All data archiving activities commence with Archive administration (transaction SARA). SARA provides the overall administration of archiving schedules and manages the archiving sessions. The process includes customization of objects, their conversion to archived sequential archived files and most importantly, their overall management. In addition to these, the archive administration process also retrieves the archived files and converts the data through an automated process, if there is a change in software, hardware or the data structure. The data archiving process is streamlined and simplified through the Central command of archiving administration.
DART (Data Retention Tool)
A data retention strategy is required for retaining enterprise information for long periods of time. The Data Retention Tool (DART) provides this functionality. It is capable of extracting data, which is period-specific as well as any supporting information. DART transforms database objects into flat files that can be read by any third-party software designed for flat files. It is available as an add-on for older versions of SAP R/3, but is an integrated feature of the recent versions of SAP R/3.
SAP Archive Information System (SARI)
SARI provides much-needed retrieval capabilities against previously archived data. It requires the archive files be loaded into new tables in the database. In this approach, AS requires detailed, technical knowledge of the database table structure and field layouts. Database structure of an enterprise needs to be flexible and dynamic to be able to quickly adapt to organisational changes. It might happen that the current database structure is not compatible with the structure of database when archive files were initially generated. Archive Information System is a standard tool delivered by SAP that facilitates customized access to the archived data.
The success of R/3 has propelled SAP to the top echelons of the global software industry. Archiving is an essential element of a complete and efficient implementation of SAP. Lack of familiarity with archiving tools among SAP user groups has hampered the popularity and effectiveness of SAP Archiving. SAP Archiving is perceived to be complex to understand and implement. With the right strategy and adequate knowledge, an enterprise can harness the full potential of SAP R/3.
For more download the documentation of SAP Data Archiving.