SAP ABAP consultants are Technology Consultants for SAP implementation/ development/ upgrade projects. To take a holistic view, let’s first understand ERP and package implementation process.
ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization, embracing finance/ accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application (Read Package application). Its purpose is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.
SAP is a German software giant. Full form of SAP is Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung in german or Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing for the rest of us.
SAP is one of the many ERP packages available. So what’s the flow? Management consultants advise any company to go for ERP implementation to optimize their business. Depending upon the requirements IT/Tech consultants recommend one or more of SAP/ ORACLE/ Seibel /Sales Force/ TIBCO etc. - all these are package software.
SAP has many modules like SAP ABAP/SAP Basis/ SAP FICO/ SAP HR / SAP SD / SAP MM/ SAP CRM/ SAP SCH/ SAP Netweaver etc. These are products specific to niche areas in Enterprise resource planning. Like CRM for Customer Relationship Management.
So when an Enterprise (for example a Manufacturing Company) wants to implement SAP. They buy the product ‘SAP’ from SAP AG Inc. Then they require this product to be customized to their specific needs. That’s where SAP consultants come in. Functional consultants understand the client’s business needs and with help of their SAP product knowledge decide how the product needs to be customized.
1. Understand the Functional requirements and develop new Function Modules.
2. Develop user side/ client side application program. This is the interface used by the Sales Team/ Marketing Team or Logistics / SCM team of the client.
3. Connect this client side program to interact with the Client DATABASE in the backend. This involves retrieving data from clients inventory management system (can be in SAP or some other product might be implemented for this or it can be legacy systems)
4. Create special modules to interact with non-SAP systems and Exchange management systems to ensure data consistency across all the client systems.
5. Creating modules to generate automatic invoices and operations data using SAP Smart Forma or Adobe Forms.
6. ABAPers apart from programing these custom requirements also work on one or more of these
- Creating WEB Dynpros – These are applications which are modeling environments used to deploy your client application interface over the internet
- WORKFLOWS: This is a scheduling environment to trigger your ABAP modules / transactions based on some predefined conditions/events. Like if X occurs implement Y and if it does not then implement Z etc. Used for scheduling Batch process and emails etc.
Well that’s about it. SAP ABAP developers are Technical Consultants. Essentially they are different from normal developers JAVA/ .NET etc. This is because we have our expertise on a single product that’s SAP and the customization of this product. Functional consultants determine what SAP needs to do to best serve the client needs and Tech consultants understand this business scenario and determine how can SAP be best optimized to serve this purpose. Thus we are more of product consultants.
SAP ABAP Jobs are lucrative and reserved for the few. In India Infosys, Accenture , HCL, IBM provide SAP consultancy. Check out SAP Service partners in India. Check out SAP Education Partners .
Since SAP optimizes the entire operations of an industry, working as ABAPers you will understand how the internal functioning of the organization works. So if you work on SAP CRM project you will now understand the Sales and Marketing operations of your sector like Retails or Manufacturing etc. ….
SAP ABAP is a rare niche to have. SAP Technical Consultants have much more industry interaction than any other Tech profile out there. Kudos to ABAPers !!