SAP (Systems, Application and Products in Data processing) that originated in 1972 in Germany by a team of five engineers from IBM has been one of the most reliable ERP systems in the international market. SAP fits best in big sized complex organizations in different geographical locations, where millions of data are being handled on a regular basis. SAP ERP system along with a number of features goes into the depth of the functionalities and its flexible feature provides an excellent integration streamlining the workflow of the organization. SAP ERP implementation involves huge capital investment and is a long process for its complex features and the extent of flexibility.
SAP ERP system comes in two popular versions of SAP R/3 and Business One. Both the versions constitute different architecture and functionalities and are meant for different purposes. SAP R/3 provides 3-tier architecture and is fit for large sized business organizations. SAP Business One provides 2-tier architecture and is suitable for small and middle sized organizations.
The 3-tier architecture of SAP R/3 comprises of UI (User Interface), business logic and database. The user can communicate with SAP GUI through the presentation server, and the application server hosts the business logic and database. This integrated ERP system is perfect for organizations carrying out millions of transactions on a daily basis. The three tier architecture is highly scalable and provides enough scope for customization. It can run on different applications and database servers.
SAP R/3 follows the programming language ABAP/4 that can run on different operating systems like UNIX, OS/400 and Windows NT. It goes well with different types of databases like Oracle and Informix. It efficiently integrates applications of Finance, Human Resource, Manufacturing and Distribution. Commonly used modules of SAP R/3 include Financial Accounting, Payroll, Production planning and Control, Material management, Sales and Distribution and Organizational Management.
Fifteen core modules constitute the SAP Business One that include Finance, Banking, Inventory, Administration, Purchasing, Sales, Sales Opportunities, Production, Human Resources, Service, Business Partners, Reports, Web CRM and E-commerce. These modules serve all the business purposes of most of the small and medium sized organizations.
The SDK component provided by SAP Business One enables further updating and integration through third party vendors. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) provides a 2- tiered client server architecture and can be extended to 3-tier architecture with the help of Citrix or other web based servers. Implementation time is short provided no customization is carried out in the initial phase. Most organizations go for Vanilla Implementation of SAP Business One, which is considered to be standard and is a rapid process. The vendors must carry on GAP analysis, SRS (System Requirement Study) and Process Mapping of the organization before implementation.