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Finding SAP tables in older releases during an upgrade

Tables in older SAP releases during upgrades have been notoriously disappearing. Expert Bert Vanstechelman discusses why this is happening, to which systems and how to resolve it.

We are trying to upgrade from SAP SRM 2.0 (EBP 3.5) to SAP SRM 5.5. We migrated from Windows 2003 on OS/390 DB2 to Linux SLES9 on DB2 UDB V8.1 and we also updated the kernel from 620 to 640.

When we run the upgrade prepare we get an error during the import phase (MVNTAB_TOOL) stating that the tables don't exist in the database and they are not active. If we go to SE11 and try to view a table (usr02, for example) we get a "table does not exist in the database" information message.

If i click on the help button of the message it says:

Table USR02 does not exist in the database
Message no. E2224

This is a transparent table which is defined in the 
ABAP/4 Dictionary, but does not exist on the database. 
No data can be stored yet in the table for this reason.

System response

You can create the table on the database with the 
database utility (SE14). You can also activate the 
table again. In this case, the table is automatically 
created on the database.

If we then go to SE14 (with usr02, for example) it finds the table but gives the status as not existing in the database. We cannot reconstruct the table as this option is greyed out, so is the the option to "delete" or "activate and adjust database". We can only "create database table". If we choose "create database table" we get an SQL error:

SQL0601N The name of the object to be created is 
identical to the existing name "SAPDKE.USR02" of type 

So the strange thing is, from the database side, the table does exist -- also confirmed in DB02 table snapshot -- but the SAP system does not see the table in the database.

I have seen more or less the same behavior during an upgrade some time ago. During the PREPARE the upgrade tools prepare the system for the shadow tables, which will be created later on. They try to figure which tables exist and which don't in order to use a non conflicting name for the shadow tables.

These type of errors used to appear on older SAP releases with either SQL-Server or Informix. The system was running fine but almost all data dictionary transactions -- SE11, SE14, SE16 and others -- were unable to find the tables in the database -- exactly the behavior you are describing. For SQL-Server and Informix, patches in the form of transport requests exist.

The best course of action would be to open an OSS message.

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