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Basic data

developer SAP SE
Publishing year 1993
Current  version EHP8 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 SPS12
( April 4, 2019 )
operating system Linux , Microsoft Windows , AIX , HP-UX , Solaris
programming language C , C ++ , ABAP
category ERP
License proprietary license, end-user license agreement
German speaking Yes
Product page

SAP ERP is the main main product of the German software company SAP SE , which has been selling it since 1993. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning or business - information system , whereby all business-related areas of a company can be viewed in context.

Until December 2003 the product was marketed under the name SAP R / 3 , until 2007 under mySAP ERP . The last R / 3 version offered is called R / 3 Enterprise 4.70 Extension Set 2.00 .

The current version is SAP ERP [Central Component (ECC)] 6.0 Enhancement Package 8 . [Confusingly, the alternative spelling Enterprise Core Component (ECC) can currently be found at SAP in some cases.]

The name SAP R / 3 arose from the conception as a client-server system (system, applications and products), where the "R" stands for realtime and the "3" for the program generation from which an R / 3 system (see below ). The predecessor SAP R / 2 was designed for operation on mainframe systems. Whose predecessor was developed in 1972, the system R .


The main difference between SAP ECC and R / 3 is that it is based on SAP NetWeaver : integral components can be implemented in ABAP and Java , and new functional areas are often no longer part of the previous ERP system (sometimes closely linked to one another Components), but as independent components or even systems. The ABAP part of the central component SAP ECC is the technical successor to R / 3 Enterprise 4.70 (including its Enterprise Extensions and Industry Solutions ). The core modules of R / 3 are used unchanged in ECC, which can also be used without NetWeaver.

There are the releases

  • mySAP ERP 2004 with ECC 5.0, SAP Web AS 6.40
  • SAP ERP 6.0 (previously mySAP ERP 2005) with ECC 6.0, SAP Web AS 7.0

SAP ECC is available under its own license agreement or as part of a contract for the SAP Business Suite . Since 2006, the ERP application has been functionally expanded exclusively through enhancement packages - in addition to the usual maintenance through support packages. With the SAP enhancement packages, SAP has created an enhancement concept that, on the one hand, ensures stability for existing functions and, on the other hand, enables simplified and selective access to new functions. The use of switch framework technology ensures that there are no functional changes during installation.

The SAP enhancement package 5 has been generally available since May 2011. The ramp-up for Enhancement Package 5 began in December 2010. Enhancement Package 6 entered the ramp-up phase in November 2011.

Since R / 3 has essentially merged into ECC, the statements in the following text apply to both SAP R / 3 and ECC.


SAP ECC allows the IT-supported processing of a large number of tasks that occur in a typical business enterprise. The modular structure corresponds to the organizational structure common in many companies. However, the modules are not independent in the IT sense (modular); rather, the functions are closely interlinked ( function integration ), and the commissioning of a module always has an impact on other modules. The modules are, however, very complex, so that they often have to use staff who specialize in the individual modules (so-called module supervisors).

According to the ECC system, the three business application areas supported by ECC - accounting (SAP ERP Financials), logistics (SAP ERP Operations) and human resources (SAP ERP Human Capital Management) - are each assigned "modules" which are identified by a unique abbreviation. The modules, in turn, can be divided into “components”.

With ERP, the system has changed compared to R / 3 in that a distinction is now made between:

  • ECC (ERP Central Component) as the R / 3 successor with the modules listed below
  • Other components that have the character of industry solutions, including media, telecommunications, utility, insurance, health care, oil and gas or mining


( English Financials )

  • FI: Finance (English Financial Accounting ) Accounting
  • CO: Controlling ( cost accounting )
    • CO-OM: Overhead Cost Accounting (English Overhead Cost Management )
    • CO-PC: Product Cost Accounting (English Product Costing )
    • CO-OM-CEL: Cost Element Accounting (English Cost Element Ledger )
    • CO-OM-CCA: Cost Center Accounting (English Cost Center Accounting )
    • CO-OM-OPA: Overhead Orders and Projects (English overhead Orders and Project Accounting )
    • CO-OM-ABC: Activity Based Costing (English Activity Based Costing )
    • CO-PA: Profitability Analysis ( Profitability Analysis )
    • EC-PCA: Corporate Controlling, Profit Center Accounting (English Enterprise Controlling, Profit Center Accounting )
    • EC-CS: Enterprise Controlling, Consolidation System (English Enterprise Controlling, Consolidation System )

The application core with the finance modules FI and CO contains some new functions in SAP ECC. These include:

  • the new general ledger (English New General Ledger )
  • a reconciliation tool for intercompany transactions
  • the closing cockpit
  • FSCM Credit Management
  • FSCM Dispute Management
  • FSCM Collections Management
  • FSCM Biller Direct

