SOFFCONT1 table grows quickly in SAP landscapes and often gets into the top 10 largest tables in the system (TIP: check the list of largest tables in DB02 transaction). This table belongs to SOC3 and contains SAP Business Workplace/SAPoffice Documents attachments. The size of SOFFCONT1 depends significantly on how these types of documents / attachments are used in the system and how they are stored. If an external storage is not used, the SAP stores the office attachments in SOFFCONT1 table. That’s why it grows so quickly. To stop it from getting bigger, SAP recommends using an external storage system (e.g. archive storage). SOFFCONT1 is one of many SAP tables that contain temporary data, that is data that lose value quickly after its creation. Often these tables grow rapidly because data is not handled properly after serving its purpose.

Even 6 out of 10 biggest SAP tables may not be generating business value. The below example is an SAP Early Watch output that shows Top 10 tables based on total size. Six out of them (highlighted) could be significantly smaller if regular housekeeping was in place.

A proper SAP housekeeping must be in place to keep the amount of this data under control.

How to keep the SOFFCONT1 table size under control?

There are two ways how to keep this table small.  First and recommended option is to store attachments and access them from the external storage. It is not possible to archive SOFFCONT1 data records with an existing standard archiving object. Instead the document’s content (e.g. Microsoft or PDF attachments) should be stored in an external content server. The storage in a database table is just the default setting. Moving attachments from table SOFFCONT1 to an external storage system is only possible through a modification. For more information, see SAP Notes 389366 (SAP R/3 4.6B – SAP Web AS 6.10) and 445057 (SAP R/3 4.6B – SAP Web AS 6.10). To allow content server option you should define a new storage category in transaction SKPR08 pointing to the new or existing external content server. As of that moment, new documents will be stored in the content server and existing documents in the system will be kept in SOFFCONT1. Check the SAP note 389366 for migrating existing data from SOFFCONT1 to content server.

Second option, a less effective one, is to delete documents from a folder (with or without attachments). Please note, only the references between the folder and the documents are deleted initially. The content of the document remains in the database, including the header data and the send logs. This data can be physically deleted from the database (e.g. SOFFCONT1) using program RSBCS_REORG (Note 966854).

Best practices for housekeeping SAP systems

Regular SAP housekeeping is essential, but according to our research covering over 300 SAP BW systems, only a low percentage of organizations are housekeeping their SAP systems to the fullest extent.

To summarize, housekeeping SAP systems is an important task that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It is important to clean up the data automatically, which not only reduces the overall effort, but also improves system performance and lowers storage costs.

It is best to start with analyzing your systems data volume.Proper analysis helps with identifying quick wins as well as building a solid platform for kick starting system housekeeping practices.

Find out more about OutBoard Housekeeping the holistic solution to clean up no-value data from SAP landscapes.

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