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Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP )

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems integrate internal and external management of information across an entire organization-embracing finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions inside the organization, and manages connections to outside stakeholders.

Enterprise system software is a multi-billion dollar industry that produces components that support a variety of business functions. IT investments have become the largest category of capital expenditure in United States-based businesses over the past decade. Enterprise systems are complex software packages that offer the potential of integrating data and processes across functions in an enterprise. Although the initial ERP systems focused on large enterprises, there has been a shift towards smaller enterprises also using ERP systems.

Organizations consider the ERP system a vital organizational tool because it integrates varied organizational systems and enables flawless transactions and production. However, an ERP system is radically different from traditional systems development. ERP systems can run on a variety of computer hardware and network configurations, typically employing a database as a repository for information.


Origin of "ERP"

In 1990 Gartner Group first employed the acronym ERP as an extension of material requirements planning (MRP), later manufacturing resource planning and computer-integrated manufacturing. Without supplanting these terms, ERP came to represent a larger whole, reflecting the evolution of application integration beyond manufacturing. Not all ERP packages were developed from a manufacturing core. Vendors variously began with accounting, maintenance, and human resources. By the mid - 1990s ERP systems addressed all core functions of an enterprise. Beyond corporations, governments and non - profit organizations also began to use ERP systems.


Expansion

ERP systems experienced rapid growth in the 1990s because the year 2000 problem and introduction of the euro disrupted legacy systems. Many companies took this opportunity to replace such systems with ERP.

ERP systems initially focused on automating back office functions that did not directly affect customers and the general public. Front office functions, such as customer relationship management (CRM), dealt directly with customers, or e-business systems such as e-commerce, e-government, e-telecom, and e-finance or supplier relationship management (SRM) became integrated later, when the Internet simplified communicating with external parties.

"ERP II" was coined in the early 2000s. It describes web-based software that provides employees and partners (such as suppliers and customers) with real- time access to ERP systems. The ERP II role expands traditional ERP's resource optimization and transaction processing. Rather than just manage buying, selling, etc.-ERP II leverages information in the resources under its management to help the enterprise collaborate with other enterprises. ERP II is more flexible than the first generation ERP. Rather than confine ERP system capabilities within the organization, it goes beyond the corporate walls to interact with other systems. Enterprise application suite is an alternate name for such systems.


Two tier enterprise resource planning

Two-tier ERP software and hardware lets companies run the equivalent of two ERP systems at once: one at the corporate level and one at the division or subsidiary level. For example, a manufacturing company uses an ERP system to manage across the organization. This company uses independent global or regional distribution, production or sales centers, and service providers to support the main company's customers. Each independent center or subsidiary may have their own business model, workflows, and business processes.

Given the realities of globalization, enterprises continuously evaluate how to optimize their regional, divisional, and product or manufacturing strategies to support strategic goals and reduce time-to-market while increasing profitability and delivering value. With two-tier ERP, the regional distribution, production, or sales centers and service providers continue operating under their own business model- separate from the main company, using their own ERP systems. Since these smaller companies' processes and workflows are not tied to main company's processes and workflows, they can respond to local business requirements in multiple locations.

Factors affecting enterprises adopting two-tier ERP systems are the globalization of manufacturing or the economics of sourcing in emerging economies, the potential for quicker and less costly ERP implementations at subsidiaries based on selecting a software product more suited to smaller companies, and any extra effort required where data must pass between the two ERP systems. Two-tier ERP strategies give enterprises agility in responding to market demands and in aligning IT systems at a corporate level while inevitably resulting in more systems as compared to one ERP system used throughout the entire organization.


Enterprise Resource Planning >> Integration :
Integration

Organizations perceive ERP as a vital tool for organizational competition, as it integrates dispersed organizational systems and enables flawless transactions and production. ERP vendors traditionally offered a single ERP system. ERP systems suffered from limitations in coping with integration challenges dealing with changing requirements. However, companies preferred to implement an ERP suite from one vendor that incorporated stand-alone point solutions (that once filled feature gaps in older ERP releases) to achieve higher levels of integration and improve customer relationships and the supply chain's overall efficiency.

However, though most companies still follow the single source approach, a significant number of firms employ a strategy of best of breed - ERP to strive for a competitive advantage. ERP vendors began to acquire products, or develop new features comparable to or better than many of the top applications. This helped companies, via single source, maintain or create a competitive advantage based on unique business processes, rather than adopt the same business processes as their competitors.

In the following years, integration was a leading investment due to a feature gap and the need to extend and integrate the ERP system to other enterprises or "best of breed" applications. Integration was ranked as one of the leading investments for 2003. Well over 80% of U.S. companies budgeted for some type of integration in 2002, and roughly one-third of U.S. companies defined application integration as one of their top three IT investments in 2003. ERP license revenue remained steady as companies continued their efforts to broadly deploy core applications, and then add complementary features in later phases.

Developers now take greater effort to integrate mobile devices with the ERP system. ERP vendors are extending ERP to these devices, along with other business applications. Technical stakes of modern ERP concern integration-hardware, applications, networking, supply chains. ERP now covers more functions and roles-including decision making, stakeholders' relationships, standardization, transparency, globalization, etc.


Characteristics

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems typically include the following characteristics :

    • An integrated system that operates in real time (or next to real-time), without relying on periodic updates
    • A common database, which supports all applications
    • A consistent look and feel throughout each module
    • Installation of the system without elaborate application/data integration by the Information Technology (IT) department, provided the implementation is not done in small steps

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    Functional Areas

    An ERP system covers the following common functional areas. In many ERP systems these are called and grouped together as ERP modules:

    • Financial accounting
    • General ledger, fixed asset, payables, receivables, cash management, financial consolidation
    • Management accounting
    • Budgeting, costing, cost management, activity based costing
    • Human resources
    • Recruiting, training, payroll, benefits, 401K, diversity management, retirement, separation
    • Manufacturing
    • Engineering, bill of materials, work orders, scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, manufacturing process, manufacturing projects, manufacturing flow, product life cycle management
    • Supply chain management
    • Supply chain planning, supplier scheduling, order to cash, purchasing, inventory, product configurator, claim processing
    • Project management
    • Project planning, resource planning, project costing, work break down structure, billing, time and expense, performance units, activity
    • management
    • Customer relationship management
    • Sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact, call center support - CRM systems are not always considered part of ERP systems
    • but rather Business Support systems (BSS). Specifically in telecom scenario
    • Data services
    • Various "self - service" interfaces for customers, suppliers and/or employees

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    Components
    • Transactional database
    • Management portal/dashboard
    • Business intelligence system
    • Customizable reporting
    • Simple resource planning - Who Is Doing What and When?
    • Analysing the product
    • External access via technology such as web services
    • Search
    • Document management
    • Messaging/chat/wiki
    • Workflow management

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    Best practices

    Most ERP systems incorporate best practices. This means the software reflects the vendor's interpretation of the most effective way to perform each business process. Systems vary in how conveniently the customer can modify these practices. Companies that implemented industry best practices reduced time-consuming project tasks such as configuration, documentation, testing, and training. In addition, best practices reduced risk by 71% when compared to other software implementations.

    The use of best practices eases compliance with requirements such as IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley, or Basel II. They can also help comply with de facto industry standards, such as electronic funds transfer. This is because the procedure can be readily codified within the ERP software, and replicated with confidence across multiple businesses who share that business requirement.


    Modularity

    Most systems are modular, to permit automating some functions but not others. Some common modules, such as finance and accounting, are adopted by nearly all users; others such as human resource management are not. For example, a service company probably has no need for a manufacturing module. Other companies already have a system they believe is adequate. Generally speaking, the greater the number of modules selected, the greater the integration benefits, but also the greater the costs, risks, and changes involved.


    Connectivity to plant floor information

    ERP systems connect to real - time data and transaction data in a variety of ways. These systems are typically configured by systems integrators, who bring unique knowledge on process, equipment, and vendor solutions.

    Direct integration - ERP systems have connectivity (communications to plant floor equipment) as part of their product offering. This requires the vendors to offer specific support for the plant floor equipment that their customers operate. ERP vendors must be expert in their own products, and connectivity to other vendor products, including competitors.

    Database integration - ERP systems connect to plant floor data sources through staging tables in a database. Plant floor systems deposit the necessary information into the database. The ERP system reads the information in the table. The benefit of staging is that ERP vendors do not need to master the complexities of equipment integration. Connectivity becomes the responsibility of the systems integrator.

    Enterprise appliance transaction modules (EATM) - These devices communicate directly with plant floor equipment and with the ERP system via methods supported by the ERP system. EATM can employ a staging table, Web Services, or system specific program interfaces (APIs). The benefit of an EATM is that it offers an off the shelf solution.

    Custom integration solutions - Many system integrators offer custom solutions. These systems tend to have the highest level of initial integration cost, and can have a higher long term maintenance and reliability costs. Long term costs can be minimized through careful system testing and thorough documentation. Custom integrated solutions typically run on workstation or server class computers.


    Implementation

    ERP's scope usually implies significant changes to staff work processes and practices. Generally, three types of services are available to help implement such changes consulting, customization, and support. Implementation time depends on business size, number of modules, customization, the scope of process changes, and the readiness of the customer to take ownership for the project. Modular ERP systems can be implemented in stages. The typical project for a large enterprise consumes about 14 months and requires around 150 consultants. Small projects can require months; multinational and other large implementations can take years. Customization can substantially increase implementation times.

    Besides that, information processing actually has influential effects on various business functional activities - due to severe competitions, taking control of logistics efficiently would be significant for manufacturers. Therefore, large corporations like Wal-Mart use a just in time inventory system. This increases inventory storage and delivery efficiency, since it helps avoid wasteful storage days and lack of supply to satisfy customer demand.

    Moreover, many companies realize that increasing market share requires that they be sensitive to marketing changes and make appropriate adjustments. Lots of information processing applications could meet these requirements, and ERP covers almost every essential functional unit of a firm's operations including accounting, financing, procurement, marketing, and sales.

    This information processing tool becomes the bridge that helps different isolated functional units share and update their data immediately, so managers can continually revise strategies based on data from all departments. However, information tools like ERP are expensive, and not a practical method for medium or small business owners. To address this issue, some software firms develop simpler, cheaper information processing tools specifically for smaller companies.


    Process preparation

    Implementing ERP typically requires changes in existing business processes. Poor understanding of needed process changes prior to starting implementation is a main reason for project failure.

    It is therefore crucial that organizations thoroughly analyze business processes before implementation. This analysis can identify opportunities for process modernization. It also enables an assessment of the alignment of current processes with those provided by the ERP system. Research indicates that the risk of business process mismatch is decreased by:

    • Linking current processes to the organization's strategy
    • Analyzing the effectiveness of each process
    • Understanding existing automated solutions

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    ERP implementation is considerably more difficult (and politically charged) in decentralized organizations, because they often have different processes, business rules, data semantics, authorization hierarchies and decision centers. This may require migrating some business units before others, delaying implementation to work through the necessary changes for each unit, possibly reducing integration (e.g., linking via Master data management) or customizing the system to meet specific needs.

    A potential disadvantage is that adopting "standard" processes can lead to a loss of competitive advantage. While this has happened, losses in one area are often offset by gains in other areas, increasing overall competitive advantage.


    Configuration

    Configuring an ERP system is largely a matter of balancing the way the organization wants the system to work with the way it was designed to work. ERP systems typically include many settings that modify system operation. For example, an organization can select the type of inventory accounting FIFO or LIFO to use; whether to recognize revenue by geographical unit, product line, or distribution channel; and whether to pay for shipping costs on customer returns.


    Customization

    ERP systems are theoretically based on industry best practices, and their makers intend that organizations deploy them as is. ERP vendors do offer customers configuration options that let organizations incorporate their own business rules, but often feature gaps remain even after configuration is complete.

    ERP customers have several options to reconcile feature gaps, each with their own pros/cons. Technical solutions include rewriting part of the delivered software, writing a homegrown module to work within the ERP system, or interfacing to an external system. These three options constitute varying degrees of system customization with the first being the most invasive and costly to maintain. Alternatively, there are non-technical options such as changing business practices or organizational policies to better match the delivered ERP feature set. Key differences between customization and configuration include:

    Customization is always optional, whereas the software must always be configured before use (e.g., setting up cost/profit center structures, organisational trees, purchase approval rules, etc.).

    The software is designed to handle various configurations, and behaves predictably in any allowed configuration.

    The effect of configuration changes on system behavior and performance is predictable and is the responsibility of the ERP vendor. The effect of customization is less predictable. It is the customer's responsibility, and increases testing activities.

    Configuration changes survive upgrades to new software versions. Some customizations (e.g., code that uses pre- defined "hooks" that are called before/after displaying data screens) survive upgrades, though they require retesting. Other customizations (e.g., those involving changes to fundamental data structures) are overwritten during upgrades and must be reimplemented.

    Customization advantages include that it:

    • Improves user acceptance
    • Offers the potential to obtain competitive advantage vis-'-vis companies using only standard features
    • Customization disadvantages include that it:
    • Increases time and resources required to implement and maintain
    • Inhibits seamless communication between suppliers and customers who use the same ERP system uncustomized
    • Can create over reliance on customization, undermining the principles of ERP as a standardizing software platform

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    Extensions

    ERP systems can be extended with third - party software. ERP vendors typically provide access to data and features through published interfaces. Extensions offer features such as:

    • Archiving, reporting, and republishing
    • Capturing transactional data, e.g., using scanners, tills or RFID
    • Access to specialized data and capabilities, such as syndicated marketing data and associated trend analytics
    • Advanced planning and scheduling (APS)
    • Managing resources, facilities, and transmission in real-time

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    Data migration

    Data migration is the process of moving, copying, and restructuring data from an existing system to the ERP system. Migration is critical to implementation success and requires significant planning. Unfortunately, since migration is one of the final activities before the production phase, it often receives insufficient attention. The following steps can structure migration planning:

    • Identify data to migrate
    • Determine migration timing
    • Generate data templates
    • Freeze the toolset
    • Decide on migration-related setups
    • Define data archiving policies and procedures

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    Comparison to special - purpose applications
    Advantages

    The fundamental advantage of ERP is that integrating myriad businesses processes saves time and expense. Management can make decisions faster and with fewer errors. Data becomes visible across the organization. Tasks that benefit from this integration include:

    • Sales forecasting, which allows inventory optimization
    • Chronological history of every transaction through relevant data compilation in every area of operation.
    • Order tracking, from acceptance through fulfillment
    • Revenue tracking, from invoice through cash receipt
    • Matching purchase orders (what was ordered), inventory receipts (what arrived), and costing (what the vendor invoiced)
    • ERP systems centralize business data, which:
    • Eliminates the need to synchronize changes between multiple systems - consolidation of finance, marketing, sales, human resource, and manufacturing applications
    • Brings legitimacy and transparency to each bit of statistical data
    • Facilitates standard product naming/coding
    • Provides a comprehensive enterprise view (no "islands of information"), making real-time information available to management anywhere, any time to make proper decisions
    • Protects sensitive data by consolidating multiple security systems into a single structure

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    Benefits

    ERP can greatly improve the quality and efficiency of a business. By keeping a company's internal business process running smoothly, ERP can lead to better outputs that benefit the company such as customer service, and manufacturing.

