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SAP R3 Architecture

SAP R3 Architecture



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SAP R/3 System Architecture
Published: 27 Feb 2007ht tp ://aspalliance.com/1128_SAP_R3_System_Architect ure
This article examines the architecture behind the working of SAP R/3 System.
by Arindam Ghosh
Article Contents:
Component Service \u2013 Kernel and Basis
Component Service \u2013 ABAP Workbench
Component Service \u2013 Presentation
Application Server Architecture

The SAP system is software which is composed of different software and a server as a
whole and has the ability to perform standard business functions for corporations. The
system has become so popular because it can serve a wide range of functionality from
manufacturing to finishing products. There is one simple reason behind the popularity of
this system; it can be tuned to any level for any industry. It has the concepts of enterprise
resource planning (ERP) and business process reengineering (BPR) which is integrated in
the system.
\u201cSap stands for System, Andwendungen, and Produkte in Der Datanverarbeitung, which
when translated to English means System, Application, Products in Data Processing.\u201d The
name of the parent Company is SAP AG. The company SAP is based on Walldorf in
Germany and is the world\u2019s largest enterprise software company. Its foundation is built
upon the concept of integration.
Originally, dating back to the 1970s, it took the then controversial approach of combining
various business functions into one application and database. Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner
Hector, Hasso Planttner, Klaus Tschira, and Claus Wellenreuther, former IBM employees,
launched SAP in order to turn the real business processing vision into reality.
After a year, the first financial accounting software formed the basis for the continuous
development of other software components which later came to be known as the "R/1
system;" "R" stands for real time data processing.
By the end of the decade, intensive examination of SAP\u2019s IBM database and dialog
control system led to the birth of SAP R/2, designed to handle different languages and
currencies. The SAP R/2 system attained high level of stability of the previous generation
of programs. With this and other innovations in SAP R/2, SAP saw a very rapid growth.
By the 1990's, when SAP R/3 was unleashed into the market, the client-server concept,
uniform appearance of graphical interfaces, consistent use of relational databases and the
ability to run on computers from different vendors met with an overwhelming approval.

The client-server architecture moved to a more flexible and scalable architecture. Going
by this technology, the processing of an application could be split between the server and
workstations \u2013 the server handling the centralized functionality, while the client
workstation maximized for users. The data management was separate from the server.
SAP ushered in a new generation of enterprise software \u2013 from mainframe computing to
the three-tier architecture consisting of the Database layer, Application (business logic)
layer, and user interface layer. Today is the day for client-server architecture, where one
can make changes or scale on layer without having to retool the whole system.
The term SAP R/3 stands for runtime system three and the client-server environment
provides a set of business application for the system. The R/3 architecture allows
distribution of the workload to multiple PC's connecting in a network. The SAP runtime
system is designed in such a way that it distributes the presentation, application logic and
the data management to different computers.

Component Service \u2013 Kernel and Basis

For all R/3 applications, kernel and basis are there to provide the runtime environment,
such as hardware, operating system and database-specific. The run time environment is
written principally in C and C++. However, some portions are also written in ABAP. The
tasks of the kernel and basis services component are as follows.

Running Application: All R/3 application run on software processors (virtual machine)
within this component.
User and Process Administrator: An R/3 system is a multi-user environment and each

user can run several independent applications. This component is responsible for the tasks that usually belong to an operating system. Users simply log onto the R/3 System and run the application within the system that is the only user of the host operating system.

Database Access: Each R/3 system is linked to a database system, consisting of a
database management system (DBMS) and the database itself. The application use basis
services to communicate with the database. They do not communicate directly.
Communication: R/3 system can communicate with other R/3 systems and with non-

SAP Systems. It is also possible to access R/3 applications from external system using a
BAPI interface. The service required for communication are all part of the kernel and
basis services component.

System Monitoring and Administration: The component contains programs that allow
you to monitor and control the R/3 system while it is running and change its runtime
Component Service \u2013 ABAP Workbench

The Advance Business Application Programming (ABAP) Workbench component, a full-
fledged development environment for applications in the ABAP language, helps you to
create, edit, test, and organize application developments. It is fully integrated in the R/3
Basis system and, like other R/3 applications, is itself written in ABAP.

Component Service \u2013 Presentation

The presentation components are responsible for the interaction between the R/3 system
and the user as well as for desktop component integration (such as word processing and
SAP R/3 architecture is based on a three-tier client/server model:

Presentation Server
Application Server
Database Server

Though it is a three-tier architecture model, it is not restricted only in three-tier; it can go
up to multi-tier client-server system. In SAP the software components are arranged in tiers
and function depending on their position. SAP R/3 must have at least one presentation
server, one application server and exactly one database server.

Presentation Server

Out of the three-tie, presentation server is the one which runs on user workstation. The
SAP graphical user interface (SAP GUI) is run on this layer. No application logic is
processed in this layer. SAP GUI does not adhere to the style guidelines of its host system.
The layer contains the software component that makes up the SAP GUI (graphical user
interface). This layer is the interface between the R/3 system and its users. The SAP R/3
uses the SAP GUI to provide intuitive graphical user interface for entering and displaying
data. The Presentation layer sends the user\u2019s input to the application server and receives
data for display from it. While a SAP GUI component is running, it remains linked to
user\u2019s terminal session in the R/3 system.

Application Server

Another tier in the SAP R/3 system is the application server where the actual business
logic is being executed. It sends the data to be presented to the user, to the Presentation
layer. It comprises the business administration "know-how" of the system and processes
pre\u2013defined and user\u2013defined application programs, such as OLTP and the
implementation of decision support queries. Application servers are usually connected via
a local area network with the database server.
The Application layer consists of one or more application servers and a message server.
Each application server contains a set of services used to run the R/3 system. Not
practical, you only need one application server to run an R/3 system. But in practice, the
services are distributed across more than one application server. This means that not all
application servers will provide the full range of services. The message server is
responsible for communication between the application servers. It passes requests from
one application server to another within the system. It also contains information about
application server groups and the current load balancing within them. It uses this
information to choose an appropriate server when a user logs onto the system.

Application Server Architecture

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