In detail, there have been many extensions in known areas such as B. Asset accounting, where the depreciation run and periodic inventory bookings have been optimized in terms of performance. In the event of a change, customers should be able to switch on innovations individually using the extension set technology. Encapsulated innovations, such as B. the new general ledger are technically available, but inactive. (Source: ISBN 3-89842-746-3 , mySAP ERP Financials (SAP PRESS))

  • SEM: Corporate Controlling ( English Strategic Enterprise Management )
    • SEM-BCS: Business Consolidation
    • SEM-BPS: Business Planning and Simulation
    • SEM-CPM: Corporate Performance Monitor
    • SEM-SRM: Stakeholder Relationship Management
    • SEM-BIC: Business Information Collection
  • EC: Enterprise Controlling (including EC-PCA Profit Center Accounting)
  • IM: Investment Management (english Investment Management )
  • PSM: Funds Management (English Public Sector Management )
  • PS: Project management (English Project System )
  • RE: Real Estate Management (english Real Estate Management )
  • TR: Financial Management (English Treasury )

Human resource management

( English Human Capital Management - HCM )


( English Logistics )

Cross-application components

(English cross applications)

  • IS: Industry solutions (see below)
  • WF: workflow

Industry solutions

(English Industry solutions) These modules can be supplemented by industry solutions that are identified with the prefix IS ( Industry Solution ), e.g. B.

target group

SAP ERP is considered to be quite complex and relatively expensive to implement, especially due to the complex individual configuration and adaptation (so-called customizing ). Therefore, mainly larger companies opt for SAP ERP.

Many partners already sell preconfigured systems, which should significantly reduce the implementation effort.

The SAP ECC system is basically multi-tenant , which means that several companies with largely independent settings can be managed on one (physical and / or logical) system.

For small and medium-sized businesses ( SMB, Small and Midsize Businesses ), SAP provides a variant of the ERP system called SAP Business ByDesign on a rental basis. For these, SAP offers the option of outsourcing the server or the maintenance of the server from their own company, so that they do not have to operate their own data center .


Client-server architecture

The system uses a three-membered ( three-tier ) client-server architecture , comprising:

This structure makes it possible to distribute the tasks to other machines when requirements increase, thereby increasing the performance of the overall system.


The various SAP components set a custom relational SQL - database requires that is not supplied by the company itself. In addition to the in-house SAP MaxDB  - a version of Adabas adopted by Software AG - SAP ERP and the SAP Web Application Server support  common products such as Db2 , Informix , Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle . The combinations currently supported under a platform are documented online in the Platform Availability Matrix (PAM) in the Service Marketplace.

Application server

All business processing takes place in the application server using special programs that are written in the proprietary programming language ABAP / 4 ( Advanced Business Application Programming Language ) and are supplemented by tools such as a data dictionary , mask generator or query manager.

The language has been continuously developed since SAP R / 2 (1979). In newer releases from 2000 onwards, programming can also be done in Java . The ABAP source code is accessible without additional licenses, so that changes can be made to the standard software supplied or it can be used as a template for your own applications.

The programs are executed within a special runtime environment called the SAP "kernel".


The kernel is programmed in C and - in contrast to most ABAP programs - can neither be viewed nor changed by the customer. The kernel abstracts both of the conditions of the operating systems used and on the particular SQL - syntax of the used DBMS , so that ABAP programs can run on all platforms for which an ABAP kernel is available. In return, they have to forego machine or database-specific optimizations or features.

The kernel contains the following essential components:

  • Lock server
  • Posting processes
  • Spool processes
  • Dialog processing
  • Background processing

The processes can be distributed across different machines as required. The simplest case (all processes run on an application server) is referred to as the so-called "central instance". This arrangement is sufficient for smaller scenarios; often the database can also be kept on the same machine. Some components (in particular lock and update processes) may only exist once per system; however, the “workhorses” (the dialog and background processes), which take over the actual program execution, can be distributed over several machines. The combination of database and application server processes is known as an ERP system .

user interface

Most of the applications are operated using the SAP GUI , a graphical user interface developed by SAP . Depending on the component, other clients are alternatively possible: Web browser with or without Java, WAP or Java Web Start .

Possibilities of using as a front end for ECC-generated reports were also tested . Furthermore, a project was set up with SAP Muse , which is to provide service-oriented user interface functionality in the future that can be used with PC standard software / tools for Rich Internet Applications (RIA) such as Adobe Apollo , Microsoft WPF / Vista or IBM can work with Rich Client Platform / RCP . The project resulted in the new client software SAP NetWeaver Business Client , which allows all applications developed by SAP to be represented in a role-based manner.

