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What Is SAP Architecture and How It Can Be Configured in Various Ways?

SAP architecture is divided into three layers - presentation, application and database layer. Read this article to know more details about SAP architecture.

SAP is ERP software used for automating and integrating different business processes like production planning, inventory management, distribution, customer service, human resources management, finances or logistics. SAP architecture is divided into three layers or servers. There is the presentation layer, the application layer and the database layer. Each of them is responsible for a certain processes and contributes to the good functioning of the entire system. They all run on different servers unlike the two layer architecture, where the presentation layer and the application one were on the same server and the database layer was managed separately. However, the three layers architecture is commonly used in production and in complex systems. We can even talk about one level SAP architecture, where everything is stored on a single server.†

Nowadays SAP R/3 comes in three-layer architecture. The presentation layer is the one that allows the end user to interact with the application itself. It is called graphical user interface (GUI) and it makes possible using the application. The application layer is where the applications are executed. It communicates with the database layer which is responsible for processing and managing the data. This three tier architecture increases functionality because the load is being distributed on more servers. It is not compulsory to only use three servers, one for each layer, because the functions of each layer can also be managed on more than one server. It is naturally understood that all the servers used have to be network connected. It is usually common for the application layer to be distributed on multiple servers because this way a possible overload from the end users will be prevented.††

SAP Web Application Server, or shortly Web AS, and SAP NetWeaver replaced SAP Basis which was linking the three layers between them, or more accurately said, was linking the application server to the other two layers. The end users use the Graphical User Interface for connecting to the application serverBusiness Management Articles, which is also connected to the database server. Web AS and SAP basis both provide stability for the SAP architecture and include tools that allow the administration of the system. Web AS however includes new technologies that help develop the Internet Communication Manager that enables communication through Internet between the server and the client. SAP is flexible ERP software and SAP architecture can be configured in various ways so that it suits the needs of different business activities.

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