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What Is SAP ERP - Features and Drawbacks

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SAP is a German company which was formed in 1972 and was named Systems Applications and Products for data processing. It was developed to provide software which can interact with a common database which can be used by companies to carry out a range of applications. The application was developed to give a solution in assembled format and lately, a number of SAP products have been launched which are implemented at many businesses. To know exactly what is SAP ERP it is very important to learn about its features and drawbacks.

Main SAP ERP Features

SAP is based on the 4th generation programming language called ABAP. It uses the graphical user interface which can run on Windows / NT / UNIX / AS400 and it has an easy to use User Interface. It has been implemented in many fortune 500 companies and its attractions are the centrally managed system, which reduces the expense on support and maintenance. The transactions can be stored at one place and all transactions can be reviewed by the management and the end users depending on the administrative roles.

Its two main SAP ERP features are

1. It provides highly flexible and transparent solution.
2. The applications can be integrated easily to any kind of system.

This will give you the idea about what is SAP ERP and how a company can be benefited by using this business application.


Initial SAP applications were built on R/3 systems and the system provided the capability to manage assets, financial system, cost accounting, material, human resources, plants, labors, production operations and business documents. The system could run Windows based OS such as 2000 and it used the client server model. The latest version of the R/3 could use the internet based features and it also introduced the web enabled interfaces though the package mySAP.

Business and Expansion

SAP is one of the largest providers of enterprise solutions and it contains a number of applications which suits the requirements of large companies. It has subsidiaries across the globe and it is third highest independent software providing company of the world.

It provides enterprise solution to various sectors which includes process industries, consumer industries, financial companies, public sector companies, manufacturing and discrete industries. It provides solution for both service oriented and technology based solution.
The Products Launched by SAP on R/3

CRM: The Customer Relationship Management module helps the companies to manage its sales and marketing department with ease and to use the internet based features to gain global customers.

PLM: The Project Lifecycle Management module is used to design products and it stores the records related to the products.

SCM: The Supply Chain Management modules use the features of resourcing for manufacturing and service.

SRM: The Supplier Relationship Management modules enable the company to get suppliers and customers.

Governance, Risk and Compliance: The NetWeaver platform and Governance, Risk and Compliance are used to get support for web services.

SAP's mySAP ERP has gained a lot of appreciation for the transparency, ease of use and flexibility which can accommodate the varying requirements of various companies. The solution provides features to monitor the transactions and helps the management to see how various functions are performed.

SAP ERP Drawbacks

SAP has been criticized for high cost and long implementation time. In complex systems - it becomes difficult to maintain and it may take years for implementation. It does not have a user friendly approach. It comes with expensive maintenance costs.

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