    ERP provides support to upper level management to provide them with critical decision making information. This decision support allows the upper level management to make managerial choices that enhance the business down the road.

    ERP also creates a more agile company that better adapts to change. ERP makes a company more flexible and less rigidly structured so organization components operate more cohesively, enhancing the business-internally and externally.

    SAP AG :
    SAP AG

    SAP AG is a German multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-W'rttemberg, Germany, with regional offices around the world, SAP is the leader in the market of enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service.

    The company's best-known software products are its enterprise resource planning application systems and management (SAP ERP), its enterprise data warehouse product - SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP BusinessObjects software, and most recently, Sybase mobile products and in-memory computing appliance SAP HANA. SAP is one of the largest software companies in the world.


    Foundation

    When Xerox decided to exit the computer industry, they asked IBM to migrate their business systems to IBM technology. As part of IBM's compensation for the migration, IBM was given the rights to the SDS/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000.

    Five IBM engineers from the AI departament (Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner, and Claus Wellenreuther, all from Mannheim, Baden-W'rttemberg) were working in an enterprise-wide system based in this software, only to be told that it would be no longer necessary. Rather than abandon the project, they decided to leave IBM and start another company. They had 8% in IBM founding. In exchange for this stock, they got the rights to the SAPE software as part of the deal.

    In June 1972 they founded Systemanalyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development") as a private partnership under the German Civil Code. The acronym was later changed to stand for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung ("Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing").

    Their first client was the German branch of Imperial Chemical Industries in 'stringen, where they developed mainframe programs for payroll and accounting. Instead of storing the data on punch cards mechanically, as IBM did, they stored it locally. Therefore, they called their software a real-time system, since there was no need to process the punch cards overnight (for this reason their flagship product carried a R in its name until the late 1990s). This first version was also a standalone software, that could be offered to other interested parties.


    The ERP

    In 1973, their first commercial product was launched. The SAP R/1, as it was called, offered a common system for multiple tasks. This permitted the use of a centralized data storage, improving the maintenance of the data. From a technical point of view, therefore, a database was necessary.
    In 1976, "SAP GmbH" was founded, and moved its headquarters the following year to Walldorf. SAP AG became the company's official name after the 2005 annual general meeting. AG is short for Aktiengesellschaft (corporation).

    Three years later, in 1979, SAP launched SAP R/2, expanding the capabilities of the system to other areas, such as material management and production planning.

    In 1981, SAP brought a re-designed product to market. However, SAP R/2 did not improve until the period between 1985 and 1990. SAP developed and released several versions of R/3 in 1992 through 1995. By the mid-1990s, SAP followed the trend from mainframe computing to client/server architectures. The development of SAP's internet strategy with mySAP.com redesigned the concept of business processes (integration via Internet). SAP was awarded Industry Week's Best Managed Companies in 1999.

    Corporate Restructuring

    In August 1988, SAP GmbH transferred into SAP AG (a corporation by German law), and public trading started 4 November. Shares were listed on the Frankfurt and Stuttgart stock exchanges.

    In 1995, SAP was included in the German stock index DAX. On 22 September 2003, SAP was included in the Dow Jones STOXX 50.

    in November 2010, SAP lost a $1.3 billion intellectual property lawsuit (related to the actions of the SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow) to Oracle Corporation ' cited as the largest software piracy judgment in history. SAP filed post-trial motions to lower the damage awarded to Oracle and stated it may also file an appeal. On 9 September 2011, the verdict was overturned by Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton, who called the penalty "grossly excessive."

    Acquisitions

    In 2001 SAP acquired Israeli company TopTier Software (founded in 1997) for $400 million. The founder of TopTier Software Shai Agassi joined SAP and eventually was given the responsibility for the company's overall technology strategy and execution.

    In 2008, SAP acquired Business Objects, a business intelligence company, and added its products to its portfolio. In 2010, SAP acquired Sybase in a major acquisition move. Sybase being the largest business software and service provider specializing in information management and mobile data use.

    In December 2011, SAP AG agreed to buy SuccessFactors Inc. for $3.4 billion in cash or 52 percent more than the share closing price on 2 December 2011.
    In May 2012, SAP AG announced acquisition of the Sunnyvale, California-based supply chain network operator Ariba Inc. for an estimated $4.3 billion dollars. SAP said it will offer $45 a share.

    In June 2013, SAP AG announced the proposed acquisition of Hybris (company)


    Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture

    Service-oriented architecture moves the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) landscape toward software-based and web services-based business activities. This move increases adaptability, flexibility, openness, and efficiency. The move towards E-SOA helps companies reuse software components and not rely as much on in-house ERP hardware technologies, which makes ERP adoption more attractive to small and mid-sized companies.

    E-SOA Authentication

    SAP E-SOA, client certificate-based authentication is the only authentication method (besides username/password) and the only Single Sign-On method to be supported across all SAP technologies. Kerberos and logon tickets, for example, are not compatible with SAP service-oriented architecture.

    Products

    SAP's products focus on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The company's main product is SAP ERP. The current version is SAP ERP 6.0 and is part of the SAP Business Suite. Its previous name was R/3. The "R" of SAP R/3 stood for realtime. The number 3 related to the 3-tier architecture: database, application server and client (SAPgui). R/2, which ran on a Mainframe architecture, was the predecessor of R/3. Before R/2 came System RF, later dubbed R/1.

    SAP ERP is one of five enterprise applications in SAP's Business Suite. The other four applications are:

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - helps companies acquire and retain customers, gain marketing and customer insight Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) - helps manufacturers with product-related information Supply Chain Management (SCM) - helps companies with the process of resourcing its manufacturing and service processes Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) - enables companies to procure from suppliers

    Other major product offerings include: the NetWeaver platform, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) software, Duet (joint offering with Microsoft), Performance Management software and RFID. SAP offers service-oriented architecture capabilities (calling it Enterprise SOA) in the form of web services that are wrapped around its applications.

    While its original products were typically used by Fortune 500 companies, SAP now actively targets small and medium sized enterprises (SME) with its SAP Business One and SAP Business All-in-One.

    On 19 September 2007 SAP announced a new product named SAP Business ByDesign. SAP Business ByDesign is a software as a service (SaaS) offering, and provides a fully integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, On Demand. SAP Business ByDesign was previously known under the code name "A1S". In October 2007, SAP AG announced the friendly takeover of Business Objects. This acquisition expanded SAP's Product Suite of Business Intelligence (BI) software and increased the customer installed base to 89,000.

    In February 2009 SAP AG, which invested in Coghead, purchased the start-up's intellectual property. SAP will only be using the company's technology as an internal resource and has no plans to offer Coghead's products to its customers.

    In May 2010 SAP AG announced that it is buying the database software maker Sybase for US$ 5.8 billion in cash. The deal closed at the end of July 2010. Sybase will continue to run as a separate, independent unit but will be leveraged across the other SAP areas.

    As of July 2010 TechniData is a 100% subsidiary of SAP AG.
    In October 2010, SAP AG announced the release of SAP HANA 1.0 (High-performance Analytics Appliance), an in-memory appliance for Business Intelligence allowing real-time analytics.

    SAP Enterprise Learning (environment) is an enhancement of the previous version of the learning management system, SAP Learning Solution 600. Apart from the features in SAP Learning Solution 600, SAP Enterprise Learning (environment) contains a virtual learning room feature powered by Adobe Connect. SAP officials say there are over 100,600 SAP installations serving more than 41,200 companies in more than 25 industries in more than 120 countries.

    SAP Press has published a book on SAP Enterprise Learning.

    SAP Human Resources Management System is one of the largest modules in the SAP R/3 system which consists of many sub modules that assist with tasks of human resource management.


    SAP HANA :
    SAP HANA

    SAP HANA is SAP AG's implementation of in-memory database technology. There are five components within the software group:

    SAP HANA DB (or HANA DB) refers to the database technology itself, SAP HANA Studio refers to the suite of tools provided by SAP for modeling, SAP HANA Appliance refers to HANA DB as delivered on partner certified hardware as an appliance. It also includes the modeling tools from HANA Studio as well as replication and data transformation tools to move data into HANA DB, SAP HANA One refers to a deployment of SAP HANA certified for production use on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. SAP HANA Application Cloud refers to the cloud based infrastructure for delivery of applications (typically existing SAP applications rewritten to run on HANA).

    HANA DB takes advantage of the low cost of main memory (RAM), data processing abilities of multi-core processors and the fast data access of solid-state drives relative to traditional hard drives to deliver better performance of analytical and transactional applications. It offers a multi-engine query processing environment which allows it to support both relational data (with both row- and column-oriented physical representations in a hybrid engine) as well as graph and text processing for semi- and unstructured data management within the same system. HANA DB is 100% ACID compliant.

    While HANA has been considered an unofficial acronym for HAsso's New Architecture (a reference to SAP founder Hasso Plattner) and HANA was previously an official acronym for High Performance ANalytic Appliance, HANA is a name not an acronym.


    Architecture
    At its most basic, the architecture of the HANA database system has the following components.
    Four Management services

    The Connection and Session Management component manages sessions/connections for database clients. Clients can use a variety of languages to communicate with the HANA database.

    The Transaction Manager component helps with ACID compliance by coordinating transactions, controlling transactional isolation and tracking running and closed transactions.

    The Authorization Manager component handles all security and credentialing .
    The Metadata Manager component manages all metadata such as table definitions, views, indexes and the definition of SQL Script functions. All metadata, even of different types, is stored in a common catalog.

    Three Database Engine components
    Calculation Engine component executes on calculation models received from SQL Script (and other) compilers. Optimizer and Plan Generator component parses and optimizes client requests. Execution Engine component invokes the various In-Memory Processing Engines and routes intermediate results between consecutive execution steps based on the optimized execution plan.
    Three In-Memory Storage Engines
    • Relational Engine (see Column and row store below)
    • The Graph Engine (where should this go?)
    • Text Engine (see Unstructured data below)
    • Persistency Layer (see Storage below)

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    Column and row store

    The Relational Engine supports both row- and column-oriented physical representations of relational tables. A system administrator specifies at definition time whether a new table is to be stored in a row- or in a column-oriented format. Row- and column-oriented database tables can be seamlessly combined into one SQL statement, and subsequently, tables can be moved from one representation form to the other.

    The row store is optimized for concurrent WRITE and READ operations. It keeps all index structures in-memory rather than persisting them on disk. It uses a technology that is optimized for concurrency and scalability in multi-core systems. Typically, Metadata or rarely accessed data is stored in a row-oriented format.

    Compared to this, the column store is optimized for performance of READ operations. Column-oriented data is stored in a highly compressed format in order to improve the efficiency of memory resource usage and to speed up the data transfer from storage to memory or from memory to CPU. The column store offers significant advantages in terms of data compression enabling access to larger amounts of data in main memory. Typically, user and application data is stored in a column-oriented format to benefit from the high compression rate and from the highly optimized access for selection and aggregation queries.

    Business Function Library

    The Business Function Library is a reusable library (similar to stored procedures) for business applications embedded in the HANA calculation engine. This eliminates the need for developing such calculations from scratch. Some of the functions offered are

    • Annual depreciation
    • Internal rate of return
    • Net present value

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    Predictive Analysis Library

    Similar to the Business Function Library, the Predictive Analysis Library is a collection of compiled analytic functions for predictive analytics. Among the algorithms supported are

    • K-means clustering
    • ABC analysis
    • C4.5 algorithm
    • Linear regression

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    R integration

    R is a programming language designed for statistical analysis. An open source initiative (under the GNU Project) R is integrated in HANA DB via TCP/IP. HANA uses SQL-SHM, a shared memory-based data exchange to incorporate R's vertical data structure. HANA also introduces R scripts equivalent to native database operations like join or aggregation. HANA developers can write R scripts in SQL and the types are automatically converted in HANA. R scripts can be invoked with HANA tables as both input and output in the SQLScript. R environments need to be deployed to use R within SQLScript.

    Storage

    The Persistency Layer is responsible for the durability and atomicity of transactions. It manages data and log volumes on disk and provides interfaces for writing and reading data that are leveraged by all storage engines. This layer is based on the proven persistency layer of MaxDB, SAP's commercialized disk-centric relational database. The persistency layer ensures that the database is restored to the most recent committed state after a restart and that transactions are either completely executed or completely undone. To achieve this efficiently, it uses a combination of write-ahead logs, shadow paging, and savepoints.

    Buffer management
    Logging and transactions

    HANA's persistence layer manages logging of all transactions in order to provide standard backup and restore functions. The same persistence layer manages both row and column stores. It offers regular save points and logging of all database transaction since the last save point.

    Concurrency and locking

    HANA DB uses the multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) principle for concurrency control. This enables long-running read transactions without blocking update transactions. MVCC, in combination with a time-travel mechanism, allows temporal queries inside the Relational Engine.

    • Data retrieval
    • Reporting
    • Unstructured data

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    Since ever more applications require the enrichment of normally structured data with semi-structured, unstructured, or text data, the HANA database provides a text search engine in addition to its classic relational query engine.

    The Graph Engine supports the efficient representation and processing of data graphs with a flexible typing system. A new dedicated storage structure and a set of optimized base operations are introduced to enable efficient graph operations via the domain-specific WIPE query and manipulation language. The Graph Engine is positioned to optimally support resource planning applications with huge numbers of individual resources and complex mash-up interdependencies. The flexible type system additionally supports the efficient execution of transformation processes, like data cleansing steps in data-warehouse scenarios, to adjust the types of the individual data entries, and it enables the ad-hoc integration of data from different sources.

