What is ABAP?
ABAP is the language used to enhance or customize standard SAP system. ABAP letters orginally stands for Allgemeiner Berichts-Aufbereitungs-Prozessor in German which is described as Advanced Business Application Programming in English. New version of ABAP has adopted the concept of object orientation. This language is mainly used by customers to create customized reports and screens in standard SAP system.
SAP ERP is a collections of different modules crated for different business processes. Below is the complete list of SAP R/3 (SAP release 3) modules.
Financial Accounting (FI),
Sales & Distribution (SD),
Materials Management (MM),
Production Planning and Control (PP),
Business Information Warehouse (BW),
Asset Management (AM),
Project Systems (PS),
Human Resources (HR),
Plant Maintenance (PM),
Quality Management (QM),
Warehouse Management (WM),
Supply Chain Management (SCM),
Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM),
ABAP(ABAP/4) Programming Language,
BASIS system (BC)
You may notice that SAP has defined modules for every main business process of an organization. ABAP and BASIS are also different modules. For each module SAP company have made an standard set of activities. For example PP (Production Planning) module is having screens/transactions for creating production order. For each module SAP has defined standard database tables. For example PP module is having STKO table for BOM (Bill Of Material) header and STPO table for BOM item. These tables are standard tables which are having many standard fields and you are not allowed to change them. Names of these tables have originated from the German language then many SAP users do not feel any meaning by the the name of the table they have used to memorize the names of database tables.
SAP ERP has a client-server architecture therefore it can easily overcome geographical limitations of enterprises. Users are connected to a common application server and database server. Communication between the client and server happens via the Internet.