Most SAP systems contain an extraordinary amount of customizations, which are typically the result of many years of maintenance, enhancements, and upgrades. Customizations are typically designed to support a specific business process. As business processes change, and new out-of- the-box functionality becomes available, this custom code is often rewritten several times and some of it is eventually replaced and no longer used.

The amount of unused custom code accumulated in the average SAP system is staggering. On average, over 40% of production code within a mature SAP system is unused and can be retired. The magnitude of this number is enormous when you take into account the related costs.

What is unused code?

Unused code is code that isn’t executed by the application whatsoever. It’s not commented out, but is just not used anymore. Removing completely unused objects has several benefits:
it reduces the ABAP repository size, it enables further optimizations by simplifying program structure, but most importantly is reduces maintenance costs.

Removing unused code improves developer productivity and decreases maintenance costs and future upgrades

The vast majority of time spent by developers is associated with the discovery and analysis of code. Developers identify the code that needs enhancing and ensure that they understand how it functions before making any changes. The actual enhancements themselves represent less than 10% of an average developer’s time.

As a result the amount of time spent by a developer enhancing and maintaining a system is directly proportional to the size of the code base. The bigger the system, the more time a developer spends.

In addition unused code can lead developers on a ghost hunt as they potentially waste their time analyzing and enhancing code that is never executed.

As a result, identifying and removing unused code reduces the code base and increases developer productivity. These productivity increases immediately reduce the cost of system maintenance and future upgrades.

So how do we eliminate unused custom code?

Automated tools can track the usage of code in SAP and provide automated code deactivation. Code retirement can then occur seamlessly, without impact to the in-use, business critical programs in production environments. This automated deactivation/retirement process can be customized to any client standards.

Automated elimination of unused code is the low hanging fruit for any IT organization that need’s to lower its SAP maintenance costs and increase developer productivity. Always worth the effort.
 

“Ory is dedicated to meeting and exceeding customer needs. He works as a Client Partner for smartShift Technologies and helps organizations optimize customized systems with the company's patented automation technology.”