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SAP Terminology

The following are commonly used SAP system acronyms:

ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming)

SAP proprietary programming language and part of the NetWeaver platform for building business applications.

ALE (Application Link Enabling)

Sets up distributed applications and integrated installation of SAP systems. This involves business-driven message exchange using consistent data across loosely linked SAP apps. Apps are integrated through synchronous and asynchronous communication, rather than by use of a central database.

BAPI (Business Application Programming Interface)

The function module that fulfills design criteria and provides the ability to:

  • Implement a method of a SAP business object

  • Maintain a static interface through different versions of the SAP system

  • Enable remotely

  • Run to completion with or without user interaction

  • Handle errors

FM (function module)

Procedures defined in the ABAP language of SAP that allow the encapsulation and reuse of global functions in SAP.

IDoc (intermediate document)

Standard SAP format for electronic data interchange between SAP systems. Different message types (such as delivery notes or purchase orders) generally correspond to different special formats, known as IDoc types. Multiple message types with related content can, however, be assigned to a single IDoc type.

Java API

Handles dynamic metadata lookup and caching. The Java API implements the JCO.Function container used for parameters and tables for the SAP BAPI function module in Java. Java apps are built on top of the Java API.

JNI (Java Native Interface)

JNI is a layer in the SAP Connector library. JCo wraps the C libraries in Java to provide platform-native access to the SAP system. RFC middleware uses the RFC library through the JNI layer.

RFC (remote function call)

Communication with the SAP system is performed over the RFC protocol. A remote function call calls BAPI or triggers IDoc processing that runs in another system as a calling program. The RFC interface enables function calls either between two SAP systems or between the SAP and external system.

RFC layer

SAP component that processes remote function calls.

RFC library

Libraries of C language-based functions to access the SAP system. The RFC library is addressed by JNI.

SAP Java IDoc class library

Provides structured, high-level interpretation and navigation of SAP IDocs in Java that consists of the following add-on packages:

  • SAP Java base IDoc class library: A middleware-independent library that provides a set of general base classes and interfaces for middleware-dependent Java IDoc class library implementations.

  • SAP Java connector IDoc class library: A middleware-independent library for creating, sending, and receiving IDocs.

SAP NetWeaver

One of the main technologies and application platforms used by SAP solutions. The main component of NetWeaver is SAP Web Application Server (WebAS), which provides the runtime environment for SAP applications like ERP, CRM, SCM, PLM, SRM, and BI. Other components include the enterprise portal, exchange infrastructure, master data management, and mobile infrastructure. SAP NetWeaver is an umbrella term for these technical components. SAP NetWeaver runs on both the Java and ABAP stacks.

SNC (Secure Network Communications)

Integrates with SAP NetWeaver single sign-on or an external security product that works with SAP systems. SNC provides security functions that are not directly available with SAP systems.

SNC is not supported for use in apps that deploy SAP Connector in Runtime Manager (CloudHub), Anypoint Runtime Fabric, or Anypoint Platform Private Cloud Edition.