    The Text Engine provides text indexing and search abilities, such as exact search for words and phrases, fuzzy search (which tolerates typing errors), and linguistic search (which finds variations of words based on linguistic rules). In addition, search results can be ranked and federated search abilities support searching across multiple tables and views. This functionality is available to applications via specific SQL extensions. For text analyses, a separate Preprocessor Server is used that leverages SAP's Text Analysis library.


    Data provisioning
    Replication services

    The figure above gives an overview of the alternative methods for data replication from a source system to a HANA database. Each method handles the required data replication differently, and consequently each method has different strengths. It depends on your specific application field and the existing system landscape as to which of the methods best serves your needs.

    Trigger-Based Data Replication Using SAP Landscape Transformation (LT) Replication Server is based on capturing database changes at a high level of abstraction in the source ERP system. This method of replication benefits from being database-independent, and can also parallelize database changes on multiple tables or by segmenting large table changes.

    Extract, transform, load (ETL) based data replication uses SAP BusinessObjects Data Services to extract the relevant business data from a source system such as ERP and load it into a HANA database. In addition, the ETL-based method offers options for the integration of third-party data providers. Replication jobs and data flow are configured in Data Services. This permits the use of multiple data sources (including external ones) and data validation.

    Transaction Log-Based Data Replication Using Sybase Replication is based on capturing table changes from low-level database log files. This method is database-dependent. Database changes are propagated for each database transaction, and they are then replayed on the HANA database. This maintains consistency, but at the cost of being unable to use parallelizing to propagate changes.(rewrite)


    Operations, administration

    Backup and recovery
    Immediately after launch, with Service Pack 2, backup and recovery abilities were limited to either Recovery to Last Back-up or Older Data Back-up or Recovery to Last State Before Crash. Additional backup features were implemented in Service Pack 3. These included a Full Automatic or Manual Log Backup option and a Point In-Time Recovery option. New administration features included a new Backup Catalog which records all backup attempts.

    Modeling
    Non-materialized views

    One implication of HANA's ability to work with a full database in memory is that computationally intensive KPI calculations can be completed rapidly when compared to disk based databases. Pre-aggregation of data in cubes or storage of results in materialized views is no longer necessary.


    Information Composer

    SAP HANA Information Composer is a web based tool which allows users to upload data to a HANA database and manipulate that data by creating Information Views. In the data acquisition portion, data can be uploaded, previewed and cleansed. In the data manipulation portion objects can be selected, combined and placed in Information Views which can be used by SAP BusinessObjects tools.


    Security

    Security and role based permissions are managed by the Authorization Manager in HANA DB. Besides standard database privileges such as create, update or delete HANA DB also supports analytical privileges that represent filters or drill-down limitations on queries as well as access control access privileges to values with certain attributes. HANA DB components invoke the Authorization Manager whenever they need to check on user privileges. The authentication can then be done either by the database itself or be further delegated to an external authentication provider, such as an LDAP directory.


    Performance and scalability

    SAP has stated that customers have realized gains as high as 100,000x in improved query performance when compared to disk based database systems.


    Benchmarks

    In March 2011, Wintercorp (an independent testing firm specializing in large scale data management) was retained by SAP to audit test specifications and results from test runs. The test used concepts similar to those of the industry standard TPC-H benchmark. The test data had between 600 million and 1.8 billion rows and the test ran five analytical query types and three operational report query types. The combined throughput of analytical and operational report queries ran between 3007 queries/hour and 10,042 queries per hour depending on the volume of data.


    Scale-out architecture

    To enable scalability in terms of data volumes and the number of application requests, the HANA database supports scale-up and scale-out. For scale-up, all algorithms and data structures are designed to work on large multi-core architectures especially focusing on cache-aware data structures and code fragments. For scale-out, the HANA database is designed to run on a cluster of individual machines allowing the distribution of data and query processing across multiple nodes.


    Disaster Tolerance

    HANA has native support for disaster tolerance, meaning an entire clustered HANA instance(primary site) can fail-over to another clustered HANA instance (secondary site) running in different data centers. This feature is called System Replication. The data and changes of the primary site is replicated in real-time to the secondary site.

    SAP Business Suite :
    SAP Business Suite

    SAP Business Suite is a bundle of business applications that provide integration of information and processes, collaboration, industry-specific functionality, and scalability. SAP Business Suite is based on SAP's technology platform called NetWeaver.

    SAP Business Suite 7 has five constituents:

    • SAP ERP 6.0 (Enterprise Resource Planning)
    • SAP CRM 7.0 (Customer Relationship Management)
    • SAP SRM 7.0 (Supplier Relationship Management)
    • SAP SCM 7.0 (Supply Chain Management)
    • SAP PLM 7.0 (Product Lifecycle Management)

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    SAP Enterprise Resource Planning :
    SAP ERP

    SAP ERP or SAP ECC is SAP AG's Enterprise Resource Planning, an integrated software solution that incorporates the key business functions of the organization.

    Overview

    SAP ERP is, in the SAP Business Suite software, the name for the modules comprising the former SAP R/3. It contains the following solutions.

    • SAP ERP Financials:
    • Accounts Payable
    • Accounts Receivable
    • Accounting and Financial reporting
    • Risk management
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Cash Flow Monitoring
    • Travel Management
    • SAP ERP Human Capital Management:
    • End-user Maintenance
    • HR and Payroll
    • HR Process Management
    • HR Reporting
    • Labor Force Analysis
    • Placement
    • Recruitment and Training
    • Talent Management
    • SAP ERP Operations:
    • Procurement and logistics
    • Product development and manufacturing
    • Sales and service
    • Operations analytics

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    Development

    SAP R/3 through version 4.6c consisted of various applications on top of SAP Basis, SAP's set of middleware programs and tools. When SAP R/3 Enterprise was launched in 2002, all applications were built on top of the SAP Web Application Server. Extension sets were used to deliver new features and keep the core as stable as possible. The Web Application Server contained all the capabilities of SAP Basis.

    As a result of marketing changes and changes in the industry, other versions of SAP have been released that address these changes. The first edition of mySAP ERP was launched in 2003 and bundled previously separate products, including SAP R/3 Enterprise, SAP Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) and extension sets. The SAP Web Application Server was wrapped into NetWeaver, which was also introduced in 2003.

    A complete architecture change took place with the introduction of mySAP ERP edition 2004. R/3 Enterprise was replaced with the introduction of ERP Central Component (SAP ECC). The SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Strategic Enterprise Management and Internet Transaction Server were also merged into SAP ECC, allowing users to run them under one instance. Architectural changes were also made to support an enterprise services architecture to transition customers to a services-oriented architecture. SAP HANA which is a combination of In-memory software and hardware can improve data processing at extremely high speeds. \ But some definition also say the full-form as system application & products.


    Implementation

    SAP ERP consists of several modules, including utilities for marketing and sales, field service, product design and development, production and inventory control, human resources, finance and accounting. SAP ERP collects and combines data from the separate modules to provide the company or organization with enterprise resource planning.

    Although there can be major benefits for customers of SAP ERP, the implementation and training costs are expensive. Many companies experience problems when implementing SAP ERP software, such as failing to specify their operation objectives, absence of a strong commitment or positive approach to change, failing to deal with organizational differences, failing to plan the change to SAP ERP properly, inadequate testing. All these factors can mean the difference between having a successful implementation of SAP ERP or an unsuccessful one.

    If SAP ERP is implemented correctly an enterprise can go from its old calculations system to a fully integrated software package. Potential benefits include efficient business process, inventory reduction, and lead time reduction.

    An article in the IEEE Transaction on Engineering Management journal reports an industrial case in which the senior management successfully dealt with a troubled SAP R/3 implementation in an international fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company during 2001 and 2002.


    Deployment and maintenance costs

    SAP ERP systems effectively implemented can have cost benefits. Integration is the key in this process. "Generally, a company's level of data integration is highest when the company uses one vendor to supply all of its modules." An out-of-box software package has some level of integration but it depends on the expertise of the company to install the system and how the package allows the users to integrate the different modules.

    It is estimated that "for a Fortune 500 company, software, hardware, and consulting costs can easily exceed $100 million (around $50 million to $500 million). Large companies can also spend $50 million to $100 million on upgrades. Full implementation of all modules can take years," which also adds to the end price. Midsized companies (fewer than 1,000 employees) are more likely to spend around $10 million to $20 million at most, and small companies are not likely to have the need for a fully integrated SAP ERP system unless they have the likelihood of becoming midsized and then the same data applies as would a midsized company. Independent studies have shown that deployment and maintenance costs of a SAP solution can greatly vary depending on the organization. For example, some point out that because of the rigid model imposed by SAP tools, a lot of customization code to adapt to the business process may have to be developed and maintained. Some others pointed out that a return on investment could only be obtained when there was both a sufficient number of users and sufficient frequency of use. Deploying SAP itself can also involve a lot of time and resources.


    Security

    Communications
    SAP systems - including client systems - communicate with each other using SAP-specific protocols (e.g., RFC and DIAG) and the http and https protocols. These systems do not have encrypted communications out of the box; however, SAP does provide a free toolkit for server-to-server communications. With the recent acquisition of relevant parts of SECUDE,


    ERP advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages
    • Allows easier global integration (barriers of currency exchange rates, language, and culture can be bridged automatically)
    • Updates only need to be done once to be implemented company-wide
    • Provides real-time information, reducing the possibility of redundancy errors
    • May create a more efficient work environment for employees
    • Vendors have past knowledge and expertise on how to best build and implement a system
    • User interface is completely customizable allowing end users to dictate the operational structure of the product

  • .

    Disadvantages
    • For companies of less than 1000 employees, a fully functional SAP ERP system can easily cost much more and take much longer than hiring a
    • consultancy firm to build a custom ERP system from scratch
    • Locked into relationship by contract and manageability with vendor - a contract can hold a company to the vendor until it expires and it can be unprofitable to switch vendors if switching costs are too high
    • Inflexibility - vendor packages may not fit a company's business model well and customization can be expensive
    • Return on Investment may take too long to be profitable
    • Implementations have a risk of project failure

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    SAP Customer Relationship Management :
    SAP Customer Relationship Management

    Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company's interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.


    Overview

    SAP's CRM solution includes several modules that support key functional areas including:

    • SAP CRM Sales
    • SAP CRM Marketing
    • SAP CRM Service
    • SAP CRM Analytics
    • SAP CRM Interaction Center
    • SAP CRM Web Channel (which includes E-Commerce, E-Marketing and E-Service)
    • SAP CRM Partner Channel Management
    • SAP CRM WebClient UI
    • SAP CRM Investigative Case Management (ICM)
    • SAP CRM Social Service
    • SAP CRM Loyalty Management (LM)
    • SAP CRM Real Time Offer Management (RTOM)
    • SAP CRM Mobile Solutions
    • SAP CRM Trade Promotion Management (TPM)

  • .


    Types/variations
    Marketing

    CRM systems for marketing track and measure campaigns over multiple channels, such as email, search, social media, telephone and direct mail. These systems track clicks, responses, leads and deals.

    Customer service and support

    CRMs can be used to create, assign and manage requests made by customers, such as call center software which help direct customers to agents. CRM software can also be used to identify and reward loyal customers over a period of time.


    Appointments

    Appointment CRMs automatically provide suitable appointment times to customers via e-mail or the web, which are then synchronized with the representative or agent's calendar.

    Small business

    For small businesses a CRM system may simply consist of a contact manager system which integrates emails, documents, jobs, faxes, and scheduling for individual accounts. CRM systems available for specific markets (legal, finance) frequently focus on event management and relationship tracking as opposed to financial return on investment (ROI).


    Social media

    CRM often makes use of social media to build up customer relationship. Some CRM systems integrate social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Plus to track and communicate with customers sharing opinions and experiences with a company, products and services. Trends identified through social media allow businesses to make more accurate decisions on which products to supply.


    Non-profit and membership-based

    Systems for non-profit and membership-based organizations help track constituents, fund-raising, demographics, membership levels, membership directories, volunteering and communication with individuals.


    Adoption Issues

    In 2003, a Gartner report estimated that more than $1 billion had been spent on software that was not being used. According to KEN Insights, less than 40 percent of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90 percent. Many corporations only use CRM systems on a partial or fragmented basis. In a 2007 survey from the UK, four-fifths of senior executives reported that their biggest challenge is getting their staff to use the systems they had installed. 43 percent of respondents said they use less than half the functionality of their existing system.


    Trends

    Many CRM vendors offer subscription-based web tools (cloud computing) and software as a service (SaaS). Some CRM systems are equipped with mobile capabilities, making information accessible to remote sales staff. Salesforce.com was the first company to provide enterprise applications through a web browser, and has maintained its leadership position. Traditional providers have recently moved into the cloud-based market via acquisitions of smaller providers: Oracle purchased RightNow in October 2011 and SAP acquired SuccessFactors in December 2011.

    The era of the "social customer" refers to the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, customer reviews in Amazon, etc.) by customers. CR philosophy and strategy has shifted to encompass social networks and user communities.

    Sales forces also play an important role in CRM, as maximizing sales effectiveness and increasing sales productivity is a driving force behind the adoption of CRM. Empowerming sales managers was listed as one of the top 5 CRM trends in 2013.

    Another related development is vendor relationship management (VRM), which provide tools and services that allow customers to manage their individual relationship with vendors. VRM development has grown out of efforts by ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Identity Commons' Internet Identity Workshops, as well as by a growing number of startups and established companies. VRM was the subject of a cover story in the May 2010 issue of CRM Magazine.

    In 2001, Doug Laney developed the concept and coined the term 'Extended Relationship Management' (XRM).Laney defines XRM as extending CRM disciplines to secondary allies such as the government, press and industry consortia.

    CRM futurist Dennison DeGregor describes a shift from 'push CRM' toward a 'customer transparency' (CT) model, due to the increased proliferation of channels, devices, and social media.


    SAP Supplier Relationship Management :
    Supplier Relationship Management

    Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the discipline of strategically planning for, and managing, all interactions with third party organizations that supply goods and/or services to an organization in order to maximize the value of those interactions. In practice, SRM entails creating closer, more collaborative relationships with key suppliers in order to uncover and realize new value and reduce risk.


