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 Introduction to the Data Retention Tool (DART)


The Data Retention Tool (DART) was designed to aid SAP users in meeting legal data retention requirements for tax audit purposes. DART allows you to periodically extract and retain tax-relevant data from active SAP applications. DART extracts the data into sequential files and provides tools for viewing the retained data in various ways.

The design of DART is based on the interpretation ofUStax laws (Rev. Proc. 98-25) by the ASUG Tax Interest Group and SAP. During the last few years the function has been continuously enhanced to meet new international legal requirements. For example, DART was adapted to meet the GDPdU (a new German tax law in effect since 1.1.2002). The required adaptations were developed by the GDPdU workgroup of the German SAP User Group (DSAG) and were listed in a requirements catalog, which outlines what data a typical company may need in a German tax audit. At the same time the workgroup collaborated with the German tax authorities to make sure that DART sufficiently meets legal requirements.

Each tax payer has to decide which additional data might be needed for a tax audit and must, based on these decisions, configure DART accordingly. SAP cannot guarantee that the standard version of DART will cover all legal requirements in all cases.

Implementation Considerations

As the volume of data in your SAP applications grows, you may need to archive some of the data to make room for new data in the live SAP database. You can do so using SAP data archiving , which is based on the Archive Development Kit (ADK).

However, you may be required by law, by customers, or by management to retain data you no longer wish to keep in your system. You may need to provide this data to the Internal Revenue Service in response to an information document request (IDR) during an audit. DART helps you comply with these data retention requirements if properly implemented.

There are two aspects to consider when implementing DART:

The basic technical installation and configuration process can be completed in a matter of days. Sufficient disk space has to be provided, and a solution for long-term file storage must be decided. DART should also be integrated into a company's general archiving strategy.

The evaluation of your company's tax data retention needs requires the majority of implementation time and planning. In this phase, the tax department must be involved to determine if additional data should be added via the provided user exits.


DART can be preconfigured to extract data from many SAP components, such as financial accounting, controlling, sales and distribution, asset management, treasury, travel management, etc.

Data Retention and Archive Strategy

If you need to retain data that you archive on a regular basis, then you must execute the DART extraction runs before you archive the relevant data.

It is useful to schedule the DART extraction accordingly, for example immediately following a period, quarterly or year-end closing.

How often you run DART extracts depends on your particular situation and requirements, such as the amount of data you need to extract, your time windows for regular archiving sessions and company-specific organizational aspects.


DART provides the following tools and features:



Data Extraction

Extract data from a live SAP database and store it in an extract in a text format.

Data Merge

Merge the data from two extracts, which have been created by the DART extraction tool.

Data Rebuild

Rebuild the extract with the same data, but with any new configuration parameters that were defined since the data was extracted.

Data Extract Browser

View the data in the extract.

View Query

Define and use views of the data in a DART extract.

Views group the data in different ways. You can use customized views, for example, to provide the tax authorities with just enough data to satisfy the request in a particular information document request.


Verify the integrity of the extract data files (technical checksum).

Control totals

Verify that the data in the extract files is complete, or that it did not change (business control totals).

FI control totals verification

Compare Financial Accounting (FI) data in an extract with the data in the database to verify that the data has not changed since an extraction.

File Size Worksheet

Estimate the size of a data extract and the time it takes to create the extract. Estimate the requirements for storage space and temporary sort memory.

When extracting data, DART combines the following types of data:

Transaction data

This is data from various documents in the business process. For example, you can retain revenue amounts as well as related sales data.

Related master data

This is data that explains, for example, codes used in the transactions you retain, such as those involving sales organization, region, material sold, and issuing plant.

The following diagram illustrates the interaction between the major utilities of DART.