Revision-secure archiving of documents in SAP

Legal provisions require revision-secure archiving of specific documents for a defined period of time.

Revision-secure archiving means documents must be stored securely during the entire retention period with protection against loss or destruction, protected against unauthorized access, and always remain readable. These requirements have already been applied for a long time in paper-based archives. These are special rooms filled with filing cabinets protected against external influences, that are used as long-term archives complying to the provisions described.

“In the IT world, the space required by a digital archive is reduced, but the implementation is much more complex. Apart from complying to the requirements named above, for a digital archive it must be ensured that documents can still be accessed after many years. This is not as easy due to ever-developing software.
Biagio Lobascio

EXPERT for document management

Requirements for a digital archive

Just as a paper-based archive, a digital archive needs to meet specific requirements for being classified as revision-secure by an authority. Initially, it has to be ensured that the respective document is stored lossless. Additionally, a digital archive must be protected against unauthorized access and external influence. Meaning not only environmental influences, but rather data manipulation and data loss. As for an IT system it does not directly become apparent when unauthorized access, data manipulation, or data loss happens. Even more important is the use of early detection mechanisms that give the alarm already when minor deviations from standard operation occur.

The archiving solution with SAP Product and Process Governance by BDF | SAP PPG

This challenge can be met with BDF’s SAP PPG archiving solution. The solution is based mainly on SAP standard components and mechanisms for complying with revision security requirements. Therefore, the following SAP functions are in use:

  • SAP Content Server
  • BDF data integrity storage
  • SAP TREX search engine
  • SAP PDF-A conversion

With said components, an early detection of manipulations is possible by combining the SAP DMS authorization control, access restrictions, as well as compression mechanisms of the SAP Content Server and the BDF data integrity storage, which triggers a horizontal checksum calculation1 (Hash) with every storage of an original.

Benefits of a digital archive

There are many solutions that meet the requirements of a digital archive for SAP systems. Nevertheless, they are often very complex in setup and administration and very cost intensive.

With the usage of mainly SAP standard functions, the expenditures are kept manageable.
The use of a digital archive has many advantages compared to a paper-based archive, for example a full text search making attributes and file contents searchable. Therefore, documents can be searched systematically. Additionally, a digital archive enables the use of automated routines, e.g. the automated archiving of invoices right after the creation.

Besides, processes for automating the digital archiving of paper-based documents can be established. For example, this is also possible for a migration from a paper-based archive to a digital archive.

An investment in the future

In times of an ever-growing digitalization and the implementation of new concepts for workplaces with an increased interest in working from home, central systems that can be accessed everywhere become increasingly important. But legal provisions will still be relevant. Possibly, they are even becoming more stringent.

The decision for a digital archive is a decision for the future and should thus be made thoughtfully.



BDF provides EXPERTS for SAP consulting and software development in Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management, Maintenance & Service, and Corporate Finance & Treasury based on SAP S/4HANA and SAP ERP. We consult for middle-sized enterprises to global corporations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

As a team of digitalization experts, we digitize and optimize our customers' data and processes. With our SAP product, SAP Product and Process Governance by BDF | SAP PPG, we support the digital business processes from product development to product service. With the BDF Cash Position Cockpit (BDF CPC), we optimize the Financial Supply Chain. This way, together we get the most out of your SAP world

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