    Overview

    Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the systematic, enterprise-wide assessment of suppliers' assets and capabilities with respect to overall business strategy, determination of what activities to engage in with different suppliers, and planning and execution of all interactions with suppliers, in a coordinated fashion across the relationship life cycle, to maximize the value realized through those interactions. The focus of SRM is to develop two-way, mutually beneficial relationships with strategic supply partners to deliver greater levels of innovation and competitive advantage than could be achieved by operating independently or through a traditional, transactional purchasing arrangement.

    In many fundamental ways, SRM is analogous to customer relationship management. Just as companies have multiple interactions over time with their customers, so too do they interact with suppliers - negotiating contracts, purchasing, managing logistics and delivery, collaborating on product design, etc. The starting point for defining SRM is a recognition that these various interactions with suppliers are not discrete and independent - instead they are accurately and usefully thought of as comprising a relationship, one which can and should be managed in a coordinated fashion across functional and business unit touch-points, and throughout the relationship lifecycle.


    Components of SRM

    SRM necessitates a consistency of approach and a defined set of behaviours that foster trust over time. Effective SRM requires not only institutionalizing new ways of collaborating with key suppliers, but also actively dismantling existing policies and practices that can impede collaboration and limit the potential value that can be derived from key supplier relationships. At the same time, SRM should entail reciprocal changes in processes and policies at suppliers.

    Organizational structure

    While there is no one correct model for deploying SRM at an organizational level, there are sets of structural elements that are relevant in most contexts:

    A formal SRM team or office at the corporate level. The purpose of such a group is to facilitate and coordinate SRM activities across functions and business units. SRM is inherently cross-functional, and requires a good combination of commercial, technical and interpersonal skills. These 'softer' skills around communication, listening, influencing and managing change are critical to developing strong and trusting working relations.

    A formal Relationship Manager or Supplier Account Manager role. Such individuals often sit within the business unit that interacts most frequently with that supplier, or may be filled by a category manager in the procurement function. This role can be a full-time, dedicated positions, although relationship management responsibilities may be part of broader roles depending on the complexity and importance of the supplier relationship (see Supplier Segmentation). SRM managers understand their suppliers' business and strategic goals, and are able to see issues from the supplier's point of view while balancing their own organization's requirements and priorities.

    An executive sponsor and, for complex, strategic supplier relationships, a cross-functional steering committee. These individuals form a clear link between SRM strategies and overall business strategies, serve to determine the relative prioritization among a company's varying goals as they impact suppliers, and act as a dispute resolution body.


    Governance

    The SRM office and supply chain function are typically responsible for defining the SRM governance model, which includes a clear and jointly agreed governance framework in place for some top-tier strategic suppliers. Effective governance should comprise not only designation of senior executive sponsors at both customer and supplier and dedicated relationship managers, but also a face-off model connecting personnel in engineering, procurement, operations, quality and logistics with their supplier counterparts; a regular cadence of operational and strategic planning and review meetings; and well-defined escalation procedures to ensure speedy resolution of problems or conflicts at the appropriate organizational level.


    Supplier engagement model

    Effective supplier relationship management requires an enterprise-wide analysis of what activities to engage in with each supplier. The common practice of implementing a - one size fits all - approach to managing suppliers can stretch resources and limit the potential value that can be derived from strategic supplier relationships. Supplier segmentation, in contrast, is about determining what kind of interactions to have with various suppliers, and how best to manage those interactions, not merely as a disconnected set of siloized transactions, but in a coordinated manner across the enterprise. Suppliers can be segmented, not just by spend, but by the total potential value (measured across multiple dimensions) that can be realized through interactions with them. Further, suppliers can be segmented by the degree of risk to which the realization of that value is subject.


    Joint activities
    Joint activities with suppliers might include; Supplier summits, which bring together all strategic suppliers together to share the company's strategy, provide feedback on its strategic supplier relationship management program, and solicit feedback and suggestions from key suppliers. Executive-to-executive meetings

    Strategic business planning meetings, where relationship leaders and technical experts meet to discuss joint opportunities, potential roadblocks to collaboration, activities and resources required, and share strategies and relevant market trends. Joint business planning meetings are often accompanied by a clear process to capture supplier ideas and innovations, direct them to relevant stakeholders, and ensure that they are evaluated for commercial suitability, and developed and implemented if they are deemed commercially viable.

    Operational business reviews, where individuals responsible for day-to-day management of the relationship review progress on joint initiatives, operational performance, and risks.


    Value measurement

    SRM delivers a competitive advantage by harnessing talent and ideas from key supply partners and translates this into product and service offerings for end customers. One tool for monitoring performance and identifying areas for improvement is the joint, two-way performance scorecard. A balanced scorecard includes a mixture of quantitative and qualitative measures, including how key participants perceive the quality of the relationship. These KPIs are shared between customer and supplier and reviewed jointly, reflecting the fact that the relationship is two-way and collaborative, and that strong performance on both sides is required for it to be successful. Advanced organizations conduct 360 degree scorecards, where strategic suppliers are also surveyed for feedback on their performance, the results of which are built into the scorecard.

    A practice of leading organizations is to track specific SRM savings generated at an individual supplier level, and also at an aggregated SRM program level, through existing procurement benefit measurement systems . Part of the challenge in measuring the financial impact of SRM is that there are many ways SRM can contribute to financial performance. These include cost savings (e.g., most favoured customer pricing, joint efforts to improve design, manufacturing, and service delivery for greater efficiency); incremental revenue opportunities (e.g., gaining early or exclusive access to innovative supplier technology; joint efforts to develop innovative products, features, packaging, etc. avoiding stock-outs through joint demand forecasting); and improved management of risk. In a 2004 Vantage Partners study, respondents reported that on average, they could save just over $43 million to their bottom line by implementing supplier relationship management best practices.


    Systematic collaboration

    In practice, SRM expands the scope of interaction with key suppliers beyond traditional buy-sell transactions to encompass other joint activities which are predicated on a shift in perspective and a change in how relationships are managed, which may or may not entail significant investment. Such activities include:


    Joint research and development

    More disciplined and systematic, and often expanded, information sharing Joint demand forecasting and process re-engineering (has unlocked savings of 10-30 percent for leading organizations).


    Technology and systems

    There are a myriad of technology solutions which are purported to enable SRM. These systems can be used to gather and track supplier performance data across sites, business units, and/or regions. The benefit is a more comprehensive and objective picture of supplier performance, which can be used to make better sourcing decisions, as well as identify and address systemic supplier performance problems. It is important to note that SRM software, while valuable, cannot be implemented in the absence of the other business structure and process changes that are recommended as part of implementing SRM as a strategy.

    Challenges
    • Creating the business case
    • Calculating ROI
    • SRM and supplier performance management

  • .

    Some confusion may exist over the difference between supplier performance management (SPM) and SRM. SPM is a subset of SRM. A simple way of expressing the difference between SPM and SRM is that the former is about ensuring the supplier delivers what has been promised in the contract, which suggests a narrow, one-way process. SRM, in contrast, is about collaboratively driving value for both parties, resulting in lower costs, reduced risk, greater efficiency, better quality, and access to innovation. This requires a focus on both negotiating the contract and managing the resulting relationship throughout implementation, as well as systematic joint value-discovery efforts.

    SAP Supply Chain Management :
    Supply Chain Management

    Supply chain management managing complex and dynamic supply and demand networks. (cf. Wieland/Wallenburg, 2011)

    Supply chain management (SCM) is the management of an interconnected or interlinked between network, channel and node businesses involved in the provision of product and service packages required by the end customers in a supply chain. Supply chain management spans the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. It is also defined as the "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally."

    SCM draws heavily from the areas of operations management, logistics, procurement, and information technology, and strives for an integrated approach.


    Functions

    Supply chain management is a cross-functional approach that includes managing the movement of raw materials into an organization, certain aspects of the internal processing of materials into finished goods, and the movement of finished goods out of the organization and toward the end consumer. As organizations strive to focus on core competencies and becoming more flexible, they reduce their ownership of raw materials sources and distribution channels. These functions are increasingly being outsourced to other firms that can perform the activities better or more cost effectively. The effect is to increase the number of organizations involved in satisfying customer demand, while reducing managerial control of daily logistics operations. Less control and more supply chain partners led to the creation of the concept of supply chain management. The purpose of supply chain management is to improve trust and collaboration among supply chain partners, thus improving inventory visibility and the velocity of inventory movement.


    Historical developments

    Six major movements can be observed in the evolution of supply chain management studies: creation, integration, and globalization (Movahedi et al., 2009), specialization phases one and two, and SCM 2.0.

    Creation era

    The term "supply chain management" was first coined by Keith Oliver in 1982. However, the concept of a supply chain in management was of great importance long before, in the early 20th century, especially with the creation of the assembly line. The characteristics of this era of supply chain management include the need for large-scale changes, re-engineering, downsizing driven by cost reduction programs, and widespread attention to Japanese management practices.


    Integration era

    This era of supply chain management studies was highlighted with the development of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems in the 1960s, and developed through the 1990s by the introduction of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This era has continued to develop into the 21st century with the expansion of Internet-based collaborative systems. This era of supply chain evolution is characterized by both increasing value added and cost reductions through integration.

    A supply chain can be classified as a stage 1, 2 or 3 network. In a stage 1 - type supply chain, systems such as production, storage, distribution, and material control are not linked and are independent of each other. In a stage 2 supply chain, these are integrated under one plan and is ERP enabled. A stage 3 supply chain is one that achieves vertical integration with upstream suppliers and downstream customers. An example of this kind of supply chain is Tesco.

    Globalization era

    The third movement of supply chain management development, the globalization era, can be characterized by the attention given to global systems of supplier relationships and the expansion of supply chains over national boundaries and into other continents. Although the use of global sources in organizations' supply chains can be traced back several decades (e.g., in the oil industry), it was not until the late 1980s that a considerable number of organizations started to integrate global sources into their core business. This era is characterized by the globalization of supply chain management in organizations with the goal of increasing their competitive advantage, adding value, and reducing costs through global sourcing.


    Specialization era (phase I): outsourced manufacturing and distribution

    In the 1990s, companies began to focus on "core competencies" and specialization. They abandoned vertical integration, sold off non-core operations, and outsourced those functions to other companies. This changed management requirements, by extending the supply chain beyond the company walls and distributing management across specialized supply chain partnerships.

    This transition also refocused the fundamental perspectives of each organization. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) became brand owners that required visibility deep into their supply base. They had to control the entire supply chain from above, instead of from within. Contract manufacturers had to manage bills of material with different part-numbering schemes from multiple OEMs and support customer requests for work-in-process visibility and vendor-managed inventory (VMI).

    The specialization model creates manufacturing and distribution networks composed of several individual supply chains specific to producers, suppliers, and customers that work together to design, manufacture, distribute, market, sell, and service a product. This set of partners may change according to a given market, region, or channel, resulting in a proliferation of trading partner environments, each with its own unique characteristics and demands.


    Specialization era (phase II): supply chain management as a service

    Specialization within the supply chain began in the 1980s with the inception of transportation brokerages, warehouse management, and non-asset-based carriers, and has matured beyond transportation and logistics into aspects of supply planning, collaboration, execution, and performance management.

    Market forces sometimes demand rapid changes from suppliers, logistics providers, locations, or customers in their role as components of supply chain networks. This variability has significant effects on supply chain infrastructure, from the foundation layers of establishing and managing electronic communication between trading partners, to more complex requirements such as the configuration of processes and work flows that are essential to the management of the network itself.

    Supply chain specialization enables companies to improve their overall competencies in the same way that outsourced manufacturing and distribution has done; it allows them to focus on their core competencies and assemble networks of specific, best-in-class partners to contribute to the overall value chain itself, thereby increasing overall performance and efficiency. The ability to quickly obtain and deploy this domain-specific supply chain expertise without developing and maintaining an entirely unique and complex competency in house is a leading reason why supply chain specialization is gaining popularity.

    Outsourced technology hosting for supply chain solutions debuted in the late 1990s and has taken root primarily in transportation and collaboration categories. This has progressed from the application service provider (ASP) model from roughly 1998 through 2003, to the on-demand model from approximately 2003 through 2006, to the software as a service (SaaS) model currently in focus today.


    Supply chain management 2.0 (SCM 2.0)

    Building on globalization and specialization, the term "SCM 2.0" has been coined to describe both changes within supply chains themselves as well as the evolution of processes, methods, and tools to manage them in this new "era". The growing popularity of collaborative platforms is highlighted by the rise of TradeCard's supply chain collaboration platform, which connects multiple buyers and suppliers with financial institutions, enabling them to conduct automated supply-chain finance transactions.

    Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of the World Wide Web that is meant to increase creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users. At its core, the common attribute of Web 2.0 is to help navigate the vast information available on the Web in order to find what is being sought. It is the notion of a usable pathway. SCM 2.0 replicates this notion in supply chain operations. It is the pathway to SCM results, a combination of processes, methodologies, tools, and delivery options to guide companies to their results quickly as the complexity and speed of the supply chain increase due to global competition; rapid price fluctuations; surging oil prices; short product life cycles; expanded specialization; near-, far-, and off-shoring; and talent scarcity.

    SCM 2.0 leverages solutions designed to rapidly deliver results with the agility to quickly manage future change for continuous flexibility, value, and success. This is delivered through competency networks composed of best-of-breed supply chain expertise to understand which elements, both operationally and organizationally, deliver results, as well as through intimate understanding of how to manage these elements to achieve the desired results. The solutions are delivered in a variety of options, such as no-touch via business process outsourcing, mid-touch via managed services and software as a service (SaaS), or high-touch in the traditional software deployment model.


    Historical developments

    Six major movements can be observed in the evolution of supply chain management studies: creation, integration, and globalization (Movahedi et al., 2009), specialization phases one and two, and SCM 2.0.


    Creation era

    The term "supply chain management" was first coined by Keith Oliver in 1982. However, the concept of a supply chain in management was of great importance long before, in the early 20th century, especially with the creation of the assembly line. The characteristics of this era of supply chain management include the need for large-scale changes, re-engineering, downsizing driven by cost reduction programs, and widespread attention to Japanese management practices.


