ensure that your SAP ILM environment is properly configured, including setting up the Retention Warehouse and defining retention rules.

  • Navigate to the Legacy Extraction Workbench in your SAP system. Set up the extraction process, including source system connection details, data selection criteria, and extraction parameters.

  • Start the extraction process from the legacy system. This may involve executing scripts or using built-in functionalities of the workbench.

  • Keep track of the extraction process, checking for errors or interruptions.

  • Ensure that the data from the legacy system maps correctly to the corresponding fields in the SAP ILM system.

  • If necessary, convert the extracted data into a format that is compatible with SAP ILM.

  • Initially, load the transformed data into a staging area within SAP ILM.

  • Perform checks to ensure data integrity and correctness.

  • Using the Legacy Extraction Workbench, initiate the archiving process to move data from the staging area to the Retention Warehouse.

  • Ensure that the loaded data adheres to the defined retention policies.

  • Confirm that the data has been successfully archived in the Retention Warehouse.

  • Ensure that the archiving process complies with legal and regulatory requirements.

  • Continuously monitor the archived data to ensure ongoing compliance and data integrity.

  • Address any issues or updates that arise in the Legacy Extraction Workbench or SAP ILM system.

Transferring Archived Data to the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse System

  • Before transferring, you need to archive the data from your operational SAP systems. This involves identifying the data that needs to be archived, which could be based on age, relevance, or compliance requirements.

  • These rules determine how long data should be retained in the warehouse based on legal and business requirements.

  • Archive the data from the source system. Once archived, this data is transferred to the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. The transfer can be done in various ways, including batch jobs or scheduled transfers.

  • In the retention warehouse, the data is stored securely. You can also apply encryption to protect sensitive information.

  • Ensure that data is retained for the required period and then, when the retention period expires, it can be deleted in a compliant manner.

  • Have mechanisms in place for authorized users to access and retrieve archived data when necessary.

  • Regularly monitor the system for performance and compliance. Ensure that the system adheres to the set retention policies and legal requirements.

  • Regularly update the system for new compliance requirements, changes in organizational data policies, or to enhance system performance.

Transferring Administration Data

  • The first step is to determine which administration data needs to be archived. This can include data like system logs, audit trails, job logs, IDOCs, and other system-generated information.

  • Set up appropriate archiving objects for the administration data you plan to archive.

  • Establish policies for how long different types of administration data should be retained. These policies might be influenced by legal compliance requirements, internal data management policies, or storage considerations.

  • Ensure that the SAP ILM system and the Retention Warehouse are correctly configured to handle the administration data. This includes setting up the connectivity, defining storage locations, and ensuring proper security and access controls are in place.

  • Perform the actual archiving process for the identified administration data. This typically involves running a predefined archiving program that corresponds to the archiving objects you've set up.

  • Once the data is archived, it can be transferred to the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. This transfer should be secure, and it should maintain the integrity of the data.

  • In the Retention Warehouse, the data is managed according to the defined retention policies. The system ensures that data is kept for the necessary duration and then is properly disposed of when its retention period expires.

  • Archived data should remain accessible for audit purposes. Ensure that there are mechanisms in place for authorized personnel to access and report on this data as required for compliance reviews or audits.

  • Regular monitoring of the ILM and Retention Warehouse systems is crucial to ensure they are functioning correctly and in compliance with policies. Regular maintenance and updates might also be necessary to adapt to new requirements or improve system performance.

Converting Files

  • Evaluate the current formats of the files that need to be archived. Determine if these formats are suitable for long-term storage (considering factors like software obsolescence, data corruption risks, etc.).

  • Based on the assessment, identify which file formats require conversion. Consider future accessibility, software compatibility, and any regulatory requirements for data storage.

  • Choose target formats that are widely used, non-proprietary (if possible), and known for their longevity and stability. Common formats include PDF/A for documents, XML for structured data, and CSV or JSON for data files.

  • Develop procedures or scripts for converting files to the selected formats. This could involve using in-built SAP functions, custom ABAP programs, or external conversion tools.

  • Integrate the conversion process into the overall data archiving workflow in SAP ILM. This integration ensures that files are automatically converted as part of the archiving process.

  • Conduct thorough testing to ensure that the conversion process works as intended. Verify that data integrity is maintained post-conversion and that the converted files meet the required specifications.

  • For large volumes of data, set up and execute batch conversion jobs. Monitor these jobs for any errors or issues that may arise during the conversion process.

  • Once converted, archive the files and transfer them to the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. Ensure that this transfer maintains the integrity and security of the files.

  • If necessary, update retention policies in SAP ILM to reflect any changes in file formats or types. Ensure that these policies are in line with legal and compliance requirements.

Storing Files

  • Determine the structure and type of data to be archived. Create or identify an archiving object appropriate for the files you intend to store. Configure the archiving object to handle the specific file types and data structures you're working with.

  • Set up and configure the physical or cloud-based storage systems where the files will be stored. This might involve integrating with external storage solutions.Ensure that the storage systems meet your security, capacity, and performance requirements.

  • Create ILM Store that points to the configured storage system. Specify the connection details and storage type (e.g., file system, database, cloud storage).

  • Before going live, thoroughly test the archiving and storage process to ensure that files are correctly archived, transferred, and stored in accordance with your policies.

  • Validate that retrieval, access, and deletion of files work as intended.

  • Set up monitoring for the system to track performance, storage utilization, and compliance with retention policies. Plan for regular maintenance, updates, and audits to ensure the system remains effective and compliant over time.

Reporting Data and Process Flow

  • Configure reporting tools and processes in SAP to access the archived data. This might involve setting up SAP BW (Business Warehouse) queries, SAP BO (Business Objects) reports, or other reporting mechanisms.

  • Implement processes for retrieving archived data for reporting purposes. Ensure that these processes comply with access and security policies.

  • Regularly generate reports to demonstrate compliance with internal and external regulations. Include information on data retention, deletion, and access.

Accelerated Reporting and Use of SAP BusinessObjects BI

  • Evaluate your current reporting requirements. Understand what data is most frequently accessed and the typical queries run against this data.

  • Determine which archived data in the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse is relevant for your reporting needs. This data should be easily accessible for reporting purposes.

  • Structure the archived data in the Retention Warehouse in a way that is optimized for reporting. This may involve indexing key fields or organizing data to facilitate efficient querying.

  • Set up integration between SAP BusinessObjects BI and the SAP ILM Retention Warehouse. Ensure that BusinessObjects BI can access the necessary data within the Retention Warehouse.

  • Create or modify existing BusinessObjects reports to leverage the archived data. This can include creating universes or data models that are specifically designed for efficient reporting on archived data.

  • For frequently accessed reports, consider implementing caching strategies to improve report loading times. This can significantly speed up the retrieval of data for reports.

  • Utilize various tools within SAP BusinessObjects, such as Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, or Lumira, to create and distribute reports. Choose the tool that best fits the reporting needs and user preferences.

  • Provide users with the capability to perform ad-hoc reporting. This involves ensuring they have access to the relevant data and the necessary tools within BusinessObjects BI to create their own reports.

64 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Featured Blog Post

bottom of page