Introduction to SAP

By | September 9, 2008

Introduction to SAP

SAP was founded in 1972 in Walldorf, Germany. It stands for Systems,
Applications and Products in Data Processing. Over the years, it has
grown and evolved to become the world premier provider of
client/server business solutions for which it is so well known today.
The SAP R/3 enterprise application suite for open client/server
systems has established a new standards for providing business
information management solutions.

SAP product are consider excellent but not perfect. The main problems
with software product is that it can never be perfect.

The main advantage of using SAP as your company ERP system is that SAP
have a very high level of integration among its individual
applications which guarantee consistency of data throughout the system
and the company itself.

In a standard SAP project system, it is divided into three
environments, Development, Quality Assurance and Production.

The development system is where most of the implementation work takes
place. The quality assurance system is where all the final testing is
conducted before moving the transports to the production environment.
The production system is where all the daily business activities
occur. It is also the client that all the end users use to perform
their daily job functions.

To all company, the production system should only contains transport
that have passed all the tests.

SAP is a table drive customization software. It allows businesses to
make rapid changes in their business requirements with a common set of
programs. User-exits are provided for business to add in additional
source code. Tools such as screen variants are provided to let you set
fields attributes whether to hide, display and make them mandatory

This is what makes ERP system and SAP in particular so flexible. The
table driven customization are driving the program functionality
instead of those old fashioned hard-coded programs. Therefore, new and
changed business requirements can be quickly implemented and tested in
the system.

Many other business application software have seen this table driven
customization advantage and are now changing their application
software based on this table customizing concept.

In order to minimized your upgrading costs, the standard programs and
tables should not be changed as far as possible. The main purpose of
using a standard business application software like SAP is to reduced
the amount of time and money spend on developing and testing all the
programs. Therefore, most companies will try to utilized the available
tools provided by SAP.

What is Client? What is the difference between Customization and

The difference between cutomizing and configuration is:
– CONFIGURATION: we will configure the system to meet the needs of
your business by using the existing data.
– CUSTOMIZING: we will customise or adapt the system to your business
requirements, which is the process of mapping SAP to your business
– CLIENT: A client is a unique one in organizational structure, can
have one or more company codes. Each company code is its own legal
entity in finance.

Configuration vs. Customization
When considering enterprise software of any type, it is important to
understand the difference between configuration and customization.The
crux of the difference is complexity. Configuration uses the inherent
flexibility of the enterprise software to add fields, change field
names,modify drop-down lists, or add buttons. Configurations are made
using powerful built-in tool sets. Customization involves code changes
to create functionality that is not available through configuration.
Customization can be costly and can complicate future upgrades to the
software because the code changes may not easily migrate to the new
version.Wherever possible, governments should avoid customization by
using configuration to meet their goals.Governments also should
understand their vendor’s particular terminology with regard to this
issue since words like "modifications" or "extensions" often mean
different things to different vendors.

What is SAP R3?
We know that SAP R/3 is software, it particular it is client-server
software. This means that the groups/layers
that make up a R/3 System are designed to run simultaneously across
several separate computer systems.

When you install Microsoft Excel on your PC, each component of Excel
(printing components, graphing components, word processing components,
and etc.) is stored, managed, and processed via the hardware of your
PC. When a company installs SAP’s software each component (or "layer"
in R/3’s case) is stored, managed, and processed via the hardware of
separate and specialized computer systems. Each of the various layers
is capable of calling upon the specialty of any of the other installed
layers in order to complete a given task.

Those components/layers that are requesting services are called
"clients", those components/layers that are providing services are
called "servers". Thus the term – "client/server".

What is meant by SAP ECC?

SAP is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) module, ECC is the
version of SAP, like 4.6, 4.6c and 4.7 in that series new version is
ECC-6. Its known as Enterprise core component.

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