    Integration era

    This era of supply chain management studies was highlighted with the development of electronic data interchange (EDI) systems in the 1960s, and developed through the 1990s by the introduction of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This era has continued to develop into the 21st century with the expansion of Internet-based collaborative systems. This era of supply chain evolution is characterized by both increasing value added and cost reductions through integration.

    A supply chain can be classified as a stage 1, 2 or 3 network. In a stage 1 type supply chain, systems such as production, storage, distribution, and material control are not linked and are independent of each other. In a stage 2 supply chain, these are integrated under one plan and is ERP enabled. A stage 3 supply chain is one that achieves vertical integration with upstream suppliers and downstream customers. An example of this kind of supply chain is Tesco.


    Globalization era

    The third movement of supply chain management development, the globalization era, can be characterized by the attention given to global systems of supplier relationships and the expansion of supply chains over national boundaries and into other continents. Although the use of global sources in organizations' supply chains can be traced back several decades (e.g., in the oil industry), it was not until the late 1980s that a considerable number of organizations started to integrate global sources into their core business. This era is characterized by the globalization of supply chain management in organizations with the goal of increasing their competitive advantage, adding value, and reducing costs through global sourcing.


    Specialization era (phase I): outsourced manufacturing and distribution

    In the 1990s, companies began to focus on "core competencies" and specialization. They abandoned vertical integration, sold off non-core operations, and outsourced those functions to other companies. This changed management requirements, by extending the supply chain beyond the company walls and distributing management across specialized supply chain partnerships.

    This transition also refocused the fundamental perspectives of each organization. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) became brand owners that required visibility deep into their supply base. They had to control the entire supply chain from above, instead of from within. Contract manufacturers had to manage bills of material with different part-numbering schemes from multiple OEMs and support customer requests for work-in-process visibility and vendor-managed inventory (VMI).

    The specialization model creates manufacturing and distribution networks composed of several individual supply chains specific to producers, suppliers, and customers that work together to design, manufacture, distribute, market, sell, and service a product. This set of partners may change according to a given market, region, or channel, resulting in a proliferation of trading partner environments, each with its own unique characteristics and demands.


    Specialization era (phase II): supply chain management as a service

    Specialization within the supply chain began in the 1980s with the inception of transportation brokerages, warehouse management, and non-asset-based carriers, and has matured beyond transportation and logistics into aspects of supply planning, collaboration, execution, and performance management.

    Market forces sometimes demand rapid changes from suppliers, logistics providers, locations, or customers in their role as components of supply chain networks. This variability has significant effects on supply chain infrastructure, from the foundation layers of establishing and managing electronic communication between trading partners, to more complex requirements such as the configuration of processes and work flows that are essential to the management of the network itself.

    Supply chain specialization enables companies to improve their overall competencies in the same way that outsourced manufacturing and distribution has done; it allows them to focus on their core competencies and assemble networks of specific, best-in-class partners to contribute to the overall value chain itself, thereby increasing overall performance and efficiency. The ability to quickly obtain and deploy this domain-specific supply chain expertise without developing and maintaining an entirely unique and complex competency in house is a leading reason why supply chain specialization is gaining popularity.

    Outsourced technology hosting for supply chain solutions debuted in the late 1990s and has taken root primarily in transportation and collaboration categories. This has progressed from the application service provider (ASP) model from roughly 1998 through 2003, to the on-demand model from approximately 2003 through 2006, to the software as a service (SaaS) model currently in focus today.

    Supply chain management 2.0 (SCM 2.0)

    Building on globalization and specialization, the term "SCM 2.0" has been coined to describe both changes within supply chains themselves as well as the evolution of processes, methods, and tools to manage them in this new "era". The growing popularity of collaborative platforms is highlighted by the rise of TradeCard's supply chain collaboration platform, which connects multiple buyers and suppliers with financial institutions, enabling them to conduct automated supply-chain finance transactions.

    Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of the World Wide Web that is meant to increase creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among users. At its core, the common attribute of Web 2.0 is to help navigate the vast information available on the Web in order to find what is being sought. It is the notion of a usable pathway. SCM 2.0 replicates this notion in supply chain operations. It is the pathway to SCM results, a combination of processes, methodologies, tools, and delivery options to guide companies to their results quickly as the complexity and speed of the supply chain increase due to global competition; rapid price fluctuations; surging oil prices; short product life cycles; expanded specialization; near-, far-, and off-shoring; and talent scarcity.

    SCM 2.0 leverages solutions designed to rapidly deliver results with the agility to quickly manage future change for continuous flexibility, value, and success. This is delivered through competency networks composed of best-of-breed supply chain expertise to understand which elements, both operationally and organizationally, deliver results, as well as through intimate understanding of how to manage these elements to achieve the desired results. The solutions are delivered in a variety of options, such as no-touch via business process outsourcing, mid-touch via managed services and software as a service (SaaS), or high-touch in the traditional software deployment model.


    Business process integration

    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2013)

    Successful SCM requires a change from managing individual functions to integrating activities into key supply chain processes. In an example scenario, a purchasing department places orders as its requirements become known. The marketing department, responding to customer demand, communicates with several distributors and retailers as it attempts to determine ways to satisfy this demand. Information shared between supply chain partners can only be fully leveraged through process integration.

    Supply chain business process integration involves collaborative work between buyers and suppliers, joint product development, common systems, and shared information. According to Lambert and Cooper (2000), operating an integrated supply chain requires a continuous information flow. However, in many companies, management has concluded that optimizing product flows cannot be accomplished without implementing a process approach. The key supply chain processes stated by Lambert (2004) are:

    • Customer relationship management
    • Customer service management
    • Demand management style
    • Order fulfillment
    • Manufacturing flow management
    • Supplier relationship management
    • Product development and commercialization
    • Returns management

    • Much has been written about demand management. Best-in-class companies have similar characteristics, which include the following:
    • Internal and external collaboration
    • Initiatives to reduce lead time
    • Tighter feedback from customer and market demand
    • Customer-level forecasting

    • One could suggest other critical supply business processes that combine these processes stated by Lambert, such as:
    • Customer service management
    • Procurement
    • Product development and commercialization
    • Manufacturing flow management/support
    • Physical distribution
    • Outsourcing/partnerships
    • Performance measurement
    • Warehousing management

  • .

    Theories

    Currently there is a gap in the literature on supply chain management studies: there is no theoretical support for explaining the existence or the boundaries of supply chain management. A few authors, such as Halldorsson et al. (2003), Ketchen and Hult (2006), and Lavassani et al. (2009), have tried to provide theoretical foundations for different areas related to supply chain by employing organizational theories. These theories include:

    • Resource-based view (RBV)
    • Transaction cost analysis (TCA)
    • Knowledge-based view (KBV)
    • Strategic choice theory (SCT)
    • Agency theory (AT)
    • Channel coordination
    • Institutional theory (InT)
    • Systems theory (ST)
    • Network perspective (NP)
    • Materials logistics management (MLM)
    • Just-in-time (JIT)
    • Material requirements planning (MRP)
    • Theory of constraints (TOC)
    • Total quality management (TQM)
    • Agile manufacturing
    • Time-based competition (TBC)
    • Quick response manufacturing (QRM)
    • Customer relationship management (CRM)
    • Requirements chain management (RCM)
    • Available-to-promise (ATP)

  • .

    However, the unit of analysis of most of these theories is not the supply chain but rather another system, such as the firm or the supplier-buyer relationship. Among the few exceptions is the relational view, which outlines a theory for considering dyads and networks of firms as a key unit of analysis for explaining superior individual firm performance (Dyer and Singh, 1998).

    SAP Product Lifecycle Management :
    Product Lifecycle management

    A generic lifecycle of products

    In industry, product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.


    History

    The inspiration for the burgeoning business process now known as PLM came from American Motors Corporation (AMC). The automaker was looking for a way to speed up its product development process to compete better against its larger competitors in 1985, according to Fran'ois Castaing, Vice President for Product Engineering and Development. After introducing its compact Jeep Cherokee (XJ), the vehicle that launched the modern sport utility vehicle (SUV) market, AMC began development of a new model, that later came out as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The first part in its quest for faster product development was computer-aided design (CAD) software system that make engineers more productive. The second part in this effort was the new communication system that allowed conflicts to be resolved faster, as well as reducing costly engineering changes because all drawings and documents were in a central database. The product data management was so effective, that after AMC was purchased by Chrysler, the system was expanded throughout the enterprise connecting everyone involved in designing and building products. While an early adopter of PLM technology, Chrysler was able to become the auto industry's lowest-cost producer, recording development costs that were half of the industry average by the mid-1990s.


    Forms

    PLM systems help organizations in coping with the increasing complexity and engineering challenges of developing new products for the global competitive markets.

    Product lifecycle management (PLM) should be distinguished from 'product life cycle management (marketing)' (PLCM). PLM describes the engineering aspect of a product, from managing descriptions and properties of a product through its development and useful life; whereas, PLCM refers to the commercial management of life of a product in the business market with respect to costs and sales measures.

    Product lifecycle management can be considered one of the four cornerstones of a manufacturing corporation's information technology structure. All companies need to manage communications and information with their customers (CRM-customer relationship management), their suppliers and fulfillment (SCM-supply chain management), their resources within the enterprise (ERP-enterprise resource planning) and their product planning and development (PLM).
    One form of PLM is called people-centric PLM. While traditional PLM tools have been deployed only on release or during the release phase, people-centric PLM targets the design phase.

    As of 2009, ICT development (EU-funded PROMISE project 2004 - 2008) has allowed PLM to extend beyond traditional PLM and integrate sensor data and real time 'lifecycle event data' into PLM, as well as allowing this information to be made available to different players in the total lifecycle of an individual product (closing the information loop). This has resulted in the extension of PLM into closed-loop lifecycle management (CL2M).


    Areas of PLM
    • Within PLM there are five primary areas;
    • Systems engineering (SE)
    • Product and portfolio m' (PPM)
    • Product design (CAx)
    • Manufacturing process management (MPM)
    • Product Data Management (PDM)

  • .

    Note: While application software is not required for PLM processes, the business complexity and rate of change requires organizations execute as rapidly as possible.

    Systems engineering is focused on meeting all requirements, primary meeting customer needs, and coordinating the systems design process by involving all relevant disciplines. A important for life cycle management is asubset within Systems Engineering called Reliability Engineering. Product and portfolio management is focused on managing resource allocation, tracking progress vs. plan for new product development projects that are in process (or in a holding status). Portfolio management is a tool that assists management in tracking progress on new products and making trade-off decisions when allocating scarce resources.Product design is the process of creating a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. Manufacturing process management is a collection of technologies and methods used to define how products are to be manufactured. Product data management is focused on capturing and maintaining information on products and/or services through their development and useful life.


    Phases of product lifecycle and corresponding technologies

    This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2013)

    Many software solutions have developed to organize and integrate the different phases of a product's lifecycle. PLM should not be seen as a single software product but a collection of software tools and working methods integrated together to address either single stages of the lifecycle or connect different tasks or manage the whole process. Some software providers cover the whole PLM range while others single niche application. Some applications can span many fields of PLM with different modules within the same data model. An overview of the fields within PLM is covered here. It should be noted however that the simple classifications do not always fit exactly, many areas overlap and many software products cover more than one area or do not fit easily into one category. It should also not be forgotten that one of the main goals of PLM is to collect knowledge that can be reused for other projects and to coordinate simultaneous concurrent development of many products. It is about business processes, people and methods as much as software application solutions. Although PLM is mainly associated with engineering tasks it also involves marketing activities such as product portfolio management (PPM), particularly with regards to new product development (NPD). There are several life-cycle models in industry to consider, but most are rather similar. What follows below is one possible life-cycle model; while it emphasizes hardware-oriented products, similar phases would describe any form of product or service, including non-technical or software-based products:


    Phase 1: Conceive

    Imagine, specify, plan, innovate

    The first stage is the definition of the product requirements based on customer, company, market and regulatory bodies' viewpoints. From this specification, the product's major technical parameters can be defined. In parallel, the initial concept design work is performed defining the aesthetics of the product together with its main functional aspects. Many different media are used for these processes, from pencil and paper to clay models to 3D CAID computer-aided industrial design software.

    In some concepts, the investment of resources into research or analysis-of-options may be included in the conception phase - e.g. bringing the technology to a level of maturity sufficient to move to the next phase. However, life-cycle engineering is iterative. It is always possible that something doesn't work well in any phase enough to back up into a prior phase - perhaps all the way back to conception or research. There are many examples to draw from.


    Phase 2: Design

    Describe, define, develop, test, analyze and validate

    This is where the detailed design and development of the product's form starts, progressing to prototype testing, through pilot release to full product launch. It can also involve redesign and ramp for improvement to existing products as well as planned obsolescence. The main tool used for design and development is CAD. This can be simple 2D drawing / drafting or 3D parametric feature based solid/surface modeling. Such software includes technology such as Hybrid Modeling, Reverse Engineering, KBE (knowledge-based engineering), NDT (Nondestructive testing), Assembly construction.

    This step covers many engineering disciplines including: mechanical, electrical, electronic, software (embedded), and domain-specific, such as architectural, aerospace, automotive, ... Along with the actual creation of geometry there is the analysis of the components and product assemblies. Simulation, validation and optimization tasks are carried out using CAE (computer-aided engineering) software either integrated in the CAD package or stand-alone. These are used to perform tasks such as:- Stress analysis, FEA (finite element analysis); kinematics; computational fluid dynamics (CFD); and mechanical event simulation (MES). CAQ (computer-aided quality) is used for tasks such as Dimensional tolerance (engineering) analysis. Another task performed at this stage is the sourcing of bought out components, possibly with the aid of procurement systems.


    Phase 3: Realize

    Manufacture, make, build, procure, produce, sell and deliver

    Once the design of the product's components is complete the method of manufacturing is defined. This includes CAD tasks such as tool design; creation of CNC Machining instructions for the product's parts as well as tools to manufacture those parts, using integrated or separate CAM computer-aided manufacturing software. This will also involve analysis tools for process simulation for operations such as casting, molding, and die press forming. Once the manufacturing method has been identified CPM comes into play. This involves CAPE (computer-aided production engineering) or CAP/CAPP - (production planning) tools for carrying out factory, plant and facility layout and production simulation. For example: press-line simulation; and industrial ergonomics; as well as tool selection management. Once components are manufactured their geometrical form and size can be checked against the original CAD data with the use of computer-aided inspection equipment and software. Parallel to the engineering tasks, sales product configuration and marketing documentation work take place. This could include transferring engineering data (geometry and part list data) to a web based sales configurator and other desktop publishing systems.