In 2005, SAP began a project together with Microsoft under the name Mendocino , which was intended to further link both software worlds. One year after the start of the project, both companies announced the delivery of the software that bears the name Duet .


In contrast to most smaller ERP systems, numerous variations in functionality can be set in SAP ERP using parameters alone. The adjustments to these settings are called customizing and must be carried out each time the system or a module is introduced.

The multitude of parameters is controlled by several thousand database tables that are evaluated at runtime. They are maintained using a parameter tree, which is structured according to modules, similar to the application structure, and offers maintenance masks and functional information for the permitted entries. Alternatively, this can also be done directly by maintaining the control tables.

If the setting options through the existing customizing functions are no longer sufficient, the standard programs provide extension points at a number of points at which customer-specific program parts can be embedded in the standard processing via a defined interface ( user exits , customer exits, business add-ins (BAdIs), enhancements).

If even these options are not sufficient, (almost) all standard programs can be changed customer-specifically. These "modifications" are automatically recorded so that responsibility can be assigned in the event of errors. However, because of the increased subsequent effort (comparison when updating the standard programs), modifications are avoided if possible.

The interaction of the various parameters is only partially documented - the adaptation to a company therefore requires a certain amount of experience on the part of the responsible consultant.

Host operating systems

R / 3 and the later SAP systems based on the SAP Web AS ABAP or SAP NetWeaver (including SAP ERP / ECC) support a number of common platforms on the server side:

Since 1999, SAP employees, distributors and hardware manufacturers in the SAP Linux Lab have been working together with the manufacture of SAP products specifically for Linux . As of mid-2005, SUSE and Red Hat are supported, but only in certain server versions of these distributions. Other Linux derivatives are not certified by SAP.

Version overview

  • SAP R / 1 System RF: 1972
  • SAP R / 2 mainframe system: 1979
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 1.0 A: July 1992
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 2.0: 1993
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 3.0: 1995
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.0B: June 1998
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.3
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.5B: March 1999
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.6C: April 2001
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.6F
  • SAP R / 3 Enterprise Edition 4.7: 2003
  • SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 5.0: 2004
  • SAP ERP 6.0: October 2005
    • SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP ERP 6.0: December 2006
    • SAP enhancement package 2 for SAP ERP 6.0: July 2007
    • SAP enhancement package 3 for SAP ERP 6.0
    • SAP enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0
    • SAP enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0: June 2010
    • SAP enhancement package 6 for SAP ERP 6.0: June 2012
    • SAP enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0: 2013
    • SAP enhancement package 8 for SAP ERP 6.0: 2016
  • SAP S / 4 Business Suite for HANA, "S" stands for "simple": February 2015 (only works on the SAP HANA database platform )

End of maintenance

In February 2020, Christian Klein , co-board spokesman of SAP, assured customers that they would maintain SAP ERP until 2027.


  • Bernd Herth, Navratil, Otterbein, Rhine: SAP R / 3 basic system. Release 4.6 . Addison-Wesley, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8273-1727-4 (SAP user edition).
  • Knut Hildebrand, Michael Rebstock (ed.): Business introduction to SAP R / 3 . R. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-486-25548-7 .
  • Michael Hölzer, Michael Schramm: Quality management with SAP R / 3 . Galileo-Press, Bonn 2005, ISBN 3-89842-655-6 (SAP PRESS).
  • Gunther Friedl, Christian Hilz, Burkhard Pedell: Controlling with SAP . 6th edition. Vieweg, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-8348-1679-5 .
  • Stephan Kaleske: Query reporting with SAP ERP . Galileo-Press, Bonn 2009, ISBN 978-3-8362-1433-9 (SAP PRESS).
  • Steffen Wittenauer, Jan Hollmann, Marc Bülling: SAP R / 3 Module PS - Project System . GRIN Verlag , Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-638-64674-1 .
  • Martina Kaplan, Christian Oehler: SAP Enhancement Packages - Functionality and Implementation . SAP Press, Bonn 2010, ISBN 3-8362-1454-7 .
  • Alexander Brocke, Jessika Kringel, Christian Micus: Upgrading SAP Systems - The Practical Guide . SAP PRESS, Bonn 2018, ISBN 978-3-8362-6088-6 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. What's New in SAP Enhancement Package 8 for ERP 6.0 . (accessed on September 22, 2019).
  2. Innovations in SAP ERP . Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  3. Business Functions (SAP ERP 6.0), possible uses . Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  4. Supported Linux Distributions ( en ) Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  5. SAP takes a lot of pressure out of the boiler. Retrieved February 5, 2020 .