SAP ABAP

Update Techniques-Asynchronous and Synchronous Update

Posted on: September 19, 2007

The main update technique for bundling database changes in a single database LUW is to use CALL FUNCTION… IN UPDATE TASK. This section describes various ways of updating the database.
A program can send an update request using COMMIT WORK
To the update work process, where it is processed asynchronously. The program does not wait for the work process to finish the update ( Asynchronous Update).
For asynchronous processing in two steps ( Updating Asynchronously in Steps.)
To the update work process, where it is processed synchronously. The program waits for the work process to finish the update ( Synchronous Update).
To its own work process locally. In this case, of course, the program has to wait until the update is finished ( Local Update.)

Asynchronous Update

A typical R/3 installation contains dialog work processes and at least one update work process. The update work processes are responsible for updating the database. When an ABAP program reaches a COMMIT WORK statement, any function modules from CALL FUNCTION… IN UPDATE TASK statements are released for processing in an update work process. The dialog process does not wait for the update to finish. This kind of update is called asynchronous update.

The following diagram shows a typical asynchronous update :

For example, suppose a user wants to change an entry in a database table, or add a new one. He or she enters the necessary data, and then starts the update process by choosing Save. This starts the following procedure in the ABAP program:
Firstly, the program locks the database entry against other users, using the enqueue work process (or the message server in the case of a distributed system). This generates an entry in the lock table. The user is informed whether the update was successful, or whether the lock could not be set because of other users.
If the lock is set, the program reads the entry that is to be changed and modifies it. If the user has created a new entry, the program checks whether a record with the same key values already exists.
In the current dialog work process, the program calls a function module using CALL FUNCTION… IN UPDATE TASK, and this writes the change details as an entry in table VBLOG.
When the program is finished (maybe after further dialog steps), a COMMIT WORK statement starts the final part of the SAP LUW. The work process that is processing the current dialog step starts an update work process.
Based on the information passed to it from the dialog work process, the update work process reads the log entries belonging to the SAP LUW from table VBLOG.
The update work process passes this data to the database for updating, and analyzes the return message from the database. If the update was successful, the update work process triggers a database commit after the last database change and deletes the log entries from table VBLOG. If an error occurred, the update work process triggers a database rollback, leaves the log entries in table VBLOG, flags them as containing errors, and sends a SAPoffice message to the user, who should then inform the system administrator.
The corresponding entries in the lock table are reset by the update work process.
Asynchronous update is useful when response time from the transaction is critical, and the database updates themselves are so complex that they justify the extra system load of logging them in VBLOG. If you are running a transaction in a background work process, asynchronous update offers no advantages.

Updating Asynchronously in Steps
When you process a VBLOG entry asynchronously, you can do it in two update steps. This allows you to divide the contents of the update into primary and secondary steps. The primary step is called V1, the secondary step V2. The V1 and V2 steps of a log entry are processed in separate database LUWs. The entries in the lock table are usually deleted once the V1 step has been processed. There is no locking for the V2 step. Dividing up the update process allows you to separate time-critical updates that require database locks from less critical data updates that do not need locks. V2 steps receive lower priority from the dispatcher than V1 steps. This ensures that the time- and lock-critical updates are processed quickly, even when the system is busy.
If an error occurs during the V1 processing, the database rollback applies to all V1 steps in the log entry. The entire entry is replaced in table VBLOG. If an error occurs during V2 processing, all of the V2 steps in the log entry are replaced in table VBLOG, but the V1 updates are not reversed.
The system marks rolled-back function modules as error functions in the update task log. The error can then be corrected and the function restarted later. To access the update task log, choose Tools ® Administration ® Monitoring ® Update. For further information about update administration, see the Managing Updating section of the BC System Services documentation.

Synchronous Update

In synchronous update, you do not submit an update request using CALL FUNCTION… IN UPDATE TASK. Instead, you use the ABAP statement COMMIT WORK AND WAIT. When the update is finished, control passes back to the program. Synchronous update works in the same way as bundling update requests in a subroutine (PERFORM ON COMMIT). This kind of update is useful when you want to use both asynchronous and synchronous processing without having to program the bundles in two separate ways. The following diagram illustrates the synchronous update process:

Use this type of update whenever the changed data is required immediately. For example, you may want to link SAP LUWs together where one LUW depends on the results of the previous one.

Local Update
In a local update, the update program is run by the same work process that processed the request. The dialog user has to wait for the update to finish before entering further data. This kind of update is useful when you want to reduce the amount of access to the database. The disadvantage of local updates is their parallel nature. The updates can be processed by many different work processes, unlike asynchronous or synchronous update, where the update is serialized due to the fact that there are fewer update work processes (and maybe only one).
You switch to local update using the ABAP statement SET UPDATE TASK LOCAL. This statement sets a “local update switch”. When it is set, the system interprets CALL FUNCTION IN UPDATE TASK as a request for local update. The update is processed in the same work process as the dialog step containing the COMMIT WORK. The transaction waits for the update to finish before continuing.
As an example, suppose you have a program that uses asynchronous update that you normally run in dialog mode. However, this time you want to run it in the background. Since the system response time is irrelevant when you are running the program in the background, and you only want the program to continue processing when the update has actually finished, you can set the SET UPDATE TASK LOCAL switch in the program. You can then use a system variable to check at runtime whether the program is currently running in the background.
By default, the local update switch is not set, and it is reset after each COMMIT WORK or ROLLBACK WORK. You therefore need to include a SET UPDATE TASK LOCAL statement at the beginning of each SAP LUW.If you reset data within the local update, the ROLLBACK WORK statement applies to both the dialog and the update part of the transaction, since no new SAP LUW is started for the update
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SAP ABAP FM Update task V1 V2 VBLOG

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