    Phase 4: Service

    Use, operate, maintain, support, sustain, phase-out, retire, recycle and disposal

    The final phase of the lifecycle involves managing of in service information. Providing customers and service engineers with support information for repair and maintenance, as well as waste management/recycling information. This involves using tools such as Maintenance, Repair and Operations Management (MRO) software.

    There is an end-of-life to every product. Whether it be disposal or destruction of material objects or information, this needs to be considered since it may not be free from ramifications.


    SAP Business One :
    SAP Business One

    SAP Business One is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as divisions and subsidiaries of larger companies. Produced by SAP, the solution is intended to assist companies by providing support for sales, customer relationships, inventory, operations, financials and human resources. The application has over 30,000 customers.

    The product is sold, implemented, and supported through a global network of local resellers. The rough cost of a B1 license is around 1000 to 2500 euros - varying from country to country.


    Solution overview

    SAP Business One provides essential business functions out-of-the-box, including:

    Financial management: automate financial and accounting processes. Includes support for multiple currencies, budgeting, and bank reconciliation

    Warehouse and production management: manage inventory across multiple warehouses, track stock, and manage production orders based on material requirements planning

    Customer relationship management: offers sales and opportunity management, and after-sales support

    Purchasing: automate procurement - from purchase order through vendor invoice

    Mobility: for iOS, SAP releases an app for iPhone or iPad to interact with SAP Business One in the backend

    Reporting and Business Intelligence: provides access to data in order to create new reports and customize existing ones with integration with Crystal Reports

    Analytics Powered by SAP HANA: using in-memory computing technology / SAP HANA database for instant access to real-time insights

    SAP Business One is delivered with 41 country localizations, and supports 26 languages.


    History

    SAP Business One development center in Israel
    In March 2002, SAP purchased TopManage Financial Systems, an Israeli developer of business applications and branded their system as SAP Business One. TopManage was founded by Reuven Agassi and Gadi Shamia, both took key executive positions at SAP following the acquisition. A year earlier TopManage's sister company TopTier, was also acquired by SAP. TopTier was founded by Reuven Agassi's son Shai Agassi.

    The acquisition allowed SAP to reach out to the midmarket through its partners and also to gain additional business from the smaller subsidiaries of its enterprise customers.

    In December 2004, SAP acquired the technology and assets of iLytix Systems AS, a privately held software company based in Oslo, Norway. As a result SAP introduced new reporting and budgeting capabilities in SAP Business One called XL Reporter.

    In July 2006, SAP acquired Praxis Software Solutions and planned to integrate the company's Web-based CRM and e-commerce capabilities into SAP Business One. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Minneapolis-based Praxis, a private software company, had previously been a SAP Business One partner.

    In 2009, SAP sold the Web-based CRM and eCommerce components that comprised the former Praxis Software Solutions. Currently SAP does not offer an eCommerce solution for SAP Business One. This functionality will be provided through the Solution Extension Program.

    In 2011, SAP partnered with CitiXsys to use their business consolidation solution to extend reach for SAP Business One intercompany integration. The solution enables businesses to manage intercompany transactions for more than one company by automatically replicating corresponding transactions across multiple company databases.

    At last recorded count, SAP has 88,000 SME's worldwide using B1, which represents 70% of their user base. If we calculate backwards, the remaining 30% of enterprise users will count as 45,000. We are not sure if this includes clients from newly procured companies such as Sybase.

    Integration

    Integration needs are present SAP Business One customers that include small businesses, as well as divisions and subsidiaries of larger corporations. In addition, many of these companies require integration of their existing websites, consolidation of multiple ERP systems and other integration solutions. SAP Business One provides integration technologies for these purposes and more.

    Integration can be achieved using the SDK component DI API, DI API Server and UIAPI. The DI API provides COM based interface to the business objects & business logic of SAP Business One. The DI API Server is similar to DI API except it provides SOAP based protocol.UIAPI, which based on COM too, focus on SAP Business One User Interface.

    As those are APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), using them requires software development skills. A simpler way to achieve integration is by using the SAP Business One integration framework. The integration framework enables simple (XML based) definition of integration scenarios. Instead of complex, high-cost implementation, it enables strong low-cost, reliable integration solutions with minimal requirements to resources and skills.

    Business One integration framework

    The Business One integration framework is an integral part SAP Business One. It is used to enable integrated functionality such as dashboards, the Business One mobile solution, or Datev-HR integration. As an option, it allows the customer to implement individual integration to business partners

    InterCompany Integration Solution for SAP Business One

    The InterCompany Integration Solution for SAP Business One is an out-of-the-box solution for customers that are running multiple SAP Business One systems connected together across a network of group companies or subsidiaries. It automatically synchronizes the business data and provides financial consolidation. The solution enables businesses to manage intercompany transactions for more than one company within a group of companies by replicating corresponding transactions across multiple company databases. Automating the replication of such transactions significantly reduces the amount of end user effort and manual rekeying of data to maintain intercompany trading financial statements.

    Business One subsidiary integration solution

    The Business One subsidiary integration solution (also known as integration for SAP NetWeaver/B1iSN) is a special solution for customers, running SAP NetWeaver components in their headquarters and SAP Business One in their subsidiaries. Subsidiary integration runs centrally in the HQ and integrates the subsidiaries into the enterprise business processes. It provides:

    • Standardization and unification of business processes with the subsidiaries
    • A single solution for all subsidiaries
    • Rapid integration
    • Subsidiary independence with the ability to leverage parent company processes

  • .

    Business One integration with mobile devices and content

    The Business One integration with mobile devices and content enables the connection of SAP Business One to mobile devices (currently only available on the Iphone and Ipad - not on Android Devices) and to non-SAP and SAP information and services. Integration is achieved with the connectivity technology that comes standard with SAP Business One.

    Business One SDK

    The Business One SDK provides components that allow development of addons to the Business One Application. Developers that use the SDK can share their knowledge and experience on the SAP Development Network.

    Resellers and partners

    In order to become a SAP Business One reseller, a company must be part of SAP's PartnerEdge Program. Partnership starts at the Certified level, and as higher standards of knowledge and support can be shown, it can progress through Associate, Silver and Gold.

    Competitors

    SAP Business One competes with Microsoft Dynamics globally, and with a variety of national packages such as those sold by Sage in many countries around the world.

    Recently, companies such as DynaWare (EOS the evolution of ERP), NetSuite (CRM & ERP), and Salesforce.com (CRM only) have offered similar functionality in web based applications.

    SAP NetWeaver :
    SAP NetWeaver

    SAP NetWeaver is SAP's integrated must technology computing platform and is the technical foundation for many SAP applications since the SAP Business Suite. SAP NetWeaver is marketed as a service-oriented application and integration platform. SAP NetWeaver provides the development and runtime environment for SAP applications and can be used for custom development and integration with other applications and systems. SAP NetWeaver is built using primarily the ABAP programming language, but also uses C (programming language), C++, and Java EE. It also employs open standards and industry de facto standards and can be extended with, and interoperate with, technologies such as Microsoft .NET, Java EE, and IBM WebSphere.

    SAP NetWeaver's release is considered as a strategic move by SAP for driving enterprises to run their business on a single, integrated platform that includes both applications and technology. Industry analysts refer to this type of integrated platform offering as an "applistructure" (applications + infrastructure). According to SAP, this approach is driven by industry's need to lower IT costs through an enterprise architecture that is at once
    (1) more flexible;
    (2) better integrated with applications;
    (3) built on open standards to ensure future interoperability and broad integration; and,
    (4) provided by a vendor that is financially viable for the long term.

    SAP is fostering relationships with system integrators and independent software vendors, many of the latter becoming "Powered by SAP NetWeaver". SAP NetWeaver is part of SAP's plan to transition to a more open, service-oriented architecture and to deliver the technical foundation of its applications on a single, integrated platform and common release cycle.


    History

    The origins of the NetWeaver platform are a portal technology developed by Israeli software company TopTier Software (that was founded in 1997), and which SAP acquired in 2001. The founder of TopTier Software Shai Agassi joined SAP and was given the responsibility for the company's overall technology strategy and execution. He initiated the development of the integration and application platform that became NetWeaver platform.

    SAP announced first NetWeaver release, named Netweaver 2004, in January 2003, and it was made available on March 31, 2004... NetWeaver 7.0, aka 2004s, was made available on October 24, 2005.


    Composition

    NetWeaver is essentially the integrated stack of SAP technology products. The SAP Web Application Server (sometimes referred to as WebAS) is the runtime environment for the SAP applications all of the mySAP Business Suite solutions (SRM, CRM, SCM, PLM, ERP) run on SAP WebAS.

    Products
    • The core products that make up SAP NetWeaver include:
    • SAP NetWeaver Application Server
    • SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence
    • SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment (CE)
    • SAP NetWeaver Enterprise Portal (EP)
    • SAP NetWeaver Identity Management (IdM)
    • SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management (MDM)
    • SAP NetWeaver Mobile
    • SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI)

  • .

    SAP has also teamed with hardware vendors like HP, IBM, Fujitsu, and Sun (in the meantime acquired by Oracle) to deliver appliances (i.e., hardware + software) to simplify and enhance the deployment of NetWeaver components. Examples of these appliances include:
    BW Accelerator
    Enterprise Search


    Development Tools
    • ABAP Workbench (SE80)
    • SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio (NWDS) based on Eclipse for most of the Java part of the technology (Web Dynpro for Java, JEE, Java Dictionary,
    • Portal Applications etc.)
    • SAP Netweaver Development Infrastructure (NWDI)
    • Visual Composer

  • .

    Features
    • SOAP and web services
    • Interoperability with Java EE
    • Interoperability with .NET (Microsoft)
    • Integration of Business Intelligence
    • xApps
    • Duet

  • .

    Specifically, ERP is being extended by Business Process Management Systems (BPMs) and, as BPMs takes hold as the pre-dominant technical platform for new applications, expect to see radical changes to ERP architecture in the years ahead. The technology has been applied to a wide range of industries and applications.

    SAP's Netweaver platform is still backwards-compatible with ABAP, SAP's custom development language.

    SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence :
    SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence

    SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) the name of the Business Intelligence, analytical, reporting and Data Warehousing solution produced by SAP AG. It was originally named SAP BIW (Business Information Warehouse), then abbreviated to SAP BW, but is now known as "SAP BI" at the end user level. In contrast, "BW" is still used to describe the underlying Data Warehouse Area and Accelerator components. It is often used by companies who run their business on SAP's operational systems.

    BW is part of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform. Other components of SAP NetWeaver include SAP Enterprise Portal (EP, called SAP NetWeaver Portal as of Release 7.0), Web Application Server (WAS), SAP Process Integration (PI, or previously XI, i.e. eXchange Infrastructure) and Master Data Management (MDM). It also includes end-user reporting tools such as Report Designer, BEx Query Designer, BEx Web Application Designer and BEx Analyzer.


    Structure

    It may be helpful to consider layer that make up the structure of SAP's BI solution: Extraction, Transformation and Load (ETL) layer - responsible for extracting data from a specific source, applying transformation rules, and loading it into the Data Warehouse Area.

    Data Warehouse Area - responsible for storing the information in various types of structures (e.g. Data Store Objects, InfoObjects and multidimensional structures called InfoCubes that follows star schema design).

    Reporting - for accessing the information in data warehouse area and presenting it in a user-friendly manner to the analyst or business user.
    Planning and analysis - Provides capabilities for the user to run simulations and perform tasks such as budget calculations.

    SAP's BW solution has a pervasively employed data warehouse and contains a large number of pre-defined business content in the form of InfoCubes, Info Objects, authorization roles, and queries. This allows the ability to leverage SAP's experience and to reduce implementation cycles. The business content can be modified to meet an organization's specific requirements; however, this requires a longer process of customization of the pre-defined elements.

    • Security
    • User Management
    • Executives and Knowledge Workers
    • Information Consumers

  • .

    However, roles and authorizations can be customized significantly.

    • Authentications and Single Sign-On
    • User ID and Password
    • Secure Network Communications (SNC)
    • SAP Logon Ticket
    • Client Certificates (e.g., x.509)

  • .

    SAP NetWeaver Single Sign-On Environment

    The SAP NetWeaver Portal is the main entry point within SAP NetWeaver. In order to integrate SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence, the following two conditions must be satisfied: (note that SAP logon tickets are being used in this example) 1) BI trusts SAP logon tickets from EP because the public key of the EP certificate has been imported into BI. 2) EP trusts SAP logon tickets from BI because the public key of the BI certificate has been imported into EP.

    Authorizations

    Companies have to define who has access to which data. An authorization allows a user to perform a certain activity on a certain object in the BI system. There are two authorizations concepts to consider for BI: standard authorizations and analysis authorizations.

    Communication Channel Security
    • The communication channel used depends on different cases
    • Front end and application server uses RFC
    • Application server and application server uses RFC
    • SAP J2EE Engine and application server uses RFC
    • Connection to database uses RFC
    • Web browser and application server uses HTTP, HTTPS, and SOAP

  • .


    Encrypted Communications

    RFC communications is not encrypted. In order to encrypt RFC communications, the SAP environment must use Secure Network Communications (SNC) or the SAP Cryptographic Library. SAP recommends the usage of x.509 certificates.


    Data Storage

    Data can be protected from being accessed by an authorized end user by assigning analysis authorizations. Data is not protected under BI default settings.

    Transactional Data is stored in a Datastore or an InfoCube. A Datastore serves as a storage location for transaction data at an atomic level. The data in a datastore is stored in transparent flat database tables.

    An InfoCube is a set of relational tables arranged according to the star schema: A large fact table in the middle surrounded by several dimension tables.


    SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management :
    SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management

    SAP NetWeaver Master Data Management (SAP NW MDM) is a component of SAP's NetWeaver product group and is used as a platform to consolidate, cleanse and synchronise a single version of the truth for master data within a heterogeneous application landscape. It has the ability to distribute internally and externally to SAP and non-SAP applications. SAP MDM is a key enabler of SAP Service-Oriented Architecture. Standard system architecture would consist of a single central MDM server connected to client systems through SAP Exchange Infrastructure using XML documents, although connectivity without SAP XI can also be achieved. There are five standard implementation scenarios:

    Content Consolidation - centralised cleansing, de-duplication and consolidation, enabling key mapping and consolidated group reporting in SAP BI. No re-distribution of cleansed data.

