Seminar on SAP R/3 Architecture

Ram Pothuraju

SAP R/3 Architecture


After the Internet, sap r/3 is one of the hottest topics inthe computer industry, and the company that developed it, SAPAG, has become one of the successful in the software market.The SAP R/3 system is targeted to most industries:manufacturing, retail, oil and gas, electricity, health care,pharmaceutical, banking, insurance, telecommunications,transport, automotive, chemical, and so on. All hard ware vendors, without exception, are fully engaged to partner withSAP: currently, AT&T, Bull, Compaq, Data General, Digital,Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Pyramid, Sequent, Siemens-Nixdorf,and SUN has supported and certified SAP R/3 platforms.
Description of SAP R/3 Architecture

SAP AG was found in 1972 by four former IBMemployees. Since its foundation, SAP has made significantdevelopment and marketing efforts on standard applicationsoftware, being a global market player with its R/2 system formainframe applications and its R/3 system for openclient/server technologies.

The company name SAP stands for Systems, Applicationsand Products in Data Processing. It is a standard software package that can be configured in multiple areas and adapted to specificneeds of the company. To support those needs, SAP includeslarge number of business functions, leaving room for furtherenhancements or adaptability to business practice changes.

The lower layer is made of operating system, physicaldatabase (whose software is included in the SAP kit), and thenetwork. The middleware layer, which is above it, interfaceswith the lower one and integrates SAP applications on top of it.This middle layer is known as the basis system , or R/3 kernel, andincludes components such as the ABAP/4 development workbench, the system administration tools, batch job handling,authorization and security management, and all cross application modules.

ABAP/4 is the $GL (fourth-generation programminglanguage) in which all R/3 applications (the upper layer) aredeveloped. Middleware are the layered software componentsthat facilitate the development of client/server applications thatcan be deployed in heterogeneous vendor platforms. The basissystem, also known as kernel, is the SAP R/3 middleware.The upper layer, the functional layer, contains thedifferent business applications: financial, human resources,sales and distribution, materials management, and so on. Theintegration of all applications relies on the basis system.

The R/3 kernel makes use of standard communicationsand application program interfaces to access the operatingsystem, the database, and the network. This architecture allowsusers to change system configuration and install new systemswithout interrupting or altering the applications themselves.

ABAP/4 is a 4GL (fourth-generation programminglanguage); the acronym stands for Advanced Business ApplicationProgramming Language . It is the SAP programming languageused in the development of all standard applications includedwith R/3.On top of ABAP/4, SAP has designed a full-purposedevelopment environment, known as the ABAP/4 developmentworkbench, which is integrated with R/3 system and isavailable for customers to develop their own solutions andenhance or extend the capabilities of the existing applications.

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