SAP has established itself as a leading provider of enterprise software solutions, empowering organizations to streamline processes, enhance productivity, and gain invaluable insights for strategic decision-making.

SAP Architecture offers a robust framework designed to support enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, consisting of multiple layers, including the presentation, application, and database layers. This architecture enables seamless integration, scalability, and real-time data processing, facilitating efficient business operations and decision-making.

This article will discuss all the components and capabilities of SAP system architecture and where our team of SAP consultants can come in to help manage work processes and optimize your overall investment. Read on to learn more!

What is SAP Architecture?

SAP Architecture refers to the set of principles, trends, patterns, and best practices that comprise and outline the internal architecture of a company’s SAP landscape. As a software-as-a-service solution, SAP runs in the cloud, which makes it easier for users to access their company’s database system.

With a well-defined SAP Architecture, companies can build a more reliable foundation for their core server processes and leverage an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to run and manage more efficient business processes across the entire organization.

Core SAP System Strategy

  • SAP Business Suite: Includes comprehensive SAP ERP system and CRM, SCM, SRM, and PLM applications, offers a complete functional set of undefined processes, and is deployed on-premise
  • SAP Business by Design: Includes a functional set of predefined processes and is hosted on defined client-server architecture
  • SAP All-in-One: Includes the same software as the SAP Business Suite, offers predefined standard processes, and is deployed in on-premise architecture
  • SAP Business One: Includes different software that offers only the most basic functions, targets small businesses and is deployed in a hosted environment

How Does the SAP Process Work?

The SAP Logon process is the first step of the SAP authorization process, which involves entering the assigned SAP identification number, providing a password, and confirming access through a personalized confirmation message.

Once a user receives a confirmation message, they can access the main menu in their SAP system and navigate through different business-critical activities, like performing transactions or signing contracts.

These activities can be divided into two different categories that determine their level of priority:

  • Critical work process: High-priority processes that need to be executed immediately and can be assigned to specific users depending on user requests and availability.
  • Reading work process: A work process that involves “reading” the data or retrieving data from the database to get a response when there is no data in the buffer.
  • Kill work process: A work process that involves removing existing data in the buffer to increase the performance of the technical architecture.

What is 3 Tier Architecture in SAP?

SAP’s three-tier architecture provides a stronger foundation for data management and communication across teams and a more intuitive space for users to complete tasks. Here are the three layers of the SAP Architecture, each operating on its own with pre-built connections to the other layers.

1) Presentation Layer

The presentation layer is responsible for providing the graphical interface for users and configuring the system to ensure users can access the data they need to complete tasks and promote a stronger user experience. With this layer, users enter data on the screen, and the system will process and show the data to the user, facilitating more efficient data exchange processes across their SAP landscape.

This layer does not have any knowledge of the underlying data stores in the database layer and exists to help users easily access data from SAP systems and external systems.

2) Application Layer

The application layer is responsible for receiving and parsing other user’s data before it can be used across any part of the organization, providing data in the correct format to the right SAP application, and ensuring the data is secure before sending it to the next layer of the architecture.

This layer of the architecture is a critical component, simplifying the creation and management of work processes across the entire SAP environment. It enables users to create and leverage their own work processes, automatically generate records for the process, and ensure they have access to the data they need within their specific area of the database or SAP architecture as a whole.

3) Database Layer

The database layer is responsible for managing and storing all the data across a company’s SAP environment, making it easier for users to keep business rules, processes, and data in the same place for improved process efficiency across teams. This layer exists between the application server layer and the presentation layer.

With this layer, users are able to build a more solid foundation for their data management processes and facilitate more efficient data storage and processing functions across the SAP landscape.

Understanding the Design of SAP NetWeaver Application Server

The SAP NetWeaver Application Server acts as the central foundation for the entire SAP software stack, providing robust technical components and fully supported applications. Let’s take a closer look at the core components of the SAP NetWeaver architecture:

AS Java

The Application Server Java (AS JAVA) provides a Java EE 1.6-compliant environment that allows users to develop, deploy, and run Java EE programs more efficiently across teams. The Java runtime environment is designed and optimized to run business-critical applications, including the simplification of server process infrastructure and central cache and session management. The AS Java architecture is comprised of:

  • AS Java Cluster Architecture: Involves the building units of each application server, including all the components that allow user requests to be processed accurately and efficiently.
  • SAP JVM: Involves the implementation of the Java Virtual Machine, the runtime platform of AS Java.
  • AS Java System Architecture: Involves the logical layers of the AS Java system components and the relationships between them.
  • Zero Administration: Involves a dynamic configuration environment that simplifies technical configuration tasks within AS Java.


The Application Server ABAP (AS ABAP) provides the technology configurations and infrastructure needed to run ABAP applications. It includes the message server that represents the application layer of SAP’s multi-tier architecture, making it easier to execute ABAP applications and communicate with other components across the landscape. AS ABAP is made up of a few core components, including:

  • Work processes: Facilitates the execution of ABAP work processes and applications and links each application to a memory area that contains the context of each one.
  • Gateway: Acts as the interface for communication protocols of the SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP system and initiates communication between other ABAP application servers, SAP systems, and non-SAP systems.
  • Dispatcher queue: Provides a link between work processes and the users logged in to the ABAP application server, receives requests for dialog steps from SAP GUI, and directs screen output to the appropriate users.
  • Shared memory: Offers a common main memory area to save concepts for work processes or buffer data in the local environment.

Web Server

SAP NetWeaver can act as both a web server and a web client, making it easier for customers to send, manage, and process HTTP requests across their entire SAP landscape.

As a web server, SAP NetWeaver can accept HTTP requests from any web client, process each request, and send a response to the client. As a web client, it allows users to create HTTP requests in an application program, send requests to a web server, and send responses to clients to proceed as advised.

How Can We Help?

From helping customers begin their journey with SAP for the first time to handling complex integrations between SAP and non-SAP systems, facilitating the installation of Java components through the SAP Software Deployment Manager, navigating central services to manage locks and messages, or anything else SAP-related, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of senior-level, US-based SAP consultants has the skills and experience needed to handle all your SAP project needs, regardless of how complex your organizational structure is or where the state of your SAP HANA architecture lies.

Getting Started with Us

Interested in learning more about SAP Architecture or where our team of expert SAP consultants can fit in your organization?

Contact us today for more information!