    Master Data Harmonisation - as for Content Consolidation, plus re-distribution of cleansed, consolidated master data. Central Master data management - as for Master Data Harmonisation, but all master data is maintained in the central MDM system. No maintenance of master data occurs in the connected client systems.

    Rich Product Content Management - Catalogue management and publishing. Uses elements of Content Consolidation to centrally store rich content (images, PDF files, video, sound etc.) together with standard content in order to produce product catalogues (web or print). Has standard adapters to export content to Desktop Publishing packages.

    Global Data Synchronization - provides consistent trade item information exchange with retailers through data hubs (e.g. 1SYNC) Some features (for example, workflow) require custom development out of the box to provide screens for end users to use.


    History

    SAP is currently on its second iteration of MDM software. Facing limited adoption of its initial release, SAP changed direction and in 2004 purchased a small vendor in the PIM space called A2i. This code has become the basis for the currently shipping SAP MDM 5.5, and as such, most analysts consider SAP MDM to be more of a PIM than a general MDM product at this time.

    SAP NetWeaver MDM 7.1 was released in ramp-up shipment in November 2008 and unrestricted shipment in May 2009. This new version has an enhanced MDM technology foundation to build pre-packaged business scenarios and integration.

    SAP NetWeaver Portal :
    SAP NetWeaver Portal

    SAP NetWeaver Portal is one of the building blocks in the SAP NetWeaver architecture. With only a Web Browser, users can begin work once they have been authenticated in the portal which offers a single point of access to information, enterprise applications, and services both inside and outside an organization. The Netweaver Portal also provides the tools to manage this knowledge, to analyze and interrelate it, and to share and collaborate. With its coherent interface, role-based content, and personalization features, the portal enables you to focus exclusively on data relevant to your daily decision-making processes.

    Knowledge Management offers capabilities that everyone can use to distribute and access unstructured information within an organization through a heterogeneous repository landscape.

    Collaboration brings users, information, and applications together to ensure successful cooperation. All collaboration tools and channels are easily accessible directly from the portal. These tools include collaboration rooms,discussion forums, instant messaging, chat, e-mail, and calendar integration.

    The Portal is used for different purposes.

    • Internationalization
    • Personalization
    • Integration
    • Authorization

  • .

    SAP NetWeaver Portal is the platform for running Web Dynpro applications or Dyn Page applications created by SAP or custom designed for connecting to some ERP functionality.

    Authentication
    • SAP NetWeaver Portal allows different forms of authentication:
    • username and password
    • SAP Logon Tickets

  • .

    Criticism

    Independent analyst firm CMS Watch has chronicled SAP Portal's slow embrace of Web 2.0 technologies, such as wikis. CMS Watch customer research also compared NetWeaver Portal somewhat unfavorably to competing offerings.

    SAP NetWeaver Application Server :
    SAP NetWeaver Application Server

    SAP NetWeaver Application Server or SAP Web Application Server is a component of the NetWeaver solution which works as a web application server to SAP solutions. From the SAP point of view the Web AS is the foundation on which most of their product range runs.

    All ABAP application servers including the message server represent the application layer of the multitier architecture of an ABAP-based SAP System. These application servers execute ABAP applications and communicate with the presentation components, the database, and also with each other, using the message server.

    Architecture

    The architecture of SAP Web Application Server can be separated into 5 areas:

    Presentation layer

    In the presentation layer, the user interface can be developed with Java Server Pages (JSP), Business Server Pages (BSP), or with Web Dynpro technology. The underlying business layer provides the business content in Java or ABAP.

    Business layer

    The business layer consists of a J2EE certified run-time environment that processes the requests passed from the Internet Communication Manager (ICM) and dynamically generates the responses. The business logic can be written either in ABAP or in Java based on the J2EE standard. Developers can implement business logic and persistence with Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) using the J2EE environment. Developers can also access the business objects of applications running in the ABAP environment to benefit from their business logic and persistence.


    Integration layer
    The local integration engine is an integral part of SAP Web AS and allows instant connection to SAP XI. The local integration engine provides messaging services that exchange messages between the components that are connected in SAP XI.
    Connectivity layer

    The Internet Communication Manager (ICM) dispatches user interface requests to the presentation layer and provides a single framework for connectivity using various communication protocols. Currently, modules are available for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), HTTPS (extension of HTTP running under the Secure Socket Layer (SSL)), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), and Fast Common Gateway Interface (FastCGI).


    Persistence layer

    The persistence layer supports database independence and scalable transaction handling. Business logic can be developed completely independent of the underlying database and operating system. Database independence is also made possible by support for open standards. The database interface ensures optimized data access from within the ABAP environment through Open SQL. SAP propagates the outstanding capabilities of Open SQL for ABAP to Open SQL for Java and offers a variety of standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to application programmers, such as SQLJ. Other technologies, such as Java Data Objects (JDO) and Container-Managed Persistence (CMP) for EJB, or the direct use of the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API, are also supported.

    Security
    Authentication
    • The SAP NetWeaver AS can accept multiple forms of authentication:
    • SAP Logon Ticket with appropriate configuration.
    • Other single sign-on technology that utilizes x.509 certificates and the combination of Secure Network Communications (SNC) and Secure Socket
    • Layer (SSL) for one standardize authentication platform.

  • .

    Communications

    The SAP NetWeaver Application Server's connectivity layer supports HTTPS which is required for encrypted communications via Secure Socket Layer. It is possible to enable SSL using the SAP Cryptographic Library. If a company is running with traditional SAP systems that only uses RFC and DIAG protocols, Secure Network Communications is required for encrypted communications as well

    SAP ABAP ( Advanced Business Application Programming ) :
    ABAP

    ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming, originally Allgemeiner Berichts-Aufbereitungs-Prozessor, German for "general report creation processor") is a high-level programming language created by the German software company SAP. It is currently positioned, alongside the more recently introduced Java, as the language for programming the SAP Application Server, part of its NetWeaver platform for building business applications. The syntax of ABAP is somewhat similar to COBOL.


    Introduction

    ABAP is one of the many application-specific fourth-generation languages (4GLs) first developed in the 1980s. It was originally the report language for SAP R/2, a platform that enabled large corporations to build mainframe business applications for materials management and financial and management accounting.

    ABAP used to be an abbreviation of Allgemeiner BerichtsAufbereitungsProzessor, German for "generic report preparation processor", but was later renamed to the English Advanced Business Application Programming. ABAP was one of the first languages to include the concept of Logical Databases (LDBs), which provides a high level of abstraction from the basic database level(s).

    The ABAP language was originally used by developers to develop the SAP R/3 platform. It was also intended to be used by SAP customers to enhance SAP applications - customers can develop custom reports and interfaces with ABAP programming. The language is fairly easy to learn[opinion] for programmers but it is not a tool for direct use by non-programmers. Knowledge of relational database design and preferably also of object-oriented concepts is necessary to create ABAP programs.

    ABAP remains as the language for creating programs for the client-server R/3 system, which SAP first released in 1992. As computer hardware evolved through the 1990s, more and more of SAP's applications and systems were written in ABAP. By 2001, all but the most basic functions were written in ABAP. In 1999, SAP released an object-oriented extension to ABAP called ABAP Objects, along with R/3 release 4.6.

    SAP's current development platform NetWeaver supports both ABAP and Java.


    ABAP Runtime Environment

    All ABAP programs reside inside the SAP database. They are not stored in separate external files like Java or C++ programs. In the database all ABAP code exists in two forms: source code, which can be viewed and edited with the ABAP Workbench tools; and generated code, a binary representation somewhat comparable with Java bytecode. ABAP programs execute under the control of the runtime system, which is part of the SAP kernel. The runtime system is responsible for processing ABAP statements, controlling the flow logic of screens and responding to events (such as a user clicking on a screen button); in this respect it can be seen as a Virtual Machine comparable with the Java VM. A key component of the ABAP runtime system is the Database Interface, which turns database-independent ABAP statements ("Open SQL") into statements understood by the underlying DBMS ("Native SQL"). The database interface handles all the communication with the relational database on behalf of ABAP programs; it also contains extra features such as buffering of tables and frequently accessed data in the local memory of the application server.


    SAP Basis

    The ABAP language environment, including the syntax checking, code generation, and runtime system, is part of the SAP Basis component/layer. SAP Basis is the technological platform that supports the entire range of SAP applications, now typically implemented in the framework of the SAP Web Application Server. In that sense SAP Basis can be seen as the virtual machine on which SAP applications run. Like any operating system, SAP Basis contains both low-level services (for example memory management, database communication, or servicing Web requests) and high-level tools for end users and administrators. These tools can be executables ("SAP kernel") running directly on the underlying operating system, transactions developed in ABAP, or Web-based programs.

    SAP Basis also provides a layer of abstraction between the business applications, the operating system and database. This ensures that applications do not depend directly upon a specific server or database platform and can easily be ported from one platform to another.

    SAP Basis currently runs on UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Linux), Microsoft Windows, i5/OS on IBM System i (formerly iSeries, AS/400), and z/OS on IBM System z (formerly zSeries, S/390). Supported databases are IBM DB2, Informix, MaxDB, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server (support for Informix was discontinued in SAP Basis release 7.00)..


    SAP systems and landscapes

    All SAP data exists and all SAP software runs in the context of a SAP system. A system consists of a central relational database and one or more application servers ("instances") accessing the data and programs in this database. A SAP system contains at least one instance but may contain more, mostly for reasons of sizing and performance. In a system with multiple instances, load balancing mechanisms ensure that the load is spread evenly over the available application servers.

    Installations of the Web Application Server (landscapes) typically consist of three systems: one for development; one for testing and quality assurance; and one for production. The landscape may contain more systems (e.g., separate systems for unit testing and pre-production testing) or it may contain fewer (e.g., only development and production, without separate QA); nevertheless three is the most common configuration. ABAP programs are created and undergo first testing in the development system. Afterwards they are distributed to the other systems in the landscape. These actions take place under control of the Change and Transport System (CTS), which is responsible for concurrency control (e.g., preventing two developers from changing the same code at the same time), version management, and deployment of programs on the QA and production systems.

    The Web Application Server consists of three layers: the database layer; the application layer; and the presentation layer. These layers may run on the same or on different physical machines. The database layer contains the relational database and the database software. The application layer knowledge contains the instance or instances of the system. All application processes, including the business transactions and the ABAP development, run on the application layer. The presentation layer handles the interaction with users of the system. Online access to ABAP application servers can go via a proprietary graphical interface, which is called "SAP GUI", or via a Web browser.


    Transactions

    A transaction in SAP terminology is the execution of a program. The normal way of executing ABAP code in the SAP system is by entering a transaction code (for instance, VA01 is the transaction code for "Create Sales Order"). Transactions can be called via system-defined or user-specific, role-based menus. They can also be started by entering the transaction code directly into a command field, which is present in every SAP screen. Transactions can also be invoked programmatically by means of the ABAP statements CALL TRANSACTION and LEAVE TO TRANSACTION.

    The term "transaction" must not be misunderstood here; in the context just described, a transaction simply means calling and executing an ABAP program. In application programming, "transaction" often refers to an indivisible operation on data, which is either committed as a whole or undone (rolled back) as a whole. This concept exists in SAP and is called a LUW (Logical Unit of Work). In the course of one transaction (program execution), there can be different LUWs. Transaction for ABAP Workbench could be invoked using transaction code SE80 to work on all ABAP development related activities.


    Types of ABAP programs

    As in other programming languages, an ABAP program is either an executable unit or a library, which provides reusable code to other programs and is not independently executable.

    ABAP distinguishes two types of executable programs:


    Reports

    Reports follow a relatively simple programming model whereby a user optionally enters a set of parameters (e.g., a selection over a subset of data) and the program then uses the input parameters to produce a report in the form of an interactive list. The term "report" can be somewhat misleading in that reports can also be designed to modify data; the reason why these programs are called reports is the "list-oriented" nature of the output they produce.

    Module pools

    Module pools define more complex patterns of user interaction using a collection of screens. The term -screen refers to the actual, physical image that the user sees. Each screen also has a "flow logic", which refers to the ABAP code implicitly invoked by the screens. Each screen has its own flow logic, which is divided into a "PBO" (Process Before Output) and "PAI" (Process After Input) section. In SAP documentation the term 'dynpro' (dynamic program) refers to the combination of the screen and its flow logic.

    The non-executable program types are :

    • INCLUDE modules
    • Subroutine pools
    • Function groups
    • Object classes
    • Interfaces
    • Type pools

  • .

    An INCLUDE module gets included at generation time into the calling unit; it is often used to subdivide very large programs. Subroutine pools contain ABAP subroutines (blocks of code enclosed by FORM/ENDFORM statements and invoked with PERFORM). Function groups are libraries of self-contained function modules (enclosed by FUNCTION/ENDFUNCTION and invoked with CALL FUNCTION). Object classes and interfaces are similar to Java classes and interfaces; the first define a set of methods and attributes, the second contain "empty" method definitions, for which any class implementing the interface must provide explicit code. Type pools define collections of data types and constants.

    ABAP programs are composed of individual sentences (statements). The first word in a statement is called an ABAP keyword. Each statement ends with a period. Words must always be separated by at least one space. Statements can be indented as you wish. With keywords, additions and operands, the ABAP runtime system does not differentiate between upper and lowercase.

    Statements can extend beyond one line. You can have several statements in a single line (though this is not recommended). Lines that begin with asterisk * in the first column are recognized as comment lines by the ABAP runtime system and are ignored. Double quotations marks " indicate that the remainder of a line is a comment.

    ABAP Workbench
    • The ABAP Workbench contains different tools for editing programs. The most important of these are (transaction codes are shown in parentheses):
    • ABAP Editor for writing and editing reports, module pools, includes and subroutine pools (SE38)
    • ABAP Dictionary for processing database table definitions and retrieving global types (SE11)
    • Menu Painter for designing the user interface (menu bar, standard toolbar, application toolbar, function key assignment) (SE41)
    • Screen Painter for designing screens and flow logic (SE51)
    • Function Builder for function modules (SE37)
    • Class Builder for ABAP Objects classes and interfaces (SE24)
    • The Object Navigator (transaction SE80) provides a single integrated interface into these various tools.

