SAP Basis - operation, structure and definition
SAP Basis is the foundation of every SAP system. On this page you can find out what is behind the term and what SAP Basis is responsible for in detail.
What is SAP Basis?
SAP Basis is the IT structure that underlies an SAP system.
The task of SAP Basis is to ensure trouble-free, interoperable and portable (mobile) operation of SAP systems in the company. Interoperable means that independent and heterogeneous IT systems can work together.
Experts also refer to SAP Basis as the "operating system" for all SAP programs - including in particular the ERP solution SAP ECC and its successor SAP S/4HANA, whether on-premise or in the cloud.
However, it is not correct to refer to the SAP NetWeaver and SAP HANA platforms as SAP Basis. Both components are only parts of an SAP Basis architecture (see Structure of SAP Basis).
In some cases, the term SAP Basis is also equated with the administration of an SAP system, i.e. with a task description. In this case, it refers to the management and control of SAP systems via various administration and monitoring tools.
Structure of SAP Basis
SAP Basis is structured as a classic three-tier model. It contains the following components:
- Database layer (relational database management system)
- Application layer (application server and message server)
- Presentation layer (graphical user interface)
Let's look at these layers in more detail below.
The database layer is where all of a company's data is stored. At its core, it consists of a database management system (DBMS for short) and the data itself.
In previous product generations, databases from various third-party providers were used - primarily Oracle and Microsoft SQL. However, this has changed with the introduction of the new database generation SAP HANA.
The HANA database (in-memory database) is an in-house development by SAP and brings with it numerous innovations. For example, it is automatically monitored by the system. In addition, it stores not only operational (user-generated) data, but also system data for controlling application content as well as configuration tables.
The core component of SAP Basis is the application layer. It contains one or more application servers and a message server.
The application servers provide the services for running SAP applications. In practice, companies usually decide to use a separate application server for each application.
The second component of the application layer is the message server. It acts as a kind of "mediator" between the services and the applications.
Among other things, it determines which application server a user logs on to in order to distribute the workload (load balancing). The message server also enables the individual application servers to communicate with each other.
Overall, the application layer is the link between the database layer on the one hand and the presentation layer on the other. Thus, the applications on the application layer request required data from the database in order to process it afterwards.
In addition, the applications prepare the data in such a way that the user can visually capture it via the presentation layer. Conversely, the application server transfers all data that a user enters via the presentation layer to the underlying database.
The presentation layer is responsible for "presenting" - as the name suggests - the applications and data for the user's work, i.e. presenting them visually.
This presentation takes place via a graphical user interface (GUI). This is where users read required information and enter new data into the system.
In the SAP product world, the presentation layer is based on several modules that are grouped under the collective term SAP GUI. SAP GUI for Windows, SAP GUI for Java, Web Dynpro for ABAP (WDA) and SAP GUI for HTML ("Web GUI") are widely used.
SAP Fiori is the next-generation presentation layer - a user experience (UX) that is particularly simple and user-friendly.
Nadine Burghardt, Senior Executive ConsultantDo you have questions about SAP Basis? I will be happy to help you.
+41 41 418 45-24
What is SAP Basis Operation?
SAP Basis Operation is responsible for ensuring the technical functionality of an SAP system. It includes all the previously mentioned technical components. These are used to perform the following tasks:
- Configuration and installation of SAP systems
- Implementing applications
- Controlling users and access rights
- Manage the underlying operating system, if applicable
- Back up and restore data
- Troubleshoot errors
- Optimize system performance
- Manage batch jobs
- Configure SAP's Transport Management System (TMS)
- Process transports between systems
- Schedule and execute background jobs
- Connect and configure printers and other peripheral devices
- Set up operating modes
Overall, SAP Basis operation requires not only a high-quality technical infrastructure, but also distinct know-how and experience. This is because the management of the underlying SAP NetWeaver and SAP HANA platform has become extremely complex.
SAP Basis as a job title
Often, "SAP Basis" refers not only to the technical structure of an SAP landscape, but also to a task description or job title.
In this case, the term stands for the basic administration of SAP systems. In this context, responsible employees perform a number of classic tasks.
What does an SAP Basis administrator do?
Basically, an SAP Basis administrator is responsible for installing, configuring, managing, maintaining and servicing all technical components of an SAP system landscape. This includes activities such as application setup, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
However, the tasks also include strategic and planning aspects. For example, administrators define requirements and standards, select and control upgrades or enhancements, implement monitoring processes, and take care of necessary backups and emergency management.
SAP SE offers various training courses and certifications for SAP Basis administrators and SAP Basis consultants. As an alternative to internal recruitment and training, companies can also turn to external consultants or even outsource the entire SAP Basis administration to an external team with experience in SAP Basis.
Significant changes have also been brought about by SAP's cloud strategy. For example, the latest products such as SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA are available entirely as cloud solutions.
This opens up new possibilities for SAP administration. Basic services, for example, can also be rented from SAP or obtained from an external service provider as part of managed services.
What is the difference between SAP Basis and SAP ABAP?
While SAP Basis is the field of activity of system administrators, ABAP is a programming language in which SAP applications are written.
ABAP is therefore the tool of the trade for SAP developers. ABAP programs are executed on an SAP NetWeaver application server, which in turn is operated by SAP Basis employees.
There are thus numerous interfaces between these fields of activity. As a result, the boundaries become blurred in some cases.
Basis administrators often have basic ABAP knowledge, for example, and ABAP developers know the basics of SAP Basis. Nevertheless, the two fields of activity are usually organizationally separated in the company.
How are SAP modules and SAP Basis related?
An SAP landscape is made up of numerous individual modules that are fully compatible with each other and can be used to map the business processes of all areas of a company. SAP Basis is used to ensure the functionality of the individual modules.
In the ERP environment, SAP has created a separate module for each business task area over the course of time. Companies have the option of putting together a suitable system from these modules, depending on their individual needs.
The SAP NetWeaver (formerly SAP BC) platform, which is part of SAP Basis, ensures the integration of all these application components.
Nadine Burghardt, Senior Executive ConsultantDo you have any questions? Call me or write me a message.
+41 41 418 45-24