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    SAP & SAP BASIS Explained

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    In this article, Pierre Vonesch, Head of SAP Engineering at Avantra, will clarify the technical concepts behind SAP and briefly explain what SAP Basis is.

     

    What is SAP Business Suite?

    It is a set of software components that goes far beyond SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC). SAP Business Suite is a bundle of end-to-end enterprise applications that integrate data, processes, and functions for essential business areas, e.g. human resources, financial operations, sales, and many others.

    What are SAP Modules? And why is SAP divided into different modules?

    SAP Business Suite consists of various modules from a functional point of view, including, inter alia, Human Capital Management, Production Planning, Materials Management, Sales and Distribution, Project System, and many more. For example, SAP Controlling is very important for accounting management and financial planning; the module was also the first to migrate to the HANA platform. But we will talk about this in more detail later.


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    What about mySAP?

    This question is difficult to answer with one simple statement. In a nutshell, it is not a stand-alone product, but rather a set of SAP products, including SAP R/3, which is an earlier version of SAP ERP Central Component. We used to call SAP Business Suite mySAP.

    What is NetWeaver? Is this some kind of technical platform?

    Absolutely. This is a platform, software stack for many SAP applications. Here you have different tools like ABAP, the programming language used in the SAP world. It also uses Java.

    What’s SAP GUI and Navigation?

    GUI stands for Graphical User Interface. Basically, it is a program on your PC or laptop designed to give users access to SAP systems. In SAP architecture, there is a client, an application server (where you have business logic), and a database server for storing information. SAP GUI is part of the client in this chain. It allows you to navigate between different menus and applications and also access your SAP application.

    Hence, you can access several applications from one location using the same user interface and connecting to your SAP system. To summarize, we can say that SAP GUI is a program installed on your computer with which you can directly access the business logic of the SAP system, and SAP itself runs on a server in your data center or cloud as an example.

     

    What are the options of integration with SAP?

    With SAP, you have many integration options. For example, RFC (Remote Function Call) helps to connect several systems. Or you can also have IDoc (intermediate document). SAP PI/PO (Process Integration/Process Orchestration) allows SAP to integrate with other legacy systems and applications. You can integrate SAP with other SAP systems or third-party systems, as well as create and execute connections from application to application, or even from business to business. This was a big change made by SAP.

     

    Finally, we come to the question about Basis. What’s SAP Basis in general?

    It is a stack, or layer, consisting of programs and tools that enable SAP applications to run. SAP Basis is like pie: you have your server hardware at the bottom and your operating system is at the top. The SAP Basis layer allows you to interact with your business logic, your application.

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    What are the responsibilities of a Basis consultant?

    Among other things, SAP Basis Consultant should be able to perform the following tasks:

    • SAP application server monitoring, ABAP Dump and Syslog analysis
    • Performance tuning
    • Database maintenance, database backup and restore schedule
    • Installation of R/3, NetWeaver, Solution Manager, etc.
    • SAP licensing service
    • SAP landscape, transport management system installation, etc.
    • Creating users, assigning roles, locking and unlocking users, etc.
    • Background scheduling of jobs, monitoring jobs, deleting jobs, etc.

    What is SAP System Architecture?

    We have already discussed this a little. Usually, we are talking about a three-tier architecture: Presentation layer, Application Layer & Database Layer. By the presentation layer I mean, for example, SAP GUI we just talked about, but it also includes UI5 components. It is a portal through which you can access your SAP system directly from the website and connect to your application.

     

    What is SAP R/3?

    This is the former name of SAP SP and some customers still use it. It has a long history that began with the R/1 in 1973. Then, in 1979, SAP R/2 Mainframe System appeared. At that time, there were only a few modules. In 1992, SAP R/3 was officially launched, and the name was changed to SAP ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) in 2005. Finally, in 2015, we started with SAP HANA.

     

    What is a SID?

    It is a unique three-digit identifier that is the identification code for each SAP system (database and various servers).

     

    What is a SAP Instance?

    A SAP instance represents a group of resources such as memory, work processes, etc., usually to support a single application server or database server within a client/server environment.

     

    What are the SAP layers?

    In SAP there are different tiers: the presentation tier that the user sees, the application tier, also known as the business tier, and the database tier for storing data. All these levels can work on different servers. The presentation tier usually runs on your PC, the application tier usually runs in the cloud or your infrastructure, and the database tier runs e.g. in the cloud.