  • .

    ABAP Dictionary

    The ABAP Dictionary contains all metadata about the data in the SAP system. It is closely linked with the ABAP Workbench in that any reference to data (e.g., a table, a view, or a data type) will be obtained from the dictionary. Developers use the ABAP Dictionary transactions (directly or through the SE80 Object Navigator inside the ABAP Workbench) to display and maintain this metadata.

    When a dictionary object is changed, a program that references the changed object will automatically reference the new version the next time the program runs.
    Because ABAP is interpreted, it is not necessary to recompile programs that reference changed dictionary objects.

    A brief description of the most important types of dictionary objects follows:
    Tables are data containers that exist in the underlying relational database. In the majority of cases there is a 1-to-1 relationship between the definition of a table in the ABAP Dictionary and the definition of that same table in the database (same name, same columns). These tables are known as "transparent". There are two types of non-transparent tables: "pooled" tables exist as independent entities in the ABAP Dictionary but they are grouped together in large physical tables ("pools") at the database level. Pooled tables are often small tables holding for example configuration data. "Clustered" tables are physically grouped in "clusters" based on their primary keys; for instance, assume that a clustered table H contains "header" data about sales invoices, whereas another clustered table D holds the invoice line items. Each row of H would then be physically grouped with the related rows from D inside a "cluster table" in the database. This type of clustering, which is designed to improve performance, also exists as native functionality in some, though not all, relational database systems.

    Indexes provide accelerated access to table data for often used selection conditions. Every SAP table has a "primary index", which is created implicitly along with the table and is used to enforce primary key uniqueness. Additional indexes (unique or non-unique) may be defined; these are called "secondary indexes".

    Views have the same purpose as in the underlying database: they define subsets of columns (and/or rows) from one or - using a join condition - several tables. View is actually a virtual table which does not contain data physically. Views take very short memory space in database because the views contain only the definition of data.

    Structures are complex data types consisting of multiple fields (comparable to struct in C/C++).
    Data elements provide the semantic content for a table or structure field. For example, dozens of tables and structures might contain a field giving the price (of a finished product, raw material, resource, ...). All these fields could have the same data element "PRICE".

    Domains define the structural characteristics of a data element. For example, the data element PRICE could have an assigned domain that defines the price as a numeric field with two decimals. Domains can also carry semantic content in providing a list of possible values. For example, a domain "BOOLEAN" could define a field of type "character" with length 1 and case-insensitive, but would also restrict the possible values to "T" (true) or "F" (false).

    Search helps (successors to the now obsolete "matchcodes") provide advanced search strategies when a user wants to see the possible values for a data field. The ABAP runtime provides implicit assistance (by listing all values for the field, e.g. all existing customer numbers) but search helps can be used to refine this functionality, e.g. by providing customer searches by geographical location, credit rating, etc.

    Lock objects implement application-level locking when changing data.

    SAP R/3 :
    SAP R/3

    SAP R/3 is the former name of the enterprise resource planning software produced by SAP AG. It is an enterprise-wide information system designed to coordinate all the resources, information, and activities needed to complete business processes such as order fulfillment or billing.


    History of SAP R/3

    The first version of SAP's flagship enterprise software was a financial Accounting system named R/1 called as NTR. This was replaced by R/2 at the end of the 1970s. SAP R/2 was in a mainframe based business application software suite that was very successful in the 1980s and early 1990s. It was particularly popular with large multinational European companies who required soft-real-time business applications, with multi-currency and multi-language capabilities built in. With the advent of distributed client - server computing SAP AG brought out a client - server version of the software called SAP R/3 (The "R" was for "Real-time data processing" and 3 was for 3-tier). This new architecture is compatible with multiple platforms and operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows or UNIX. This opened up SAP to a whole new customer base.

    SAP R/3 was officially launched on 6 July 1992. It was renamed SAP ERP and later again renamed SAP ECC (ERP Central Component). SAP came to dominate the large business applications market over the next 10 years. SAP ECC 5.0 ERP is the successor of SAP R/3 4.70. The newest version of the suite is SAP ECC 7.0.


    Organization

    SAP R/3 was arranged into distinct functional modules, covering the typical functions in place in an organization. The most widely used modules were Financial s and Controlling (FICO), Human Resources (HR), Materials Management (MM), Sales & Distribution (SD), and Production Planning (PP).
    Each module handled specific business tasks on its own, but was linked to the others where applicable. For instance, an invoice from the billing transaction of Sales & Distribution would pass through to accounting, where it will appear in accounts receivable and cost of goods sold.

    SAP typically focused on best practice methodologies for driving its software processes, but more recently expanded into vertical markets. In these situations, SAP produced specialized modules (referred to as IS or Industry Specific) geared toward a particular market segment, such as utilities or retail.


    Technology

    SAP based the architecture of R/3 on a three-tier client/server structure:

    • Presentation Layer (GUI)
    • Application Layer
    • Database Layer

  • .

    SAP allows the IT supported processing of a multitude of tasks, occurring in a typical company or bank. SAP ERP is differing from R/3 mainly because it is based on SAP NetWeaver: core components can be implemented in ABAP and in Java and new functional areas are mostly no longer created as part of the previous ERP system, with closely interconnected constituents, but as self-contained components or even systems.

    Application Server

    An application server is a collection of executables that collectively interpret the ABAP/4 (Advanced Business Application Programming / 4th Generation) programs and manage the input and output for them. When an application server is started, these executables all start at the same time. When an application server is stopped, they all shut down together. The number of processes that start up when you bring up the application server is defined in a single configuration file called the application server profile. Each application server has a profile that specifies its characteristics when it starts up and while it is running. For example, an application server profile specifies:

    • Number of processes and their types
    • Amount of memory each process may use
    • Length of time a user is inactive before being automatically logged off.

  • .

    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, only one application server is needed 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.

    The application server exists to interpret ABAP/4 programs, and they only run there. If an ABAP/4 program requests information from the database, the application server will send the request to the database server.

    Security

    Server-to-server communications can be encrypted with the SAP cryptographic library. With the recent acquisition of relevant parts of SECUDE, SAP can now provide cryptography libraries with SAP R/3 for Secure Network Communications and Secure Socket.

    SAPgui :
    SAPgui

    SAPGUI is the GUI client in SAP R/3's 3-tier architecture of database, application server and client. It is software that runs on a Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh or Unix desktop, and allows a user to access SAP functionality in SAP applications such as SAP ERP and SAP Business Information Warehouse (now called SAP Business Intelligence). It is the platform used for remote access to the SAP central server in a company network.

    Family
    • SAP GUI for the Windows environment
    • SAP GUI for the Java(TM) environment
    • SAP GUI for HTML / Internet Transaction Server (ITS)
    • Requires Internet Explorer or Firefox as a browser; other browsers are not officially supported by SAP.

  • .

    Single sign-on

    SAPGUI on Microsoft Windows or Internet Explorer can also be used for single sign-on. There are several portal-based authentication applications for single sign-on. SAPGUI can have single sign-on with SAP Logon Ticket as well. Single sign-on also works in the Java GUI.

    Criticism of using SAPGUI for authentication to SAP server access

    SAP is a distributed application, where client software (SAPGUI) installed on a user's workstation is used to access the central SAP server remotely over the company's network. Users need to authenticate themselves when accessing SAP. By default, however, SAP uses unencrypted communication (although almost all packets are compressed and look encrypted by first sight), which allows potential company-internal attackers to get access to usernames and passwords by listening on the network. This can expose the complete SAP system, if a person is able to get access to this information for a user with extended authorization in the SAP system. Information about this feature is publicly accessible on the Internet.


    SAP Secure Network Communications

    SAP offers an option to strongly protect communication between clients and servers, called Secure Network Communications (SNC).

    SAP Mobile :
    SAP Mobile

    SAP Mobile is SAP's division for SAP Mobile Technologies, including Sybase and SAP BusinessObjects, and Mobile Solutions and Applications from SAP and partners.

    The SAP Business ByDesign solution is an on-demand business offering, designed specifically for midsize companies that want to grow. SAP Business ByDesign processes are also available on a range of mobile devices.

    SAP NetWeaver Mobile is a part of the NetWeaver product group mobilizing business processes and has the following components:

    Data Orchestration Engine

    Mobile client: This is a thick client resident on the device and provides a store and forward mechanism for occasionally connected scenarios. The client technology is Java SE 1.3 based framework for PDAs and Java SE 5.0 for Laptops.

    Mobile Administration and Monitoring: Administering a large mobile landscape requires specialized tools and procedures. Mobile Administration and monitoring provides an easy and intuitive way of managing mobile landscape.

    NetWeaver Developer Studio: Mobile applications can be modeled using the NetWeaver Developer Studio.

    SAP R/2 :
    SAP R/2

    SAP R/2 is a real-time enterprise resource planning (ERP) software produced by SAP.

    SAP R/2 followed the company's first product, a materials management module called RM/1. What was unique about R/2 was that it was a packaged software application that processed real-time on a mainframe computer taking advantage of Time Sharing Option and integrated all of an enterprise's functions, such as accounting, manufacturing processes, supply chain logistics and human resources.

    MySAP All-in-One :
    MySAP All-in-One

    SAP All-in-One is SAP's business software brand for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It is SAP Business Suite Software that includes a range of products like SAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP ERP, SAP Product Lifecycle Management, SAP Supply Chain Management, SAP Supplier Relationship Management, SAP Human Resources and SAP Financial Management.


    History

    Wiki letter w.svg This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)


    Competitors

    SAP All-in-One competes with Microsoft Dynamics (which is replacing Microsoft Business Solutions), Oracle Corporation and Infor Global Solutions globally, and with a variety of national packages such as those sold by Sage in many countries around the world.

    Recently companies such as NetSuite and Salesforce.com have offered similar functionality in web based applications.





    Quality Service

    A key ingredient to an enterprise architecture is the ability to link multiple and disparate systems into a coherent whole. We have been gradually putting together the technology that will enable it to offer enterprise LANs that are capable of supporting distributed applications running across a variety of computer Internetworking and multi- routing are essential building blocks.
    -Karyl Scott

    Intelligent Quotes

    A solid working knowledge of productivity software and other IT tools has become a basic foundation for success in virtually any career. Beyond that, however, I don't think you can overemphasise the importance of having a good background in maths and science.....
    "Every software system needs to have a simple yet powerful organizational philosophy (think of it as the software equivalent of a sound bite that describes the system's architecture)... A step in thr development process is to articulate this architectural framework, so that we might have a stable foundation upon which to evolve the system's function points. "
    "All architecture is design but not all design is architecture. Architecture represents the significant design decisions that shape a system, where significant is measured by cost of change"
    "The ultimate measurement is effectiveness, not efficiency "
    "It is argued that software architecture is an effective tool to cut development cost and time and to increase the quality of a system. "Architecture-centric methods and agile approaches." Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming.
    "Java is C++ without the guns, knives, and clubs "
    "When done well, software is invisible"
    "Our words are built on the objects of our experience. They have acquired their effectiveness by adapting themselves to the occurrences of our everyday world."
    "I always knew that one day Smalltalk would replace Java. I just didn't know it would be called Ruby. "
    "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    "In 30 years Lisp will likely be ahead of C++/Java (but behind something else)"
    "Possibly the only real object-oriented system in working order. (About Internet)"
    "Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible. "
    "Software engineering is the establishment and use of sound engineering principles in order to obtain economically software that is reliable and works efficiently on real machines."
    "Model Driven Architecture is a style of enterprise application development and integration, based on using automated tools to build system independent models and transform them into efficient implementations. "
    "The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs. "
    "Software Engineering Economics is an invaluable guide to determining software costs, applying the fundamental concepts of microeconomics to software engineering, and utilizing economic analysis in software engineering decision making. "
    "Ultimately, discovery and invention are both problems of classification, and classification is fundamentally a problem of finding sameness. When we classify, we seek to group things that have a common structure or exhibit a common behavior. "
    "Perhaps the greatest strength of an object-oriented approach to development is that it offers a mechanism that captures a model of the real world. "
    "The entire history of software engineering is that of the rise in levels of abstraction. "
    "The amateur software engineer is always in search of magic, some sensational method or tool whose application promises to render software development trivial. It is the mark of the professional software engineer to know that no such panacea exist "


    Core Values ?

    Agile And Scrum Based Architecture

    Agile software development is a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration.....

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    Core Values ?

    Total quality management

    Total Quality Management / TQM is an integrative philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes. TQM is based on the premise that the quality of products and .....

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    Core Values ?

    Design that Matters

    We are more than code junkies. We're a company that cares how a product works and what it says to its users. There is no reason why your custom software should be difficult to understand.....

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    Expertise that is Second to None

    With extensive software development experience, our development team is up for any challenge within the Great Plains development environment. our Research works on IEEE international papers are consider....

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    Solutions that Deliver Results

    We have a proven track record of developing and delivering solutions that have resulted in reduced costs, time savings, and increased efficiency. Our clients are very much ....

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    Relentless Software Testing

    We simply dont release anything that isnt tested well. Tell us something cant be tested under automation, and we will go prove it can be. We create tests before we write the complementary production software......

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    Core Values ?

    Unparalled Technical Support

    If a customer needs technical support for one of our products, no-one can do it better than us. Our offices are open from 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and soon to be 24hours. Unlike many companies, you are able to....

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    Core Values ?

    Impressive Results

    We have a reputation for process genius, fanatical testing, high quality, and software joy. Whatever your business, our methods will work well in your field. We have done work in Erp Solutions ,e-commerce, Portal Solutions,IEEE Research....

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    Why Choose Us ?

    Invest in Thoughts

    The intellectual commitment of our development team is central to the leonsoft ability to achieve its mission: to develop principled, innovative thought leaders in global communities.

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    From Idea to Enterprise

    Today's most successful enterprise applications were once nothing more than an idea in someone's head. While many of these applications are planned and budgeted from the beginning.

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    Constant Innovation

    We constantly strive to redefine the standard of excellence in everything we do. We encourage both individuals and teams to constantly strive for developing innovative technologies....

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    Utmost Integrity

    If our customers are the foundation of our business, then integrity is the cornerstone. Everything we do is guided by what is right. We live by the highest ethical standards.....

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