SAP AG is a software company, based in Germany, that develops enterprise software applications and business solutions that compete with Oracle's E-Business Suite software stack.
Inter company relations
Until recently Oracle was SAP's database of choice. However, with increased competition in the applications space, SAP shifted away from Oracle: they still support SAP on Oracle, but not as their preferred database platform of choice.
What is SAP ?
SAP develops ERP products to be used by companies to manage their enterprise. This includes managing their day to day operations, logistics, finances, month end, quarter end and yearly activities, reporting, HR etc. Although there are a couple of other ERP vendors who do the same, the key differentiator for SAP is the way in which SAP integrates all these operations and makes for a seamless system that is both easy to use and at the same time sophisticated enough to include all kinds of complex activities that are needed for any kind of enterprise. Examples of some of these activities could, be running Material resource planning, recruiting and managing an employee’s lifecycle, disbursing payrolls, recording all financial transactions and drawing balance sheets and P/L statements of the company etc. Now imagine a single system that takes care of all these diverse activities and still keep them well integrated.
SAP was initially designed to be run on the mainframe and was called that release was called R/2 (Release 2). SAP quickly caught on to the client server model with a later release called R/3 and this was the most popular version of SAP. After R/3, later versions of their core software were launched called Enterprise Central Component (ECC).
The automation needs of an enterprise are endless. SAP soon realized that corporations needed business intelligence to mine data from their daily operational data and extract meaningful trends that could enable further business opportunities. SAP BW was born and morphed into BI after buying out Business Objects (BO).
After the hugely successful R/3, SAP created more and more niche software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), SRM, XI (now called Process Integration or PI) and once again living up to the standards of SAP by maintaining tight integration with their core ECC software.
Through the process of developing these software components, SAP has slowly moved from standard client server architecture to a completely web-based architecture where every transaction can be run from just a browser. These new dimension products developed on the web standards based framework (NetWeaver) are all under new umbrella called mySAP.
On 22nd March 2007 Oracle filed a case against SAP for malpractice and unfair competition in the Californian courts. The complaint alleged that SAP TN (formerly TomorrowNow before purchased by SAP), which provides discount support for legacy Oracle products, used the accounts of former Oracle customers to download patches and support documents from Oracle's website and appropriating them for SAP's use.
SAP has admitted to inappropriate downloads, however the company denies theft of any intellectual property.
R/3 is the SAP client-server solution (R/2 was mainframe based). It consists of the following modules:
- BC - Basis (includes ABAP/4 Programming Language)
- AM - Asset Management
- CO - Controlling
- FI - Financial Accounting
- HR - Human Resources
- IS - Industry Specific Solutions
- PM - Plant Maintenance
- PP - Production Planning
- PS - Project System
- QM - Quality Management
- SD - Sales and Distribution
- MM - Materials Management
- WF - Business Work Flow
- SAP on Oracle FAQ - Frequently asked questions
- SAP's home page
- SAP Online Training
- SAP Tutorial
- SAP ERP
- SAP Supply Chain Planning
- SAP CRM
- SAP Training
- SAP HANA Training
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