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SAP R/3 Architecture

Last Updated : 01 Dec, 2023
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Introduction to SAP R/3 Architecture

SAP R/3 (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software system developed by the German company SAP SE. It plays a vital role in managing business processes and resources efficiently. The architecture of SAP R/3 is designed to provide a structured framework for organizations to manage their data, applications, and user interfaces. In this article, we will explore the definition and various components of SAP R/3 architecture.

Definition of SAP R/3 Architecture

SAP R/3 architecture is a multi-tiered structure that comprises three main layers: the Presentation Layer, the Application Layer, and the Database Layer. This architectural model enables organizations to integrate and streamline their business processes and data management effectively. with SAP R/3, we are moving our resources from mainframe computing to the three-tier architecture of the presentation, Application, and database layer.

SAP--3-Tier-Server-Architecture

SAP R/3 Architecture diagram

SAP R3 Meaning

SAP R3, often referred to as SAP R/3, SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing, and R stands for Real-Time Data Processing. The “3” in R/3 represents the three-tier architecture, consisting of the Presentation Layer, Application Layer, and Database Layer, which collectively form the foundation of SAP R/3 systems.

Layers of SAP R/3 Architecture

  • The Presentation Layer:The Presentation Layer is the topmost tier in the SAP R/3 architecture and is responsible for providing user interfaces for interacting with the system. It serves as the gateway for users to access and interact with SAP applications.Users interact with the system through graphical user interfaces (GUI) or web interfaces. These interfaces make it easy for users to input data, view reports, and navigate the system. The Presentation Layer ensures a user-friendly experience, offering features like drag-and-drop functionality and real-time data display.
  • The Application Layer: The Application Layer is the middle tier of the SAP R/3 architecture. It houses the business logic and application programs that execute various business processes. This layer is responsible for processing user requests, performing data validation, and executing application logic. It ensures that business processes run smoothly and efficiently.Application servers handle the communication between the Presentation Layer and the Database Layer. This separation of layers improves system performance and scalability.
  • The Database Layer:The Database Layer is the lowest tier in the SAP R/3 architecture and is responsible for storing and managing data. It stores all the business data, configuration settings, and user information.Databases like SAP HANA, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL Server are commonly used in the Database Layer. They are designed to handle large volumes of data efficiently and ensure data integrity.The Application Layer interacts with the Database Layer to retrieve, update, and manage data as needed to support business operations.

Why R/3 Architecture?

SAP R/3 architecture offers several advantages, some of them are mentioned below:

  • Scalability: The multi-tiered architecture allows organizations to scale individual layers independently, providing flexibility and accommodating growing business needs.
  • Performance: The separation of layers optimizes system performance, as the workload is distributed among Presentation, Application, and Database Layers.
  • Reliability: The architecture’s modularity ensures that a failure in one layer does not necessarily affect the others, improving system reliability.
  • Security: Security measures can be implemented at each layer, enhancing data protection and system access control.
  • Customization: Organizations can tailor the SAP R/3 system to their specific business requirements, thanks to the flexibility of the architecture.

Componenets of SAP R/3 Architecture:

  • Message server: It is responsible for managing the conversation between different dispatchers in SAP System.
  • Gateway: It is responsible for communication between SAP systems and different external systems.
  • Dispatcher: It distributes the request to the different work processes.
  • Dispatcher Queue: Various work process types are stored in this queue.

SAP R/3 Architecture Work Processes

Within the Application Layer, SAP R/3 architecture employs the concept of work processes. Work processes are responsible for executing tasks such as dialog processing, background processing, and update processing. This modular approach allows for efficient multitasking and improved system performance.

What is The Presentation Layer In SAP R/3 Architecture?

The Presentation Layer, often referred to as the front-end layer, is a crucial component of SAP R/3 architecture. It serves as the interface through which users interact with the SAP system. Here, we will explore the Presentation Layer in more detail.

The Purpose of the Presentation Layer in SAP R/3:

  • User Interaction: The primary purpose of the Presentation Layer is to provide a user-friendly interface for interacting with SAP applications. This layer acts as the bridge between the user and the underlying SAP system, offering graphical user interfaces (GUI) or web-based interfaces.
  • Data Input and Display: Users use the Presentation Layer to input data, view reports, and perform various tasks within the SAP system. It offers a familiar environment for users to enter data, navigate the system, and retrieve information.
  • Real-time Feedback: The Presentation Layer is responsible for displaying real-time data to users. Whether it’s monitoring production processes, sales figures, or inventory levels, users can access up-to-date information through this layer.
  • Customization: Users can often customize their interface to suit their specific needs and preferences. This personalization can include layout changes, favorite transactions, and user-specific settings.

What is The Application Layer in SAP R/3 Architecture?

The Application Layer is a central and critical component of SAP R/3 architecture. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless execution of business processes and the overall functionality of the ERP system. Below, we will delve into the purposes and functions of the Application Layer in SAP R/3 architecture.

Purposes of the Application Layer:

  • Business Logic Execution: The primary purpose of the Application Layer is to execute the business logic that drives the organization’s operations. This layer houses the application programs responsible for various business processes, from order processing to financial accounting.
  • Data Processing and Validation: It manages data processing by validating and processing user requests and transactions. This includes checking data for accuracy, consistency, and integrity to ensure the reliability of business operations.
  • User Interaction Handling: The Application Layer is responsible for handling user interactions, such as transaction execution and data retrieval. It processes user requests and ensures that the appropriate data is fetched from the Database Layer for presentation to the user.
  • Scalability and Performance Optimization: The Application Layer contributes to system scalability and performance optimization. By distributing the workload across multiple application servers, it ensures that the system can handle a large number of concurrent users and complex business processes efficiently.

What is The Database Layer in SAP R/3 Architecture?

The data are stored in the database layer. Every relational database is supported by SAP. No database is provided by SAP. But it works with all RDBMS. One system or computer must have the database layer installed. Oracle and DB2 are the two main databases utilized in SAP deployments.The Database Layer is the lowest tier in the SAP R/3 architecture and is responsible for storing and managing data. It stores all the business data, configuration settings, and user information.Databases like SAP HANA, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL Server are commonly used in the Database Layer. They are designed to handle large volumes of data efficiently and ensure data integrity.The Application Layer interacts with the Database Layer to retrieve, update, and manage data as needed to support business operations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Application Layer of SAP R/3 architecture is the heart of the system, where business logic is executed, data is processed, and user interactions are managed. Its purposes and functions are essential for efficient business operations, data management, and system performance. By separating these functions into a dedicated layer, SAP R/3 architecture provides flexibility, scalability, and reliability to organizations seeking to streamline their business processes.



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