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Function documentation Display and Control Work Processes Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


Work processes do the majority of the processing of the SAP System. They execute dialog steps in user transactions, updates, lock administration, etc.

You can also find the term Work Process in the glossary.

You can display a snapshot of the status of the work processes on the application server where you are logged on. (Choosing Administration System Administration Monitor System Monitoring Process Overview or transaction SM50). You must refresh the display to get updated information. The information on this screen is described in the following section.

The process overview is intended primarily for information-gathering. For example, you can monitor processes to determine if the number of work processes in your system is adequate, to assess if the instance is working to full capacity, to gather information for trouble-shooting, or for tuning.


By choosing System monitoring Servers, this displays the Overview of the SAP Application Server. Here, you can further display the work process overview for a particular server in the SAP System by clicking on the desired server name.


If system load is low, you may notice while using the Process Overview that your requests appear to execute in only a single work process. The dispatcher is trying to use one work process for as many dialog steps for one user as possible. This avoids having to reload the roll area for the user.


The Process Overview displays the following information:

        No: The internal ID number of a process. Used to identify messages that belong to a work process in the system log

        Type: Work process types:

        DIA work process for executing dialog steps in user transactions

        UPD: Update process for making U1 (time-critical) database changes

        UP2: Update process for executing U2 (not time-critical) database changes

        ENQ for setting and releasing locks on SAP lock objects

        BTC for executing background jobs

        SPO for spool formatting processes

        PID:  Process ID of the work process (on the operating system)

        Status: Current status of the work process Possible statuses are:

        Running (executing a request).

        Waiting (idle and waiting for a request)

        Hold (held for one user) is not an abnormal state, but a work process can only serve a single user.

If too many processes are in Hold, then system performance suffers. You can then use the Reason field to identify holds that perhaps can be released.

        Stopped (aborted; Restart set to No).

        Reason: If a work process is in Hold status, the reason is displayed. Typical reasons are: Debugging, CPIC activity, locks, updates, GUI (system waits for response from the SAPGUI front-end program, for example, for a remote function call (RFC)). For an overview of the possible parameters, refer to the F1 help.

You may also see PRIV (PRIVate use) as a reason for holding a work process. PRIV indicates that a work process is reserved for a single user for memory management use. The work process has exceeded the limit of the SAP memory that is used by other processes. The process is held as long as the current user requires local memory. For more information, see Structure linkPrivate Memory in the documentation on SAP Memory Management.

If more than a certain percentage of work processes are in PRIV hold state, then PRIV transactions are automatically terminated if the user is not active in the transaction for a set period of time. You can set this time span in the SAP system profile.

        Start:Indicates whether the process should be automatically restarted if a process ends prematurely. You can change the restart status of a process by choosing Process Restart after error Yes/No. Normally, leave Restart set to Yes.

If a work process aborts during its startup, the system automatically sets Restart to No. This measure protects against endless attempts to restart a process if a database system is not available, or another serious problem is affecting the system. After correcting the problem, you can change Restart to Yes so that the system starts the work processes.

        Err: Indicates how many times a work process has aborted

        Sem:Indicates the number of the semaphore for which a work process is waiting.

Normally, this field should be empty. If one or more semaphore numbers frequently appears, evaluate the performance of your system using the Performance Monitor.

        CPU:Cumulative CPU time since the start of a work process. The time units are seconds and hundredths of seconds.


Calculating CPU time is onerous. Therefore, you must request this information using the CPU function.

        Time:Indicates the elapsed time used by a work process for the dialog step that it is currently processing

        Report: ABAP program or report that is currently being executed

        Cl.: Client for the session that is currently being executed

        User: User whose request is currently being processed

        Action: Action that is being executed by the current program. The actions that are displayed are those that are recorded by the SAP performance monitor. The Performance Monitor must be active (SAP profile parameter stat/level = 1 (default)) for actions or database table accesses to be displayed.

        Table: If the database is being accessed, this column shows the name of the table being accessed.

The menu offers the following functions:

        Goto: Here you can display User Info to the user who is currently occupying the work process or Back takes you to the last screen (same as the green arrow does).



To manage users, use the User Overview (Display and Manage User Sessions). In the Process Overview, you cannot be sure that a user session you want to cancel or delete is still active in the work process that you have chosen. You could unintentionally affect another user's session.




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