SAP customers have been able to use the latest release of mySAP ERP since the beginning of March 2005. It gives them a wide variety of new and optimized business processes and the opportunity to utilize certain parts of these processes such as holiday requests or evaluations via Self Services.
Developing mySAP ERP 2004, SAP has made sweeping changes to the software architecture. The SAP system architecture of a customer utilizing mySAP ERP 2004 no longer comprises a large, almost monolithic application, but is instead made up of a variety of flexible components, including SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 5.0, SAP Self Services components XSS 5.0 and SAP Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM-BW) 4.0. Added to this are components from the SAP NetWeaver flexible architecture platform such as SAP Web Application Server (SAP Web AS) and SAP Enterprise Portal (SAP EP). Customers are in no way compelled to install all of these components. Quite the contrary, they can make a meaningful selection of those components that they actually require to manage their business.
One main reason behind reorganizing the software architecture is the company’s desire to make the software more flexible vis-à-vis Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), with the aim of cutting operating costs (TCO).
The mySAP ERP 2004 Master Guide, one of several documents that supports customers in the various implementation phases for mySAP ERP, creates a link between business processes and the technical components they require. Two sample business processes from the field of analytics and end-user service delivery show how the Master Guide points users in the right direction for the SAP software components they require. The examples come from different application areas and were selected to lead to relatively complex systems involving several components.
Strategic Enterprise Management
In the first example, the customer decides to utilize the Strategic Enterprise Management solution in mySAP ERP 2004. A table in the Master Guide lists the required business processes alongside the corresponding components. The components required for this example are found in the “remarks” column and are highlighted in yellow: SAP Web AS ABAP 6.40, SAP ECC 5.0, SAP Strategic Enterprise Management (SAP SEM-BW) 4.0, the ABAP add-on component SAP FINBASIS 3.0, SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) 3.5, SAP Business Intelligence (BI) Content and Portal Platform 6.0. Additional components are not color-highlighted, but are listed nonetheless.
The ABAP-based business logic is based on SAP Web AS ABAP 6.40, the successor to SAP Basis. This utilizes SAP ECC 5.0, the technical successor to SAP R/3. In the example, ECC 5.0 serves an optional data source, i.e. it provides the master data necessary for planning, though this information could also be obtained from other systems. The most important component for strategic corporate planning is SEM-BW 4.0. It is based on the ABAP add-on component FINBASIS 3.0, which forms the technical basis of SEM-BW, and the SAP Business Information Warehouse. SAP BW 3.5 is an integral part of SAP Web AS ABAP 6.40 and predefined content (special information models) can be added with the BI Content add-on. Portal Platform 6.0 can be used as the user interface.
It is now possible to design a system landscape based on the components selected using this method. The Master Guide contains examples of this – both for central and distributed system landscapes. The final appearance of the landscape depends on additional requirements relating to hardware, performance, security and system operation.
Manager and Employee Self Services
The second example, Manager and Employee Self Services, offers end users the opportunity to execute simple subprocesses themselves. It is assumed that the customer opts for the SAP Manager Self Service “team calendar” and “reporting” applications and additional SAP Employee Self Service applications relating to time management, HR accounting and HR admin. Now he is looking to use the Master Guide to find out which SAP software components he requires for this. He will find this information under “End User Service Delivery”. In this case, the following software components including version details are used: SAP WebAS ABAP 6.40, SAP ECC 5.0, Business Packages for Manager and Employee Self Service, Portal Platform (SAP Enterprise Portal) 6.0, SAP Web AS Java 6.40, SAP Self Services (XSS) 5.0, SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) 3.5 and SAP Business Intelligence Content.
SAP ECC 5.0, which delivers functionality for Self Services as the ERP backend, utilizes SAP Web AS ABAP 6.40, which is also the basis for ABAP-based business logic. The SAP XSS 5.0 component supplies the Self Services Web Dynpro interfaces. The roles, portal pages and iViews required are provided by the Business Packages for Manager and Employee Self Service that run in Portal Platform 6.0. Business Packages contain preconfigured content and were developed for SAP Enterprise Portal. SAP Web AS Java 6.40 functions as the runtime environment for the Java components. Here too, SAP BW is utilized for reporting functions within Manager Self Service. The SAP BW 3.5 software component is part of SAP Web AS ABAP 6.40. The BI content add-on contains preprepared structures and information models.
Master Guide saves time and facilitates decision-making processes
The decision of which business processes a company wants to use with mySAP ERP 2004 defines which SAP software components should or can be used to realize these processes. The mySAP ERP 2004 Master Guide helps customers find their way fast. In complex cases, the document also displays alternative options. The guide is available for all SAP customers to download via the quick link /erp-inst at the SAP Service Marketplace. For special cases and customers looking for individual advice, SAP Consulting offers a standard service, the mySAP ERP Component Allocation Workshop. Based on the customer’s business processes, the required components are selected jointly and an optimum system landscape developed.