What is SAP?

SAP Stands for “Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing”.
SAP is the Fourth largest software company in the world.

It ranks after Microsoft, IBM and Oracle in terms of market capitalization. SAP is the largest Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution software provider.
SAP’s products focus on ERP, which it helped to pioneer. The company’s main product is SAP R/3, the “R” stands for real time data processing and the number 3 relates to three-tier application architecture: database, application server and client SAP GUI.

Other major product offerings include
Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO)
Business Information Warehouse (BW)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)
Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS)
Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
Exchange Infrastructure (XI)
Knowledge Warehouse (KW)

Reportedly, there are over 91,500 SAP installations at more than28,000 companies.
SAP products are used by over 12 million people in more than 120 countries.

What is ABAP?

ABAP is a very 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 SAP’s Web Application Server, part of its NetWeaver platform for building business applications. Its syntax is somewhat similar to COBOL.

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 Berichts-Aufbereitungs-Prozessor, the German meaning of “generic report preparation processor”, but was later renamed to 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 programming 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 for programmers but it is not a tool for direct use by non-programmers. Good programming skills, including knowledge of relational database design and preferably also of object-oriented concepts, are required to create ABAP programs.

ABAP remains 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 most recent development platform, NetWeaver, supports both ABAP and Java.